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 placing entire police control of the reservation under charge of Captain Emmet Crawford. His duties were: to keep the peace, administer justice, punish refractory Indians, and prevent them from leaving the reservation except when properly authorized to do so. He was placed in control of all the Apache prisoners recently captured by General Crook, and all others who might later surrender, and he was to care for them and feed them. Further, he was to “protect the Indian agent in the discharge of his legitimate duties on the reservation.”

Geronimo did not reach the reservation until April, 1884. In May the five hundred and twelve Chiricahuas were allowed to select a location on the reservation wherever they might desire. They chose to settle on Turkey Creek, about seventeen miles southwest of Fort Apache. They were turned over to the immediate care and control of Lieutenant Britton Davis. For eleven months he supervised these turbulent Indians with rare courage and discretion. He was the only white man in their midst. Mickey Free and Sam Bowman, both half-breed Indians, served respectively as interpreter and cook. None too eagerly, the Chiricahuas went to work cultivating their small crops. Chatto was now a sergeant of scouts–and ever afterwards he proved a most efficient and trustworthy one. He and Geronimo were the best farmers, though that is not saying much. Only one serious situation arose during Davis’ long and lonely months of vigil with these Indians. For a dramatic account of this thrilling incident the reader is referred to Lieutenant Davis’ own report. 1 I quote here from Captain Crawford’s condensed annual report made to General Crook in 1884: “These Indians have been extremely tractable, with one exception, that of Ke-e-te-na, chief of the Chiricahua and Warm Spring Indians, who on the night of the twenty-first of June, undertook at a dance to recall to his tribe their success in the fights in which he had led them, and at the same time hinted of future engagements in which they might hope to be equally fortunate. For such expressions Ke-e-te-na was, by the order of Lieutenant Davis, promptly arrested by the Indian scouts of his own tribe, and sent here under guard, where he was tried by an Indian jury, and sentenced by me to three years’ confinement (in irons) at Alcatras Island, to which place he has been sent.” Ka-e-te-na was released after eighteen months. He became a changed man–learned to read, and write, and to desire peace. He became the warm friend of Crook, and was later of great service to him.

But the storm clouds were again gathering over the San Carlos Reservation. Discord had again arisen between the Indian Agent and the Army officers; between the Department of the Interior and the Department of War. Scarcely had Crook started westward from his conference in Washington, July, 1883, before letters were exchanged between the Secretary of the Interior and Agent Willcox which showed that neither of these officials was in accord with Crook’s views regarding the management of the Apaches; that they considered the present agreement a makeshift; and that the Secretary of the Interior was open to the presentation of other views from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. By September 12 the agent at San Carlos was complaining to the Department of the Interior that his authority and influence were being interfered with and requesting that the plan of control be changed. By December the Secretary of the Interior was arguing that the police authority on the reservation was to be exercised only “under the direction and with the approval” of the Indian Agent. December, 1884, Willcox resigned, and Mr. Ford was appointed in his place. Ford was ignorant of the Apache and his ways, but was strong for exercising all the authority of an Indian agent. He revived the Agency chief of police and appointed a head farmer who opposed Crawford and his assistants. Men whom Crawford wanted to arrest were shielded by the chief of police, and the farmer and the Agent stopped work on an irrigation ditch that was being constructed by the military officers. When on January 17, 1885, Ford took away the picks and shovels from the Indians, Crook wrote to his Division Commander, General John Pope, requesting that he either be supported in his administration or relieved from the responsibilities involved. General Pope forwarded this letter to the Adjutant General, forcefully pointing out the dangers of divided control on the reservation and recommending that Crook’s powers be enlarged rather than abridged. The result was a reply from the War Department, February 14, 1885, instructing Crook, pending an attempt to remove the discord between the Departments of the Interior and of War, “not to interfere with farming operations of Indians who are not considered as prisoners of war,” and also informing him that his request to be relieved must remain undecided temporarily in the public interest. In reply to the Adjutant-General Crook wrote the following, February 19:

“General: . . . I have the honor to say that the agreement of July 7, 1883, by which ‘the War Department was intrusted with the entire police control of all the Indians on the San Carlos Reservation,’ was entered into upon my own expressed willingness to be personally responsible for the good conduct of all the Indians there congregated. My understanding then was, and still is, that I should put them to work and set them to raising corn instead of scalps.

