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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 485

Froin  Cochise's stronghold on the west side of the Dragoon Mountains,
there were only eighteen nmessages sent, though this station repeated one
hundred and twenty-five messages.        The station at Bowie Peak repeated
1,644 messages, and the whole number of messages repeated was 4,468.
The average number of words contained in these messages was about
fifty, though there were cases where there were more than two hundred.
   The country was subdivided into districts of observation, and each
district was occupied by an efficient command fully supplied with trans-
portation, field equipment, guides, scouts, trailers, etc., and Captain Thoinp-
son, of the Fourth Cavalry, an experienced and efficient officer, was ap-
pointed adjutant-general in the field.
   For the instruction of the troops in the departnent, I issued the fol-
loxving orders:
                                       FORT BOW IE, A. T., April 20, 1886.
   The following instructions are issued for the information and guidance
of troops serv-
ing in the southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico.
   The chief object of the troops will be to capture or destroy any band
of hostile Apache
Indians found in this section of country ; and to this end the most vigorous
and persistent
efforts will be required of all officers and soldiers until the object is
   To better facilitate this duty and afford as far as practicable protection
to the scattered
settlements, the territory is subdivided into Districts of Observation as
shown upon maps
furnished by the department engineer officer, and these will be placed under
ing officers to be hereafter designated.
   Each command will have a sufficient number of troops and the necessary
tion to thoroughly examine the district of country to which it is assigned,
and will be ex-
pected to keep such section clear of hostile Indians.
   The signal detachments will be placed upon the highest peaks and prominent
to discover any movements of Indians and to transmit messages between the
   The infantry will be used in hunting through the groups and ranges of
mountains, the
resorts of the Indians, occupying the important passes in the mountains,
guarding sup-
plies, etc.
   A sufficient number of reliable Indians will be used as auxiliaries to
discover any
signs of hostile Indians, and as trailers.
   The cavalry will be used in light scouting(r parties, with a sufficient
force held in
readiness at all times to make the most persistent and effective pursuit.
   To avoid any advantage the Indians may have by a relay of horses, where
a troop or
squadron commander is near the hostile Indians he will be justified in dismounting
half of his command and selecting the lightest and best riders to make pursuit
by the
most vigorous forced marches, until the strength of all the animals of his
command shall
have been exhausted.

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