Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District
of California.

Printed at the


San Francisco, Cal.






Comanclie Eaid. Detailed to send them away. Interview with Janamata.
Description of the Chief pp. 13-16


March from Texas to El Paso. The Lipans. Their Personal Appearance.
Sait-jah and the Picture 17-22


To the Copper Mines. Encounter with Cuchillo Negro. Fearful Massacre of
Apaches. Their Terrible Revenge. Apache Method of Hunting Ducka
and Geese. Apaches Hunting Antelopes. Mangas Colorado. My
Camp 23-34


Journey to Sonora. Adventure with Apaches. Fronteras. Mexican Dread of
Indians. Gen. Carasco. Janos. Mexican Policy toward the Apaches.
Carasco's Eaid. Gandara, Monteverde and Urea. Death of Carasco.
Arispe. Apache Prisoners. Mexican Guard. Apaches Attacking a Mexi
can Train. Curious Style of Pursuit. Return to the Copper Mines.
Americans Attacked by Apaches. Traits of Apache Character. Crafti.
ness " 35-46


Mangas Colorado. His Personal Appearance, Power, and Influence. Indian
Forces at the Copper Mines. The Navajoes. Their Appearance and Sub
sequent Acts. Their Schemes Foiled. Mangas in Full Uniform. Strange


Mode of Attire. Inez Gonzales. Her Rescue. New Mexican Traders.
Summary Proceedings. Story of Inez. March into Sonora. Santa Cruz.
Restoration of Inez. Her subsequent History. Tanori pp. 47-58


Rescue of Two Mexican Boys. War Talk. Exciting Scene. Peaceful Termina
tion. Large Indian Forces. An Apache killed by a Mexican. Intense
Excitement. Fearless Conduct of Col. Craig. The Apaches Pacified.
Another War Talk. Amicable Result. Necessity of Firmness and Pre
caution '. 59-72


Jornada del Muerto. Socorro. Lieut. Campbell. Terrific Ride for Life.
Splendid Horse. Narrow Escape. Caring for a Horse. Apache Visits.
Treacherous Nature 73-79


Gold Mines. Apache Raid. Our Mules Stolen. Unsuccessful Scout. Another
Apache Raid. Fight with Delgadito's Band. Recovery of Stolen Cattle.
Delgadito Wounded. His Death. Traits of Apache Character. Their
Spartan Views. Apache Idea of American Wisdom. Adventure of Mr.
Diaz with Cuchillo Negro. Abandon the Copper Mines. Sonora. Santa
Cruz. Bacuachi. Arispe. Ures. Hermosillo. Guaymas. Return.
Santa Rita. The Pimos and Maricopas. Their Tradition. Their Personal
Appearance. Strange Relations Between the Two Tribes. Lucubrations
on Indian Character. Our Indian Policy Criticised 80-97


Pimo Superstition. Eclipse of the Moon. Terrible Excitement. Dangerous
Predicament. Lieut. Whipple's Coolness. Satisfactory Result. Pimos
and Maricopas. Their Traditions. Religions and Modes of Interment.
Dr. David Wooster. Arrival of Gen. Conde. Death of Antonio. Horrible
and Revolting Ceremonies. The Gila Bend. Down the Gila. The Mar>
copa Refugees. Important News. The Colorado River. John Gallantin
and his Party 08-117


Fort Yuma. The Yuma Indians. Desperate Situation. Dr. Webb's Bluntness.


Caballo en Pelo. Method of Camping. Yuma Chiefs our Prisoners.
The Launch. Crossing the Colorado. March into the Desert. Release of
the Yuma s. Sandstorm in the Desert. Final Escape from the Yumas.
Sufferings on the Desert. Carisso Creek. VaUecito. Hospitality of Army
Officers. Col. Heintzleman. Yumas Reduced to Subjection. . .pp. 118-128


Letter from Senator Clemens. Resign from the Boundary Commission. Depar
ture of the Commission. New Expedition. Ride up the Gila. Terrible
Conflict with Apaches. Desperate Personal Encounter. Defeat of the
Savages. Return of the Expedition. Long for a Quiet Life. San Fran
cisco. Cogitations on Indian Character. Advice Given and Disdained.
The Fatal Results. Necessity for Constant Caution. Extent of Apache
Country. Numerical Strength of the Apaches. Female Warriors. False
Impressions of Indian Character 129-143


Enter the Volunteer Service. The Column from California. Antelope Peak.
Visited by Yumas. Making Metates. Get Rid of them by a Ruse. The
Maricopas Again. Carrying the Mails. Small Force in Camp. Visit of
Col. Rigg. The Maricopas Recognize me. Their Gratitude. Captain
Killmoon. Another Remarkable Lunar Performance. Loring's Assist
ance. Bargaining for Chickens. Magic Virtues of the Compass. Effect
of the Burning Glass 144-154


Sent to the Front. Dreadful Storm at the San Pedro River. Night Alarm.
Apaches Gathering. Dragoon Springs. Capt. Thomas Roberts. Apache
Pass. Bloody and Desperate Fight with Apaches. The Savages Whipped.
Remarkable Infantry March. Heroism of John Teal. He wounds
Mangas Colorado, and whips off Fifteen Apaches. Gallantry of Sergeant
Mitchell and his Cavalry. Effect of Shelling the Apaches. Number of
Indians Killed. Our Losses. Re-enter the Pass. Refused Permission to
Charge. San Simon 155-167


Return from the San Simon. Avoid Apache Pass. Reasons for so Doing. Night
Marching. Apaches show Themselves. Rattlesnakes. Ojo de los Her-


manos. San Pedro Again. Beturn through Apache Pass. Meet thirteen
Dead Americans. Mangas Colorado's Deceit. How the Americans were
Killed. Apache Cunning and Calculation. Bury the Dead. How Mangas
was Cured of his Wound. Death of Mangas Colorado. The Genius and
Abilities of Mangas. Apache Democracy. Extent of the Eavages of
Mangas Colorado PP- 168-178


Apache Signals. Mode of Marching through Arizona and New Mexico. Apache
Watchfulness and Caution. The Gila Country. Grama Grass. The In-
formation Indispensable for a Successful Campaign against Apaches.
The Smoke Columns. Pressed Grass. Bent and Broken Twigs. Blazed
Trees. Mounted Parties. The Stone Signals. Kit Carson. Comparison
between White Men's and Apache Philosophy. The Present Condition of
Apache Armament. Their Knowledge of Colors, and the Use they make
of It. TJieir Hatred of all Other Eaces. Proofs of their Good Breeding.
Our Indian Policy Discussed. Apache Want of Sympathy. How they
Obtain their Guns and Ammunition. Extent of their Eavages in North
ern Mexico. Monuments of Apache Massacres in Arizona. Mines of
Arizona 179-196


Condition of New Mexico and Arizona. Active Campaign. Californian Soldiers.
Bosque Eedondo. More Intimate Eelations with Apaches. Site of Tort
Sumner. Scarcity of Wood. Climate. Arrival of Apache Prisoners of
'War. Dog Canon. Apache Embassy. Mr. Labadie. Placed in Charge of
the Apaches. Form a Council. Hunting Excursion with Apaches. Their
Mode of Killing Antelopes. Learn more of Indian Character. Obtain a
Greater Share of their Confidence 197-205


Satisfaction of the Apaches. Policy. Beneficial Eesults to my Men. Individual
Eesponsibility. Short Allowance. The Apache Eations Continued. Gen.
Carleton's Visit. Bishop Lamy. Supplies Eeceived. Apaches Elect a
Governor. Juan Cojo. Commence Learning the Apache Language. Com
pile a Vocabulary. Gradually gain Apache Confidence. Eenew Acquaint
ance with Old Enemies. Altered Eelations. Former Events Eecalled.
Instruction thrown Away. Apache Ideas of Warfare. Their Horror of
Work. Influence of their Women. Mescal. Its Intoxicating Quali-



Dangerous Hunting at the Bosque. Dr. McNulty's Adventure. Don Carlos and
his Indians. Mr. Descourtis' Adventure. Nah-kah-yen and Nah-tanh.
Hunting a Lion. The Indian and the Panther. Combat Between a Bear
and a Lion. The Kesult. Beavers. Apache Love of Torturing. Gallant
Indian. A Wounded Apache to be Dreaded pp. 218-228


Anecdote of Capt. Bristol. Surprise and Admiration of the Indians. They Vote
Him a Great Medicine. Wonders of the Microscope. Their Modes of
Hunting. Departure of Ojo Blanco. Apache Dread of Disease. The
Influenza. Apache Prophet. His Dream and Interpretation. My Coun
ter Dream and Interpretation. Useful Services of Dr. Gwyther. Faith
fulness of Gian-nah-tah. Necessity of Using Artifice 229-236


The Apache Language. Its Bemarkable Regularity and Copiousness. Examples
Given. Reflections. How Apaches are Named. Apache Beauties. Dis
inclination to tell their Apache Names : 237-243


Chastity of Apache Women. Wantonness of the Navajoes. Comparison Insti
tuted. Curious Customs. A Feast and Dance. Ceremonies. Duration
of the Feast. Depilorizing the Eyes. Apache Marriages. Style of Court
ship. Coquetry. Horses as Money. The Bower of Love. Affected Bash- '
fulness. Apache System of Polygamy. Customs Regulating Marriage.
Nah-tanh's Views. Burials. Funeral Ceremonies. Apache Reserve.
Small-Pox. Capt. Shirland. Fort Davis. Fight with Apaches. Indians
Whipped 244-252


Apaches as Warriors. Fight with the Maricopas. Fight with the Comanches.
Cold Weather. Apache Camp Attacked by Hostile Navajoes. Navajoes
Pursued and Destroyed. Animals Recovered. Carillo and the Navajo.
McGrew and Porter. Their Gallantry. Apache Ideas of Scalping. Grand
Apache Parade. Strange Request. Denied. Purification of Arms. The
Prophet again Making Trouble. Apache Cavalry Manoeuvres. Reflec
tions ... . . 253-261



Ojo Blanco Wounded. Apache Doctoring. Dr. Gwyther's Treatment. Results.
Ojo Blanco Killed in Battle. Religious Creed of the Apaches. Policy in
their Religion. The Deluge. Apaches Ignorant of their Origin. Their
Ideas in Reference to Women. Mexican Women as Wives of Apaches.
Character of their Children. Horrible Spectacle in Cooke's Canon. A few
Suggestions. Their Respect for Traditions Upset ,pp. 262-272


Apache Endurance. Inroad. Extensive Traveling. Wild Hosses. El Cupido.
Passes in New Mexico. Heavy Snow. Cold Weather. Change Base.
Indians Break Cover. Continued Snow-storm. Go in Pursuit. Rough
Ride. Indians Overtaken by Mr. Labadie. -Navajoes Whipped and Plun
der Recovered. Overtake and Protect Labadie. Hunt for Navajoes.
Labadie Arrives Safely at Fort Sumner. Conchas Springs. Intense
Cold. Indians' Indifference to Cold. Apache Method of Running Sheep.
Great Distances Accomplished 273-284


Religious Ceremonies. Lack of Veneration. Evidences of Mineral Wealth. An
Apache " Rough." Tats-ah-das-ay-go. Remarkable Order. Another
Scout. Apache "Hide and Seek." Prairie Dogs and their Guests.
Apache Customs concerning Murder. Sons-in-jah. His Career. His Re
citals. Former Condition of the New Mexicans. How the Difficulties
Commenced. Reflections. Articles of Apache Food. Native Potatoes.
Apache Estimate of Dead Women. Navajo Dread of Corpses 285-297


Apache Boldness and Address. The Papagoes. A Fine Herd Stolen by One
Apache. An Officer's Horse Stolen. Soldier Robbed of his Horse. Ne"
cessity for Prudence. Apache Games. Sons-in-jah's Version. Apache
Ideas of Gambling. Races at Fort Sumner. The Winners. Manuelito,
the Great Navajo Warrior 298-309


Ignorance of Indian Character Discussed. Political Indian Agencies. How the
Indian Affairs should be Managed.^Necessity of Force. Absurd System
in Vogue. Crushing Out Advised. How the Apaches should be Fought.
Proper Method of Campaigning. Suggestions. Culpable Neglect of Con
gress. General Deductions. Calif ornian Troops. Conclusion. .. 310-322


THOSE who may favor the succeeding pages with their perusal,
must not expect any attempt at fine writing or glowing description.
The author's intention is, to furnish a plain, unvarnished tale of
actual occurrences and facts illustrative of the various tribes of In
dians occupying that vast region which extends from the Colorado
river on the west, to the settlements of Texas on the east, and from
Taos in New Mexico to Durango in the Mexican Republic.

In the front rank of the tribes, occupying the region included
within the limits mentioned, stands the great Apache race, and next
are the Comanches. The former of these will engage most of the
author's attention for very many and obvious reasons. It is be
lieved that the book will contain a large amount of valuable infor
mation, to be derived from no other source extant, and it will be the
author's endeavor to place it before his readers in a manner which
will engage their attention. Nothing not strictly true will be admit
ted into its pages, and if some of the incidents narrated be found
of a thrilling character, the reader will experience satisfaction in
knowing that they are not the results of imaginative picturing.
Whenever a personal adventure is narrated, it will be found to illus
trate some particular phase of character ; none are recounted which
do not convey information.

Our Government has expended millions of dollars, in driblets,
since the acquisition of California, in efforts to reduce the Apaches


and Navajoes, who occupy that extensive belt of country which forms
the highway for overland migration from the East to the West; but
we are as far from'success to-day as we were twenty years ago. The
reason is obvious. We have never striven to make ourselves intel
ligently acquainted with those tribes. Nearly all that relates to
them is quite as uncertain and indefinite to our comprehension as
that which obtains in the center of Africa. Those who were the
best informed on the matter, and had given it the closest attention,
were, at the same time most unfortunately the least capable of
imparting their information ; while those who were almost ignorant
of the subject have been the most forward to give the results of
their fragmentary gleanings. If this volume shall have the effect of
bettering our present deplorable Indian policy, by letting in some
light, it will accomplish the author's object.
SAN FBANCTSCO, August, 1868. J. C. C.


Comanche Kaid. Detailed to send them away. Interview with Janamata.
Description of the Chief.

MY first business acquaintance with "Lo" occurred
in the year 1847. A band of about one hundred Co
manche warriors, led by a chief named Janamata. or the
"Ked Buffalo," taking advantage of the subdued and
defenceless condition of the Mexicans, crossed the Kio
Grande, about seventy miles below Old Keynosa, and
commenced a series of depredations. Information was
immediately given to the American officer commanding
at that post, and the writer was detailed, with a force of
fifty men, to drive off the invaders, with orders not to
engage in hostilities, unless the Indians proved refrac
tory and deaf to all other appeals.

After marching fifty miles, which was accomplished in
two days, we arrived at the scene of operations, meeting
the Comanches on the highway. Our force was imme
diately disposed to the best advantage, and placing a
white handkerchief on the point of my sabre, I advanced
alone toward the chief, who, leaving his warriors, rode
forward to meet me. He spoke Spanish fluently, having
evidently acquired it in his many marauding excursions
into Mexico. Having met, I offered him a cigarito, which
was accepted with Indian stoicism. We smoked in per
fect silence for half a minute, when the cigaritos having
been consumed the following dialogue took place :

Officer. "I am sent to tell you, that you must recross


the Bio Grande with your warriors, and come here no
more to molest these people while we remain in the

Indian. "I hear your words. They are not pleasant.
These Mexicans are our natural enemies; we have warred
against them for many years. They are also your ene
mies. You are killing them in their own country, the
same as I am. The Comanches are friends to the Amer
icans. Why do you prevent your friends from hunting
your enemies and theirs ?"

Officer. " Red man, you mistake. These people were
our enemies, but they have yielded, and all who have sub
mitted are under our protection. "We have ceased from
doing them harm, and if we permit you to injure them
after we have disarmed them, it would be the same as if
we did so ourselves."

Indian. ' ' But your revenge is for yourselves. It does
not satisfy us for the blood of Comanches slain by Mexi
cans. You made war upon them without our consent or
knowledge. We do the same. A wise warrior takes
advantage of his enemy's weakness. It is now our op

Officer. "These people are our captives, and cannot
continue to be your enemies while in that condition.
Suppose you had a dozen Apache captives, would you
permit the Kaddos to come into your camp and kill them;
take their property and go off without resistance ?"

Indian. "White man, your tongue is double, like a
woman's; but the Comanche does not feel to war against
his American brothers. I and my people will recross the
Bio Grande, but will not promise never to come back.

Our colloquy ended we smoked another cigarito; he
waved his hand to his warriors, and without another word


directed his course to the river, which was soon waded,
and Janamata, Avith his followers, stood on American
soil. This little interview imparted the knowledge that
the American savages are rather keen logicians, from their
own uncivilized stand-point, as they are incapable of ap
preciating the moral and religious sensibilities of enlight
ened races.

Janamata was a good type of his tribe, in point of
physical development. He was about five feet ten inches
in height, with well proportioned shoulders, very deep
chest, and long, thin, but muscular arms. His forehead,
was very broad and moderately high, his mouth enor
mous, and garnished with strong white teeth. His nose
was of the Roman order, broad and with much expanded
nostrils, which appeared to pulsate with every emotion;
but his countenance was rigid and immovable as bronze.
His arms consisted of a bow and quiver full of arrows, a
long lance, a long sharp knife, worn in the top of his
moccasin boot, and a very good Colt's revolver. A strong
shield of triple buffalo bide, ornamented with brass studs,
hung from his saddle bow, and his dress was composed
of buckskin and buffalo hide well tanned and flexible,
but wholly free from ornament. I afterwards learned
from a Texas Banger that he was called Janamata, or the
" Red Buffalo," from a desperate encounter he once had
with one of those animals, which had ripped up his horse,
and attacked him on foot. In this encounter Janamata had
only his knife to depend on, as he had lost lance and bow
when unhorsed. It is related that as the buffalo charged
upon him, he sprang over the animal's lowered front, and
landing on his back, plunged his knife several times into
its body; then, as suddenly jumping off behind, he seized
it by the tail and with one cut severed' the ham-string.
These details made an impression upon me at the time
which has never been effaced or weakened.


Years passed before another opportunity offered to ex
tend my acquaintance with Indians, and then in a totally
different sphere and under different circumstances, and
with many different tribes. The lapse of time, however,
gave opportunity for reflection, and I realized the fact
that my former rude impressions, founded upon such
authorities as Catlin, Cooper, and others, must be con
siderably modified; and I resolved that, should occasion
ever offer, I would devote attention and time to the ob
servation of Indian character as it is, and not as I had
believed it to be from writers on the subject.


March from Texas to El Paso. The Lipans. Their Personal Appearance.
Sait-jah and the Picture.

IN the year 1849, I was prevailed upon by Dr. Thomas
H. Webb, Secretary of the Massachusetts Historical So
ciety, to forego my position on the Boston Herald, and
accept an appointment on the United States Boundary
Commission, then being re-organized under the Hon.
John K. Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett selected some thirty of
the Commission, and determined to proceed by way of
the Northern Koute, which, up to that period, had been
traveled only three times, and was, consequently, but
little known. The most valuable information relative to
the route was received from Judge Antrim a brave,
courteous and handsome gentleman. In accordance with
the directions pricked out on Mr. Bartlett's traveling
chart by Judge Ankrim, one portion of the Commission
directed their way, leaving the great body, under Col.
John McClellan, U. S. Topographical Engineers, to come
on by what is known as the Southern Eoute, a well beaten
and frequently used road. Many portions of the way
selected by Mr. Bartlett had never before been gone over
by white men. There was no trail to direct our course,
nor did we possess any satisfactory knowledge of its abil
ity to afford wood, water and grass. The maps, however,
showed that it was crossed by certain streams at stated
distances, and the venture was boldly undertaken.

