By Mr. Richard Winship Stewart, Center of Military History (U.S. Army)
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Extra resources for American Military History: The United States Army and the Forging of a Nation, 1775-1917
The favorite Indian tactic was a surprise raid on an isolated settlement. When the settlers organized a pursuit, the Indians lay in wait and ambushed them. The white man soon adapted his tactics to the Indian's, quickly learning the value of surprise and stealth himself. htm (12 of 27) [2/20/2001 11:24:37 AM] Chapter 2 frequently employing friendly Indians in the role. Instead of fighting in the closed formations of Europe, he too adopted the open formation and fought from behind trees, rocks, and fences.
Instead of fighting in the closed formations of Europe, he too adopted the open formation and fought from behind trees, rocks, and fences. In such fighting more depended on individual initiative and courage than on strict discipline and control. The white settler learned to benefit from some of the enemy's weaknesses. For all their cunning, the Indians never learned the lesson of proper security and did not post guards at night. Nor did they like to fight in winter. Expeditions into the Indian country used as their favorite technique an attack on an Indian village at dawn and in the winter season.
The French Canadians also had their militia, a more centralized and all-embracing system than that in the English colonies, but the population of the French colonies was sparse, scarcely a twentieth of that of the British colonies in 1754. The French relied heavily on Indian allies, whom they equipped with firearms. They were far more successful than the British in influencing the Indians, certainly in part because their sparse population posed little threat to Indian lands. The French could usually count on the support of the Indian tribes in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions, though the British colonists did maintain greater influence with the powerful Iroquois confederacy in New York.