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Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 / Personal recollections and observations of General Nelson A. Miles embracing a brief view of the Civil War, or, From New England to the Golden Gate: and the story of his Indian campaigns, with comments on the exploration, development and progress of our great western empire
(1896)

Chapter XXI. The siege and the surrender,   pp. 271-280 PDF (4.2 MB)


Page 271


GENERAL NELSON A. MILES.
                            CHAPTER XXI.
                    THE SIEGE AND THE SURRENDER,.
TmlE- ATTAIC- SURPRISE OF THE NEZ PERSESL-DEATH OF, HALE '\,ND BIDDLE -ESC-APi
OF WHITE
   BIRD- LAYING SIEGE TO THE INDIAN CAIMP- PRECAUTIONS AOTINST A COUINTER
SIEGE -A
     CAPTURE AND AN EXCHANGEE-A FALSE ALERAI-TIJE SuRRELNODER-BACt T0 THE
        MIISSOUtRI -MAEETING STURGIS' COMjAI-D-CARRYING TIIE WOUINDED A-\ND)
           BURYING TIlE DEAD-APPEARANCE OF TIlE COMMAND ON THE MIARCH
              -CONDLCT OF TIlE INDIAN ALLIES AND TH]EIR REWARD-
                  THEIR ENDURE NCE - RET URN TO THE C ANTONMENTI
                     - FINTAL DISPOSITION- OF THE INDI-ANS,
HE N ez Perces were quietly slumbering in their tents. evidently
without a thought of danger, as they had sent out scouts the
day before to see if there were an\ troops in the vicinity, and
the scouts had reported "none discovered.- but that they had
seen vast herds of buffaloes, deer, elk and antelopes quietly graz-
ing on the prairie undisturbed, and no enemy in sight. When the
charge was made, the spirited horses of the Seventh Cavalry
dI I W  U4ld.U that4c'11'J1  a ,i I ,PIu   I1'I rP V.   r1i R, UAI pt ' t.h
 pi  i h, I 4 an
          k{cllu   U1CUU [f IU UUl)"1  C.)bUlt~   IIU lll lt: llt-U
 _tLcujuuIy klVA'ul-  lLUi IYa1411[;N   I1lul~l
the Indian ponies of the mounted infantry and it -was expected to
first strike the enemy with the Seventh Cavalrv  The tramp of at least
six hundred horses over the prairie fairly shook the ground, and, although
a complete surprise to the Indians in the mnain, it must have given them
a
few minutes' notice, for as the troops charged against the village the In-
dians opened a hot fire upon them. This nmonmentarily checked the ad-
vance of the Seventh Cavalry, which fell back, but only for a short distance
and quickly rallied again and charged forward at a gallop. driving that
portion of the camp of the Indians before it.
   At the same time the battalion of the Fifth Infantry under Captain
Snyder charged forward up to the very edge of the v alley in which the
Indian camp was located, threw themselves uponh the ground. holding
the lariats of their ponies in their left hands. and opened a deadly fire
with their long range rifles upon the enemny with telling effect. The
tactics were somewhat in Indian fashion, and most effective, as they
presented a small target when lying or kneeling upon the ground, and
their ponies were so accustomed to the din and noise of the Indian camp,
271


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