Topic: Apache

Fifty Years of Apache Peace

By November 7, 1886, four hundred and ninety-eight Chiricahua Indians from Arizona had arrived in Florida as prisoners of war. Ninety-nine were men; three hundred and ninety-nine, women and children. Seventeen of the hostile warriors were confined at Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Florida, away from their families. Up to April, 1887, all the rest of the adults were kept in camp under guard at Fort Marion (the ancient Spanish fortress, San Marco), St. Augustine, Florida. The families of the prisoners at Fort Pickens were then sent to them there. 1This was the result of a Report made by Herbert Welsh, corresponding Secretary of the Indian Rights Association. In the spring of 1887 he had been sent by the Executive Committee of the Association to get exact information concerning the dealings of the Government with these prisoners. All the rest were taken to Mount Vernon Barracks, near Mobile. In May, 1888, all those at Fort Pickens were likewise removed to the camp at Mount Vernon Barracks. Previous to December, 1889, a hundred and twelve boys and girls had been sent to the Indian School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Thirty died there; twelve came back to their parents on account of sickness; and seventy were still at Carlisle in December, 1889. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT...

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Crook – The Terrible and the Just

The Camp Grant Massacre forced the Apache situation in Arizona upon the attention of the nation. No sane and sensitive mind could longer ignore or look with complacency upon such a state of affairs as was blazoned to the world by this shocking incident. For a long time the cruel treatment of the Apaches in Arizona had caused stirrings of conscience in the souls of good and informed citizens throughout the nation; and now there was a widespread belief that the Apaches were not having a square deal. It was becoming more and more apparent that the Government itself was responsible for deeds that were a stench in the nostrils of the civilized world. The result of this aroused feeling among people of humanitarian instincts was the creation at Washington (with the strong approval of President Grant) of the Permanent Board of Peace Commissioners, the object of which was to put an end to the injustices and cruelties visited upon the Indians and to introduce a sane, uniform, benevolent plan for the improvement of the red man. Very prominent among Christian citizens who favored the Commission and the objects it sought to attain was Vincent Colyer–a Quaker, an ardent friend of the Indian and a believer in his inherent goodness. He was one of the members of the Peace Commission; and him President Grant sent to New Mexico and...

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Dandy Jim, The Indian Who Shot Captain Hentig

The medicine man was now brought up and Cruse turned to lead him and his guards to the place he was to camp. Then, in the words of Cruse, “Hell broke loose.” A mounted Indian among those who were crossing the creek waved his Winchester and told the Indians to fire. Three or four nearest him raised their guns and shot; then there was a volley from a hundred rifles. “Dandy Jim,” one of the scouts, shot Captain Hentig in the back and killed him instantly. At the sound of the first rifle, McDonald shot the medicine man and almost at the same moment he himself fell with a bullet through his leg. Both General Carr and his officers and men showed magnificent self possession and courage. The Indians were constantly firing at the General from a distance of only fifty feet, at first, but he was as “(calm and unruffled as if in his own parlor,” Cruse writes. By his orders and the cool, steady firing of the officers, soldiers, and packers, the plateau where the troops had encamped was soon cleared, and the hostiles were pressed back across the ford. The battle opened about five o’clock, and though the first bloody onslaught of the Indians was quickly repulsed, they kept up an almost incessant fusillade until nearly nightfall, from a distance of three or four hundred yards....

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Crook – Again in the Saddle

Early in the summer of 1882 Crook was reassigned to the command of the Department of Arizona. He took up his duties at Whipple Barracks, Prescott, September 4. During the years of his absence all the good work he had accomplished in Arizona at the cost of so much blood and toil had been torn down. Conditions could scarcely be worse than he found them. The Chiricahuas were all in the Sierra Madre on the warpath; many of the Indians on the reservation were hostile–ready to break out in case of the slightest exciting disturbance; all were miserable, sullen, distrustful. Within a week after reaching his headquarters, Crook was once more in the saddle, steering his stout mule eastward toward the deep and gloomy canyons and forests around Fort Apache. In these remote places he met and talked both with those openly hostile and those still firmly loyal in spite of their distrust and discontent. He knew all these Indians personally, and the Indians of all conditions and tempers knew him–knew him and trusted him. What Crook wanted now was to get exactly and fully the point of view of the Apaches themselves; to reassure them as to his good and just intentions toward them; and to give stern warning to those among them who were determined to make trouble that he intended to handle them with a glove...

