Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/151

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

without murmur to this unexpected and disagreeable mandate. It is foreign to the text of this work to enter into details of experiences not indicative of Indian character, and I will, therefore, pass over the many occurrences of military life during the trying winter of 1861 and 1862, when nearly the whole State was overflowed, and over sixty millions of dollars worth of property destroyed by the floods. It is not necessary to recite the gigantic labors performed by the column from California, in making roads; digging and restoring wells in desert places; constructing bridges; establishing depots; escorting trains, and sending forward advanced bodies of observation; for certain intelligence had been received that the enemy were advancing upon the frontiers of this State, and were not far from Fort Yuma. All these details have no connection with this volume, and will therefore be ignored.

I was ordered in the advance by Gen. Carleton, with instruction to occupy the pass at Antelope Peak until his arrival. On reaching that place I found that the Gila river had made great inroads upon the mesa or tableland between it and the hill, until only a passage of something like a hundred yards intervened. Of this pass I took possession, drawing up my two wagons and picket line in such a manner as to intercept all travel, while a lookout was maintained during the day from the top of the peak, and a well ordered patrol scoured the country for a space of ten miles to the eastward at all times of day and night. During our occupancy of this pass a band of Yumas, about thirty in number, all warriors, came up from the Colorado river to collect stones, and make metates for their wives. The metate is a slightly hollowed hard stone, upon which soaked maize is laid,