The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 8
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
For all of these raiders the horse represented wealth, plunder, and
prowess at feats of arms. One general officer seemed to sum up best the
casual Lipan and Comanche attitude toward horses they did not own.
Indian warriors had the habit of "considering themselves the owners of
the territory whence they have been expelled . .. and levy upon its in-
habitants what they consider rightful contributions." Southern Plains
Indians in general as military bodies had poor discipline, weak security,
and lacked coordinated control during actions. Their strengths were
speed, stealth, courage, and initiative. The details of their tactical meth-
ods will be discussed following a brief look at the third factor of the
army tactical framework on the frontier."
The mission and the nature of the enemy comprised two factors of
the tactical methods employed by the soldiers of Fort Inge in the fron-
tier conflict. The third factor in determining tactical methods is the ca-
pabilities of the unit assigned to accomplish the mission. Capabilities to
perform a mission include a catalog of considerations such as unit com-
position and morale, level of training, and type of arms.
The diverse character of the frontier army is reflected in the way one
soldier of the antebellum army divided his comrades into three catego-
ries. The "DEAD-BEATS" were untrustworthy as malingerers, some-
times alcoholics. The quiet dutiful men of limited intellect were called
"OLD-SOLDIERS." Finally, "the pride of the officers and the admira-
tion of their companions" were the "DARE DEVILS, . . .. first in a
fight, frolic, or to volunteer for duty, with uniforms fitting like a
glove .... often . .. in the guardhouse.""
For troops in the remote portions of Texas, such as Fort Inge, low
pay, boredom, and isolation created problems of drinking and deser-
tion. An inspector noted of one of the Mounted Rifles companies in
1853, "Shortly after inspection the company was paid off, and drunk-
enness and disorder soon followed .... The company is suffering
greatly for the want of its officers." A company commander at Fort
Inge at this time recalled, "The company, from long idleness and isola-
tion, had become quite careless of duty, and many of them would drink
at the sutler's store more than was good for them."'"
""Descriptive Book of the District of Texas, July 1868," Book 220, vol. 22, Records of the
Headquarters of the Army, RG 1o8 (NA), 55-56, Utley, Frontier Regulars, 354-359; Report of
Quartermaster General Thomas S Jesup, Nov 22, 1851, H. Exec Doc 2, 32nd Cong, Ist Sess
(Serial 634), 225 (quotation); Wooster, The Military and Unzted States Indzan Policy, 36-39.
15Samuel E. Chamberlain, My Confesszon (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1956), 186
(Ist-3rd quotations), 186-187 (4th quotation).
16Crlmmins (ed.), "Freeman's Report," SIIQ, LII (Oct., 1948), 228 (1st quotation); Dabney
Herndon Maury, Recollectzons of a Virginzan in the Mexican, Indian, and Cizvl Wars (New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1894), 79-80 (2nd quotation).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/34/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.