“This right I have exercised for two years without a word of complaint from any source. During all this time, not a single depredation of any kind has been committed. The whole country has looked to me individually for the preservation of order among the Apaches, and the prevention of outrages from which the southwest frontier has suffered for so many years.

“In pursuance of this understanding, the Chiricahuas, although nominally prisoners, have been to a great extent scattered over the reservation and placed upon farms, the object being to quietly and gradually effect a tribal disintegration and lead them out from a life of vagabondage to one of peace and self-maintenance. . . .

“As this right of control has now been withdrawn from me, I must respectfully decline to be any longer held responsible for the behavior of any of the Indians on that reservation. . . .

“Further, I regret being compelled to say that in refusing to relieve me from this responsibility (as requested in my letter of January 20) and at the same time taking from me the power by which these dangerous Indians have been controlled and managed, and compelled to engage in industrial pursuits, the War Department destroys my influence and does an injustice to me and to the service which I represent.”

In forwarding Crook’s protest to the Adjutant-General, February 24, 1885, Major General John Pope, commanding the Division of the Pacific, commented in the following language: “If General Crook’s authority over the Indians at San Carlos be curtailed or modified in any way, there are certain to follow very serious results, if not a renewal of Indian wars and depredations in Arizona. It is impossible to understand why anyone having the interests of the Government and the people at heart should object to measures which have secured peace to Arizona for the past two years, and have in addition, done so much to improve the condition of the Indians; or to the control of the officer who has inaugurated these measures and brought them to so satisfactory an issue.”

As sensitive as he was brave and humane, Crawford felt that his honor had been impugned, and requested that his actions be looked into by a court of inquiry made up of his military superiors. His desire was granted; and in the decision rendered he was sustained in every particular. Nevertheless, realizing how hopeless the situation was, he asked to be relieved and assigned to his troop then in Texas. With unqualified praise for the rare ability and tact that he had displayed in his thankless and dangerous task, Crook consented to Crawford’s release; and, on April 11, 1885, in his letter endorsing Captain Crawford’s report, he reiterated the dangers of divided control and again asked “that, if divided authority is to obtain on the Apache Reservation, the entire control and management be relegated to the Interior Department,” and that he be freed from future responsibility. By this time the Government at Washington was beginning to realize the folly of its actions. The Secretary of War in a communication to the Secretary of the Interior, April 18, raised the question “whether the public interests would not be best safe-guarded if the entire control of these Indians be placed under the charge of General Crook, with full authority to prescribe and enforce such regulations for their management as in his judgment may be proper.” This proposal was at last acted upon; Ford, the civil agent, was removed; control of the Agency was placed in the hands of Captain F. E. Pierce, First Infantry, and he was formally appointed Indian Agent by the President.

The action came too late to save the situation. The disintegrating forces had already done their work; and the bad men among the Chiricahuas did the rest. Throughout the reservation, the spirit of dissension between the Indian Bureau and the War Department had been working like poison. Its effects had become apparent at Turkey Creek and Fort Apache. On the night of May 17, 1885, a hundred and forty-four Chiricahuas–forty-three fighting men and one hundred and one women and children–broke away from the reservation once more. The revolt was led by Chihuahua, Mangus, Geronimo, Nachez, and old Nana. It was difficult for the Army officers to explain exactly what caused the outbreak. It had its roots, of course, in the attempts of the Indian Bureau, the grafting politicians, and the newspapers to discredit Crawford and Crook. Crook wrote: “In the management of such Indians as the Apaches, a power once exercised can never be withdrawn from the person in charge without loss of respect and influence. These Indians are politicians of the first class, and rival their white brothers in worshipping the rising sun and excel them in contempt for those from whom authority has been withdrawn.”

The immediate cause of the irruption was a tixwin drunk led by Chihuahua, Geronimo, and Mangus. Indeed, in order to shield the movers in the spree and make it as difficult as possible for Lieutenant Davis to deal with, all the prominent chiefs drank this liquor and went to Davis and defiantly admitted it. Davis told them that the issue was one of such importance that he would have to report it to Crook and act according to his instructions. On May 15 Davis did report the situation to the General by telegram, through Captain Pierce at San Carlos, his superior officer. Pierce did not see fit to relay the telegram; so Crook did not know until months afterwards that it had been sent. Crook states in his annual report that he was sure he could have settled the trouble and prevented the outbreak if he had received the telegram. “Lieutenant Davis wrote the telegram in the presence of the Indians, and told them what he had written, and said that he should act in accordance with my personal instructions, and that he would notify them when my orders were received. . . . The Indians waited until dark, and again assembled the next day, but receiving no reply became alarmed, and doubtless concluded that I was making preparations to seize the whole of them and punish them as I had Ka-e-te-na.” 2