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Chiricahuas – Feared and Hated by other Indians

When the five hundred and twelve hostile Chiricahuas were all back on the reservation, it was a problem how and what to do with them. They were feared and hated by the other Indians on the reservation– Geronimo in particular was dreaded and cordially disliked. It became a matter of controversy between the Interior and the War Departments what disposition should be made of them. Crook was called to Washington for consultation with the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Interior. Careful consideration was given to the problem, and, July 7, 1883, the result was made public over the signatures of Robert E. Lincoln, Secretary of War, and H. M. Teller, Secretary of the Interior. The Chiricahuas captured by General Crook, and all others who later should surrender to him, were to “be kept under the control of the War Department at such points on the San Carlos Reservation as may be determined by the War Department (but not at the agency without the consent of the Indian agent), to be fed and cared for by the War Department until further orders.” Entire police control of all Indians on the reservation was to be in the hands of Crook and the duties of the Indian agent were to be limited, as before, to the ordinary routine of a civilian agent. July 24, 1883, Crook issued an order...

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Cochise, War Chief of the Chiricahua

On the Sonoita River, about twelve miles west of Fort Buchanan, in the early sixties, lived an Irishman named John Ward with Jesus Martinez, a Mexican woman, and her son-later known as Mickey Free, whom Ward had adopted. The boy was in the meadow watching Ward’s cattle one day in October, 1860, when a band of Apaches raided the ranch and stole both the boy and the stock. Following the trail of the Indians as far as the San Pedro River, Ward became convinced that the raiders were Chiricahuas belonging to Cochise’s band; so he rode to Fort Buchanan and reported his loss to the commanding officer, Colonel Pitcairn Morrison, Seventh Infantry, with the request that the troops assist him in an effort to recover the boy and the cattle. Many weeks elapsed before any action was taken by the military. But on January 28, 1861, Morrison ordered Second Lieutenant George N. Bascom, Seventh Infantry, a West Point graduate in the class of 1858, to proceed to Apache Pass and vicinity with fifty-four men to recover the stolen boy and stock. If, as was expected, the trail led to the encampment of Cochise near the Overland Mail Station in Apache Pass, Bascom was to enter Cochise’s camp and demand that the captive and the stolen animals be returned, using force if necessary to bring this about. Bascom left Fort...

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The Apache in Spanish Times

THE first mention made of the Apaches is by Castañeda in his report, The Journey of Coronado. The Spaniards encountered them near Chichilticalli, the famous “red house,” believed by Bandelier to have been in the neighborhood of modern Fort Thomas, Arizona. Castañeda says this house must “have been destroyed by the people of the district, who are the most barbarous people that have yet been seen. They live by hunting.” The next reference to the Apaches occurs in 1541 and is found in Castañeda Report. Coronado’s army, after spending some time at Pecos in northeastern New Mexico, set out to find Quivira. The Spaniards had marched ten days beyond the Pecos River in a northeasterly direction when they “came to some settlements of people who lived like Arabs and who are called Querechos in that region. . . . These people follow the cows, hunting them and tanning the skins to take to the settlements in the winter to sell, since they go there to pass the winter, each company going to those which are nearest. . . . That they were intelligent is evident from the fact that although they conversed by means of signs they made themselves understood so well there is no need of an interpreter. . . . These people are called Querechos. . . . They have better figures than the Pueblo Indians, are...

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The Apache Confronts the American

The first Americans who encountered the Apaches were soldiers and trappers. These first contacts were casual or accidental and happened in Mexican territory. The earliest report concerning this tribe from an American pen is that of Zebulon M. Pike, written in 1807, during his extended explorations in the unknown Southwest. Either purposely or “through an unintentional aberration from his prescribed route” he found himself (and was found by the Government of New Mexico) in Spanish territory. From Santa Fe he was sent under military escort to Chihuahua, Mexico, there to give an account of himself to the Commandant-General. It was during his long march from Santa Fe to Chihuahua that Pike got his first glimpse of the Apaches and made comments on the condition and habits of the Apaches as he saw them at that time. What Pike writes pertains to the relationship between these Indians and the Spanish; for as yet they knew nothing of the Americans, nor the Americans of them. The earliest account we have of a clash between Apaches and citizens of the United States is to be found in The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie of Kentucky, published in 1831. Late in February, 1825, a party of American trappers led by Pattie’s father suddenly came upon a band of Apaches on the Gila River not far from the modern site of Fort Thomas....