On arriving within a short distance of the South Con-


clio river, we camped on a small stream named the Ante
lope creek, situated in the Lipan country. Early next
morning, as the party were about to resume the march,
an Indian was seen advancing at full speed. A halt was
ordered, and in a few minutes he was among us asking,
in Spanish, for the commander. I at once took him to
Mr. Bartlett, and, on approaching the Commissioner, our
red visitant commenced fumbling among his clothes,
from which he extracted a dirty piece of handkerchief,
which, being unrolled, disclosed another dirty rag, and
the unwrapping continued until five pieces of cotton
fragments had been unrolled, displaying a handsome
leopard skin pouch, in which were a number of recom
mendations, signed by well-known Americans, and set
ting forth that the bearer, Chipota, a Lipan chief, had, a
short time before, celebrated a treaty of peace with the
"United States, and was entitled to the consideration and
kindness of all American travelers over those wastes.
During the interview, I attentively watched the Indian,
who gave slight indications of uneasiness as to the man
ner in which his overtures would be received; but these
were soon dissipated by the frank and amicable deport
ment of Mr. Bartlett, who invited his visitor to take a
seat in his carriage and proceed with him to the next
camp, which was about twelve miles further. Chipota
appeared to be about sixty years of age. He was short,
stout and sinewy, with an uncommonly high and expan
sive forehead, and so singularly like the celebrated Lewis
Cass in appearance, that the fact was immediately re
marked by all the party who had ever seen Mr. Cass or
his portrait.

The Commissioner traveled in a close carriage, drawn
by four fleet and powerful mules. His compagnon de voy
age was invariably Dr. Webb, who could never be induced


to mount a horse. The inside of the carriage was well
supplied with Colt's and Sharp's rifles, Colt's pistols, a
double-barreled shot gun, lots of ammunition, a spy
glass, and a number of small but useful tools. Upon
entering this traveling arsenal, old Chipota looked around
him with ill-concealed astonishment, which was greatly
heightened by Mr. Bartlett preparing the spy-glass, and
permitting him to take a good look through it at a dis
tant object. The Indian could hardly credit that the
thing he saw so distinctly through the glass was the
same object he beheld so dimly with his naked eye. Not
until we arrived in camp, however, were his senses
brought to the full stand-poinf of admiration by the
rapid discharges and terrific effects of the fire from our
repeating rifles and pistols. Looking around with un-
dissembled amazement, he said in his own language, as
if soliloquizing: " Inday pindah lickoyee schlango pooha-
cante." It was not until years had passed that I became
aware of the meaning of these words : but I noted them
at the time by asking him to repeat them, and took a
memorandum of their sounds. Since then I have discov
ered that they mean ' ' These people of the white eyes
are wonderful medicine men."

About two hours after camping, we were joined by
four more Lipans, the leader being named Chiquito, a
Spanish term, signifying "the little one." He was tall,
thin, sinewy, and had the appearance of having been
possessed of more than ordinary powers of endurance.
The likeness of this chief to General Jackson was quite
as remarkable and striking as that of Chipota to General
Cass, and was a general subject of remark. The most
prominent member of Chiquito's escort was a tall, strong,
well-made and handsome young Lipan dandy, who re
joiced in the name of Sait-jah, disdaining to be known


by any Spanish term. This fellow evidently believed
himself of some consequence, and strutted about with a
very decided aristocratic bearing. After a short time
passed in displaying his colossal proportions, his splen
did leopard skin saddle, quiver, leggins, etc., Chipota
quietly beckoned to him and the others, and, I suppose,
gave them a short account of the wonders he had beheld.
His warnings were received with trust by all but Sait-
jah, who, like most inexperienced and flattered young
men, savage or civilized, preferred to rely on his own
experiences. Our party being small, and offering many
temptations, I kept a strict but unobserved watch over
the Indians, and suspected the tenor of Chipota's dis
course, from his gesticulations. In a few minutes Sait-
jah came toward me in a swaggering manner, and said,
in broken Spanish: " Our chief says you great medicine;
he says your pistol fires six times without reloading; he
says you bring the trees which are afar off close to the
eye, so you can count the leaves; he says your guns reach
a great way, and never miss; he says a great many other
wonderful things, which I cannot believe. You have
bewitched him." Drawing a six-shooter from my belt, I
pointed out a tree about seventy-five yards distant, and
commenced firing rapidly. Each shot struck the tree,
and blazed off large fragments of the bark. Sait-jah was
astonished at the power of the weapon, and made no at
tempt to conceal his surprise; but his admiration broke
out into emphatic expression when he witnessed the pre
cision and reach of our Sharp's rifles, and the rapidity
with which they could be loaded and fired. His pride
had evidently received a heavy fall, and his lofty bearing
was toned down to the level of his white visitors.

In my possession was the miniature of a young lady,
whose many graces of person, cultivated mind and amia-


ble disposition, rendered her one of the most lovable of
Boston's fairest daughters. Sait-jah happened to see
this picture, and asked permission to take a good look at
the pleasant features. The miniature was placed in his
hand, and his eyes seemed to devour its expressive linea
ments. Throughout the remainder of that day this In
dian bored me with frequent requests for another look,
and the next morning, so soon as the camp was astir, he
offered me his bow, arrows and splendid leopard skin for
the picture. These offers being refused, he then added
his horse, and whatever other property he might have,
for its possession; but, finding me deaf to his entreaties,
he took one long, last look, vaulted on his horse, set off
at full speed and rapidly disappeared in the distance.

The Lipans are a numerous and warlike tribe, roaming
over a vast extent of country, and perpetually at war
with the Comanches, Kaddos, and other tribes of West
ern Texas. Since acquiring the Apache language, I have
discovered that they are a branch of that great tribe
speaking identically the same language, with the excep
tion of a few terms and names of things existing in
their region and not generally known to those branches
which inhabit Arizona and New Mexico. The Mescalero
Apaches, in their search for buffaloes, frequently meet the
Lipans, and always on the best of terms. No conflicts
are known to have ever occurred between them; but they
act in concert against the Comanches, and all other
tribes. All the remarks on the Apache race, which will
be found in the succeeding pages of this work, apply
with equal force to the Lipans, with the exception of
their tribal organization, the Lipans having regular
chiefs, whom they obey on all occasions, and whose acts
are final; while the Apaches are pure democrats, each
warrior being' his own master, and submitting only to


the temporary control of a chief elected for the occasion.
As no other Indians were encountered until after our
arrival at Paso del Norte, the remainder of our journey
with its many incidents, sufferings and dangers, will not
be expatiated upon in this work, which is solely dedi
cated to descriptions of Indian life.


To the Copper Mines. Encounter with Cuchillo Negro. Fearful Massacre of
Apaches. Their Terrible Revenge. Apache Method of Hunting Ducks
and Geese. Apaches Hunting Antelopes. Mangas Colorado. My Camp.

IN the latter part of January, 1850, Mr. Bartlett took
advantage of the march of Col. Craig, commanding the
military escort of the Boundary Commission, to order
Dr. Webb, Mr. Thurber and myself to the Copper Mines
of Santa Rita, as Col. Craig had determined to make
that place his head-quarters until the extended opera
tions of the Commission should demand a more advanced
post. Dr. Webb, Secretary of the Commission, and Mr.
Thurber, Botanist, rode in Mr. Bartlett's carriage, which
he had loaned them for the trip, but I preferred to take
the saddle, being mounted on an uncommonly fine horse
I had bought from Capt. A. Buford, First United States
Dragoons. In order not to be distressed by the slow,
painful and tiresome marches of the infantry, Dr. Webb
invariably ordered Wells, the carriage driver, to hurry
forward to the next camping ground, and we generally
arrived three or four hours in advance of the troops, my
horse keeping up with the carriage, for I would not leave
my party in so dangerous an Indian country as the one
we were then penetrating. Sometimes, when the road
was rough and difficult for the carriage, I was accus
tomed to ride ahead in search of game, being always
armed to the teeth with two belt and two holster six-
shooters, a Sharp's carbine and a large bowie knife. On


the fourth day of our march, I advanced about three
miles ahead of the carriage, which was detained in mak
ing the passage through Cooke's canon, a rough, rocky
and very dangerous defile, about forty miles east of the
Mimbres river, and having observed some antelope tracks,
looked around in hope of seeing the animals, when I
perceived myself surrounded by a band of about twenty-
five Indians, who advanced upon me from, all sides, led
by a savage who rode several yards ahead of all others.
At that time I could have broken through the circle and
rejoined my party with but little risk, as my horse was
infinitely superior in strength and speed to their ponies,
but as I felt convinced that the carriage would heave in
sight within a short time, my resolution was immediately
taken to adopt another policy. By this time their leader
was from twenty-five to thirty yards in advance of his
followers, and about the same distance from me, perceiv
ing which I drew r a heavy holster pistol with my right
hand and putting spurs to my horse, met him in a bound
or two, when I addressed him to the following effect, in
Spanish :

1 ' Keep off or I will shoot you."

To this he replied: "Who are you, and whence do you
come ?"

Observing that his warriors were closing upon me, I
said: "See here, Indian, you have plenty of warriors
against one man, but I have got you; your people may
kill me, but I will kill you, so tell them to hold back at

Involuntarily the Apache waved his hand, and his war
riors halted about forty yards off. Not liking so short a
distance, I again urged the chief to let his warriors fall
back still further, at the same time giving a significant
shake of my pistol. This, too, was done, and the Apaches


increased their distance to about one hundred and fifty
yards. The chief, whom I afterwards found to be Cu-
chillo Negro, or the "Black Knife/' then endeavored to
gain my left side, but I foiled his attempt by keeping
my horse's head in his direction wherever he moved.
He then said, "G-ood-by," and started to rejoin his
comrades, but I again brought him to a sense of his po
sition, by telling him I would not permit it, and he must
stay with me until my friends came up. This excited
considerable surprise, for he evidently labored under the
idea that I was alone, or nearly so. The following dia
logue then took place :

Cuchillo Negro. " What do you want in my country?"

American. "I came here because my chief has sent
me. He is coming soon with a large force, and will pass
through this country, but does not intend to remain or
do any harm to his Apache brethren. We come in
peace, and will always act peaceably, unless you compel
us to adopt other measures; if you do, the consequences
will do you great harm."

Cuchillo Negro. "I do not believe your words. You
are alone. My people have been on the watch, and
have seen no forces coming this way. If any such had
been on the road, we would have known it. You are in
my power. What more have you to say ?"

American. "Indian, you are foolish. Long security
has made you careless. A company of soldiers is close
behind me; but your young men have been asleep. The
squaws have retained them in camp, when they should
have been on the lookout. I am not in your power, but
you, personally, are in mine. Your people can kill me,
but not until I have put a ball through your body. Any
signal you may make to them, or any forward movement
on their part, will also be signal for your death. If you


do not believe me, wait a few moments, and you will see
my friends come round the point of yonder hill. They
are many, and intend to remain several moons in your
country. If you treat them well you will grow rich and
get many presents, but if you treat them badly they will
search you out among the rocks and hills of your coun
try, will take possession of your watering places, will
destroy your plantations and kill your warriors. Now

Cuchillo Negro. "For many years no white man has
penetrated these regions, and we do not permit people
to enter our country without knowing their purpose. If
you had friends, as you say, you would not have left
them and come on alone, for that is foolish. My young
men have not been led away by the squaws, for there are
none within two sun's march, and if you had a large
party with you, they would have known it and given me
notice. You have many guns, but I have many men,
and you cannot escape if I give the signal."

American. "Indian, I don't think you will give that
signal so long as you and I are so close together. Wait
a few moments, and see whether I tell the truth."

This proposition was finally agreed to by him, and we
sat on our horses waiting the approach of the carriage.
It is unnecessary to say what my feelings were during
the next quarter of an hour, nor to explain the manoeuvres
each adopted to get or keep the advantage of his enemy.
I feel incapable of doing justice to the occasion. At the
expiration of the time mentioned, the carriage hove in
sight, about a quarter of a mile off, rounding the point
of the mountain, and it had been detained so much dur
ing the march through the rocky and terrible defile that
the infantry had come up with it and presented a for
midable array of glittering tubes immediately in its rear.


At this unexpected sight, Cuchillo Negro gazed for a
moment like one in a dream, but quickly collecting him
self, he advanced directly toward me, extending his right
hand and saying, " Jeunie, jeunie/" which means friendly,
amicable, good. I refused to take his hand lest he might
suddenly jerk me off my horse and stab me while falling,
but contented myself by saying, " Estamos amigos" we
are friends. He then turned quickly and rode off at full
speed, attended by his warriors. They disappeared in
another rocky canon, about four hundred yards distant.
It was subsequently my fate to meet this savage sev
eral other times, and I am satisfied that the remembrance
of our interview on the occasion above narrated, did
me no harm either with him or the balance of his tribe.

After leaving Dona Ana, our way led across the lower
portion of the Jornada del Muerto until we arrived at
what is known as the San Diego crossing of the Bio
Grande, a mile or two below where Fort Thorne was
subsequently built. As the Jornada del Muerto was the
scene of another incident, its description is postponed
for the present. The Rio Grande was crossed without
much difficulty, and our camp formed near a large lagoon
on the western bank of the river. This lagoon was in
fested by wild ducks and brant, and the Apaches took
great numbers of them in the following manner.

In the early winter, when these birds commenced to
arrive in great flocks, the Apaches took large numbers of
gourds and set them adrift on the windward side of the
lagoon, whence they were gradually propelled by the
wind until they reached the opposite side, when they
were recovered and again set adrift. At first, the ducks
and geese exhibit dread and suspicion of these strange
floating objects, but soon get used to them, and pay
them no further attention. Having arrived at this stage,


the Indians then fit these gourds upon their heads, hav
ing been furnished with holes for the eyes, nose and
mouth, and, armed with a bag, they enter the water
not over five feet deep in any part and exactly imitating
the bobbing motion of the empty gourd upon the water,
succeed in getting close enough to the birds, which are
then caught by the feet, suddenly dragged under water,
and stowed in the bag. The dexterity and naturalness
with which this is done almost exceeds belief, yet it is a
common thing among them.

About eighteen or twenty miles east of the Copper
Mines of Santa Rita, is a hot spring, the waters of which
exhibit a heat of 125 degrees Fahrenheit, and after hav
ing crossed the Mimbres, the whole party directed its
course to this spring. After examining it thoroughly,
and having the qualities of its water tested by Dr. Webb,
we prosecuted our march; but my attention was soon
after arrested by a number of antelopes feeding on the
plain, not more than half a mile distant. Anxious to
procure one, I left the party, and, galloping in the direc
tion of the herd, arrived within five hundred yards of it,
when I dismounted and tying my horse to a yucca bush,
proceeded cautiously on foot, carbine in hand. Crawl
ing from bush to bush, and hiding behind every stone
which offered any shelter, I got within handsome range
of a fine buck, and feeling sure that the animal could
not escape me, I raised to fire, when, just as I was taking
aim, I was astonished to see the animal raise erect upon
its hind legs, and heard it cry out, in fair Spanish, " No
tiros, no liras!" don't fire, don't fire! What I would
have sworn was an antelope, proved to be a young In
dian, the son of Ponce, a chief, who, having enveloped
himself in an antelope's skin, with head, horns and all
complete, had gradually crept up to the herd under his


disguise, until his operations were brought to an untimely
end by perceiving my aim directed at him. The Apaches
frequently adopt this method of hunting, and imitate
the actions of the antelopes so exactly as to completely
mislead those animals with the belief that their deadliest
enemy is one of their number.

We arrived at the Copper Mines, without further acci
dent, one day in advance of our military escort, and had
no sooner pitched our tent than we were visited by some
eight or ten of the most villainous looking Apaches it is
possible to conceive. Although the weather was exceed
ingly cold, with snow six inches deep on a level, and, in
some places where it had drifted, as deep as three or four
feet, the Indians were wholly nude, with the exception
of a diminutive breech cloth. They bore no arms of any
kind and pretended to be very friendly, having undoubt
edly seen our train and escort crossing the plain from
their various places of observation on the top of Ben
Moore, which is eight thousand feet high. Our mules
were hitched to the several wheels of the carriage and
my horse in the rear, while one of our party kept constant
and vigilant watch over the animals. When night fell
Dr. Webb informed the Apaches, through me, that they
must leave camp, which they did after receiving a few
presents in the shape of tobacco, beads and some cotton
cloth. A rousing fire was then made in front of the tent,
and after a hearty supper our small party retired upon
their arms, with one man on guard. It was afterwards
discovered that among our visitors were the renowned
warriors Delgadito, Ponce and Coletto Amarillo. These
were their Mexican names their Indian appellations I
never learned.

About 11 o'clock, A. M., next day, Col. Craig appeared
with his command, and formally took possession of the


Copper Mines, the great head-quarters of the redoubtable
chief, Mangas Colorado, or the "Ked Sleeves/ 3 beyond
all comparison the most famous Apache warrior and
statesman of the present century. The word statesman
is used advisedly in his case, as will be made apparent to
the reader in the course of his perusal. The term
chief will also be found, hereafter, to have a very great
modification, in so far as refers to the Apache race.

The Copper Mines of Santa Rita are located imme
diately at the foot of a huge and prominent mount
ain, named Ben Moore. These extensive mines had been
abandoned for the space of eighty years, but were un
commonly rich and remunerative. They were formerly
owned by a wealthy Mexican company, wjho sent the ore
to Chihuahua, where a Government mint existed, and
had the ore refined and struck into the copper coinage
of the country. Although the distance was over three
hundred miles, and every pound of ore had to be trans
ported on pack mules, yet it proved a paying business,
and mining was vigorously prosecuted for a space of
some twenty years. Huge masses of ore, yielding from
sixty to ninety per cent, of pure copper, are still visible
all about the mine, and frequently considerable pieces of
pure copper are met with by the visitor. The reason for
its sudden and long abandonment was asked, and the
following story related.

During the period that the Mexicans carried on opera
tions at the mines, the Apaches appeared very friendly,
receiving frequent presents, and visiting the houses of
the miners without question. But every now and then
the Mexicans lost a few mules, or had a man or two
killed, and their suspicions were roused against the
Apaches, who stoutly denied all knowledge of these acts
and put on an air of offended pride. This state of affairs


continued to grow worse and worse, until an English
man, named Johnson, undertook to "settle matters,"
and to that end received carte blanche from his Mexican
employers. Johnson ordered & fiesta, or feast, prepared,
and invited all the Copper Mine Apaches to partake.
The invitation was joyfully accepted, and between nine
hundred and a thousand, including men, women and
children, assembled to do justice to the hospitality of
their entertainers. They were caused to sit grouped to
gether as much as possible, while their host had prepared
a six-pounder gun, loaded to the muzzle with slugs,
musket balls, nails and pieces of glass, within one hun
dred yards of their main body. This cannon was con
cealed under a pile of pack saddles and other rubbish,
but trained on the spot to be occupied by the Apaches.
The time arrived; the feast was ready; the gun loaded
and primed; Johnson stood ready with a lighted cigar
to give the parting salute, and while all were eating as
Apaches only can eat, the terrible storm of death was
sped into their ranks, killing, wounding and maiming
several hundred. This fearful volley was immediately
followed up by a charge on the part of the Mexicans,
who showed no pity to the wounded until nearly four
hundred victims had been sacrificed at this feast of death.
The survivors fled in dismay, and for several months the
miners fancied they had forever got rid of the much
hated Apaches. It was an ill-grounded hope, as the
sequel proved.

