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By Perry D. Jamieson

Guns superior speedily after the Civil struggle, elevating tough questions about the conflict strategies hired by means of the U.S. military. the main primary challenge was once the dominance of the tactical protecting, while defenders safe via fieldworks might convey lethal hearth from rifles and artillery opposed to attackers advancing in close-ordered strains. The vulnerability of those offensive forces as they crossed the so-called "deadly floor" in entrance of protective positions was once even better with the advance of armaments after the Civil conflict.

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In July 1887 the Army and Navy Register advised its readers that one Mexican governor had offered $700 each for Apache scalps. Many native Americans suffered because whites were not always willing or able to control their Indian allies. A stark entry appears for January 20, 1867, in William McKay's journal of the Snake War: "Met [our scouting party] coming back with 9 scalps had demolished and annihilated the camp & not one escaped then traveled 3 miles further Page 25 killed 1 man 1 woman & child & surprised another camp and demolished it.

7 Beyond their responsibilities in the West, the bluecoats maintained a presence in the South until 1877. Even when the army could narrow its attention to Indian fighting, it found that its mission was complicated by the difficulty of separating friendly Indians from combative ones. By the national government's own accounting in 1866, it considered "hostile" fewer than 100,000 Indians among a total population of 270,000. During the late 1860s military leaders found some of the Cheyenne and Arapaho on the Southern Plains to be cooperative and others perennially belligerent, and the same situation bedeviled the army during the Red River War of the next decade.

Sheridan that terrain had hindered operations after the Seventh Cavalry stormed Black Kettle's village along the Washita. Custer explained that he had not pursued the Indians after this November 1868 victory because his troopers had used up the provisions they carried, and ravines and other broken ground prevented his supply wagons from following him. Nowhere did the army encounter more rugged terrain than the deserts, mountains, and canyons of the Southwest. George Crook chased the Chiricahua Apaches along trails so treacherous that some of his pack mules could not keep their footing and were lost over the mountain precipices.

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