The making and drinking of tizwin was not the only offense of which these Chiricahuas had been guilty of late. They had shown an ugly and defiant spirit in various ways. Crook had not only sternly prohibited the making of tizwin; he had insisted, also, that the brutal custom of cutting off the noses of unfaithful wives must positively cease. Not only had the bad men under Davis’ charge begun to make and drink tizwin again; they belligerently asserted that they had never signed away their right to make tizwin, to cut off the nose of an unfaithful wife, or to beat and punish their women at any time and in any way they pleased. For some time before the outbreak, Davis had found Chihuahua, Mangus, Nana, and others in open and scornful rebellion against these prohibitions. Indeed, such hostile demonstrations had been made on May 15, the day that Davis wired to Crook through Captain Pierce. At the council held that morning, Chihuahua was drunk and in a very ugly humor, and old Nana got up and left the meeting, saying to the interpreter: “Tell the stout chief [ Davis] that he can’t advise me how to treat my women. He is only a boy. I killed men before he was born.” 3

The guilty chiefs by persuasion and threats induced as many as they could to leave the reservation; but three-fourths of the band refused to go–among them Chatto, Loco, Benito, and Zele. A little later Nachez and Chihuahua threatened to kill Geronimo and Mangus on the ground that they had lied to them, asserting that Chatto had been killed and that the troops were coming to arrest all the Chiricahua and Warm Spring Indians and send them away. There followed, as usual, a gallant, grilling, unsuccessful pursuit. It was led by Captain Allen Smith with two troops of the Fourth Cavalry, and Lieutenants Gatewood and Davis with their Indian scouts. Crook set all other available troops in motion; the commanding officer in New Mexico was notified of the irruption of the Indians and the movement of Arizona troops; and settlers in the danger belt were warned. But the runaways traveled one hundred and twenty miles without making camp or stopping for food, and made their escape into Mexico, so far as could be discovered, without the loss of an individual. Owing to the quarrel among the chiefs caused by Geronimo’s lying to them at the start, the band broke up into several parties. Mangus with a small following made straight for Mexico, and never again united with the main body of the renegades; Chihuahua, unable at once to make up his mind whether to return to the reservation or to flee to his old haunts in the Sierra Madre, halted northeast of Morenci some days, and later barely escaped capture and the annihilation of his party.

June 11 Captain Crawford, with a troop of cavalry and additional Indian scouts under Sieber, joined Britton Davis; and Crawford was placed in command of the combined force of ninety-two scouts and Troop A, Sixth Cavalry, that continued the pursuit of the hostiles into the Sierra Madre. Crook took up his headquarters at Fort Bowie and proceeded to enlist two hundred new scouts at San Carlos and Fort Apache. With one hundred of these recruits Lieutenant Gatewood made an extended scout through the Mogollon and Black Range Mountains, but found none of the renegades lingering on American soil. June 23 Crawford’s scouts, led by Chatto, found and attacked Chihuahua’s party, northeast of Oputo in the Bavispe Mountains, but it was impossible to surround the camp, so the renegades got away; though fifteen women and children were captured, a good many horses, and not a little plunder. Captain Wirt Davis, who, with a troop of the Fourth Cavalry and one hundred Indian scouts and their supporting pack trains, had been ordered into Mexico, July 13, surprised a camp of Geronimo’s near Nacori, killed three noncombatants and captured fifteen.

Though Crawford and Wirt Davis continued their indescribably difficult scouts through the Sierra Madre until late in September they were unable to find and fight the enemy. On September 22 Captain Davis did bring twenty of them to bay in the Torres Mountains, and suffered the loss of one scout as a result. The hostiles were driven out of Mexico into the United States through Guadalupe Cañon, on September 28. Davis and Crawford were in close pursuit. Taking the roughest trails over the Chiricahua Mountains, followed steadily by Crawford’s scouts, the hostiles crossed the Sulphur Spring Valley at night, passed into the Dragoon Mountains, then back again south ward across the Valley toward the Mule Mountains, sharp to the east again into the Chiricahuas, with Crawford’s scouts constantly at their heels. Though they had repeatedly stolen fresh horses along the route, their mounts were by this time completely played out. By a circumstance maddening to the soldiers, they succeeded at this last gasp in capturing thirty of the best horses in Arizona, and galloped back into Mexico. It was no credit to the ranchmen of southwestern Arizona that the Indians got away with these mounts. At White Tail Cañon the cattlemen of the San Simon Valley had met for their fall round-up. Only the night before, they had been warned that these dismounted Indians were in the vicinity; yet they went to sleep at a ranch house around which was lariated their thirty crack cow ponies. The next morning the horses were gone; and, better mounted than ever, the Apaches were beyond pursuit.