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The Apache in Mexican Times

November 6, 1813, a Congress that had been called together by José Maria Morelos y Pavon declared the Independence of Mexico from Spain; but it was not until February 19, 1823, that the patriots were able to make good their freedom. During these ten years there was trouble and confusion throughout Mexico. Nothing could have been more pleasing to the amiable Apache. It was his gentle task to compound trouble and make “confusion worse confounded.” During this turbulent transition period from Spanish Royal Dominion to Mexican Independence, the frontier military defenses were sadly weakened. The garrisons were neglected and the whole military organization was disintegrating. There were continual changes of military as well as civil officers, and the result was hopeless confusion and inefficiency. Some of the presidios were depleted in numbers; the soldiers were unpaid and most of them had lost all hope of receiving the back pay due them. This neglect was chiefly chargeable, of course, to lack of funds; though it was not so much lack of money as misappropriation of the money supplied for military purposes that did the mischief. The shell of the presidio system was kept intact, however, and as an offset to the diminishing number of troops, local guards were enlisted. But these men were not supplied with firearms and were little skilled in the use of bow and arrow. The Indians...

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Apache Activities During the Civil War

The Civil War began April 12, 1861, with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, and ended April 9, 1865, with Lee’s surrender to Grant. As has been set forth in the preceding chapter, the Apache War broke out in dead earnest a few weeks previous to the fall of Fort Sumter, as a result of the dash between Lieutenant Bascom and Cochise. A fiery whirlwind, leaving death and destruction in its wake, tore through the white settlements of Arizona. There were only two military posts in the Gadsden Purchase at this time–Fort Buchanan on the Sonoita. River, and Fort Breckenridge at the junction of Arivaipa Canyon and the San Pedro River. However, neither of these establishments could properly be called a fort. They were unfortified and it was as much as the soldiers stationed there could do to look after their own safety when the Indians grew hostile. Raphael Pumpelly, a man of keen observation and preeminent courage and ability, who was in the Gadsden Purchase at the time, writes: “Fort Buchanan consisted simply of a few adobe houses, scattered in a straggling manner over a considerable area, and without a stockade defense. The Apaches could, and frequently did, prowl about the very doors of the different houses. No officer thought of going from one house to another at night without holding himself in readiness with a cocked pistol....

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The Ramona School

By Dist. Sec. J.E. Roy. I had the pleasure, in Santa Fé, January 13th, of attending an entertainment given by the Ramona pupils in honor of Miss Platt, one of their teachers. Gov. Prince and his wife, and several of the citizens, were present as invited guests. After the singing of several songs, and a statement made by Prof. Elmore Chase, the Principal, fourteen of the scholars rendered, in the action of nature and the speaking of English, Mrs. Bentley’s dialogue, “The Old Year’s Vision and the New Year’s Message,” as found in the January number of The Youth’s Temperance Banner. One of the large boys first came in as an old man, clad in a mantle and trembling on a staff, to repeat the “Old Year’s Vision.” Then came in, one after another, a dozen boys and girls, to recite the greeting of the several months. It was a temperance exhibit, and so each one had a testimony for that cause. January, bearing a New Year’s card in hand, declared: “I’ve promised that not a drop of wine shall touch these temperance lips of mine.” February bore a fancy valentine, with an appropriate motto. March lifted aloft a new kite, with “Kites may sail far up in the sky, but on strong drink I’ll never get high.” July, bearing a flag and a bunch of fire-crackers, declares: “I...

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Apache Girl’s Right of Passage

Beneath White Mountain in New Mexico, the Mescalero Apache Reservation prepares for a coming of age ritual. Over the span of four days, thirteen year old Ashina (sp?) Cochise will pass through an ancient test of strength, endurance and character that will make her a woman. [youtube width=”425″...

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