Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/145

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139
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

vance, every camp you visit, is seen and noted by them, with the strictest scrutiny. If they perceive that you are careful, prepared for any contingency, and always on your guard, they will hesitate about making any attack with ten times your force, especially if your party does not offer sufficient inducement in the matter of plunder. But if they observe the least neglect, or want of precaution on your part, you will be assaulted at the very moment, in the very place, and under circumstances when least expected, with every probability of success in their favor. I further remarked, your party, I understand, will be a small one, of not more than ten or twelve persons, including an escort of nine men of the Regular Infantry. None of these men have probably ever been in an Indian country, and, if they have, no experience elsewhere will avail them among the Apaches, whose mode of warfare is so entirely at variance with those of all other tribes. The Regular soldiers, in order to preserve the polish and fine appearance of their guns, are in the habit of carrying them in covers and unloaded. This should be avoided. The men should be made to carry their muskets loaded, capped, and ready for action at a second's warning. They must be restrained from straggling, and moved in such order as will guarantee the greatest amount of security to every individual. Special care should be observed soon after entering a camping ground, when the men generally lay aside their weapons and separate into detachments to bring wood and water. I cannot too strongly impress you with the necessity for a rigid observance of this caution in all cases where the party is small, and no sufficient armed body left in camp, or provided as guards for the protection of those engaged in other necessary duties.

Dr. Tappan thanked me cordially for the information