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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

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

Page 456

became so steep that we could not go forward, but would have to wearily
climb back and find another way. I marched by poor Captain Crawford.
who was badly worn out; often he stopped and leaned heavily on his rifle
for support, and again he used it for a cane to assist himn. He had, how-
ever, an unconquerable will, and kept slowly on. At last, when it was
nearly daylight, we could see in the distance the dim outlines of the rocky
osition occupied by the hostiles. I had a strong feeling of relief, for I
certainly was very tired. We had mnarched continuously eighteen hours
over a country so difficult that when we reached their camp Geroniino
said he felt that he had no longer a place where the white mlan would
not pursue him.
   The comnmand was now quickly disposed for an attack, our first object
being to surround the hostile camp. I was sent around to the further
side. Noiselessly, scarcely breathing, we crept along. It was still dark.
It seemed strange to be going to attack these Indians with a force of their
own kindred who but a short time before had been equally as criminal. I
had nearly reached the further side, intending to cut off the retreat, when
the braying of some burros was heard. These watch dogs of an Indian
camp are better than were the geese of Rome. I hurried along. The faint
light of the morning was just breaking, and I held my breath for fear the
alarm would be given, when all at once the flames bursting from the rifles
of sonie of the hostiles who had gone to investigate the cause of the bray-
ing of the burros, and the echoing and reechoing of the rifle reports
through the mountains, told me that the camp was in arms. Dim forms
could be seen rapidly descending the mountain sides and disappearing be-
low. A large number came my way within easy range,  less than two
hundred yards. We fired many shots but I saw no one fall. One Indian
attempted to ride by me on a horse; I fired twice at him, when he aband-
ommed the horse and disappeared; the horse wvas shot, but I never knew what
became of the Indian. We pursued for a time, but as few of our Indian
scouts could have gone farther, we had to give up the pursuit. The
hostiles, like so mamny quail, had disappeared among the rocks. One
by one our scouts returned.  We had captured the entire herd, all
the canmp effects and what little food they had, consisting of some
mescal, sonme fresh pony meat, a small part of a deer and a little dried
meat, which the scouts seized and began to devour. I had no desire for
food. Every one was worn out and it was cold and damp. In a little
while an Indian woman canie in and said that Geronimno and Natchez
desired to talk. She begged food, and left us bearing word that Captain

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