The Oopper Mines were entirely dependent upon Chi
huahua for all supplies, and large conductors, or trains
with guards, were employed in the business of bringing
in such supplies, and taking away the ore. So regular
had been the arrival and departure of these trains, that
no efforts were made to retain provisions enough on hand


in the event of a failure to arrive. Besides, no molesta
tion of any kind had been experienced since Johnson's
experiment. ' At length three or four clays passed beyond
the proper time for the conducta's arrival; provision was
becoming exceedingly scarce; ammunition had been ex
pended freely; no thought for the morrow had taken
possession of their minds, and everything went on in the
hap-hazard way of thoughtless Mexicans. No attempt
was made to. send a party in quest of the lost train, nor
was any economy exercised. Two or three days more
passed, and they were on the verge of starvation. The
surrounding forests of heavy pines still furnished bear
and turkeys, and other game in abundance, but their
ammunition was becoming exceedingly scarce. In this
dilemma some of the miners climbed Ben Moore, which
gave a distinct view of the extensive plain reaching to
and beyond the Mimbres river, but no sign of the con-
ducta was visible. It was then ordered that a well-armed
party should set out and discover its fate, but those who
were to be left behind resolved to go also, as they would
otherwise be forced to remain without means of defence
or provisions. On a given day every man, woman and
child residing in the Copper Mines took their departure;
but they never reached their place of destination. The
relentless Apaches had foreseen all these troubles, and
taken measures accordingly. The party left, but their
bones, with the exception of only four or five, lie bleach
ing upon the wide expanse between the Copper Mines of
Santa Rita and the town of Chihuahua. Such is the
narrative given me by an intelligent Mexican, whom I
afterward met in Sonora. From that time for more than
eighty years, the Apache had remained the unmolested
master of this his great stronghold. This long interval
of quiescence was rudely interrupted by the advent of


the military escort to the Boundary Commission, which
immediately commenced repairing the half-ruined pre
sidio, and rendering some fifty small adobe buildings
habitable for the members of the Commission. These^
proceedings were watched with great interest and un
feigned anxiety by the Apaches, who frequently asked
whether we intended to remain at the Copper Mines, and
as frequently received a reply in the negative. The real
object of our stay was explained to them; but they could
not conceive that people should take so much pains to
build houses and render them comfortable only for a
short residence, to be again abandoned at the very period
when men could live in the open air without disquietude.

Shortly afterward, the whole Commission, numbering
some two hundred and fifty well-armed men, arrived,
making a total force of over three hundred men. This
odds was more than the Apaches could face, with any
prospect of success, and they relapsed into the better
part of valor, under the advice of Mangas Colorado and
his leading warriors. The gentle nomads pitched their
main camp about two miles from the Copper Mines, and
made frequent visits to observe our movements and to
practice their skill in begging.

Although the Copper Mine, or Mimbres Apaches, have
signalized themselves by many of the boldest and most
daring exploits, they are not physically comparable to
the Mescalero, Jicarilla and Chiricahui branches of the
same tribe. But what they lack in personal strength
they make up in wiliness and endurance. No amount of
cold, hunger or thirst seems to have any appreciable
effect upon an Apache. "Whatever his sufferings, no com
plaint or murmur is ever heard to escape his lips, and he
is always ready to engage in any enterprise which prom
ises a commensurate reward. Ten Apaches will under-


take a venture which will stagger the courage and nerve
of a hundred Yurnas, Pimos or Navajoes, although the
last mentioned tribe is an undoubted branch of the Apache
race, as will be shown in a subsequent chapter. The cun
ning of the Apache is only equaled by his skill and the
audacity with which he executes his projects, and every
success is chuckled over with undissembled gusto by the
whole tribe, the actors only assuming an unconcerned
air, as if wholly disconnected with the matter. Their
conversation is always carried on in low tones, and only
one person ever presumes to speak at a time. There is
no interruption to the speaker's remarks; but when he
ceases another takes the word, and either replies or in
dorses the opinions of his predecessor. During a general
conversation on indifferent topics they separate into sev
eral small knots, and in each the above rules are strictly

I had selected the most lovery spot in the valley for
the site of my tent, which was some six hundred yards
distant from the rest, and shut out from sight by an inter
vening hillock. At this place the stream widened into a
handsome basin ten yards across, and with a little labor
I had built a sort of dam, which raised the water in the
basin to the depth of about three and a half feet, and
formed a delicious bathing pool, which was shaded by
a very large and spreading cotton wood tree. At this
place the Apaches frequently congregated in consider
able numbers, maintaining a lively conversation, and
enabling me to make many observations I could not
otherwise have done. As I was the only member of the
Commission with whom they could converse, my tent
became their head-quarters during their visits, which were
almost daily for several consecutive months, until our
amicable relations were broken up by their irrepressible
rascality and treachery.


Journey to Sonora. Adventure \vith Apaches. Fronteras. Mexican Dread of
Indians. Gen. Carasco. Janos. Mexican Policy toward the Apaches.
Carasco's Raid. Gandara, Monteverde and Urea. Death of Carasco.
Arispe. Apache Prisoners. Mexican Guard. Apaches Attacking a Mexi
can Train. Curious Style of Pursuit. Return to the Copper Mines.
Americans Attacked by Apaches. Traits of Apache Character. Craftiness.

WERE I to diverge from the proposed plan of narrating
only what appertains directly to the elucidation of Indian
character, etc., this work might be continued through a
series of volumes; but the object of the writer is to con
dense his remarks to such incidents as have relation only
to the various Indian tribes he encountered in the course
of nine years experience among them.

In May, the Commissioner resolved on a journey into
Sonora, to ascertain whether supplies of corn, flour, sheep,
and cattle, could be depended upon from that State for
the use of the Commission operating along its northern
frontier, and also for other objects immediately affecting
the welfare of the body under his orders, and the prose
cution of the work committed to his charge. On the
afternoon of the third day we camped at a place where
several holes had been dug by previous travelers, and
being full of sweet water they offered us the first refresh
ment of the kind we had enjoyed for forty-eight hours.
The country for a long distance was a perfect plain, un
broken even by rocks or trees, with here and there a
shrub, but none over eighteen inches high. At this
place, on a subsequent occasion, an incident illustrative


of the Apache race occurred, and it is related here, al
though having no connection with our march, for the
sake of condensation.

Several years after accompanying Mr. Bartlett, it be
came necessary for a small party of Americans, five all
told, to visit Sonora for provisions, and knowing the road
I served as guide. One evening we encamped at the
place mentioned above, and again found water for our
famishing party and their animals. It was a God-send,
as we had been without water for nearly sixt}^ hours. In
dian signs in abundance had been observed during the
day, and we were all alive to the importance of keeping
the strictest watch; accordingly two were placed upon
guard at a time. Richard Purdy and myself took the
first watch, each one occupying a flank of the camp, cer
tainly not a large one, but of the utmost importance.
Knowing the nature of the savages, it was agreed that
we should not walk our posts, but conceal ourselves as
much as possible and keep a sharp lookout. Before
nightfall, Purdy and myself took the exact bearings of
each shrub within pistol range, and quietly assumed our
positions flat down in the grass, each man being sheltered
by a small bush. There was no moon, but a bright star
light enabled us to perceive objects at some distance.
The evening passed quietly, and at eleven o'clock we
called two more of our comrades, who assumed our
places, after having pointed out to them our precautions.
At two o'clock, A. M. , we were again roused to resume
guard, and each one took his position. Scarcely an hour
had elapsed when it arcpeared to me that a certain small
bush had changed position somewhat; but not liking to
create a false alarm and be laughed at for my pains, I
merely determined to watch it with earnest attention.
My suspicions and precaution were amply rewarded by


perceiving the bush to approach, very gradually indeed,
but still unmistakably. I dared not call to Purdy, but
got ray rifle to bear, as nearly as possible, upon the root
of the bush. When I thought my aim good, and felt
tolerably sure of my sights, I pulled the trigger. The
shot was followed by the yells of some fifteen Apaches,
who had approached within thirty paces of our camp by
covering their heads with grass and crawling upon their
bellies. Our comrades jumped to their feet and com
menced shooting at the Indians, who discharged one
volley into our camp and left us masters of the field.
We lost one horse, killed, and had another slightly
wounded; but a search developed the Apache of the
moving bush lying dead, with a hole through his head.
Without waiting for dawn the animals were immediately
got ready and the party again started on its trip, fearing
that the Apaches might get ahead and waylay them in
some dangerous pass or canon.

Accompanying the Commissioner, in the course of time
we arrived at Agua Prieta, from whence I was dispatched
with Mr. Thurber and Mr. Stewart to discover the town
of Fronteras, and ascertain whether it could be reached
with wagons. Mounting our horses we pursued a straight
line for the supposed site of the town, passing through
some chapparel and over broken ridges, until we arrived
upon an extensive and beautiful plain, over which we
galloped with free rein. About half an hour before
sundown, we discovered a few thin columns of smoke
ascending to the right of our road, and nearly ahead,
from the top of a slight eminence about three miles dis
tant. A few minutes brought us to the spot, but we
could perceive no inhabitants about the houses on the
plain, but raising our eyes to the hill, we saw the entire
population of some nine hundred souls, besides four hun-


dred soldiers, huddled together in evident alarm. They
had taken us for Apaches, and fled in dismay to the
presidio and protection of the military; but when they
discovered that we were Americans, nothing could ex
ceed their wonder at our hardihood and folly, as they
termed it, in penetrating the country with so small a
party. This fact will give the reader some idea of the
abject terror with which the poor Mexicans on the fron
tiers of Sonora, Chihuahua and Durango regard the
Apache Indians.

To persons not aware of the causes, this timidity would
appear as rank cowardice; but, however true such a
charge would be of the masses, yet it must be acknowl
edged that there are notable exceptions. The Mexicans
on the northern frontier are the very lowest and poorest
of their countrymen. Living in hovels and sustaining
themselves in some manner never yet determined or as
certained by any other people, almost wholly without
arms or ammunition, and brought up from their earliest
infancy to entertain the most abject dread and horror of
the Apaches, they are forever after unable to divest them
selves of the belief that an Apache warrior is not a man,
but some terrible ogre against whom it is useless to con
tend, and who is only to be avoided by flight or appeased
by unconditional submission.

At Fronteras I met with Gen. Carasco, Military Gov
ernor of Sonora, and an old enemy whom it had been
my lot to confront during the Mexican war. The Gen
eral received us with marked hospitality and kindness;
offered us refreshments of which we stood greatly in
need, and dispatched runners to show Mr. Bartlett the
way into the town. During the evening's session, which
lasted into the "wee sma' hours ayont the twal," the
conversation turned upon the battle of Cerro Gordo,


where the General commanded a brigade, and we dis
covered that he barely escaped falling into our hands.
Discussing the character of the Apaches and the policy
of the Mexican Government in their regard, the General
made the following remarks :

"There is a small town named Janos, in Chihuahua,
near the eastern boundary of Sonora, where the Apaches
have for several years been received and provided with
rations by the Government of that State, although the
same Indians were at the time in open war with the
Mexicans of Sonora. Not being able to comprehend the
virtue of a policy which feeds Indians in one State that
they might prey upon and destroy the citizens of an
other, I concluded that my duty was to destroy the enemy
wherever I could find him. Acting upon this decision,
I waited until the allotted time for the Apaches to visit
Janos to obtain their regular quarterly rations, and, by
forced marches at night, succeeded in reaching the place
just as the carnival was at its height. We killed a hun
dred and thirty, and took about ninety prisoners, princi
pally women and children. Col. Medina, commanding
the State of Chihuahua, was so enraged at my action,
that he made formal complaint to the Supreme Govern
ment, which, however, after some unnecessary delay, ap
proved of my course/'

I expressed much astonishment at such a condition of
affairs, when Carasco added: "It is the old story; our
territory is enormous, and our Government weak. It
cannot extend its protecting arms throughout all portions
of the country. Whole provinces are left for years to
themselves, except in the matter of taxation, and things
run to ruin. It is to this cause that frequent pronuncia-
mentos are attributed. The richest man in either of the
distant States is actual lord of the State, and can always


set the Government at defiance, because it costs so much
to reduce him to subordination. I will give you an in
stance in point. During the American war, Manuel
Gandara loaned the sum of four hundred thousand dol
lars to the Supreme Government, receiving its acknowl
edgements for that amount, with interest at the rate of
ten per cent, per annum. After the war, during the
administration of Pena y Pefia, an election for Governor
took place in Sonora, in which Manuel Gandara and
Manuel Monteverde were the competitors. These fami
lies were as deadly rivals as the houses of Borneo and
Capulet; and when the voting was over, each candidate
claimed the election. As usual, neither applied to the
Supreme Government for arbitration, but each sum
moned its forces and engaged in civil war. Gandara
was backed by his numerous friends, peons, and the
Yaqui Indians, while Monteverde enlisted the interests
of many prominent Sonorians, and the Opatah and Pap-
ago tribes. War raged for a long time, until Monte
verde applied to the General Government for protection.
Gen. Urea was sent with a force of three thousand reg
ulars to suppress Gandara, and for a time succeeded.
At this stage of the proceedings, Gandara called upon
the Supreme Government to refund his loan of four
hundred thousand dollars, threatening that if payment
were not forthcoming, he would assign his claim to the
British Government. This threat had its effect, and
soon after Gandara was put in possession of an order,
emanating from the Secretary of War, to the effect that
Urea had been operating without proper warrant of au
thority, and that if Gandara could catch that officer, he
was at liberty to suspend him by the neck. This thor
oughly frightened Urea, who immediately returned to
the capital."


/' added Carasco, "you can appreciate the del
icate position in whi^h I find myself. I am ordered to
the military command of Sonora, but am supplied with
neither men nor money. Every day I was pained by
accounts of dreadful Apache raids, in which men were
massacred ; women and children carried off captives;
horses and property destroyed, and extensive districts
laid waste and abandoned. At length I resorted to
forced contributions from the rich and impressed the
poor, determined they should fight for their own in
terests. This makes me unpopular with all parties, and
I expect, some day, to be assassinated for my zeal in their
behalf." Prophetic words! In less than a year Carasco
was taken off by poison; so, at least, it was reported.

"Wending our way from Fronteras we reached Arispe,
the former capital of Sonora, on the 31st of May, 1850.
At the time of our visit the place contained about twelve
hundred inhabitants; but no American can possibly con
jecture the terror felt by the people, of all classes, when
ever it w r as announced that the Apaches were near. The
second day after our arrival five Apache prisoners two
warriors and three women were brought into town under
a strong guard of twenty-five soldiers, and lodged in the
town jail to await their ultimate destination. Two days
afterward the rain poured down in torrents; the night
was exceedingly dark and stormy ; reverberating peals of
thunder shook the solid hills,' and repeated flashes of the
most vivid lightning inspired the beholder with awe.
The Mexican guard over the prisoners retired within
and lighted their cigaritos, or engaged in the hazards of
monte. The doors were securely closed and all prepared
to pass the watch away with as much relish as the circum
stances w r ould permit. A little after midnight certain
peculiar noises were heard about the prison and were


repeated with an emphasis which compelled attention.
Instinctively the guard knew that these noises proceeded
from Apaches who were in quest of their incarcerated
friends, and the fact was quickly made apparent by the
prisoners, who commenced a chant in their native tongue
loud enough to be heard outside. Here was a dilemma.
The Indians were undoubtedly watching the door with
intense interest, and no one dared go forth in that im
penetrable gloom to face the savage foe. The force of
the enemy was unknown. The citizens could not be re
lied upon for aid; no one would come to their assistance
if attacked; they only numbered eight men and a sergeant,
and they were panic-stricken. Perceiving this state of
affairs, the Apache prisoners boldly advanced and de
manded to be let out, at the same time giving fearful
yells to apprise their friends of their designs, which were
seconded by repeated strokes of heavy stones against the
door. In their overpowering terror the guard mustered
its whole strength, opened the door slightly and per
mitted their savage charge to leave. It is needless to add
that they were never seen more. This is no figment of
the brain, but the real, undisguised fact, and is recorded
for the purpose of showing how completely the Apaches
have control of the Mexican race upon the frontier.

Another incident illustrative of this supremacy occurred
in the same town. A band of fifteen Apaches pursued a
pack train and overtook it within three hundred yards of
Arispe. The arrieros saved themselves by speedy night,
but the train was plundered and the mules driven off.
"Within an hour nearly two hundred armed men assembled
with the avowed purpose of pursuing the savages and re
covering the plunder. I happened to be on the Plaza at
the time, and had just before observed the Indians mak
ing for the mountains lying east of the town. Which


way did they go ? asked the Mexican leader. I pointed
out the direction, and also called his attention to the vol
ume of dust raised by the retreating savages. He thanked
me, placed himself at the head of his column, cried out,
"Marchamos valientes" let us march, brave fellows and
took a course the very opposite of the one pointed out.
I then and there made up my mind, that if a similar affair
should ever happen where I was, and a Mexican should
inquire the route of the Indians, I would indicate the
opposite to the one actually taken.

On our return from Sonora we met a force of two hun
dred Mexican soldiers in the Guadalupe Pass, who in
formed us that a party of ten Americans had been waylaid
by the Apaches near the town of Janos, in Chihuahua,
and that one was killed and three others wounded, the
panic-stricken survivors saving themselves by precipitate
flight. I felt convinced that this villainy had been per
petrated by the Copper Mine Apaches, who had been so
seemingly friendly with us, but could not substantiate
the charge. Subsequent revelations satisfied me that my
suspicions were well founded, for soon after our arrival
at the Copper Mines Mr. Bartlett sounded Mangas Colo
rado on the subject, but he denied any knowledge what
ever of the affair; yet two days afterward admitted that
he knew about it, and said that it had been done by some
bad young men over whom he had no control.

An Apache is trained from his earliest infancy to regard
all other people as his natural enemies. He is taught that
the chief excellence of man is to outwit his fellows. He
is made to feel that the highest honors are bestowed upon
him who is master of the greatest amount of rascality.
The favors of the women are lavished upon the most
adroit thief, because his dexterity enables him to furnish
a more copious supply to their wants and caprices. As


they never engage in any pursuit except that of war and
the chase, all their worldly goods are the results of their
skill and proficiency in these vocations. Polygamy being
an institution among them, the man who can support or
keep, or attract by his power to keep, the greatest num
ber of women, is the man who is deemed entitled to the
greatest amount of honor and respect. Gianatah is a
great brave, said one in my hearing does he not keep
seven squaws ? and yet Gianatah was not, so far as per
sonal bravery goes, the leading warrior of his band; but
he was the most dexterous thief.

After our return to the Copper Mines, I was sitting in
front of my tent one afternoon, writing a letter, when an
Apache approached and for some reason regarded me

" What are you doing? " he at length inquired.
" Talking to my friends at home/'
' ' But how can you talk to them so far off? "
" I will tell you. When the Apache desires to indicate
speed he makes the figure of a bird; if he wishes to de
note something beautiful or sweet, he delineates a flower;
if he desires to express sloth, he makes the figure of a
tortoise. These facts you know; but we do not use those
symbols, and in their place we have agreed upon certain,
characters, which being put together make words and
indicate ideas. For instance, you see we make such
marks; well, I send this paper to my friends, and they
know just what these marks mean, the same as you would
know what a bird or a tortoise meant; because we have
all agreed upon a distinct and special interpretation."
These ideas were expressed to him in Spanish with great
distinctness, and repeated until he seemed to comprehend
their gist.

The savage pondered for a while, and then said: " I


do not believe you; those characters all seem alike; no
body can distinguish any difference among many of them;
you are trying to fool me, and make me believe you are
a great medicine man."

