Going back about 3500 years, on this beheading topic, I believe a dude named David did such to his vanquished opponent, Goliath. For those of us who ever had to salute Melvin Laird, the posting about the Viet Cong ears (which was removed from this websight for some reason) certainly brings back memories. After the battle of Chickamauga, reports like the following appeared:
“The entire battlefield is yet encumbered with heaps of... unburied Yankees.... Here and there some cruel mocker had severed the head from the body and set the head up on a stump, whence it grinned horribly, a ghastly smile - Rebel reporter Charleston Mercury, 11/5/63
December 15..., [Gen. U. S.] Grant decided to visit the battlefield [at Chickamauga].... On one log we counted 27 skulls... in a row - Yankee Cpl. Jim Shaw, 10 Ind., Croxton’s brigade, Brannan’s div. Shaw, 275"
“If reports of corpses being mutilated after Chickamauga are true -and such things happen in all wars- scalping may have been one of the mutilations; other Confederate Cherokees were known to have scalped their victims during the War Between the States. Atrocities were committed by both sides among those warring brothers. These Cherokee troops later transferred to an Indian battalion in the Smokey Mountains; Jordan/Weymouth, N.C. Troops:1861-1865, X; Hauptman, Between 2 Fires; America’s C. W., 9/1998.”
“Among McNair’s North Carolinians at Chickamauga were privates like Charlie Kenteehee, Casa Elk and John Coaloska -Cherokee Indians from western North Carolina, who were fighting for the Confederacy: the River of Death was still sapping the blood of the Red Man; it was a very confusing time during a very different culture than that of today. While Cherokees could -and often did own slaves- North Carolina State law prevented them from owning land -even the very land stolen from them by the US government a generation before.”
“It is always the same, whenever politicians play games with war: there will be atrocities. Whether the crimes be conducted by Americans at Haditha, Abu Ghrab, My Lai and Wounded Knee, or by Russians executing Polish POWs in the Katyn Forrest, or by Japanese murdering men in Bataan’s Death March, or in the chaos inflicted on Kosovo’s routed refugees, or that practiced in the Cambodian killing fields, or even the genocide unleashed by the ancient Israelites upon their prisoners at Ai -human nature remains the same, across all cultures and all generations when war allows abuse and permits the legal killing of fellow species members- humans always stoop to the lowest level; it was no different in the Civil War, on either side. Every generation must still experiment with war and its intrinsic evils, never having the intelligence, the I.Q., to learn from the past Joshua 8:26.”