There was now a short breathing spell while new scouts were enlisted and the worn-out pack trains refitted. But the renegades struck again like lightning. Early in November a band of eleven made a raid across the border; and in a period of less than four weeks, in the course of which they traveled fully twelve hundred miles and wore out two hundred and fifty head of stock, they murdered thirty-eight people; and though twice dismounted during this time, were able to recross the border with the loss of only one man during the entire raid.

On the night of January 10, 1886, Captain Crawford attacked the Indians sixty miles below Nacori near the Aros River. All the stock and supplies of the outlaws were captured. Convinced now that Crook would pursue them relentlessly to the end, the renegades sent word to Crawford asking for a talk the next morning concerning terms of surrender. No doubt they would have yielded at the proposed conference had it not been for a most untoward and tragic incident, for no one except Crook knew them so thoroughly as Crawford and possessed so completely their confidence and respect. Just at daylight, January 11, while the scouts were still asleep, they were attacked at close range by a Mexican force of about one hundred and fifty. At the first volley three scouts were wounded. At the time of the attack, Captain Crawford and Lieutenants Marion P. Maus and W. E. Shipp were lying by their campfire. Maus and Shipp were already awake, but Crawford was still asleep. Maus and Tom Horn, chief of scouts and Spanish interpreter, at once ran forward and tried to stop the firing, explaining to the Mexican officers in Spanish that they were all United States soldiers and scouts in pursuit of the hostile Apaches. The scouts at once took shelter among the rocks. Some of them ran forward, unarmed, to see what was the matter. Only a few of them fired back at the Mexicans, and they in self-defense. Captain Crawford at once ordered all firing stopped; and within about fifteen minutes, with the aid of Horn, Maus, and Shipp, succeeded in halting the battle.

Some Mexican officers now came forward and in American Army uniforms Crawford and Maus went toward them. When they were not more than ten yards apart Crawford and Maus told the Mexicans in Spanish that they were officers in the United States Army and called attention to their uniforms as evidence of this. The Mexicans began backing away, saying, “Do not fire! Do not fire!” and Maus replied that they would not. Crawford now directed Maus to go back and make sure there should be no more firing. Crawford himself mounted a rock where he stood in full view of the Mexicans and continued his efforts to quiet both sides. But at this instant, without warning, the Mexicans fired at the officers. Crawford fell, mortally wounded, and Horn was shot through the arm. As the Mexicans were not a hundred feet away, it is hardly possible that they could have mistaken Horn and the three officers for Apaches. At the time the Mexicans thus renewed the attack, Horn was explaining to them in Spanish that this was an expedition from the United States in pursuit of hostile Apaches. He was dressed in civilian clothes, and standing near him was Lieutenant Shipp, unarmed, in blue trousers, brown canvas coat, and brown hat. Nor, at the time that Crawford was calling out from his exposed position on the boulder, and Maus, Horn, and Shipp were talking to the Mexicans, was there any demonstration on the part of the scouts. All the Americans present looked upon Crawford’s death as an assassination, and it was reported as such by General Crook.

The battle now opened again on both sides and continued for about an hour. Crawford never regained consciousness after he was shot; but all the time Horn and the other two officers were doing their best to stop the fighting, shouting repeatedly to the Mexicans that they were friends, and at the same time doing their best to restrain the scouts. Realizing, finally, that they could not drive the scouts out of the rocks, the Mexicans retired to a hill about five hundred yards distant. Though wounded, Horn went unarmed into their camp, followed soon by Maus, and they both explained the situation in Spanish. The Mexicans were told about the fight with the hostile Apaches the day before, the capture of their stock, and their desire to talk about terms of surrender. The treachery and dishonesty of these Mexicans was revealed the next day when both Maus and Concepcion, his interpreter, were detained in their camp by force until the Apache scouts began to strip for action. Maus was then released so that he might control them.