" Indian," I answered, " I will give you proof. You
see yonder man? He is the sutler. I will give you a
note to him, authorizing you to receive a piece of tobacco;
he is at least four hundred yards away, and cannot know
of this conversation. If he gives you the tobacco on the
reception of my note, you must believe."

"Very good; my white-eyed brother speaks well. I
will make the trial, and will see if he says truth."

The note was written and delivered to my copper-
colored friend, who started off on a brisk trot until he
reached the sutler, to whom he delivered his order.
Having read it, the sutler handed him a piece of tobacco,
which seemed greatly to excite his astonishment. My
friend looked at the weed, then scratched his head and
looked again, in undisguised wonderment, advancing
toward my tent steadily. "When within twenty yards, I
noticed his eyes gleam with suppressed satisfaction, and
hastily coming up, he said:

"Look here, white man, you try to make a fool of
poor Apache. You and the other man made this thing
up beforehand, to force me into the belief that you are a
great medicine. Now, if you want me to believe you,
just write another letter for another piece of tobacco, and
if he gives it to me, then I will believe."

It is needless to add that the cunning ruse of the
Apache to secure two pieces of tobacco, did not succeed.

Although my tent was so far removed from, the rest of
the Commission as to render me isolated from the pro
tection of my comrades, I never experienced any alarm,
as I possessed two very large and fine dogs, and was ac-


companied by my servant, Josd, a faithful and brave Mex
ican boy, of some nineteen years of age. My armory
consisted of four six-shooters, two rifles, a double-bar
reled shot gun, two bowie-knives, and plenty of ammu
nition for each weapon. I could discharge twenty-eight
shots without reloading, and backed by Jose and my
faithful dogs, which kept the strictest watch at night, I
was satisfied that a moderate band of Indians could be
kept at bay until assistance arrived. This fancied secur
ity was destroyed after a few weeks, by a circumstance
which will be related in a future chapter; but it required
very strong motives to induce my relinquishment of the
most pleasant location at the Copper Mines.


Mangas Colorado. His Personal Appearance, Power, and Influence. Indian
Forces at the Copper Mines. The Navajoes. Their Appearance and Sub
sequent Acts. Their Schemes Foiled. Mangas in Full Uniform. Strange
Mode of Attire. Inez Gonzales. Her Rescue. New Mexican Traders.
Summary Proceedings. Story of Inez. March into Sonora. Santa Cruz.
Restoration of Inez. Her subsequent History. Tanori.

MANGAS COLORADO, or Ked Sleeves, was, undoubtedly,
the most prominent and influential Apache who has
existed for a century. Gifted with a large and powerful
frame, corded with iron-like sinews and muscles, and
possessed of far more than an ordinary amount of brain
strength, he succeeded, at an early age, in winning a
reputation unequaled in his tribe. His daring exploits,
his wonderful resources, his diplomatic abilities, and his
wise teachings in council soon surrounded him with a
large and influential band, which gave him a sort of
prestige and sway among the various branches of his
race, and carried his influence from the Colorado river to
the Guadalupe mountains. Throughout Arizona and
New Mexico, Mangas Colorado was a power in the land.
Yet he could assume no authority not delegated to him
by his people. He never presumed to speak for them
as one having authority, but invariably said he would
use his influence to perform certain promises and engage
ments. Mangas, in one of his raids into Sonora, carried
off a handsome and intelligent Mexican girl, whom he
made his wife, to the exclusion of his Apache squaws.
This singular favoritism bred some trouble in the tribe


for a short time, but was suddenly ended by Mangas
challenging any of the offended brothers or relatives of
his discarded wives. Two accepted the wager, and both
were killed in fair duel. By his Mexican wife Mangas
had three really beautiful daughters, and through his
diplomatic ability, he managed to wive one with the chief
of the Navajoes; another with the leading man of the
Mescalero Apaches, and the third with the war chief of
th^ Coyoteros. By so doing, he acquired a very great
influence in these tribes, and, whenever he desired, could
obtain their assistance in his raids. His height was about
six feet; his head was enormously large, with a broad,
bold forehead, a large acquiline nose, a most capacious
mouth, and broad, heavy chin. His eyes were rather
small, but exceedingly brilliant and flashing when under
any excitement although his outside demeanor was as
imperturbable as brass. This is the man we met at the
Copper Mines; but as his name will be mentioned many
times in the course of this narrative, in connection with
his acts, no more need be added at present. His most
immediate counselors and attaches were Delgadito,
Ponce, Cuchillo Negro, Coletto Amarillo, El Chico, and
Pedro Azul. These were all appellations bestowed by
Mexicans, and not their Apache names, which I never

The Indian force about the Copper Mines amounted,
according to my calculations, to four hundred warriors,
who were no match for the three hundred well armed
and thoroughly organized the place. Four
or five weeks elapsed in amicable intercourse with the
Apaches; but from occasional expressions, I felt con
vinced that Mangas had sought aid for the purpose of
expelling us at the earliest possible moment. Nothing,
however, occurred to strengthen my suspicions, and I


had almost dismissed them entirely, when I was sur
prised one morning to see the camp full of strange sav
ages, who proved to be Navajoes, and were on the best
terms with the Apaches. The new comers were fine
looking, physically, but carried in their faces that name
less yet unmistakable impress of low cunning and
treachery, which I afterward found to be the leading-
traits of their tribe. Although they are of the great
Apache race, speaking identically the same language
and observing the same general habits of life in all
respects, yet they are far inferior in point of courage,
prowess, skill and intelligence. Five Apache warriors
will undertake and accomplish an exploit which no
fifty Navajoes would venture to perform. A. single
Apache will go off, unaided, and commit a daring rob
bery or murder which twenty Navajoes would shrink
from attempting.

Our new visitors were all mounted on small, but strong,
active and wiry looking horses, which they rode with
remarkable ease and grace. Feeling satisfied in m}^ own
mind that they had come there at the request of Mangas
Colorado, I advised Col. Craig of my suspicions, and he,
in turn, imparted the idea to Mr. Bartlett. We learned
that four hundred Navajo warriors were encamped on
the Gila river, only thirty miles distant, and knew that
the Indian Commissariat could not support so great a
number for any length of time, and that no such assem
blage would have been got together in that portion of
the country unless for some determined purpose. The
hunting grounds around the Copper Mines offered no
special inducement, as they must have crossed a hundred
and fifty miles of better hunting country to arrive where
they then were. There was no trading to rely upon, and
on special incentive other than to help Mangas in driv-


ing us out of the place, or assisting him to steal our

Their visits were very regular for three or four days,
when, probably finding us too strong and too much
on our guard to attack, they disappeared for a while, to
return some weeks after and help to carry off our horses
and mules. Daring their stay, my tent and its neigh
borhood were crowded with these savages, who asked me
a multitude of questions, but never answered one of
mine. This reticence on their part taught me a lesson,
and I soon learned to endure their presence with perfect
equanimity and nonchalance, smoking and replying to
their queries with a simple nod or wave of the hand.
My six-shooters and knife were always upon my person
duiing these interviews, and my boy Jose sat in the back
part of the tent with a Sharp's carbine and double bar
reled gun, well loaded with buckshot, within easy reach.
I never permitted a Navajo to get behind me, and, while
treating them with courtesy, gave them to understand
that I had no special feeling on the subject, but regarded
their visits as a matter of course.

It was a noticeable fact that neither Mangas Colorado
or any of his leading men ever mixed with the Navajoes
while in our camp, and judging this conduct somewhat
strained and unnatural, Mr. "Wiems and myself deter
mined to watch them. In pursuance of this object, we
saddled our horses one evening after the Indians had re
tired, for they were never permitted in camp after sun
set, and very quietly picked our way to their bivouac,
about two miles distant at that time. Gaining a slight
eminence that overlooked them, we applied our field
glasses, and, by the light of their fires, distinctly saw
Mangas and the principal men in close conference with
the leading Navajoes. This fact was also reported to


Col. Craig, who took additional precautions, which had
the effect of relieving us from the presence of the new
comers. In after years, it was my lot to make a very ex
tensive and sanguinary acquaintance with this tribe, and
the opportunity was improved to the utmost. Thousands
of them were subjected to my control, and quite a num
ber of them remembered me from the time we met at the
Copper Mines. In several conversations I accused them
of coming to aid Mangas, and assisting him in getting
rid of his unwelcome intruders; and on each occasion
they frankly admitted that they Lad visited the Copper
Mines with that intention. Mangas had sent messengers
to tell them that a large body of Americans had come
into his country; that they were very rich in horses,
mules, cotton cloth, beads, knives, pistols, rifles and
ammunition; that he was not strong enough to murder
and plunder us himself, and therefore required their aid,
in which case one half the plunder was to be theirs, in
the event of success. Lured by these promises, and
urged by their chief, who was the son-in-law of Mangas,
four hundred of them had come down to help that re
nowned warrior. They met in council, and agreed to
come in and spy out the land before commencing oper-
'ations, little supposing that we would discern any differ
ence between them and the Apaches proper. Should
matters promise well, a sudden attack was to be made
by their united forces; but if that was not practicable
without great loss of life on their part, then the system
of distressing us by stealing our animals and cutting off
small parties, was to be adopted. All these statements
I got from Manuelito and others, at Fort Sumner, thir
teen years after our occupation of the Copper Mines in
Arizona. The subject was frequently talked over, and
remembered as vividly as if it were a thing of yesterday.


Mr. Bartlett, in order to retain the supposed friend
ship of Mangas, had a fine pair of blue pants, ornamented
with a wide red stripe down the outside of the legs, made
for that respectable individual. To this were added a
good field officer's uniform and epaulettes, given by Col.
Craig, a new white shirt, black cravat, and an excellent
pair of new shoes, such as are furnished to our soldiers.
It was my duty to invest Mangas in his new suit, but
some difficulty was experienced in getting him to wear
his shirt inside of his pants instead of outside. After a
time he made his appearance in grande tenue, evidently in
love with his own elegant person. During the whole
day he strutted about the camp, the envied of all behold
ers, and as vain of his new dress as a peacock of his
feathers. The next day Mangas failed to put in an ap
pearance; but the day after he came, with his pantaloons
wrapped around his waist; his shirt, dirty and partly
torn, outside; his uniform coat buttoned to his chin;
one epaulet on his breast, and the other fastened, bul
lion down, between the hind buttons of his coat. In
this guise he fancied himself an object worthy of uni
versal admiration; and as he walked along, he would
turn his eyes over his shoulder to relish the brilliant
flashes of his posterior ornament. In less than a week,
coat, shirt, pants and epaulettes were sported by another
Indian after his fashion. Mangas had gambled them
away, and the wearer was the fortunate winner.

On the evening of the 27th of June, 1850, Mr. W.
Bausman, Mr. J. E. "Wierns and myself were standing in
front of the sutler's store, when we perceived a light,
resembling a camp fire, about two hundred yards distant,
near the banks of the creek. We knew that Indians
were prohibited from being there after sundown, and as
none of the Commission dwelt in that direction, it was


agreed to go and find out who were the campers about
the fire. We approached cautiousty, and found our
selves in a bivouac of Indians and Mexicans. Among
them was a young and handsome girl, clothed in a tat
tered chemise, with a buckskin skirt, and another skin
thrown over her shoulders. This girl, who was not an In
dian, appeared to be the waitress of the party, for whom
she was preparing supper. As our approach had not
been observed, we quietly proceeded to the cook fire,
which was about four yards from the party, and I asked
the girl, in a low voice, who those people were. She
seemed evidently alarmed, and refusing to answer, hur
ried away to wait upon her associates. We remained until
she came back, when I told her that it was necessary for
U3 to know who they were; to which she placed her fin
ger on her lips, and betokened that she dared not tell.
The question was, however, pressed, when she stated in
a whisper that she was a captive, and that the Mexicans
present had just bought her, and were going to convey
her to New Mexico. As this thing was specially prohib
ited by the United States laws, we made our way imme
diately to Mr. Bartlett and laid the matter before that
gentleman for his consideration. With great prompt
itude Mr. Bartlett communicated the facts, in writing,
to Col. Craig, and asked that gallant officer for a v force
to rescue the girl from her unhappy condition. This re
quest was granted as soon as possible, and Lieut. Green
was ordered to take a file of men and bring the girl be
fore the Commissioner. This was done without delay,
and the captive placed for the night under the care of
Mr. Bartlett, who assigned her a comfortable room, and
placed a proper guard over her quarters.

In the meantime the Apaches had slipped away, but a
guard was put over the Mexican traders for the night.


Next day they were summoned before the Commissioner
to account for their possession of the girl, and their in
tentions as to her future disposal. Next morning the
traders respectively gave their names as Peter Blacklaws
a very appropriate nomenclature Pedro Archeveque,
which, being translated, means Peter Archbishop a very
inappropriate name and Faustin Yaldes. The testimony
extracted from these men was extremely conflicting, but
the tenor of it went to show that they were engaged, with
some fifty others, in unlawful barter and trade with the
Indians, selling them powder and arms, probably, in ex
change for female Mexican captives of attractive persons,
horses, skins, etc. Mr. Bartlett felt fully authorized to
deprive them of the captive, but having no authority to
punish the scoundrels, they were released; they were im
mediately af terwards waited upon by several gentlemen
of the Commission, who gave them to understand that
any delay in getting out of that place would be attended
with imminent danger. In less than twenty minutes they
had left the Copper Mines, poorer but wiser men.

The young captive gave her name as Inez Gonzales,
the eldest child of Jesus Gonzales, of Santa Cruz, on the
frontier of Sonora. About nine months previous, she
had left Santa Cruz with her uncle, aunt, a female friend
and her friend's brother, for the purpose of being pres
ent at the grande fiesta de Nuestra Senora de la Magda-
lena, or, the grand feast of our Lady of Magdalena.
They were protected by a military escort of ten soldiers
and an ensign. The second day of their journey they
were ambushed by a large party of El Pinal Apaches,
who killed her uncle and eight soldiers, including their
officer, and carried off her and her two female friends,
with the boy. For seven months she had been in their
power, and made to perform all the hard labor of an


Apache squaw, receiving kicks and blows as her reward.
One old woman of the tribe, who had a tongue which
made even the warriors quail, however, took a passing
fancy for Inez, and from that time protected her from
insult or harm so long as she remained among them.
Her companions in captivity were subsequently pur
chased by a band of New Mexican traders, who took
them olT in a northerly direction. She never saw or
heard of them afterwards. A second party had seen and
purchased her, with the view of taking her to Santa Fe,
for speculative and villainous purposes, when she was
rescued by the Commission, every member of which vied
with each other to extend their protection and care over
this poor and suffering girl. Although she remained
among us until her restoration to her parents and home,
the sequel of her adventures will be given now.

On the morning of the 27th of August, exactly two
months from the date of her rescue, the Commission left
the Copper Mines, to prosecute its duties in the field,
and as it had become necessary to visit Sonora again,
Mr. Bartlett determined upon giving himself the gratifi
cation of restoring the fair Inez to the arms of her mourn
ing mother. After many days' wandering, during which
our small party was frequently reduced to only five or
six,- by reason of sending off occasional detachments,
and after having lost our way and been forced to the
necessity of living upon purslain and water for several
successive days, we finally arrived near the town of Santa
Cruz, on the 22d of September, nearly a month subse
quent to leaving the Copper Mines. On the morning of
the 23d, just one year to a day from the date of her cap
ture, two men were dispatched to inform the family of
Inez of her safety, and to add that she would be with
her relations in four or five hours. About three miles


from town we met a large and joyous party of Mexicans,
arrayed in their gaudiest holiday costumes, and headed
by the mother of our fair charge. They had come out to
welcome her return and release from captivity among the
Apaches, a thing never before known to have occurred.
Mr. Bartlett conceded to me the privilege of placing Inez
into the longing arms of her mother, who, after repeated
embraces, and amidst alternate tears, prayers, thanks
givings and joyous cries, yielded her place to the strong
but inferior claims of other relatives and friends, all of
whom ardently and most affectionately embraced her by
turns. It was one of the most affecting scenes conceiva
ble, and, in joyous procession, the whole party entered
the town, amidst the loudest acclamations of the entire
population. Inez immediately entered the church, where
the good priest was in attendance, and went through a
solemn ceremony and thanksgiving. These scenes and
all their attendant circumstances have ever been among
the most pleasant in my remembrance. They form a
delicious oasis amidst the unpleasant recollections of
" man's inhumanity to man/' Her own father had been
deceased for some years, and the mother of Inez was
then married to a man named Ortis, a very excellent,
honest and reliable Mexican, who testified quite as much
joy at her release from a captivity far worse than death,
as if she had been his own child.

The future career of this young and attractive girl,
whose fate was so suddenly and providentially changed,
is worthy of record.

Some months after the Commission left, on its way to
ward California, Inez attracted and secured the admira
tion of a Captain Gomez in the Mexican Regular Army,
and, at that time, in command of the frontier town of
Tubac. The relaxed state of morals among the Mexi-


cans seemed to warrant the poor girl in becoming his
mistress for a time, but he subsequently made amends
by marrying her and legitimatizing the two fine boys she
bore him. Many years passed before I again saw or
heard of Inez, and it was not until the fall of 1862, that
I learned, while in Tucson, that she was still alive, but
quite unwell. Capt., Gomez had been dead some years,
and she was again married to the Alcalde of Santa Cruz,
and had borne him two children a boy and a girl. Hav
ing casually learned that I was in Tucson, and an officer
in the Union Army, she dispatched me a letter, begging
that I would order some one of our physicians to visit
and prescribe for her. Of course, the poor girl, in her
ignorance, had asked what it was impossible to grant,
and I sadly dismissed the subject from my mind.

In 1864, it was again my lot to be within fifty miles of
Santa Cruz, when a bold Opatah Indian chief, named
Tanori, who had been commissioned as Colonel by Max
imilian, had the temerity to cross our frontier with
nearly seven hundred men and fire upon the people of
the American town of San Gabriel, located two miles
north of the dividing line, and fourteen miles from Santa
Cruz. The excuse for this outrage was, that he had pur
sued the Liberal General, Jesus Garcia Morales, across
our lines, and that he had not transcended his duty in so
doing. Complaint of this raid having been made to me
by the town authorities of San Gabriel, I immediately
took the saddle, with one hundred and forty troopers,
and marched straight to that place. Upon my arrival, I
obtained affidavits of all the facts, and, having received
permission from the acknowledged authorities of Sonora,
determined to pursue Tanori and punish that gentleman
for his audacious conduct.

He had retired upon Santa Cruz, whither I followed


without delay; but, hearing of our approach, he has
tened forward to Imurez with wonderful celerity, and,
although the Adjutant, Lieut. Coddington, was dis
patched, at speed, to request a delay on his part so that
we could arrange matters, he excused himself by saying
that ' ' his orders were imperative to reach Ures without
delay/' As a proof with what rapidity the Mexican in
fantry can cover the ground when an enemy is in pur
suit, it is a fact that Tanori, with over six hundred men,
mostly infantry, made the march from Santa Cruz to
Imurez, a distance of forty-three miles, in the space of
nine hours. He left Santa Cruz at five o'clock in the
morning, and I subsequently learned that he conversed
with the party from whom I Deceived my information, in
the town of Imurez, at two o'clock in the afternoon of
the same day. About three hundred of his men were
there with him at the time mentioned.

