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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 XXXVII. The Arizona campaign. (I),   pp. 480-493 PDF (5.5 MB)

Page 481

conceal themselves; " and " when they turned upon their enemy they
utterly ruthless and cruel."
   I listened to all this with a degree of patience, and the only reply that
suggested itself was that though all that was said about their skill and
prise and energy was true, yet with our superior intelligence and modern
appliances we ought and would be able to counteract, equal, or surpass all
the advantages possessed by the savages. As to the rapidity of their move-
mients, we had the power of steain to aid us in mnoving troops, munitions
and provisions, and the telegraph for comminunication. As to their being
able to signal by the use of fire and smoke and the flashes of some bright
piece of metal fora short distance, I thought we could not only equal, but
far surpass them in a short tinmie.
   I had it in my mind to utilize for our benefit and their discomfiture,
the very elements that had been the greatest obstacles in that whole
country to their subjugation, namely. the high mountain ranges, the glar-
ing. burning sunlight, and an atmosphere void of moisture. I therefore
requested the chief signal officer at Washington, General Hazen, to send
mie a corps of skilled officers and men, anid the best instruments and
appliances that were attainmable. I also directed my engineer officer to
block out the country in such a way that we might establish a network of
poiuits of observation and conimnunication over that entire country. Posts
were established over the country most frequented by the Apaches, a dis-
trict some two hundred mniles wide by three hundred miles long, north and
south. On the high mountain peaks of this region, I posted strong guards
of infantry supplied with casks of water and provisions enough to last
them for thirty days in case of siege. They were provided with the best
field glasses and telescopes that could be obtained, and also with the best
   The heliostat is a little invention of an English officer which had been
used in India many years before. My attention was first directed to it
nearly twenty years ago when in the office of the chief signal officer of
army, General Myer, who then had six of these instruments. As they were
not being used, I suggested that he send them to mie at the cantonment on
the Yellowstone, now Fort Keogh, Montana, and I there established the first
line in this country, from Fort Keogh to Fort Custer. I afterward used
them experimentally in the Department of the Columinmbia between Van-
couver Barracks and Mounit Hood a distance in an air line of fifty miles.
now determined to test themm to their full extent and make practical use
of them in the Department of Arizona.

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