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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 XXXVI. A campaign against the Apaches (Captain Maus' narrative),   pp. 450-479 PDF (11.9 MB)


Page 452


PERSONAL RECOLLECTI ONS OF
the J)louse was ofteu turned inside out to show only the gray lining.
Nothing escaped their watchful eyes as they mnarched silently in their
mnoccasined feet. By day small fires were built of dry wood to avoid
smoke, aud at iiight they were made in hidden places so as to be invisible.
If a high poimit was in view, you could be sure that a scout had crawled
to
the summinit aiid, himself unseen, with a glass or his keen eyes had searched
the country arounid. At night only was the watch relaxed, for these
savages dread the uight with a superstitious fear. It was necessary to allow
them their way, and we followed, preserving order as best we could by
exercising tact and by a careful study of their habits. Uinder the influence
of mnescal, which is a liquor mnade in all parts of Mexico and easily pro-
cured, they often became violent and troublesome and we could uot help
realizing how perfectly wue wvere in their power. However, no distrust of
themn was shown. One of mny Inmdians, a sergeant named Rubie, followed
mie one day while 1 was huniting. I thought his actiomis were curious, but
they were explained when he suddenly caine fromn tlme front and told mne
to go back.  le had seen the footprints of hostiles near by. In the action
which followed later he came to mie and warned me to cover. There was.
however, very little evidence of affection or gratitude in them as a class.
   Continuing the mnarch, we reached the town of Huasavas in the valley
of the Bavispe. Orange amid lemon trees were filled with golden fruit,
although it was now the 22d of Decemnber. This valley, surrounded by
high mountains, was fertile though but little cultivated. The only vehicles
in use were carts, the wheels of which were sections sawed fromt. logs. The
plows were pieces of pointed wood. The people were devoid of all tlme
comimforts of life. Corn flour was obtaiiied by pounding the grains on
stones. They were a most desolate people. and completely terrorized by
the Apaches, w ho were a constant mnenace to theii, as they were to the
inhabitants of all these towns. Here occurred the first serious trouble
with the Indian scouts. One of themn, who was drunk but unarmed, wvas
shot 1)y a Alexican policeman. At the time I was on iiy way to the towin
ancl idmet the Intdian, who was running down the road toward me, followted
l)y two policenmen or guards firing rapidly. One lball passed through his
face, coming out through tlme jaw. The other Indian scouts were much
incensed, and at once began to prepare for an attack on the town, giving
us imuch trouble before we were able to stop themim. The officers were
unable to sleep that night, as mimany of the Indians had been drinking and
continued to be so angry that they fired off their rifles iin the camp. Tlme
next day I released one of them fron p)rison, and subsequently had to pa-1
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