My trip to Santa Cruz offered me the opportunity to
visit Inez, whom I found to be the respected wife of the
chief and most influential man in that little community.
She has an affectionate husband, who is by no means
cramped for this world's goods; is surrounded by a fine
and promising family of three boys and a girl, and is uni
versally esteemed for her many excellent qualities. It
is needless to state that my reception was most cordial
and enthusiastic. This sequel of her history will un
doubtedly be received with sincere pleasure by all who
were members of Mr. Bartlett's Commission, and by none
with more interest than Mr. Bartlett and Dr. "Webb.


Rescue of Two Mexican Boys. War Talk. Exciting Scene. Peaceful Termina
tion. Large Indian Forces. An Apache lulled by a Mexican. Intense
Excitement. Fearless Conductor Col. Craig. The Apaches Pacified.
Another War Talk. Amicable Kesult. Necessity of Firmness and Pre

IT lias already been stated that my tent was pitched
several hundred yards from the rest of the Commission,
and hidden from the view of my companions by an in
tervening hillock. This fact rendered me far more cau
tious than I otherwise would have been. Several days
subsequent to the rescue of Inez, the afternoon being
exceedingly hot and sultry, I was lying on my cot read
ing a work borrowed from Dr. "Webb, while Joso was
busy in front of the tent, washing some clothes in the
pool. A very large number of Apaches were in our camp
that clay, but had not disturbed me, as was their usual
custom. Suddenly, two boys, evidently Mexicans, darted
into my tent, got under my cot, and concealed them
selves between the side of the tent and the drooping
blankets. This visitation, in such an abrupt and irregu
lar manner, excited my surprise, and I asked who they
were and what they wanted. ee Somos Mejicanos, cabal-
lero, y estamos cautivos con los Apaches, y nos hemos escon-
dido aqui para escaparles. Por Dios no nos rinde otra
vez entre ellos," which means in English "We are Mex
icans, sir, and we are captives among the Apaches, and
we have hidden here to escape them. For God's sake,
do not deliver us again among them."


I called to Jos3, and asked: "Are there any Indians
close by."

"No, sir," he replied, "but they are coming this

I instantly jumped from the cot, thrust two six-shoot
ers in my belt, took two more in my hands, one in each,
ordered Josd to sling the carbine over his shoulder and
carry the double-barreled gun in his hands, and telling
,the boys to keep close to my side one on the right and
the other on the left I sallied from the tent with the de
termination to take these captives to the Commissioner,
for his disposal.

We had not proceeded twenty yards before a band of
some thirty or forty surrounded us, and with menacing
words ,and gestures, demanded the instant release of
their captives; but, having made up my mind, I was de
termined to carry out my intention at all risks. I told
Joso to place his back to mine, cock his gun and shoot
the first Indian he saw bend his bow or give sign of ac
tive hostility; while, with a cocked pistol in each hand,
we went circling round, so as to face all parts of the ring
in succession, at the same time warning the savages to
keep their distance. In this manner we accomplished
about two hundred yards, when my situation was per
ceived by several gentlemen of the Commission, and,
drawing their pistols, they advanced to my aid. The
Indians relinguished their attempts and accompanied us
peaceably to the Commissioner, to whom I surrendered
the boys and detailed the aifair. The boys were respect
ively named Savero Aredia and Josd Trinfan, the former
aged thirteen, and a native of Bacuachi, in Sonora, and
the latter aged about eleven, and a native of Fronteras,
in the same State. The next day at night, Mr. Bartlett
sent them to the camp of Gen. Garcia Conde, the Mexi-


can Commissioner. They were accompanied by a strong
guard, which delivered them safely to the General, who
subsequently restored them to their respective families,
much to their wonder and gratification.

Four or five days afterward, Mangas Colorado, Ponce,
Delgadito, Cuchillo Negro, Coletto Amarillo, and some
two hundred warriors, together with the fellow who
claimed the boys, entered the Copper Mines, to have a
" big talk." Mr. Bartlett was not at all displeased to see
them, and determined to settle the matter at once. The
mass of Indians formed themselves in a semicircle, two
and three deep, facing the door of the room in which the
talk was had, while the principal men and about a dozen
of the Commission, well armed, occupied a large room
in our adobe building. Pipes and tobacco were handed
round and a "cloud blown" before the real business of
the seance commenced. About a hundred and fifty of
the Commission were near at hand with their arms ready.
After a long and profound silence, the conversation was
commenced by Mangas Colorado, on the part of the
Apaches, and by myself, on the part of the Americans,
every expression of the savages being taken down in
writing, and then translated to Mr. Bartlett, who dic
tated a reply, if anything important occurred to him, or
allowed the interpreter to respond, as the circumstances
would permit. As the succeeding recital of the interview
was originally written out in full by myself, and handed
to Mr. Bartlett as the official record, and subsequently
published by him without alteration, I deem myself jus
tified in making use of it for this work.

Mangas Colorado spoke and said: "Why did you take
our captives from us ?"

Reply. "Your captives came to us and demanded our


Mangos Colorado. "You came to our country. You
were well received. Your lives, your property, your an
imals were safe. You passed by ones, by twos, by threes
through our country. You went and came in peace.
Your strayed animals were always brought home to you
again. Our wives, our women and children came here
and visited your houses. We were friends we were
brothers! Believing this, we came among you and
brought our captives, relying on it that we were brothers
and that you would feel as we feel. We concealed noth
ing. We came not secretly nor in the night. We came
in open day, and before your faces, and showed our cap
tives to you. We believed your assurances of friendship,
and we trusted them. Why did you take our captives
from us ?"

Reply. "What we have said to you is true. We do
not tell lies. The greatness and dignity of our nation
forbid our doing so mean a thing. What our brother
has said is true and good also. We will now tell him
why we took his captives away. Four years ago, we, too,
were at war with Mexico. We know that the Apaches
make a distinction between Chihuahua and So-nora.
They are now at peace with Chihuahua, but at war with
Sonora. We, in our war, did not make that distinction.
The Mexicans, whether living in one or the other State,
are all one nation, and we fought them as a nation.
When the war was over, in which we conquered, we made
peace with them. They are now our friends, and by the
terms of the peace we are bound to protect them. We
told you this when we first came here, and requested you
to cease from hostility against Mexico. Time passed',
and we grew very friendly; everything went well. You
came in here with your captives. Who were those cap
tives? Mexicans; the very people we told you we were


bound to protect. We took them from you and sent
them to Gen. Garcia Conde, who will set them at liberty
in their own country. We mean to show you that we
cannot lie. We promised protection to the Mexicans,
and we gave it to them. We promise friendship and
protection to you, and we will give them to you. If we
had not done so to Mexico, you would not believe us
with regard to yourselves. We cannot lie."

During the above conversation, which was carried on
in a slow and dignified manner, Ponce was becoming
very much excited, altogether too much so for an Indian,
and being unable to restrain himself any longer, he
arose, and, with many gesticulations, said:

Ponce. "Yes, but you took our captives without be
forehand cautioning us. We were ignorant of this prom
ise to restore captives. They were made prisoners in
lawful warfare. They belong to us. They are our prop
erty. Our people have also been made captives by Mex
icans. If we had known of this thing, we would not have
come here. We would not have placed that confidence
in you."

Reply. "Our brother speaks in anger, and without
reflection. Boys and women lose their temper, but men
reflect and argue; and he who has reason and justice on
his side, wins. No doubt, you have suffered much by
the Mexicans. This is a question in which it is impossi
ble for us to tell who is wrong, or who is right. You
and the Mexicans accuse each other of being the aggres
sors. Our duty is to fulfill our promise to both. This
opportunity enables us to show to Mexico that we mean
what we say, and when the time comes, we will be ready
and prompt to prove the good faith of our promises to

Ponce. "I am neither a boy nor a squaw. lama


man and a brave. I speak with reflection. I know what
I say. I speak of the wrongs we have suffered and those
you now do us." Then, placing his hand on my shoulder,
he said in a very excited manner "You must not speak
any more. Let some one else speak."

As this was rather more than I had bargained for, I
Immediately placed both hands on his shoulders, and,
crushing him down on the floor, I said :

' ' I want you to understand that / am the veiy one to
speak the only one who can speak to you. Now, stay
there. Do you sit down. You are a squaw and no
brave. I will select a man to speak for the Apaches.
Delgadito (beckoning to that warrior) do you come here
and speak for your nation."

It is impossible to describe the smothered rage of
Ponce, but he saw there was no chance, and never again
uttered a word during the session.

Delgadito then arose and said : ' ' Let my brother de
clare the mind of his people."

Reply. "We wish to explain to our Apache brethren
why we have done this thing, and what we can do for
the late owner of those captives. We know that you
have not acted secretly or in the dark. You came in
open day, and brought your captives among us. We
took them in open day, in obedience to orders from our
great chief at Washington. The great chief of our na
tion said : ' You must take all the Mexican captives you
meet among the Apaches and set them at liberty.' We
cannot disobey this order, and for this reason we have
taken away your captives."

Delgadito. "We cannot doubt the words of our brave
white brethren. The Americans are braves. We know
it, and we believe a brave scorns to lie. But the owner
of these captives is poor. He cannot lose his prisoners,


who were obtained at the risk of his life, and purchased
by the blood of his relatives. He justly demands his
captives. We are his friends, and wish to see this de
mand complied with. It is just, and as justice we de
mand it."

Reply. "We will tell our Apache brethren what can
be done. The captives cannot be restored. The Com
missioner cannot buy them. No American can buy them ;
but there is a Mexican in our employ who is anxious to
buy and restore them to their homes. We have no ob
jection that he should do so; and if he is not rich enough"
some of us will lend him the means."

Delgadito. "The owner does not wish to sell; he
wants his captives."

Eeply. " Our brother has already been told that this
cannot be. We do not speak with two tongues. Make
up your minds."

A short consultation was then held among the leading
Apaches, after which Delgadito said: " The owner wants
twenty horses for them."

Reply. "The Apache laughs at his white brother. He
thinks him a squaw, and that he can play with him as
with an arrow. Let the Apache say again."

Delgadito. "The brave who owns these captives does,
not want to sell. He has had one of these boys six years.
He grew up under him. His heart-strings are bound
around him. He is as a son to his old age. He speaks
our language, and he cannot sell him. Money cannot
buy affection. His heart cannot be sold. He taught
him to string the bow and wield the lance. He loves the
boy and cannot sell him."

Reply. "We are sorry that this thing should be. We
feel for our Apache brother, and would like to lighten
his heart. But it is not our fault. Our brother has fixed


his affection on the child of his enemy. It is very noble.
But our duty is stern. "We cannot avoid it. It wounds
our hearts to hurt our friends; but if they were our own
children, and the duty of the law said: ' Part with them;
part with them/ we would. Let our Apache brother re
flect, and name his price."

Delgadito. tt 'Wh&i will you give?"

To which Mr. Bartlett replied: " Come and I will show

The whole conclave then broke up and adjourned to
the^ Commissary's stores, where goods, such as calicoes,
blankets and sheetings, to the value of two hundred and
fifty dollars were laid out for their acceptance. This was
more than Apache cupidity could stand; the bargain was
soon closed, and the affair passed away in peace. But it
was never forgotten, and I felt positive that the time
would come when they would endeavor to wreak their ill-
concealed vengeance. My expectations were justified by
the result, for they ultimately stole nearly two hundred
head of animals from the Commission.

At this period the band of Mangas Colorado, number
ing some three hundred warriors, remained encamped
about four miles distant, while that of Delgadito, num
bering nearly as many, occupied the valley of the Mim-
bres river, eighteen miles off. At the same time four
hundred Navajoes occupied the banks of the Gila, distant
twenty-eight miles. We were thus placed between three
large Indian forces, but took no notice of the fact, con
tinuing our hunting excursions in twos and threes with
as much apparent indifference as ever, and adopting the
precaution of taking our six-shooters and plenty of am
munition, as well as our rifles.

On the 6th of July, a Mexican, named Jesus Lopez, in
the employ of the Commission, had a dispute with an


Apache, which terminated by the Mexican shooting his
savage friend. Large numbers of Apaches, including
Mangas Colorado and several prominent men, were in
our camp at the time, but in a moment they mounted
their active ponies and were fleeing in all directions. Col.
Craig called upon me to follow him, and we rushed out
and up the hills after the Apaches, telling them not to
go, that we were friends, that the murderer was already
a prisoner, and that full justice would be done them.
Affcer many persuasions, we induced them to calm their
fears and come back. The prisoner was shown them
with chains on his feet in care of the guard; while the
wounded man was taken to the hospital and accorded
every assistance. He lingered for a month and then
died, surrounded by his friends, who had been witnesses
to the care bestowed upon him. This affair brought on
another talk, which took place a few days after his burial,
which was performed by his own people in secret, having
declined the offer of a coffin and sepulture at our hands.

A large body of Apaches had congregated to hear the
talk, and they were evidently determined to have the
best of it on this occasion. They had made up their
minds to have the blood of the slayer, and had they suc
ceeded would have attributed their triumph to fear on
our part. Mr. Bartlett was quite as determined that
American law only should have weight, and I was pre
pared for a lively scene. On that day the Commissary's
and Sutler's stores were closed, and every man of us
stood ready for active duty at a moment's warning. The
smoking process over, the Apaches were addressed as fol
lows, the same rules being observed as on the former

Commissioner. "I feel sad, as well as all the Ameri
cans here, and sympathize with our Apache brothers for


the death of one of their braves. "We are all friends.
The dead man was our friend, and we regret his loss. I
know that he committed no offence; that he even did not
provoke the attack upon him. But our Apache brethren
must remember that it was not by the hand of an Amer
ican he died. It was by that of a Mexican, though em
ployed by the Commissioner. For this reason it is my
duty to see justice done you, and the murderer pun
ished. I am here in command of the party engaged in
tracing the dividing line between the United States the
country of the Americans and Mexico. I have fully
explained this to you before, and you now understand
it. Beyond this I have no powers. The great chief of
the Americans lives far, very far, toward the rising sun.
From him I received my orders, and those orders I must
obey. I cannot interfere in punishing any man, whether
an Indian, a Mexican, or an American. There is another
great chief who lives at Santa Fe. He is the Governor
of all New Mexico. This great chief administers the
laws of the Americans. He alone can inflict punishment
when a man has been found guilty. To this great chief
I will send the murderer of our Apache brother. He
will try him, and if found guilty, will have him punished
according to American laws. This is all I can do. Such
is the disposition I will make of this man. It is all I
have a right to do."

To my surprise, Ponce arose to reply; he said: "This
is all very good. The Apaches know that the Americans
are their friends. The Apaches believe what the Ameri
cans say is true. They know that the Americans do not
speak with two tongues. They know that you have never
told them a lie. They know that you will do what you
say. But the Apaches will not be satisfied to hear that
the murderer has been punished in Santa Fe. They


want him punished here, at the Copper Mines, where the
band of the dead brave may see him put to death where
all the Apaches may see him put to death. (Here Ponce
made the sign of suspending by the neck.) Then the
Apaches will see and know that their American brothers
do justice to them."

Commissioner. "I will propose another plan to the
Apaches. It is to keep the murderer in chains, as you
now see him; to make him work, and give all he earns to
the wife and family of your dead brave. This I will see
paid in blankets, in cotton cloth, in corn, in money, or
anything else the family may like. I will give them all
that is now due to the man, and at the end of every
month I will give the.m twenty dollars in goods or in
money. When the cold season comes, these women and
children will come in and receive their blankets and
cloth to keep them warm, and corn to satisfy their hun

Ponce. "You speak well. Your promises are good.
But money will not satisfy an Apache for the blood of a
brave ! Thousands will not drown the grief of this poor
woman for the loss of her son. Would money satisfy an
American for the murder of his people ? Would money
pay you, Senor Commissioner, for the loss of your child?
No; money will not bury your grief. It will not bury
ours. The mother of the dead brave demands the life
of his murderer. Nothing else will satisfy her. She
wants no money. She wants no goods. She wants no
corn. Would money satisfy me (striking his breast) for
the death of my son ? No ! I would demand the blood of
the murderer. Then I would be satisfied. Then I would
be willing to die myself. I would not wish to live and
feel the grief which the loss of my son would cause me."

Reply. "Your words are good. You speak with the


heart of feeling. I feel as you do. All the Americans
feel as you do. Our hearts are sad at your loss. We
mourn with this poor woman. We will do all we can to
assist her and her family. I know that neither money nor
goods will pay for her loss. I do not want the Apaches,
my brothers, so to consider it. What I propose is for
the good of this family. My wish is, to make them com
fortable. I desire to give them the aid of which they are
deprived by the loss of their protector. If the prisoner's
life is taken, your desire for revenge is satisfied. Law and
justice are satisfied; but this poor woman gets nothing.
She and her family remain poor. They have no one to
labor for them. Will it not be better to provide for
their wants?"

A short interchange of opinions occurred at this period
of the proceedings, and the mother of the murdered man
was called on for her decision. Acting under the influ
ence of the leading warriors, whose object is stated at
the opening of this chapter, she vehemently demanded
the blood of her son's slayer, and stated her determina
tion to be satisfied with nothing else. In accordance
with this decision Ponce resumed and said :

1 'If an Apache should take the life of an American,
would you not make war on us and take many Apache
lives ? "

Eeply. "No; I would demand the arrest of the mur
derer, and would be satisfied to have him punished as
the Apaches punish those who commit murder. Did not
a band of Apaches attack a small party of Americans,
very recently, on the Janos road? Did they not kill one
of them and wound three others with their arrows ? And
did they not take from them all their property ? You all
know this to be true, and I know it to be true. I passed
near the spot where it took place, three days afterward.


The Apaches did not even bury their victim. They left
him lying by the wayside, food for the crows and the
wolves. Why do not these Americans revenge them
selves on you for this act? They are strong enough.
They have many warriors, and in a few days can bring
a thousand more here. But there would be no justice
in that. The Americans believe this murder was com
mitted by your bad men by cowards. The Apaches
have bad men among them; but you who are now among
us are our friends, and we will not demand redress of
you. Yet, as I told you before, you must endeavor to
find the men who killed our brother, and punish them.
Our animals feed in your valleys. Some of your bad
men might steal them, as they have already done; but
the Americans would not make war on you for this. We
hold you responsible, and shall call on you to find them
and bring them back, as you have done. While the
Apaches continue to do this, the Americans will be their
friends and their brothers. But if the Apaches take our
property and do not restore it, they can no longer be the
friends of the Americans. War will then follow; thou
sands of soldiers will take possession of your lands, your
grazing valleys, and your watering places. They will
destroy every Apache warrior they find, and take your
women and children captives."

This rather menacing speech, with the firmness and
determination evinced, brought our copper colored and
belligerent visitors to a proper sense of the case, and
after considerable "pow-wow" among themselves, the
mother of the deceased agreed to leave the punishment
of the murderer to the determination of our own laws,
and to receive as equivalent for his loss all the money
due the prisoner, and twenty dollars a month, the amount
of his wages, while we remained at the Copper Mines.


During the foregoing talk I learned the important fact,
that coolness and quiet determination will almost always
overawe and subdue an Indian, provided the right is on
your side. But however much he may yield, one may
make sure that he will seize the first favorable opportunity
to "get even." Should such an opportunity never occur,
it becomes his cherished object to wreak his vengeance
on the next comer, entirely regardless of his antecedents.
For this reason the utmost caution is always necessary;
because, although one may feel wholly guiltless of act or
intention against the savages, he is held strictly respon
sible by them for the acts and intentions of his prede


Jornada del Mucrto. Socorro. Lieut. Campbell. Terrific Ride for Life.
Splendid Horse. Narrow Escape. Caring for a Horse. Apache Visits.
Treacherous Nature.

SOME time after the events above recorded, it became
necessary for me to visit the town of Socorro, in New
Mexico, for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of
sheep. It was niy most excellent fortune to possess a
horse whose equal I have never seen. "With high cour
age and almost fabulous powers of endurance; strong,
swift and handsome, I had made him a special pet, and
nobly did he answer my appeal when occasion demanded.