Crawford all this time had remained unconscious; so the command devolved upon Maus. While the fight was in progress on the morning of January 11, the renegade Apaches had gathered on the opposite bank of the river about a mile distant and had sent messengers again asking for a talk regarding terms of surrender. Maus could do nothing more than promise to secure for them a conference with Crook at some point near the border. The renegades agreed to meet Crook at Cañon de los Embudos, twenty-five miles south of San Bernardino, in about “two moons,” but with the proviso that the General was to come unaccompanied by regular soldiers.

Crook met the renegades at the appointed spot, March 25, 1886. A Mr. Thomas Moore had been sent ahead with a pack train. With him went the very friendly and intelligent Apache intermediaries, Alchise and Ka-ya-ten-na, and also two Chiricahua women from among the prisoners at Fort Bowie, supplied with the latest news items from the reservation front. These four were sent forward as agents of peaceful penetration. Those present at the historic and picturesque conference were, in addition to Crook, Geronimo, Nachez, Chihuahua, Nana (and about a score of Chiricahua warriors, who came and went, or hung about suspiciously, heavily armed), Bourke, Dr. Davis, Mr. Moore, Mayor Strauss of Tucson; Lieutenants Maus, Shipp, and Faison; Captain Roberts and his handsome ten-yearold boy, Charlie; Fly, the Tombstone photographer and his assistant, Chase; a small boy named Howell who had tagged along from San Bernardino Ranch; packers Daily, Carlisle, Shaw, and Foster; Alchise and Ka-ya-ten-na; Antonio Bessias, Montoya, Concepcion, José Maria, and other interpreters. The scene was photographed by the intrepid Fly; and Bourke has preserved a picture of it in the following words: “The whole ravine was romantically beautiful; shading the rippling water were smooth, white-trunked, long, and slender sycamores, dark gnarly ash, rough-barked cottonwoods, pliant willows, briery buckthorn, and much of the more tropical vegetation already enumerated.” 4

The Apaches had chosen their camp on a rocky hill completely surrounded by gulches and canyons, through which they could quickly make their escape to higher ridges and peaks in case they were attacked. They were in prime physical condition, heavily armed, and loaded down with ammunition. “The youngsters had on brand-new shirts, such as are made and sold in Mexico, of German cotton, and nearly all–young or old–wore new parti-colored blankets, of some manufacture, showing that since the destruction of the village by Crawford, in January, they had refitted themselves either by plunder or purchase.” 5 LieutenantMaus and the scouts were camped on lower ground, five or six hundred yards away, with a deep canyon separating them from the hostiles, who, both suspicious and self-reliant, would allow no nearer approach than this.

Crook was well aware that in consenting to meet them under these conditions he was placing his own life and the lives of those who accompanied him in great jeopardy, and that he might be killed as General Canby had been in the Modoc War. But he was not able to persuade them to meet him on American soil in the presence of United States soldiers, so he had either to take the risk or permit them to return to their strongholds in Mexico. At the conference on the first day they seemed determined to make no agreement that would not permit them to return to the reservation on the same status as of old. Crook positively refused to promise them such terms, and they returned to their camp. Alchise and Ka-ya-ten-na were sent into their stronghold that night for the purpose of impressing them with the hopelessness of the situation and the desirability of complete surrender, but the leaders excitedly refused even to hear any talk about surrender. Geronimo directed his people to keep their arms constantly in hand ready for instant action. Crook said in his report: “Even after they surrendered to me they did not cease their vigilance. They kept mounted men constantly on the watch; there were never more than from five to eight of their men in our camp at one time, and even after the march northward began, the hostiles did not keep together but scattered over the country in parties of two and three. At night they camped in the same way, and, had I desired, it would have been an absolute impossibility to have seized more than half a dozen of them. The remainder would have escaped, and one breach of faith would have prevented forever any possibility of any settlement with them.”

