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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 458

morning light very faint. But by ascending the rocks we could see
the outlines of dusky forms moving in the distance. Then all at once
there was a crash of musketry and the flames froni many rifles lighted
up the scene. In that discharge three of our scouts were wounded, one very
badly, and we quickly sought cover. The thought that it was our own friends
who were attacking us was agonizing and we had not the heart to retaliate,
but the scouts kept up a desultory fire until Captain Crawford, whom we
had left lying by the camp fire, shouted to us to stop. In about fifteen
minutes the firing ceased and it now became known that the attacking
party were Mexicans, a detachment of whom, about thirteen, were seen
approaching, four of them coming toward the rocks where we were. As I
spoke Spanish, I advanced about fifty or seventy-five yards to meet themi
and was followed by Captain Crawford. I told them who we were and of
our fight with the hostiles, that we had just captured their camp, etc.
Captain Crawford, who did not speak Spanish, now asked if I had explained
all to them. I told him I had. At this time we were all standing within
a few feet of each other.         i
   Time officer commanding the Mexicans was Major Corredor, a tall,
powerful man over six feet high, and he acted as spokesman Looking to
the rocks we could see the heads of many of our Indian scouts with their
rifles ready, and could hear the sharp snap of the breechblocks as the
cartridges were inserted. I can well recall the expression on the faces of
these Mexicans, for they thought our scouts were going to fire; indeed I
thought so myself. At the same time I noticed a party of Mexicans march-
ing in a low ravine toward a high point which commanded and enfiladed
our position, about four hundred yards distant. I called Captain Crawford's
attention to this as well as to the aspect of our own scouts. He said, "For
God's sake, don't let them fire !" Major Corredor also said, "7W)
  Don't fire. I said to him, "No," and told him not to let his
men fire.
I then turned toward the scouts saying in Spanish "Don't fire,"
holding my
hand toward them. They nearly all understood Spanish while they did
not speak it. I had taken a few steps forward to carry out the Captain's
instructions, when one shot rang out distinct and alone; the echoes were
such that I could iot tell where it caiue from, but it sounded like a death
knell and was followed by volleys from both sides. As we all sought cover,
I looked back just in time to see the tall Mexican throw down his rifle
and fall, shot through the heart. Another Mexicaim, Lieutenant Juan de
La Cruz, fell as he ran, pierced by thirteen bullets. The other two ran
behind a small oak, but it was nearly cut down by bullets and they were

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