At that time Fort Craig had no existence, and the
space between Dona Ana and Socorro a distance of one
hundred and twenty-five miles is a large desert, well
supplied with fine grama grass in some portions, but ab
solutely destitute of water or shade for ninety-six miles.
This intervening strip of territory is known by the unat
tractive appellation of the Jornada del Muerto, or the
Dead Man's Journey. Why it ever received this title I
never distinctly learned, but suppose it was on account
of the very numerous massacres committed on it by the
Apache Indians. On the east the road is fringed for
about sixty miles by the Sierra Blanca, a noted strong
hold of that people; and from its heights they are ena
bled distinctly to perceive any party of travelers coming-
over the wide and unsheltered expanse of the Jornada del
Mnerto. As the plain affords no opportunity for ambush,


they come sweeping upon the unsuspecting immigrant in
more than usual numbers, and if successful in their at
tack, invariabty destroy all of -the party; for there is no
possible chance of escape, and the Apaches never take
any prisoners but women and young children, and they
become captives for life.

At Socorro was a small American garrison, consisting
of about half a company of the Second Dragoons, com
manded by Lieut. Reuben Campbell, an officer whose
acquaintance I had made during the Mexican war, and
for whom I entertained a sincere regard.

I left Dona Ana about three o'clock A. M., and traveled
leisurely until four in the afternoon, when I unsaddled
my horse, staked him to a strong picket pin planted in a
field of fine grass, and laid down under the lee side of a
cactus to catch a modicum of shade. At twelve, mid
night, I resumed my journey, and reached Socorro next
day about eleven o'clock A. M., having traveled during
the cool of the night at a much more rapid pace. Dur
ing the trip I neither saw an Indian nor an Indian sign;
and here let me add that the Apaches of the Jornada, or
more properly the Mescalero Apaches, were at the time
in a state of active hostility.

Most pleasantly did I pass two days with Lieut. Camp
bell, rehearsing scenes and incidents of the Mexican war,
and each metaphorically "shouldering his crutch to show
how fields were won." Having refreshed myself and
rested my noble horse, I took leave of Campbell on the
morning of the third day, at three o'clock, when we took
the doch and dorrish with mutual wishes for each other's

My trip up had been unaccompanied by any event of
interest, and I sincerely hoped that my journey down
would be equally tame and spiritless; but this was not to


be. I saved my noble beast all I could, frequently dis
mounting and leading him by the bridle, so as to retain
his strength and speed in case of necessity. In this way
we jogged on until about three o'clock in the afternoon,
by which time we had accomplished about fifty miles,
leaving some seventy-five yet to go. The sun was in
tensely oppressive, and glared like a shield of red-hot
brass. A friendly bush, surrounded with fine grass, and
standing about one hundred yards to the left of the hard
and splendid natural road which runs through four-fifths
of the Jornada, invited me to partake of its modest shade,
and I turned my horse in that direction, but was sur
prised at noticing a column of dust to my left, in the di
rection of the Sierra Blanca, which had the appearance
of being in violent motion, and coming my way. In
stinctively I felt that it was caused by Apaches; and I
took the precaution to tighten my horse's girths, see that
the saddle was properly placed and re-cap my four six-
shooters, two of which were in my belt, and two in my
holsters. I also untied a Mexican serape, or blanket,
which was lashed to the after part of my saddle, and
doubling it, I passed it over my shoulders and tied it
under my chin by a stout buckskin thong. By this time
the character of the coming party was unmistakable, and
they were evidently bent on cutting me off from the road.
My gallant horse seemed to appreciate the condition of
affairs almost as well as I, and bounded on like a bird.
The pursuing party failed in their first attempt and en
tered the road about three hundred } r ards in my rear.
Perceiving that my horse was infinitely superior in speed
and power, I drew rein to save him all that I could, and
allowed the Indians to come within fifty yards. There
were some forty of them, and none with fire-arms, but
mainly supplied with lances, only five or six of the num-


ber carrying bows and arrows. These last named pro
jectiles commenced to whistle near me; but I paid no
heed, keeping steadily on my course, until one pene
trated my blanket; but the effect was completely de
stroyed by the fluttering of its heavy double folds, which
were kept in a rattling motion by the speed at which we
were going. Perceiving that the force of the arrow had
been neutralized, I drew a heavy holster pistol, and
wheeling half round in my saddle, pointed it at the sav
ages. This caused them to fall back in some alarm, and
I took advantage of that fact to redouble my speed for a
mile or so, gaining some six hundred yards on my pur
suers, when I again drew rein to save my horse.

It required a long time for them to again recover shoot
ing distance, but their yells and cries were perpetual.
In this manner, alternately checking and speeding my
horse, and ^presenting my pistol at the savages, we
scoured over many miles of that infernal Jornada. Sev
eral arrows were sticking in my blanket; one had grazed
rny right arm, just bringing blood, and the other had
touched my left thigh. I then became convinced that
my horse was the main object of their pursuit. His
value and unequaled qualities were well known to the
Apaches, and they resolved to have him, if possible. Of
course, my life would have been sacrificed, if they could
only manage that little affair. I had bought the horse
of Capt. A. Buford, First United States Dragoons, who
assured me that his equal did not exist in the Territory.
He had been offered a hundred mustangs for the horse
by a Mescalero Apache, but refused, on the ground that
he could take care of one animal with ease; but if he
possessed a hundred, the Apaches would be likely to
steal them at any moment while grazing.

Near the foot of the Jornada, the road takes a bold


sweeping curve to the left, toward Dofia Ana, being in
terrupted by a low but rugged series of small hills and
deep ravines. About eight o'clock P. M. , the moon being
bright and not a cloud visible, I dashed round the first
hill, and was surprised to note that the Apaches had ap
parently given up the chase, for I neither heard nor saw
any more of them, although I was about four hundred
yards ahead. Suddenly it flashed upon my mind that
they might have some short cut-off, and had pursued it
with the intention of heading me. For the first time I
struck my rowels into the reeking flanks of my poor
steed, and most gallantly did he respond to this last call.
He fairly flew over the road. Hill after hill was passed
with wonderful rapidity until nearly a quarter of an hour
had elapsed, when I again heard my Apache friends,
about eighty yards in my rear. No sooner did they per
ceive that their design had been penetrated and frus
trated, than they recommenced their yells with additional
vigor. But their horses were blown, as well as mine.
They had come at their best pace the whole way, while
mine had been saved from time to time. If I had come
fifty miles at a slow gait in the early day, they had come
fifteen at dead speed before they reached to where our
race began.

In this manner we continued our career until I arrived
within five miles of Dofia Ana, about eleven o'clock p. M. ,
when, feeling myself comparatively safe, I commenced
emptying the cylinders of my heavy holster pistols among
them. Their cries and yells were fearful at this time,
but I did not cease firing until they had fallen back out of
reach. The remainder of my journey was made without
company, and I reached Dona Ana about twelve o'clock
midnight, having made the distance of one hundred and
twenty-five miles, on one horse, in the space of twenty-


one hours,, the last seventy miles being performed at a

So soon as I arrived, I threw off my serape, which had
quite a number of arrows sticking* in it, called my boy,

, Jos 5, and rubbed my horse down dry with good, soft
straw. This operation required about two hours. I then
washed him all over with strong whisky and water, and
again rubbed him dry. This was followed by taking off
his shoes, and giving him about two quarts of whisky and
water as a draught. His whole body and limbs were
then swathed in blankets, a mess of cut hay, sprinkled
with water and mixed with a couple of pounds of raw
steak, cut into small pieces, was given him to eat, and a
deep bed of clean dry straw prepared for .him to sink
into. These duties kept me up until five o'clock A. M.,

- w r hen I refreshed my inner man with a wholesome whisky
toddy, prepared by Buford, and sought repose, from
which I did not awaken for all that day and the succeed
ing night. On the second day after the above adventure,
I visited my horse and found him in as fine condition as
any one could reasonably expect. He was neither foun
dered nor injured in any ostensible manner. On many
a subsequent occasion he served me with equal zeal and
capability, but never more under such exciting circum
stances. Several efforts were afterwards made by the
Apaches to get possession of that noble beast, but, I am
proud and happy to add, invariably without success. At
the Copper Mines he was saved to me by mere .accident.
On a certain occasion, remembering that he had lost a
shoe, I sent Jos 3 to bring him from the herd then graz~
ing about a mile distant, under the care of a guard. The
order was immediately obeyed, and in half an hour after
ward the whole herd was carried off by the Apaches.
It may be entered up as an invariable rule, that the


visits of Apaclies to American camps are always for sin
ister purposes. They have nothing to trade for: conse
quently, it is not barter that brings them. They beg,
but in no wise comparably with other Indian tribes; and
scarcely expect to receive when they ask. Their keen
eyes omit nothing. One's arms and equipments, the
number of your party, their cohesion and precaution,
their course of march, their system of defence in case of
attack, and the amount of plunder to be obtained with
the least possible risk, are all noted and judged. Wher
ever their observations can be made from neighboring
heights with a chance of successful ambush, the Apache
never show T s himself, nor gives any sign of his presence.
Like the ground shark, one never knows he is there un
til one feels his bite. In nature and disposition, in hab~
its, laws, manners and customs, in religion and ceremo
nies, in tribal and family organization, in language and
signs, in war and in peace, he is totally different from all
other Indians of the North American continent; and
these facts will be set forth in future chapters, for the
consideration of those who may peruse this work.


Gold Mines. Apache Raid. Our Mules Stolen. Unsuccessful Scout. Another
Apache Raid. Fight with Delgadito's Band. Recovery of Stolen Cattle.
Delgadito Wounded. His Death. Traits of Apache Character. Their
Spartan Views. Apache Idea of American Wisdom. Adventure of Mr.
Diaz with Cuchillo Negro. Abandon the Copper Mines. Sonora. Santa
Cruz. Bacuachi. Arispe. Ures. Hermosillo. Guaymas. Return.
Santa Rita. The Pimos and Maricopas. Their Tradition. Their Personal
Appearance. Strange Relations Between the Two Tribes. Lucubrations
on Indian Character. Our Indian Policy Criticised.

THE main object of the author is to relate such inci
dents as will give his readers an insight into Indian char
acter; but in each case the relation will be of facts occur
ring within his own personal experience. It is too much
the habit to give details received from hearsay evidence,
from which the writer draws his conclusions and offers
them to his readers as the results of personal investiga
tion and knowledge. This fault, for I so consider it,
will be avoided in the present work, and nothing de
scribed which was not actually witnessed or experienced
by the author, who leaves his readers to form their own

After the shooting of the Apache at the Copper Mines
by Jesus Lopez, matters resumed a pacific appearance
for some weeks; but the calm was only on the surface.
The Apache mind had been deeply exercised by the re
covery of Inez and the two boys, and by our invasion
and long retention of their favorite haunt. Gold mines
had been struck a few miles from the post, and this fact
threatened the existence of a permanent colony of Anier-


leans, which also served to aggravate the natural hatred
and malevolence of the savages. This last mentioned
fear proved well grounded, for at this day there ,are over
three hundred Americans and others working those mines,
and a considerable village has sprung up in their imme
diate vicinity.

Mangas Colorado, Ponce, Delgadito, Cuchillo Negro,
Coletto Amarillo, and other prominent Apaches, have,
since then, all been sent to their long account hy the ri
fles of Californiaii soldiers and American citizens, but not
without the loss of many innDcent lives on our part, or
the perpetration of atrocities on the part of the Apaches
which make the blood curdle at the bare recital. These
developments will form portions of succeeding chapters.

Toward the latter end of July, a number of mules for
which Col. Craig was responsible, could not be found,
although all the surrounding country, to the extent of
thirty miles, was strictly searched. That gallant officer
and accomplished gentleman invited me to his quarters,
and asked my opinion on the subject. Without hesita
tion, I informed him that I thought the Apaches had
stolen them, either for the hope of reward for bringing
them back (as the Commissioner had invariably bestowed
gifts on those of the tribe who brought in strayed ani
mals, or those supposed to have strayed) or that they
had made the initiative of a war campaign. After two
or three hours of conversation, the Colonel fell into my
idea, and determined to go and search for them himself.
Taking thirty soldiers, he visited the Apache camp of
Delgadito, on the Mimbres river. The Indians were
much excited, and disclaimed any participation in the
robbery, or any knowledge of the missing animals; but
promised to hunt them up and restore them to that
officer, if found. Eight days afterward they kept their


promise, in a truly Apache manner, by making another
descent upon the Colonel's herd of mules, and relieving
him of the necessity to guard twenty-five more of those
animals, and some fine horses. Having nothing but
infantry, Col. Craig felt himself unable to maintain an ac
tive campaign against these bold and well-mounted sav
ages, and consequently invoked the aid of Capt. Buford's
company of dragoons, from Doiia Ana. Soon after the
arrival of that officer, another batch of animals disap
peared in the same mysterious manner, and a joint jscout,
composed of the dragoons and mounted infantry, started
off to recover the lost animals, or punish the robbers, if
possible. This raid proved wholly ineffective, neither
animals being recovered, nor Indians punished; but dur
ing the absence of the force, intelligence was brought
that the Apaches had attacked the mining camp, about
three or four miles down the canon, and were driving off
the cattle. About twenty of the Commission, headed by
Lieut. A. W. Whipple, mounted their horses and gave
immediate pursuit. The Indians were overhauled in a
thick forest, and one party, numbering about fifty war
riors, stood to give us battle, while a detachment hurried
on with the cattle. The Indians concealed themselves
behind large pine trees, and retreated as fast as possible,
but still showing front. Our party dismounted, and,
being joined by Mr. Hay, the head miner, with four of
his associates, we left our horses in care of eight men,
and took to the trees, keeping up a lively fire from be
hind their friendly shelter.

Here, for the first time, all doubt as to the identity of
the robbers was set at rest, for they were headed by Del-
gadito, who kept at a safe distance and poured out tor
rents of the vilest abuse upon the Americans. This same
scoundrel had slSpt in my tent only two nights before,


when I gave him a good shirt and a serviceable pair of

The Government had furnished the Commission with
several styles of newly-patented arms, and among these
were some Wesson's rifles, which could throw their balls
with fair accuracy a distance of four hundred yards at
that period a very remarkable distance. One of these
rifles I had ordered to be fitted with new and fine sights,
and at three hundred and fifty yards a good marksman
could hit the size of his hat eight times out of ten.

Among our party was Wells, the Commissioner's car
riage driver an excellent, brave and cool man, and a
crack shot. I pointed Delgadito out to W'ells, and hand
ing him my rifle, told him to approach as nearly as pos
sible, take good aim and bring the rascal down. Wells
glided from tree to tree with the utmost caution and
rapidity, until he got within two hundred and sixty or
seventy yards of Delgadito, who, at that moment, was
slapping his buttocks and defying us with the most op
probrious language. While in the act of exhibiting his
posteriors a favorite taunt among the Apaches he un
covered them to Wells, who took deliberate aim and
fired. This mark of attention was received by Delgadito
with an unearthly yell and a series of dances and capers
that would put a maitre de ballet to the blush. The
Apache leader was recalled to full consciousness of his
exposed position by the whizzing of three or four balls
in close proximity to his upper end, when he ceased his
saltatory exercises and rushed frantically through a thick
copse, followed by his band. We started back for our
horses and having- remounted, again pressed forward in
pursuit. In fifteen minutes we had passed the woods
and opened upon the plain, over which the Apaches were
scouring for life. The pursuit lasted for thirty miles,


and just at sundown we came once more upon the cattle,
when the party in charge abandoned them and sought
safety in flight with their beaten companions. Perceiv
ing that further pursuit would be useless, we contented
ourselves by bringing back Mr. Hay's herd. I afterward
learned that the ball from Wells' rifle gouged a neat
streak across that portion of Delgadito's person denom
inated in school parlance as the "'seat of honor." His
riding and general activity were spoiled for several weeks.

This celebrated Apache was subsequently killed by a
Mexican, whom he was endeavoring to dupe and destroy.
They were fording the Mimbres river on foot, and upon
reaching the eastern bank, Delgadito caught hold of the
projecting branch of a tree to assist himself, when the
Mexican took advantage of his momentary neglect, and
plunged his knife through the Indian's heart- from be
hind. It is an actual fact that the dead savage was
found, the next day, still clinging to the branch. This
event took place two years after we had left the country.
I never met with Delgadito after the affair in the woods;
but had resolved to pistol him the very first time we got
close enough to make my shot sure.

In every case the Copper Mine Apaches had been
treated with the greatest kindness and hospitality by the
whole Commission. They had received very many and
valuable presents. For months they had the unrestricted
freedom of our camp. All causes of dispute had been
settled to their own satisfaction; nothing had occurred
for weeks to disturb the existing harmony. Only two
days before the affair above described, Delgadito and over
a hundred warriors had been in the Copper Mines, and
emphatically disavowed any participation in or knowl
edge of the wholesale robberies which had been commit
ted on our people. Mr. Bartlett and Dr. Webb had


persisted in their theory, that "kind treatment, a rigid
adherance to what is right, and a prompt and invariable
fulfillment of all promises, would secure the friendship of
the Apaches;" but, although this kind of treatment had
been exactly carried out by Mr. Bartlett and his Com
mission, the Apaches took occasion to manifest their ap
preciation and friendship by robbing over three hundred
head of our finest mules and horses, which had been
resting and growing fat and strong for future use. They
never served us again. There are cases where an indi
vidual Apache will conceive a personal regard for a par
ticular man, and will do him almost any act of kindness
in his power, but this is far, very far, from being a gen
eral rule. From earliest infancy they are instructed to
regard every other race as natural enemies. Their sus
picions and savage distrust are aroused and cultivated
before they ever come in contact with other people. An
Apache child of three years will run and yell with fear
and hate from a white man. Apache mothers hush their
children by naming an American. To rob or kill a Mex
ican, is considered a most honorable achievement; but to
commit successful outrage upon an American, entitles
the perpetrator to the highest consideration. Dexterity
in stealing is a virtue of no mean character. The most
adroit thief is precisely the man who is best capable of
maintaining his wives in plenty and bedecking them ia
meretricious finery, of which they are inordinately fond.
The Apache woman who is saddled with the least work
and the most ornaments, is the envied of her sex. For
this reason, the young girls prefer to become the fifth,
sixth, or seventh wife of a noted robber, rather than the
single spouse of a less adroit thief. In the first case her
labors are divided by her associate wives, and are, there
fore, measurably lessened, while her chances for obtain-


ing gew-gaws are quite as good or better. They un
questionably prefer polygamy, as it exists.

A really brave man does not rank as high as a really
clever, thievish poltroon. His gallantry is admired, and
in times of danger all flock around him for protection;
but at other periods the young squaws give him the cold
shoulder, and he is regarded as little better than a fool
who will run into danger, but does not know how to steal,
or enrich himself at the expense of others. " He is a
very brave warrior/' say they, " a man who will fight and
shed his blood in our defense; but he is little better than
an ass, because he is always poor and don't know how to
steal and not be caught." I am not too sure that some
thing of this characteristic does not obtain among people
who profess to rank much higher than the Apaches in
the scale of mankind. It might be as well, perhaps, to
pull the mote out of our own eyes before we attempt to
extract the beam from those of our savage brethren.
Nevertheless, the Apache character is not lovely. In
point of natural shrewdness, quick perception and keen
animal instinct they are unequaled by any other people.
They know what is just and proper, because in all their
talks they urge justice and propriety, and profess to be
guided by those virtues; but all their acts belie their
words. Deceit is regarded among them with the same
admiration we bestow upon one of the fine arts. To lull
the suspicions of an enemy and to them all other people
are enemies and then take advantage of his credence,
is regarded as a splendid stroke of policy. To rob and
not be robbed; to kill and not be killed; to take captive
and not be captured, form the sum of an Apache's educa
tion and ambition, and he who can perform these acts
with the greatest success is the greatest man in the tribe.
To be a prominent Apache is to be a prominent scoundrel.


