One must also remember that the armament of the American Plains
Indian consisted mostly of lance and bow. While there is a lot of
discussion on this, it is a known fact that the Plains Indians were
one of the best light cavalry ever produced in the world. One of
the main reasons the Plains were the last to be conquered was
because these horsemen could outfight the whites on most occasions.
Inroads to the plains began in the southwest with the Texans moving
into Apache and Commanche territories, somethings the Mexicans
couldn't do. As they did so, they quickly found out that the
armament they carried was inappropriate for the type of warfare the
Indians capitalized upon. Once a single shot rifle or pistol was
discharged, the person was unarmed for quite some time. In the
meantime a well trained warrier could have as many as 3 - 4 arrows
in the air at the same time. A definite advantage of firepower.
The lance was the coup de gras to save arrows when the enemy had
fired their weapon.
The most significant change in plains warfare occured with the
multiple round handgun. The Texas Rangers quickly found out that
this weapon at least put them on equal footing with the superior
weaponry of the Indian. Walker even went so far as to get his hands
on as many revolvers that were available throughout the US,
traveling east to collect as many as were available. He even
designed one for specific use from the Colt Mfg company which was
heavy enough to be used as a club when emptied.
Only when the handgun was developed could the full use of cavalry be
attained. This applied with the saber in Civil War combat and as
time went on specialty handguns were developed to improve the life
expectancy of the trooper. The LaMat was a classic example of such
a weapon. It was too heavy to carry on a belt and had to be carried
in a saddle holster. It fired 9 rounds of ball and a 20 guage
shotgun round. This along with other side-arms began to change the
tactics of cavalry operations. This was something that had been
learned from the Texans the the earlier years dealing with the
plains Indians. Off horseback, the shortened, repeating carbine
held an advantage. The increase in firepower against mounted enemy
again changed the face of the cavalry. The Lancers were on their
way out as were the traditional saber armed troopers. Being mounted
offered a quick manuvering ability, but until small, repeating
weapons were developed, limited them the increased firepower of the
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "James L. Choron"
> Being a Texan, I'm fairly up on the Mexican War. The reason I
mentioned it was because I know of several instances where cavalry,
both United States regular troops and Texas Rangers, broke up
charges by lancers and compeltely routed them, even though
outnumbered significantly, simply because the Rangers and U.S.
troops were armed with pistols.
> I can see where the 6th would take lances, because there was no
other option, but I can't see them choosing that weapon as a "first
choice". I would also tend to wonder how long the lances remained in
service, once better weapons came available.