Brief Descriptions From the Index of the Presidential Papers 1789-1897 Letter A: Ap-Av



Apache Indians

A confederation of the Athapascan stock of North American Indians, consisting of a dozen or more tribes. In 1598 they inhabited northwestern New Mexico, and later spread over the valley of the Gila River. By 1800 their range extended from the Colorado River eastward to central Texas, and later they made incursions into Mexico as far south as Durango. They were the terror of the early Spanish settlers, and since the annexation of their territory to the United States they have given the Government much trouble under the leadership of such famous braves as Cochise, Mangus, Colorado, and Geronimo (III, 514). White settlers opposed the plan of the Government to remove the Apaches to a reservation in New Mexico, and on Apr. 30, 1871, over 100 of the Indians were massacred at Fort Grant, Ariz. The Apaches, numbering some 6,200 are now confined to reservations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Appomattox (Va.), Battle. (1865)

After the battle of Farmville, Apr. 7, 1865, Lee moved off toward the west, closely followed by Meade on the north side of the Appomattox. Sheridan, learning of the arrival of supply trains for Lee's army at Appomattox Station, pushed forward for that place with all the cavalry. Lee's hopeless condition being now apparent, Grant sent him a note inviting surrender. Lee replied, asking for terms and Grant insisted upon the unconditional surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. On the night of Apr. 8 Custer, who was in Sheridan's advance, reached Appomattox Station, where the Confederate advance had just arrived. He attacked the forces and captured 25 guns and 4 supply trains, a hospital train, and a park of wagons. During the night Sheridan came up, and by daylight was joined by Gen. Ord's command and the Fifth Corps. Lee was now only 20 miles from Lynchburg, his objective point. AT first, underestimating the opposing forces, he ordered Gen. Gordon to make a reconnaissance and attack. Sheridan's cavalry withdrew to one side and revealed the lines of Ord's and Griffin's commands in line of battle. Gordon sent forward a white flag. Gen. Lee then dispatched a note to Gen. Grant requesting an interview, which being allowed closed with the signing of articles of surrender of Lee's army and camp followers, about 27,000 men. The officers and men were paroled Apr. 12 and allowed to return to their homes. All public property was turned over, but the officers were allowed to keep their side arms and both officers and men to retain their private horses and baggage.

Arapaho Indians

A tribe of the Algonquian stock of Indians living on the head waters of the Platte and Arkansas rivers, but also ranging from the Yellowstone to the Rio Grande. The name is said to signify "tattooed people." They are at present (1899) divided between two reservations, one (the Arapaho) in Indian Territory and the other (the Shoshone) in Wyoming.

Arkansas Post (Ark.), Battle of. (1863)

Jan. 10, 1863, an expedition under command of Gen. McClernand and convoyed by Admiral Porter's fleet of gunboats moved against Fort Hindman, at Arkansas Post, on the Arkansas River. Jan. 11 a combined attack was begun, which was maintained until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when the post, with 5,000 prisoners, was surrendered to the Union forces. The Federal loss in the action was 977 killed, wounded, and missing.


Armories and arsenals were not established in the United States until the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In 1776 powder was manufactured in Virginia and brass cannon were cast in Philadelphia. An arsenal was established at Carlisle, Pa., the same year. Washington in 1777 chose Springfield, Mass., as a suitable location for an arsenal and small arms were manufactured there in 1787. The establishment now has a capacity of 1,000 rifles per day. The arsenal at Harpers Ferry, W.Va., was begun in 1795, and from that time the number was gradually increased until 1860, when there were 23 arsenals scattered over the country. The principal ones at present in use are at Allegheny, Pa; Augusta, Ga.; Benicia, Cal.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Columbia, Tenn.; Fort Leavenworth, Kans.; Fortress Monroe, Va.; Fort Snelling, Minn.; Frankford, Pa.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Augusta, Me.; Springfield, Mass.; Governors Island, N.Y.; Rock Island, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo.' San Antonio, Tex.; Dover, N.J.; Vancouver, Wash.; Washington, D.C.; Watertown, Mass., and Watervliet, N.Y. Ordnance, arms, ammunition, and accouterments are manufactured at many of these places, the idea being to devote each to a special line of fabrication. Thus the establishment at Watervliet is devoted to the manufacture of heavy ordnance. Casting and assembling of guns are carried on at Rock Island and Benicia, as well as the making of leather goods. Naval guns and projectiles are made at Washington, D.C.


The history of artillery begins shortly after the invention of gunpowder. It was used by the Moors of Algeciras, in Spain, in 1343, and Edward III had 4 cannon at Crecy in 1346. Suring the sixteenth century brass guns and cast-iron projectiles were adopted throughout Europe. Gustavus Adolphus, Sweden's greatest warrior, introduced the battalion system and reduced the use of artillery to a science in Europe. Napoleon owed much of his military success to his skill in the manipulation of artillery. In his wars are seen the first important effects of the concentration of fire, which in those days could only be produced by the massing of guns. Napoleon III made a special study of the subject of artillery, and the treatise begun and mainly written by him is a standard work on the subject. During the Civil War Gen. William F. Barry did much to improve the organization of the artillery of the Union Army. The aggregate of field guns was about 15,000, with 40,000 horses and 48,000 men. The Regular Army of the United States at present (1899) includes 7 regiments of artillery, with full quota of officers and enlisted men. Each regiment consists of 12 batteries of heavy artillery, 2 batteries of field artillery, and a band. The regimental officers are colonel, lieutenant-colonel, 3 majors, 16 captains, 16 first-lieutenants, 14 second lieutenants, sergeant-major, and quartermaster-sergeant. The personnel of the battery consists of a captain and first and second lieutenants, with full quota of noncommissioned officers and 52 privates. The materiel of a mounted battery of field artillery on a war footing is 6 guns and 6 caissons, battery wagon, traveling forge, and 112 horses. In time of peace the numbers of men and horses are reduced to 60 and 80, respectively.