But the reader will have plenty of opportunities to judge
for himself, as the succeeding pages will unfold incidents
enough from which to form a criterion. They are far
from cowardly, but they are exceedingly prudent. Twenty
Apaches will not attack four well armed and determined
men, if they keep constantly on their guard and pre
pared for action. In no case will they incur the risk of
losing life, unless the most enticing and their
numbers overpowering, and even then they will track a
small party for days, waiting an opportunity to establish
a secure ambush or effect a surprise. A celebrated war
rior once told me: " You Americans are fools, for when
ever you hear a gun fire you run straight to the spot;
but we Apaches get away, and by and by steal round
and discover the cause."

I have before stated that individual Apaches will some
times conceive a regard for particular persons not of their
tribe, and an incident illustrative of this fact occurred to
Lieut. Diaz of the Mexican Commission. Mr. Diaz had
been ordered to occupy a station on the top of a certain
prominent height, and took with him a party of ten men.
His camp was only about four miles from the camp of
Gen. Garcia Conde; but getting out of provisions he
left the mountain, accompanied by one man, for the pur
pose of ordering another supply. His course led him
over a perfectly smooth plain for the distance of two
| miles. Not a tree, nor a bush, nor a rock was visible,
but the grass was thick and about a foot high. Mr. Diaz
and his man walked side by side, each with a six-shooter
in his hand, for the Apaches were then hostile. About
| the middle of the plain Mr. Diaz felt his right wrist
seized and his left arm pinioned, while his pistol was
taken from his grasp, and he found himself in the power
of Cuchillo Negro and a dozen other savages. His at-


tendant was .also seized and a prisoner. Cuchillo Negro
looked at him for a moment, with a most gratified ex
pression on his savage face, and then said:

" My friend, you see that you cannot escape us. But
I like you and will do you no harm. You must cease
from staying on that hill. I want it; it belongs to me.
You have intruded into my country; but you yourself I
like. I will keep these pistols; but send for the rest of
your men on the hill and take them away. For your sake
we will not kill them this time."

Poor Lieut. Diaz had not a word to reply except to
promise that the Indian's request would be granted in re
turn for his generosity. It seems that Cuchillo Negro
had observed the movement of Mr. Diaz, and with his
band had buried himself under the grass, waiting the
auspicious moment when Mr. Diaz should pass him on
the road, when suddenly and noiselessly rising the sav
ages grasped the unsuspecting Mexicans. I will here
add, that Mr. Diaz was the officer charged to blow up
the fortress of Chapultepec, should it fall into the hands
of the Americans; but when the time came his heart failed
him* and he was captured pistol in hand, as if about to
fire the magazine.

A few weeks after the incidents above described, the
Commission abandoned the Copper Mines, in order to
prosecute their labors to completion, and this abandon
ment was always regarded by the Apaches as the legiti
mate result of their active hostility. This fact came to
my knowledge twelve years subsequent to the period of
our removal, at which time it was again my province to
renew my acquaintance with Mangas Colorado, then the
only one living of the chiefs we had met at the Copper
Mines. Coletto Amarillo, Ponce and his son, were killed
in action by California!! soldiers, and it was the fate of
Mangas to die on the point of an American bayonet.


After a long travel through Sonora, visiting Santa
Cruz, Bacuachi, Babispe, Tumacarcori, Imurez, Arispe,
Ures, Hermosillo, Guaymas, and several other towns,
Mr. Bartlett took passage by sea from Guaymas, leaving
Dr. Webb, Mr. Thurber, Mr. Pratt and his son, myself
and five others, making a party of ten, to reach Califor
nia overland, and join him at San Diego. This was a
very small party to travel through the Apache strong
holds, especially at a time when those savages were at
open war with us; but we were all splendidly armed, ex
cept Dr. Webb, who could never be persuaded to carry
anything but a small five-inch five-shooter and a knife
and we were also tolerably experienced in the Apache
style of warfare, and the nature of the country tu be
traversed. The magnificent Santa Eita, ten thousand
feet high, with its majestic head wreathed in snow, Tu-
bac, San Xavier del Bac and Tucson were successively
reached and passed. The great desert of ninety miles

without water I speak of eighteen years ago, in 1850

between Tucson and the Gila river, was crossed safely,
but not without much suffering; and we finally reached
the Pimo villages, where we met Lieut. Whipple and

The Pimos have ever been most friendly to Americans,
and I have yet to learn of a single instance in which they
ever harmed a white man. These Indians are not nomads-
Their villages have remained in the same localities for
hundreds of years. As their country affords no game,
and they are by no means a warlike tribe, they maintain
themselves in comfort and abundance by tilling the
ground, and limit their warlike propensities to punishing
the raids made upon them by other tribes. These ^imos
profess to have originally come from the far south. Ac
cording to their tradition, their forefathers were driven


from tlieir native land many centuries ago, and sought
an asylum by coming northward. They profess to have
crossed through Sonora, and- finally settled on the Gila,
about twenty miles east of the eastern limit of the Great
Gila Bend, where that river makes a detour to the north
of nearly ninety miles, and, after sweeping round the
base of a range of mountains, resumes its original course
westward. Here they were visited by the Jesuit mis
sionaries, who taught them how to till the ground, and
supplied them with many valuable seeds, and also in
structed them in the art of preparing and weaving cot
ton. A Pimo cotton blanket will last for years, and is
really a very handsome and creditable affair. The men
never cut their hair, but wear it in massive plaits and
folds, which frequently descend to the calves of their
legs. The front hair is cut even with the eyebrows. The
women wear short hair, and are not permitted to have it
more than eight or nine inches in length. They are a
robust and well-formed race, and not at all revengeful,
but exceedingly superstitious far more so than any
other tribe I ever met. They are hospitable, chatty, and
exceedingly proud of the purity of their blood.

Living in the closest amity with them are the Maricopa
Indians, who, like the Pimos, claim to be direct descend
ants from Moctezuma, but differ from them essentially in
their language, laws, habits, manners and religious cer
emonies. The Maricopa tradition, as given me by Juan
Jose, a chief of some importance in former times, and
subsequently confirmed by Juan Chivari, the present
head chief of the tribe, is to the following effect.

About a hundred years ago the Yumas, Cocopahs and
Mariqppas composed one tribe, known as the Coco-Marl
icopa tribe. They occupied the country about the head
of the Gulf of California, and for some distance up the


Colorado river. At that time a dispute occurred, and
what is now known as the Cocopah tribe split off, and
the secessionists were permitted to go in peace. This
pacific policy soon afterward induced the party, now
known as Maricopas, to secede also; but this defection
incurred the severe displeasure and hostility of the re
mainder, who now .form the Yuma tribe. Many san
guinary conflicts ensued, when the Yumas succeeded in
obtaining the aid of the Cocopahs, and, together, they
gradually forced the Maricopas up the Colorado, until
the Gila was reached. Knowing that the country to the
north was occupied by the Amojaves, a large and warlike
tribe, the retreating Maricopas turned their steps east
ward, and folloAved the windings of the Gila river, pur
sued by their relentless enemies, until they reached the
Great Gila Bend. Their spies were sent across this des
ert and returned with the intelligence that they had met
a tribe living in well constructed and comfortable houses,
cultivating the land, well clothed, numerous, and appa
rently happy. A council was called and it was agreed to
send an embassy to the Pimos, to negotiate a defensive
and offensive alliance, and with the request that the
Pimos would parcel out to them a suitable amount of
land for their occupation. After much delay, and with
true Indian circumspection, it was agreed that the Mari
copas should inhabit certain lands of the Pimos; but it
was made a sine qua non that the new-comers must for
ever renounce their warlike and hunting propensities,
and dedicate themselves to tillage for, said the Pimos,
we have no hunting grounds; we do not wish to incur
the vengeance of the Tontos, the Chimehuevis, the
Apaches, and others, by making useless raids against
them; they have nothing to lose, and' we have, and you
must confine yourselves solely to revenging any warlike


incursions made either upon us or upon yourselves.
You are free to worship after your own manner, and
govern yourselves according to your own laws; but you
must be ready at all times to furnish a proportionate
number of warriors to protect the general weal, and, in
the event of taking any booty, there shall be a fair divi
sion made by a council of sagamores, composed of equal
numbers from each tribe, and their decision must be

These equitable and generous terms were accepted by
the Maricopas, who immediately occupied a portion of
Pimo territory, and imitated them in the construction of
their dwellings and the cultivation of the land, being
supplied with seed by the Pimos. In this manner the
two tribes have continued together for one hundred
years; yet, as an instance of the pertinacity with which
an Indian will cling to his own particular tribe and cus
toms, although many of them have intermarried, and
their villages are never more than two miles apart,
and in some cases not more than four hundred yards, to
this day they cannot converse with each other unless
through an interpreter. Their laws, religion, manners,
ceremonies and language, remain quite as distinct as on
the day they sought the Pimo alliance. Here we find
no difference of color or diversity of pursuit. There is
no clashing element, no cause for discordant controversy,
or contention. They are and have been the warmest of
friends for the period stated, have frequently intermar
ried, are bound together by one common sympathy and
one common cause, have the same enemies to contend
against and the same evils to deplore the same blessings
to enjoy; yet they are no closer together now than they
were one hundred years ago. Ought not these indisputa
ble facts to furnish us a lesson in Indian character?


Must we forever blind our eyes to such teachings of expe
rience and fact, and indulge in the pleasing hypothesis
that we can effect radical changes in their political and
social economy ? Enthusiasts will point to a few individ
ual exceptions, who have, as it were, got rid of their In
dian nature and elevated themselves to a higher sphere
in the mental, social and political scales; but these ex
ceptions are very few, and only serve to establish the
rule that the leopard cannot change his spots, nor an
Ethiopian his skin. The Cherokees, Choctaws and
Chickasaws, are pointed out as triumphal examples of
what the white man's instructions and precepts will do
for the Indian races. But in what essential particulars
have they demonstrated this wonderful improvement ? It
is true that many of them know how to read, write and
compute; that they assume, to some extent, the vestments
of the whites; that they have learned how to construct a
beiter class of houses, and have improved their physical
condition in other respects; but is this true of the major-
itv? Have they not adopted, to the fullest extent, all
the vices of the whites, while acquiring some of their
minor virtues ? If left to themselves, would they con
tinue to advance and progress in wisdom and virtue, or
would they retrograde into barbarism? Are not such
changes and improvements as have taken place among
them more attributable to the large admixture of white
blood visible in these tribes, than to any other cause ?
How many of pure Indian blood are now to be found
among them ? Are not those people rapidly dwindling
away, and will they not soon be among the things that
were ? Have their numbers increased, or have they be
come strong ? Do they love us with any deeper affection,
or do they show gratitude for their civilization ?

But, says the Christian philanthropist, it is our duty to


continue even unto the end; to faint not by the way, nor
become lukewarm. These people are God's children, as
well as yourself. They are possessed of immortal souls,
and if your lot has been cast, through the mercy of Prov
idence, in a more elevated and useful condition of life,
you should not contemn those who have been denied
these benefits. The Almighty has created them for the
express purpose of exercising your philanthropy, your
brotherly love, and all your better and. nobler qualities.
Take the red man by the hand as you have done to his
negro brother, and guide him gently, kindly toward a
better state in this world and the hope of salvation here

I admit that these are very persuasive and forcible
arguments; but, reverend sir, the red man absolutely re
fuses to come. He disdains to take my hand; he flouts
my offered sympathy, and feels indignant at my pre
sumption in proffering him my aid to improve his condi
tion. He conceives himself not only my equal, but de
cidedly my superior. He desires only to be let alone.
His forefathers lived well enough without our officious
services, and he intends to do likewise. He is the man
of the woods, the plains, the mountains, and looks upon
us as the men of the towns and the cities. For no pos
sible consideration would he change places or accept our
domiciliary style of life, and without such domestication
all our efforts are vain and idle. With calm and unruf
fled dignity he listens to all you say, and with uncon
cealed dislike he makes it a point to remember nothing
he has heard, or, if remembering, to treasure it up as
something to be avoided. Your counsels are considered
as baits and traps, and your desire to domiciliate him as
an effort to bring him under your control. You are and
must ever remain, to him, an object of suspicion and


distrust. You are understood to be his natural enemy,
and all his faculties are awakened against your advances.
Treasuring up his own vengeful purposes for months and
years, he imputes to you the same, or kindred intention
of doing him ultimate harm. No effort, no kindness on
your part, can induce him to disabuse his mind of this
idea, because he is not capable of such magnanimity, and
regards it as the finest stroke of duplicity. Trained to
treachery, he is ever on his guard against it in others.
Even members of his own tribe are not trusted implicitly.
When you talk to him of a Creator, he replies that he
admits that fact; and when you endeavor to explain the
attributes of the Most High, he tells you of the necessity
to propitiate the devil. Any attempt to make him com
prehend the Trinity is laughed to scorn, and he hesitates
not to tell you that you lie, simply because it is beyond
his comprehension. He admires and envies our power
to read, write and calculate, and would fain be master of
those accomplishments; but ask him to send his children
to school, in order that they might learn to do likewise,
and straightway he regards you as one wishing to con
trol and bewitch the beloved offspring. He is willing to
obtain information by oral means, but scouts the idea of
learning it by studious process, which he regards as a
species of slavery, and detests the control exercised by
the teacher over his free born, wild, and unfettered
children. While he frankly admits that you are better
clothed, better fed, and better conditioned in all respects
than he is, he as frankly and persistently refuses all
overtures and invitations to adopt your style of life. He
is as dogmatically convinced of his superiority as you are
of yours, and no effort of rhetoric or argument can bring
him to a different opinion. Show him the wonders of
magnetism, or a microscope, or explain to him the mech
anism of a watch, or direct his admiring gaze through


a telescope, and lie will express unfeigned delight, but
will, at the same time, regard you with additional dis
trust and suspicion. In fine, all your efforts are treated
as the advances of an invidious enemy, and no expendi
ture of time or industry has ever been successful in this
field of operation. How can we cultivate and improve
human beings who resolutely refuse cultivation and im
provement, and brand all our efforts as so many snares
laid for their subjection ? But it is useless to prolong a
discussion of this subject; experientia docet, and experi
ence has shown the futility of all attempts to cultivate,
civilize and christianize the North American savage.

The deplorable condition of the Californian Indians,
after years upon years of Jesuit teachings, and the foun
dation of numerous missions, surrounded with large and
pacific Indian populations, only offers another proof that
the savage tribes of this continent are not susceptible of
permanent and radical improvement. Instead of being
bettered, civilized and christianized, they have contracted
all the worst features of the white race and retained all
the more despicable characteristics of their own, while
the native dignity, courage and primitive virtues of the
Indian have been completely annihilated. In all the
world there is no more despicable people than the indig
enous tribes of California, which have been, for years,
under the sway and tuition of the Jesuit fathers, who
piously thought they were doing God good service. In
all the attributes of manhood, in everything which digni
fies uncivilized human nature, the untamed tribes are
infinitely their superiors. Superstition, cowardice, filth,
sloth, drunkenness, moral depravity, and the most re
volting licentiousness have replaced the sterner and more
simple qualities of the wild Indian tribes. In the desire
to do them good, we have done them the most harm.
In the hope of excising their savage defects, we have in-


oculated them with, the most terrific vices. This is a sad
picture, but it cannot be denied.

What was the result of bringing leading chiefs, like
Black Hawk, Keokuk, Irritaba and Juan. Chivari from
their native wilds to behold and take lessons from the
wealth, power, numbers and general superiority of our
people ? In each case those once renowned warriors lost
their whole influence. They w r ere regarded with suspicion
and dislike by their own tribes. They were suspected of
being bewitched. Their tales of the wondrous things
they saw and heard were treated with scorn and unbelief,
and, in some instances, such as in that of Irritaba and
Juan Chivari, they barely escaped death at the hands of
their former followers.

The North American savage gazes with ill-suppressed
admiration upon our palatial buildings, our thronged
streets, our splendid stores, our vast and complicated
mechanical engineering, our big guns and great ships;
but his teaching ends there. While wondering at these
things, he pants for his own unbounded plains and dense
forests. He is not animated to attempt any change in
his own method of life. He has no idea of toiling
throughout existence that his children's children, to the
tenth or twentieth generation, may possess capabilities
and advantages like those enjoyed by the white man.
His ambition is not at all excited, and he philosophically
concludes that each race has its appointed duties, and is
engaged in its fulfillment. Indians who have been re
moved from their native scenes at an early age, and re
ceived the best education attainable in our seminaries of
learning, have almost invariably returned to their wastes,
and proved the most formidable enemies of those who
congratulated themselves on having rescued them as
" brands from the burning."


Pimo Superstition. Eclipse of the Moon. Terrible Excitement. Dangerous
Predicament. Lieut. Whipple's Coolness. Satisfactory Result. Pimos
and Maricopas. Their Traditions. Religions and Modes of Interment.
Dr. David Wooster. Arrival of Gen. Oonde. Death of Antonio. Horrible
and Revolting Ceremonies. The Grila Bend. Down the Gila. The Mari-
copa Refugees. Important News. The Colorado River. John Gallantin
and his Party.

AMONG- the most superstitious of all our Indian races,
the Pimos take precedence. They entertain an unfalter
ing belief in witchcraft, sorcery, ghosts, the direct influ
ence of the evil one, and the absolute necessity of pro
pitiating the "gentleman in black." It is not, by any
means, difficult to disturb their serenity and set them al
most wild, by the exercise of the most simple processes
known to us. I have often fancied to myself their un
bounded wonderment and fear at a skillful exhibition of
the magic lantern, or the more scientific feats of chemis
try such as converting fluids into solids, and vice versa
but so far none of these effects have been shown them.

After joining the party under Lieut. Whipple, that
superior officer and thorough gentleman, invited me to
accompany him one beautiful night to assist in observing
an eclipse of the moon, w T hich was to take place about
ten o'clock. The opportunity to make observations was
too valuable to be lost, and as Mr. Wheaton was ill, the
invitation to fill his place was kindly tendered to the
writer. The large telescope and other important instru
ments were carried by two men of Whipple's party, and


we proceeded until the highest hillock in the neighbor
hood was surmounted. The Piinos and Maricopas soon
learned that the white men were abroad with sundry
curious looking weapons, and surrounded us by hundreds;
but as we knew them to be thoroughly peaceful, and
even generous, no notice was taken of their presence.
The telescope was placed in position, and on being asked
by a Pimo what it was, I carelessly replied that it was a
terrific cannon, the shot of which would reach to the
moon. Little did we think how quickly this answer
would place us in imminent jeopardy. The round, full
moon was sailing across the heavens in refulgent splen
dor. Not a cloud could be seen; the air was calm and
tranquil; the night was pleasantly warm, and everything
promised a satisfactory observation. By and by, the
eclipse was about to commence. Mr. "Whipple stationed
himself at the telescope, and the rest of us stood ready
to obey his directions. Every one was attentive, and
wholly bent on making the occasion a success. At
length the observation commenced. It was watched by
the Indians, who kept their eyes alternately fixed on the
moon and on Mr. Whipple; and as 'the disc of that lu
minary began to grow less and less, and darker and
darker, the Chief, Culo Azul, said to me: "What are
you doing?'*

Not apprehending any difficulty, and relying on their
well known and often tried amity, I replied: " We are
shooting and killing the moon."

