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[442] positions by assault; after which, leaping again into the saddle, they pursued them, revolver in hand. The infantry were only there to support the cavalry at a distance, to fight pitched battles when the opportunity offered, and to defend the numerous posts which it was necessary to occupy along the road. These footsoldiers, however, marched much longer distances than those belonging to the other Federal armies, in consequence, no doubt, of their having been recruited among the pioneers of Kansas and Iowa, accustomed to long journeys across the plains. These small armies were obliged to exercise a great mobility, without which, in so extensive a country, they would have been absolutely powerless. Consequently, they learned to subsist as much as possible upon that country, however small its population. From time to time they required a certain quantity of supplies and a renewal of their depots. There was then sent to them a train of wagons resembling those which in times of peace crossed the Rocky Mountains, and this train, to reach them, had to travel two or three hundred kilometres without an escort. Once revictualled, the army retained but a small number of important posts along its route, which, in case of danger, served as a shelter for future convoys.

The vicissitudes of this war may appear very monotonous to those whose observe them from a distance, but it inspired those who participated in it with wonderful zeal. They went into the struggle with much stronger and more ardent feelings than the combatants who took part in the Eastern campaigns. In uniform they continued the mode of the life they had long led in those Territories where the supremacy of the law was not yet recognized. In short, the adventurous marches of those large bodies of cavalry, the surprises by night, the combats alternately on foot and on horseback, and the rapid runs across the prairie after battle, presented in a dry, healthy climate a life full of attraction to the rough soldiers of the far West.

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