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 XXXVIII. The Arizona campaign. II,   pp. 494-505 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 495

career. He commanded a brigade during the war with distinction, lost an
eye in the service, and was a most earnest and zealous officer. He had
charge of some of the worst Indians in the country. Three different tribes
were located at the San Carlos agency (the San Carlos, the Yumas, and the
Mohaves), and as they were friendly to the Chiricahuas and Warm Spring
Indians, one of my objects in going there and meeting Captain Pierce was
to make all the arrangements possible to keep these Indians from joining
the hostiles, and to prevent them from giving assistance to those who were
then out. I also met Colonel J. F. Wade who was then commanding at
Fort Apache. Both of these officers were directed to use every means
possible to prevent any communication between the hostiles and the
Indians under their charge. Colonel Wade was also directed to, as far as
possible, bring the Chiricahua and Warm Spring Indians entirely under his
control, so that they could be removed from the Territory if it became
necessary. I informed him at that time that I believed such a measure
was the only means of bringing about a permanent peace, and that I would
some time in the near future send him an order to remove them from the
country. Captain Pierce. who as I have stated, had charge of the San
Carlos Indians, fully agreed with me on this subject and actively cooper-
ated in the enterprise. The conversation was to be considered strictly
   Previous to my taking command of the department a large number of
Apache scouts had been employed for the purpose of hunting the hostile
Apaches. I had no confidence in their integrity and did not believe they
could be trusted. I believed that they were naturally more friendly to
their own blood relatives than they could be to our service, and took
measures to have nearly all of them discharged. In their stead I hired
other Indians who were more hostile to the Chiricahua Apaches. What
few scouts were with the troops we used principally as trailers.
   In July, while the troops were actively employed in pursuing the hos-
tile Indians, a chase which had then been on for several months, I turned
mv attention to the serious question of the final disposition to be made
the Apaches, and determined to visit Fort Apache in person and make an
examination of affairs at that agency. In order that there might be per-
fect harmony between the military department and the Department of
the Interior, I wrote to Mr. L. Q. C. Lamar, Jr., a special agent of the
Interior Department, whose father, the then Secretary of the Interior, I
knew personally, asking him to accompany me to Fort Apache. We met
at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and with my aid-de-camp Lieutenant Dapray,

Go up to Top of Page