Ashburton Treaty (1842)

A treaty concluded at Washington August 9, 1842, between Great Britain and the United States. It was negotiated by Lord Ashburton and Daniel Webster. It settled the long-disputed boundary line between the United States and Canada. The former secured about seven-twelfths of the territory which had been claimed by both countries. Provision was also made by the treaty for the suppression of the slave trade and the mutual extradition of fugitives from justice (IV, 162, 194, 229).

Assessments, Political.

In the conduct of a political campaign considerable expense is incurred for hall rent, printing, music, and the necessary and legitimate efforts of each party to present its claims to the voters and secure their attendance at the polls. This expense is paid out of the campaign funds of the various political parties, the money therefore being raised in part by assessments upon both candidates and officeholders, as well as by voluntary contributions. In order to properly apportion the contributions to the campaign funds, assessments are sometimes based upon the salary of the office held or asked for at the hands of the party. There is a limit to legitimate p arty assessments and party expenses, beyond which lies the criminal field of blackmail and bribery. The first legal knowledge of the system of levying political assessments is found in the testimony taken before the Swartwout investigating committee of the House in the Twenty-fifth Congress. A former deputy collector of the port of New York testified that he had frequently been called upon to contribute while in the custom-house. As far as can be ascertained, assessments have been pretty general since 1840. It is claimed by the advocates of civil-service reform that a proper execution of the civil-service laws will largely, if not entirely, destroy the plan of assessments of persons holding office when made without their consent.

Assumption of State Debts

Early in the second session of the First Congress Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, recommended that in order to restore public credit the Federal Government should fund and pay the foreign debt of the Confederation ($13,000,000), the domestic debt ($42,000,000), and also that it assume and pay the unpaid war debt of the States. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina favored the plan. Virginia strongly opposed the latter clause. She was sustained in her opposition by Maryland, Georgia, and New Hampshire. The influence of North Carolina thrown against the measure defeated it for the time, but it was revived later, and passed Aug. 4, 1790, it was claimed, by a combination of its friends with those of the measure locating the Federal capital on the Potomac. The amount authorized to be assumed by the Government in the liquidation of the State debts was $21,500,000, but the amount actually assumed was $3,250,000 less than that sum.

Atlanta (Ga.), Battle of. (1864)

On the night of July 21, 1864, Gen. Hood transferred his forces before Atlanta to a point near Decatur, about 5 miles east of Atlanta. Sherman came up and finding the works on Peach Tree Creek abandoned, proceeded to invest the city. At 11 a.m. of the 22d Hood surprised the left wing of Sherman's army, under McPherson, by a sudden movement from Decatur. The whole line was soon engaged. Gen. McPherson was killed in the action, and the command of the Army of the Tennessee devolved upon Gen. Logan. After 4 hours of fighting the Confederates retired into their main works about Atlanta, leaving their dead and wounded on the field. The total Confederate loss was estimated at about 8,000. The Federal loss was 3,722 killed, wounded, and missing. Sherman now drew his lines closely around Atlanta and prepared for a siege, but was unable to cut off Confederate supplies from Macon. Aug. 25 he gave up the idea of a direct siege. Sept. 1, however, a part of Hood's forces under Hardee having been repulsed at Jonesboro, Hood blew up his magazines and evacuated the city.

Auttose Towns, Destruction of

The news of the massacre of whites at Fort Mimms having spread into Georgia, Brig. Gen. John Floyd, at the head of 950 State militia and 400 friendly Indians, started on an expedition of chastisement. Between midnight and dawn of Nov. 29, 1813, the attack was made on two Auttose villages. The Indians fought fiercely, but were over whelmed, driven to the woods and caves, and shot. Floyd lost 11 killed and 54 wounded.

Averysboro (N.C.), Battle of (1865)

Mar. 16, 1865, Gen. Slocum, in the advance of the Union army, encountered the confederates under Gen. Hardee near Averysboro, in the narrow swampy neck between Cape Fear and South rivers. Hardee hoped to hold Sherman in check until Johnston could concentrate his army at some point in his rear. Incessant rains had made the ground so soft that men and horses sank deep in the mud. A severe fight took place amid showers of rain and gusts of wind. The whole line advanced late in the afternoon and the Confederates retreated to Smithfield, leaving 108 dead upon the field . The Federal loss was 77 killed and 477 wounded.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brief Descriptions From the Index of the Presidential Papers 1789-1897 Letter A: Ap-Av
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my collection of books: A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897 by James D. Richardson, A Representative from the State of Tennessee published by the authority of Congress 1899.
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