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The telegraph wire would be cut at the top of the pole or in any trees through which the line passed, and the two ends would then be tied back in place with strips of rawhide. This obliged the Army’s repair teams to take the time to check every pole and tree until they discovered the break. Examination of the Hembrillo Basin battle site suggests that the Apaches deployed different types of breech-loading rifles to maximize their advantages. Winchester and Henry lever-action repeating rifles – with their high rate of fire, but shorter effective ranges – were deployed closer to the US Cavalry positions, while Apaches with Springfield and Remington single-shot rifles were deployed to take advantage of their longer effective range.
Whitney was killed, as were two horses, and a trooper was wounded; but despite these light casualties, Russell had to give up his pursuit – which had been the Apaches’ primary motive. Inset: Before the enrolment of the Indian Scout companies was promoted by Gen George Crook for his 1872 Tonto Basin campaign, and even afterwards, the experienced advice of local civilian guides, both Mexican and American, was of crucial value. US Army officers new to the Southwest were unfamiliar with the terrain, and anyway lacked any professional grounding in counter-guerrilla tactics.
In fact, he had been hoping to catch Russell from three directions, but the latter’s withdrawal after becoming suspicious of the terrain directly ahead of him foiled that part of the plan. Despite heavy fire from both flanks, Russell managed to extricate his men without casualties. 2: Horseshoe Canyon, October 1871 On this occasion Capt Russell was again following the trail of Apache raiders, with 25 troopers and the scout Robert H. Whitney. Seeking to water the horses and men in Horseshoe Canyon in the Chiricahua Mts, Russell and Whitney were deceived by a false trail.