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

Page 491

then divided into two bands. One, inoviig nlorth, was intercepted by
Lieutenant Brett of the Second Cavalry, who displayed great energy and
determination in his pursuit. The Indians going over the roughest moun-
tains and breaking down one set of horses, would abandon them and pass
straight over the highest ranges and descending to the valleys below
would steal others and continue their retreat. while the troops in order
pursue them were obliged to send their horses around the impassable
mountain heights and follow the trail on foot, climbing in the ascent and
sliding in the descent On this occasion, at one time the troops continued
the pursuit for twenty-six hours without a halt, and were without water
during eighteen hours in the intense heat of that season. This was the
second occasion in which a part of my commands were suffering so intensely
from thirst-- all agony fortunately unknown to the niass of mankind -that
the men opened their veins to moisten their burning lips with their own
blood. This band of hostiles under Natchez swept north as far as Fort
Apache, then turned south pursued by one coninianding officer after all-
other who took up the pursuit. The Indians were turned to the south
again, and finally recrossed the Mexican boundary.
   The other band was followed west by Lieutenant Brown, until their
trail was struck by Captain Lawton. The Indians were first driven north
and then south, and in passing through the Patagonia Mountains were
intercepted by Lieutenant Walsh, of the Fourth Cavalry.  He sur-
prised their camp on the evening of June 6, and captured nearly all
their animals, baggage and supplies. The hostiles scattered, and by the time
the scouts could -work out the trail it became too dark to follow. At
daylight the pursuit was again taken up and carried on so vigorously
that the Indians were obliged to abandon all the remaining animals they
had with them and scatter again on foot. Captain Lawton, who had mean-
while joined this command. was convinced from the fact that the Indians
had entirely disappeared from the border, and from the direction in which
their trail led, that at last they were going toward their stronghold, the
Sierra Madres, and a pursuit was at once inaugurated for a campaign in
those excessively rugged mountains. The infantry command -was at this
time replaced by another detachnient of equal strength and with these
new troops Captain Lawton pursued the savages from one range of moun-
tains to another for three months, sometimes scaling peaks nine thousand
or ten thousand feet above the level of the sea. and then again descending
into the depths of the canions where the heat was almost intolerable.
During this time the troops marched 1,396 miles. Most of the country

Go up to Top of Page