|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.