Tracking. The Army relied on regular cavalry patrols to try to intercept raiding Indians. These missions were commonly called "scouts," and usually involved small detachments of soldiers searching pre-determined areas in hope of finding recent tracks of Indian ponies. When troopers "cut" a trail, they followed it until they overtook the Indians, lost the trail, or were outrun by the Indians. Despite its hit-or-miss character, patrolling probably resulted in more battles with Plains Indians than any other type of Army mission. Painting by Nola Davis, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
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