Crook’s third and last conference with the hostiles took place March 27, in the afternoon. Before daylight on the morning of the twenty-eighth the General was awakened by Alchise and Ka-ya-ten-na and informed that several of the renegade chiefs were drunk–Nachez so drunk he could not stand up and was lying flat on the ground. Geronimo and four other Chiricahua warriors–“all as drunk as lords”–made their appearance, all five mounted on two mules. However, before the morning was far advanced, Chihuahua came to Crook and told him that while many of them had been drunk the night before, all were ready now to move toward the border. The whisky had been sold to the Indians by a wretch named Tribollet, who had a ranch on the Mexican side of the line, and had for a long time been smuggling liquor to the Apaches whenever he had opportunity. Crook gave orders to guard the camp of the hostiles so closely that it would be impossible for Tribollet to sell them any more. Maus and his officers had destroyed fifteen gallons of the stuff–all that they could find; but plenty more was forthcoming in spite of their best efforts. A white man told Bourke that he had seen Tribollet take in thirty dollars from the Chiricahuas for mescal within less than an hour, and heard him boast that he could have sold ten gallons more that day at ten dollars a gallon.

As it was necessary for Crook to reach a telegraph station as soon as possible, he started for Fort Bowie at once, when Chihuahua brought word that all the Chiricahuas were ready to follow. He left Alchise, Ka-ya-ten-na, and his interpreter to assist Maus and his scouts in conducting the renegades to Fort Bowie. The second day after leaving Cañon de los Embudos, Maus camped with his Indians at the Smugglers’ Springs near the border. As a result of Tribollet’s whisky and the alarming lies that he and his ranchmen told the Indians, that night Geronimo, Nachez, twenty warriors, two young boys, and fourteen women stampeded and fled again to the Sierra Madre. Two of the men after they had had time for sober reflection returned. Maus reached Fort Bowie with the rest of the renegades April 2. There were fifteen warriors, thirty-three women, and twenty-nine children in this company.

From Fort Bowie, March 30, Crook telegraphed LieutenantGeneral P. H. Sheridan the news that Geronimo and Nachez had fled taking with them a small band of their followers. Telegrams came back from Sheridan in reply, on March 31 and April 1, in effect censuring Crook, throwing doubt on the trustworthiness of the Apache scouts, and asking Crook what course of action he contemplated for the future. Crook’s reply was calm and dignified, and was lucid with respect to the situation and the course he thought it wise to pursue. In concluding his telegram, April 1, 1886, he said: “I believe that the plan upon which I have conducted operations is the one most likely to prove successful in the end. It may be, however, that I am too much wedded to my own views in this matter, and as I have spent nearly eight years of the hardest work of my life in this department, I respectfully request that I may be now relieved from its command.”

Crook had accepted the surrender of the hostiles on the terms that their lives were to be spared; that they were to be imprisoned in the East for two years, and were then to be allowed to return to the reservation. President Cleveland and General Sheridan repudiated these terms, demanding that Crook should require their unconditional surrender, with no promise except that their lives would be spared. Crook, as a man of honor, had no choice but to resign. He “was unable to see how he could allow Indians, or anybody else, to enter his camp under assurances of personal safety, and at the same time ‘take every precaution against escape.’ Unless he treacherously murdered them in cold blood, he was unable to see a way out of the dilemma; and Crook was not a man to lie to any one or deal treacherously with him. If there was one point in his character which shone more resplendent than any other, it was his absolute integrity in his dealings with representatives of inferior races.” 6 Crook was relieved from command of the Department of Arizona April 2; and Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles was that day appointed to succeed him. By instructions of the Secretary of War the Chiricahua prisoners at Fort Bowie, numbering seventy-seven–fifteen men, thirty-three women, and twenty-nine children–were entrained on April 7 for Fort Marion, Florida, in charge of First Lieutenant J. R. Richards, Jr., under an escort of the Eighth Infantry.


  1. Bourke, John G. On the Border with Crook. New York, Scribner, 1896.
  2. Crook, George. Résumé of Operations against Apache Indians from 1882 to 1886.
  3. Davis, Britton. The Truth about Geronimo. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1929.
  4. Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1883-1886.
  5. Reports of the War Department, 1883-1886.
  6. Senate Executive Document No. 117, 49th Congress, 2nd Session.


  1. Davis Britton. The Truth about Geronimo, ch. 8. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1929.[]
  2. Crook George. Report of War Departments Vol. I. 1886- 1887, p. 147.[]
  3. Crook George. Report of War Departments Vol. I. 1886- 1887, pp. 145-147.[]
  4. Op. cit., p. 474.[]
  5. Ibid., p. 476.[]
  6. Bourke, John G. On the Border with Crook. New York, Scribner, 1896, p. 483.[]


Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top