University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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 459

both killed. About nine or ten others who were in view rapidly got close
to the ground or in hollows behind rocks, which alone saved them as they
were near, and formed a portion of the party that advanced. Upon reach-
ing the rocks where I had sought shelter, I found Captain Crawford lying
with his head pierced by a ball. His brain was running down his face and
some of it lay on the rocks. He must have been shot just as he reached
and mounted the rocks. Over his face lay a red handkerchief at which his
hand clutched in a spasmodic way. Dutchy stood near him. I thought
him dead, and sick at heart I gave my attention to the serious conditions
existing. The fall of Captain Crawford was a sad and unfortunate event,
greatly to be deplored, and cast a gloom over us which we could not
shake off.
   Being next in command, I hastened to send scouts to prevent the attack
attempted on our right above referred to, and after ain interval of about
hours the Mexicans were driven entirely away and the firing gradually
ceased. They now occupied a strong line of hills, with excellent shelter,
were double our strength, and were armed with calibre 44 Remington
rifles, which carried a cartridge similar to our own. Our command was
without rations and nearly without ammunition, the one beltful supplied
to each scout having in many cases been entirely exhausted in the two
fights. It was true that many of them had extra rounds, but I estimated
that between four and five thousand rounds had been fired and that some
of the men had none left.
   The Mexicans now called to us saying they would like to talk, but they
were too cautious to advance. When M\Ir. Horn and I went forward, to
talk to them, three or four advanced to meet us about one hundred and
fifty yards fromn our position. The brother of the lieutenant who had been
killed was crying bitterly, and the whole party seemed a most forlorn
company of men, and sincere in saying that they thought we were
the hiostiles. All their officers were killed, and I believe others be-
sides, but how many we never knew. The fact that our command was
composed almost entirely of Indians was a most unfortunate one. With
regular soldiers all would have been clear. Our position at this time, con-
fronted as we were by a hostile Mexican force, while behind us was the en-
tire hostile band of Indians evidently enjoying the situation, is probably
unparalleled. We had scarcely any ammunition, no food, and our supplies
were with the pack-train almost unprotected - no one knew where - while
we were many days' march from our own couintry, which could only be
reached through a territory hostile to our Indians, The governor of S~onora

Go up to Top of Page