This was translated to the surrounding multitude, and
immediately followed by the most dreadful yells I ever
heard. A rush was made toward us, and weapons
brandished with fearful and vengeful violence. Our
party became alarmed, and prepared to sell our lives as
dearly as possible; but the thought of our unsuspecting


comrades in the camp compelled us to act with, caution.
The first object of the savages was evidently to destroy
the weapon which they believed to be killing the moon;
but its loss would have been irreparable, and their ven
geance would not have stopped there.

" What are we to do without the moon?" inquired the
Chief. " How are we to note time ? How shall we know
when to plant and when to reap ? How can we pass all
our nights in darkness, and be incapacitated from pre
venting Apache raids? What have we done to you, that
you should do this thing to us ? "

To these questions, asked with vehemence and rapid
ity, I replied, " Wait until I consult my superior/' and
immediately acquainted Mr. Whipple with all the facts.
That officer had left the telescope in alarm; but imme
diately replaced himself with the greatest sang-froid,
and, in an undertone, said:

' ' Tell them that, if they will keep quiet and promise
not to make any hostile movement, we will restore the
moon again, as full and as bright as ever."

His coolness, courage, and undisturbed self-possession
excited my highest admiration, and I immediately trans
lated his words to Culo Azul, who again made them
known to his people. Under the direction of Mr. Whip-
pie, I added:

" We can hit the moon, as you may see for yourselves,"
at this time that luminary was obscured one-half by
the earth's shadow "and it is also in our power to re
store it to health and strength; but if you harm us or in
jure our instruments, then the moon must remain dead,
and can never be restored. We have only the kindliest
feelings toward the Pimos and Maricopas, and we only
wished to destroy the moon in order to prevent its light
from guiding the Apaches and Yumas to your villages.


But as our brethren have signified their dislike to the
proceeding, we will restore the moon to its original
splendor. If in a little while it does not reappear, our
Pimo and Maricopa friends may take their vengeance
and destroy our instruments. But they must remember
that we alone are the medicine men; our brethren in the
camp are as innocent as you, and should not be disturbed
or held accountable in any event."

This promise restored some degree of tranquility, and
they gave us their word not to injure or interfere with
our unsuspecting comrades.

It has often occurred to me what a dreadful fate would
have been ours if a sudden storm had arisen at that pe
riod, and prevented the moon from being seen again im
mediately after the eclipse. But the heavens were spe
cially bright and cloudless, and not the slightest incident
occurred to dash our courage. In the course of time the
observation reached its fullest extent, and the anxiety of
our Indian friends became intense. Yells and meanings
rent the still night air, maledictions and curses were lav
ished upon us, weapons were drawn, and every indica
tion given of speedy dismissal from this vale of tears;
but the grand old chief, who seemed to have absolute
control of his people, stood between us and harm, and
quietly awaited the issue. By and by the moon began
to exhibit her brilliant shield once more. Its silver disc
grew larger and larger. Gradually, but surely, it sailed
from behind the earth's shadow and assumed its pristine
proportions, until she was again unveiled in full majesty.
To describe the jo}^, the amazement and the homage of
the savages is quite impossible. We were lifted up on
their arms, patted on our backs, embraced, and dignified
to their utmost extent. All this time Mr. Whipple had
been quietly taking his observations and writing them in


his book. At no period did lie appear ruffled or con
cerned. His equanimity won respect, and his influence
with the Pimos became all powerful. In a subsequent
chapter will be found detailed another and no less curi
ous incident among those Indians.

The Pimos and Maricopas both pretend to trace their
descent from Moctezuma, whoever that renowned gentle
man may be, but they have entirely different ideas about
the matter. The Pimos believe Moctezuma to have been
a god, who resided on earth for a time, and became the
founder of their race, but was treacherously and basely
murdered. Before yielding up the ghost, he threatened
his slayers with future punishment, foretold the scatter
ing of the various tribes he had created and organized,
and promised to come again and assume control of their
affairs when all his children should be reunited under his

The Pimos invariably resort to the ceremony of crema
tion when any of their tribe dies. The body is placed
upon a funeral pyre and rapidly consumed. No effort is
made to collect the ashes of the dead, but all his friends
and relatives take a portion, and, mixing them with the
dissolved gum of the mesquit tree (which is a species of
the acacia, and yields a concrete juice similar to gum
arabic), they daub their faces with the odious compound,
and permit it to remain until it is worn away.

The chastity of their women is proverbial, but this is
probably more the result of the fear of detection than
from any natural virtue. Among themselves loose wo
men are tolerated, but the Pimo girl who may be caught
in carnal intercourse with any other than a Pimo man,
runs nine chances out of ten to be stoned to death. If a
white man be a trader among them, and has been there
for a long time, and has acquired something of their.


language , lie is more or less considered entitled to the
privileges of the tribe; but, even then, disclosure of con
cubinage is attended with imminent danger to the guilty
female. The women of this tribe are particularly fine
looking, possessing elegant forms, nicely shaped and well
tapered limbs, brilliant and perfect white teeth, small
hands, and the easy carriage of the unfettered Indian
girl who never saw a pair of corsets, nor inclosed her
form in the net-work of crinoline. The men are rugged
and tolerably well made, but in nowise remarkable for
size nor physical strength. Their powers of endurance
are about on a par with most other Indian races, but bear
no comparison with those of the Apaches. They are al
most all bow-legged, with long trunks and arms, deep
chested, narrow shouldered and big headed. Their noses
are natter, wider and more fleshy than those of other
tribes, while their feet, in both sexes, are unusually large
and splayed. Prior to receiving muskets and ammu
nition from the American Government a favor granted
them through the wise intercession of Gen. James H.
Caiieton their weapons consisted of a bow and arrow,
and a lance or knife. Their arrows differ from those of
all the Apache tribes in having only two feathers instead
of three, and in being much longer, with the single ex
ception of the Coyoteros, who use very long arrows of
reed, finished out with some hard wood, and an iron or
flint head, but invariably with three feathers at the op
posite end.

The Maricopas invariably bury their dead, and mock
the ceremony of cremation. They, like the Pimos, and
most other Indian tribes, believe in the existence of two
gods, who divide the universe between them. One of
the divinities is the author of all good, the other the
father of all evil. The good god is deemed a quiet and


inactive spirit, who takes no decisive part in the affairs
of mankind, but relies more upon their desire to escape
the evils brought upon them by the bad spirit than upon
any direct efforts of his own. He contents himself with
the knowledge that after mankind has been sufficiently
tormented by his great adversary, they will seek him as
a source of refuge. On the other hand, they invest the
evil spirit with powers of unequaled and inconceivable
activity. He is everywhere at once, and takes the lead
in all schemes and pursuits, with the view of converting
them to his ultimate use. The first duty of the Indian,
exposed as he is to the influences of these two spirits, is
to propitiate the most active of the two, and the one which
will control his every day avocations. His next object is
to approach the good spirit and ask his pardon for having
made terms with his one great enemy. This method is
something in the style of Louis XI's prayers, but is really
in use among these Indians. Their women are not noted
for chastity, but are very cautious against detection, which
is severely punished, although not to the extent that ob
tains among the Pimos. They are quite as good looking
as their neighbors, and the men generally are credited
with a superior reputation as warriors. Their dress, arms,
accoutrements, and general style of person are so nearly
similar as not to arrest the attention of travelers; but
their religion, language, laws and customs are wholly
different. The Maricopas seem to have more general
recklessness and cordiality of manner than the Pimos,
who are constrained and stiff in their intercourse with
strangers. The Pimo believes in a future state, in which
material modifications will exist; but the Maricopa thinks
that the existence of man, after death, closely resembles
his earthly career that his wants and requirements will
be very similar to those he experienced in this world.


Acting on this belief he will sacrifice at the grave of a
warrior all the property of which he died possessed, to
gether with all in possession of his various relatives. The
decease of a warrior therefore becomes a bona fide cause
for mourning; for each of his immediate relations is
stripped of any goods they may own, in order that his
spirit may assume a proper place and distinction among
his predecessors in the other world. This solemnity of
course impoverishes all his relations, and its exaction
creates sincere grief. How completely is this custom at
variance with ours. How clearly does it exhibit the differ
ence between savage and enlightened views on a point of
no common importance. This custom, so strictly enforced
among the Maricopas, does not exist among the Pimos;
but in the case of an intermarriage between the two tribes
the deceased is invariably sepultured in rigid accordance
with the views of his or her tribe. Self-interest is,
after all, as strong a motive among Indians as among
whites, and for this reason intermarriages between the
two tribes are so rare, even after one hundred years of
undivided co-existence on the same lands, and prosecu
tion of the same general objects.

A more marked dissimilarity is observable in their su
perstitions regarding warfare. The American officer can
take a body of Pimos and follow up the trail of a hostile
force until he has run his game to earth, when a fight
takes place, in which he can depend upon the pluck and
courage of his followers; but should the contest result
in the death of a single enemy, or in that of a Pimo, he
must bid adieu to any further effort for the time being,
for the Pimos will immediately about face and return to
their villages, to undergo the process of purification from
blood. No threats, no inducements can make them alter
or modify this course. It is a part of their religion, and


they will observe its dictates. One, or twenty, or a hun
dred of the enemy may be killed during the engagement,
but if blood be spilled the Pimos will return to their
villages for the purpose above stated. Ifot so with the
Maricopas, although they are prone to abandon the war
path after the enemy has been met and overcome; but if
led by energetic white men they will continue and obey
them to the end. The reader cannot fail to have re
marked some singularly diverse traits of character in
these two tribes; and this difference is the more extra
ordinary in view of the fact that they have been domiciled
together for so many years, and been acting under one
common bond of sympathy and interest. It only affords
another convincing proof, if any such were required, of
the unchangeable and unimpressible character of the
North American savage.

The country inhabited by the Pimos and Maricopas is
a dead flat with clayey soil, which is extremely tenacious
when wet, and sparsely covered with mesquit trees. It
is a fine wheat land, and the Indians raise very abundant
crops of wheat, melons, pumpkins and corn; but their
supplies are almost wholly limited to these articles. As
before recited, they manufacture a very superior quality
of cotton blanket, which will turn rain, and is warm, com
fortable and lasting. Dr. David Wooster of San Fran
cisco, who resided among them for some time, and com
piled a vocabulary of their language, is, perhaps, better
informed with regard to these tribes than any other white
man. He was indefatigable in his researches, and re
ceived the confidence and affection of these Indians for
his many benevolent acts, and his self-sacrificing atten
tion to their sick, without the hope or prospect of pay or
reward. The remembrance of his many kind deeds is
cherished among them, and they charged me, on my last
visit, to make known that fact to their benefactor.


"We left the Piino villages with much misgiving, as we
had li-arned that the Yumas, ou the Colorado river, had
declared war with the Americans, and our party at that
time was only ten strong, seven Americans and three
Mexicans, among whom was the step-father of Inez, who
had consented to act as guide and arriero for our party.
Just as we were about to depart an incident occurred ex
planatory of Indian character, and for that reason worthy
of a place in this work.

Gen. Garcia Conde had been to the Colorado river
with his command, and returned to the Pinio villages,
bringing with him a noted Yuina chief, named Antonio.
This brave had signalized himself in the frequent con
tests between the Yumas and Maricopas, and had earned
the undying vengeance of the latter tribe. Gen. Conde,
however, persuaded him to act as guide for his party,
promising to protect him from all harm, and to have him
safely returned to his country and people. On arriving
at the Maricopa village, which was the first to the west
ward, it was soon bruited abroad that Antonio was with
the Mexicans and under their protection. Hundreds of
Maricopas and Pimos visited Gen. Conde's camp to get
a sight of their famed enemy, but no overt demonstra
tions were made, as Gen. Conde warned them that lie
would protect Antonio at all hazards, and they had no
disposition to provoke his power to enforce his promise.
The next morning Antonio was found dead, his body
pierced in many places. Gen. Conde was much grieved,
but as the deed had already been consummated, and
there was no clue whatever of the murderers, he con-
tt-nted himself with giving decent Christian sepulture to
the remains, and then immediately prosecuted his jour

Two days afterward we passed down the road, going


westward, and it was my lot to be something like a mile
or two in the rear of my comrades, but being better
mounted than they, this fact gave me no concern, es
pecially as I knew that we were among peaceful and in
offensive tribes. Just south of the last" village inhabited
by the Maricopas, a low, flat-topped hill is met, with its
northern base close to the highway along which I had to
pass. On arriving near this hill, I observed a very large
crowd of Indians on its summit and sides, who appeared
to be performing a series of most unusual antics, accom
panied with occasional discordant and ear-splitting
yells. At first I feared that my comrades had commit
ted some act that had aroused their vengeance, but cooler
consideration convinced me that they were not the men
to do foolish acts. I rode forward at a round gallop,
with the intention of passing the hill and its occupants
as quickly as possible without appearing to be in flight,
but I was not destined to escape so easily. Four or five
stalwart warriors placed themselves in the road and beck
oned me to hold up, and, believing discretion to be the
better part of valor, on this occasion at least, I obeyed
their summons. One took my horse, while another as
sisted me, most courteously, to dismount, and then
taking my hand, led me up the ascent, accompanied by
his associates. It beggars all my descriptive powers to
depict the scene which met my astonished gaze when I
reached the summit and was introduced inside the inner
ring. From four to five thousand Indians were present.
The squaws were formed in three complete circles near
est the center, leaving a space of two hundred yards
diameter. Around these were great numbers of warriors,
of greater or less fame, and boys from ten to fifteen years
of age. In the center of the open space a human head,
and the forearms with hands attached, were placed upon



the ground the head standing on the stump of the neck,
which was supported by a stick driven into the ground
and thrust up through the throat, and the arms and
hands crossed, one over the other, immediately in front
of the face. I recognized the head to be that of Antonio,
the murdered Yuma chief, and concluded that the pres
ent gathering was held for the purpose of a grand jubilee
over his death. My conjecture was correct, but before I
had time to reflect, I was seized by the hands of two
powerful Indians, who joined others, until a small ring
of sixty or seventy were got together, and was hurried
round and round, in a regular dance, about the horrid
spectacle for the space of several minutes. Showing*
signs of fatigue from the violent rotary motion, I was
rescued by a friendly Pimo, who said: "Do you like
this thing ?"

"Certainly," I replied, "it is your way of rejoicing
over the death of your enemies, and as the Pimos and
Maricopas are our friends, I do not see why I should
not rejoice with you."

This response delighted him greatly, and he immedi
ately translated it to the multitude, who greeted me with
terrific yells of approbation. Availing myself of the
good feeling engendered, I desired my robust friend,
whose every limb quivered with excitement, to state to
the multitude that my party had gone on a long time
before; that the country over which I had to pass was
frequently the scene of Apache horrors; and that I had
sufficiently expressed my sympathy with the occasion to
be allowed to depart in peace. This speech was received
with another chorus of yells, and I was gently conducted
down the steep, at the base of which I found my horse
in safe keeping. My conductors were warmly thanked,
and I set off .at full gallop to join my comrades, delighted


at having so easily escaped the well meant but revolting
hospitality of the savages.

Twelve miles further on we entered the Gila Bend
desert. At this point the Gila river trends to the north
and describes a curve of one hundred and twenty miles
around the northern base of a long range of mountains,
resuming its original course westward about fifty miles
from the point of departure. This space of fifty miles
is entirely without water, and is the highway for the Coy-
oteros and some of the Sierra Blanca Apaches making
raids upon Sonora. The probabilities were very much
in favor of meeting one or more war parties of those
tribes, and we kept a strict lookout during the transit,
but failed to see any, although we may have been ob
served by them.

On the afternoon of the third day after leaving the
Pimos, we came upon the scene of the Oatman massacre,
and as the coyotes had dug up the remains of the mur
dered party, they were carefully and safely re-interred
by us. Here was another caution to beware the treach
ery and malice of the Apaches. The lesson was well
heeded by our little band; but we felt ourselves able to
whip five times our number in fair fight, and the strictest
vigilance was observed in passing any place which could
shelter an ambush. Next day we camped on the Gila,
under a splendid grove of high and clear cotton-wood
trees. There was no underbrush for hundreds of yards
in every direction, and our rifles could easily reach the
surrounding expanse, in case of attack, while the friendly
trees would afford us good shelter. Every one was busy
some collecting dry wood for the guard fire, others in
cooking, others again in securing the animals and pro
viding their food when I suddenly perceived an Indian
running toward us with both arms raised above his head.


I was about to draw a bead upon the fellow, but seeing
that he was alone and unarmed, I refrained, and beck
oned him to come forward, which he did with decided
good will. He spoke Spanish well enough for all prac
tical purposes, and informed us that he was a Maricopa
and had been captured by the Yumas, together with a
woman of his tribe, some months before, but had man
aged to effect his escape a few days before meeting our
party, and as he and his companion were starving, they
came to ask our assistance, having struck our trail at the
entrance to the camp ground. He then uttered a pecu
liar cry, and was immediately joined by the woman, who
had concealed herself to await the issue of his visit. The
poor woman presented a thin, worn and suffering ap
pearance, which did not require the use of language to
explain. Our first care was to supply these poor crea
tures with food and a spare blanket each; for, as we had
left the higher and colder regions, and were entering
upon the warmest known on the globe, and as our means
for transportation were becoming beautifully less, we
could afford to be generous in this respect, especially as
the probabilities were greatly in favor of abandoning or
cacheing the major part of our effects, among which were
a number of costly instruments, which could neither be
eaten nor drank. No further questions were^pressed upon
our guests until their hunger had been appeased, when,
sitting at the camp fire, the man gave us the following
narration, corroborated in all points by his companion.
Some five months previous, a large war party of the
Yunias had come up the Gila with the intention of cut
ting off small detachments of Maricopas and Pimos, who
annually visit the Gila Bend desert to collect the' fruit
of the petajaya, a gigantic species of cactus. This fruit
is dried in the sun and closely resembles our figs in point


of size, taste and shape, but the external husk or cover
ing is not edible. They also macerate it in water after
being dried, when the saccharine qualities causes the
liquid to ferment, and after such fermentation it becomes
highly intoxicating. It is upon this liquor that the Mar-
icopas and Pimos get drunk once a year, the revelry con
tinuing for a week or two at a time; but it is also a uni
versal custom with them to take regular turns, so that
only one-third of the party is supposed to indulge at
one time, the remainder being required to take care of
their stimulated comrades, and protect them from injur
ing each other or being injured by other tribes. The
Yumas are well acquainted with the custom, and the
party referred to had gone up the Gila to profit by the
circumstance. In that raid they succeeded in killing a
few Maricopas and taking prisoners the man and woman
who were then our guests and informants. Of course
any species of labor and hardship that could be imposed
they were compelled to undergo, until the arrival of a
band of twenty-one Americans with a great many sheep
which they were driving to California. The military,
consisting of a Sergeant and ten men, had been driven
off by the Yumas just before the advent of these visitors,
who were wholly ignorant of the fact, and quite unpre
pared to expect the hostility which terminated with their
massacre. They were received by the Yumas with every
profession of friendship, the Indians bringing in large
quantities of slim, straight and dried cotton-wood
branches to build fires with, and rendering them other
kindly services, so that all apprehension was completely
lulled. "While the evening meal was in preparation, the
Yumas interspersed themselves thickly among the Amer
icans, who had some four fires going, built by the
Yumas, who had placed the long, smooth cotton-wood


branches across each other, in every direction, and the
fire as nearly to the center as possible. So soon as those
sticks had burned through so as to leave an effective
club at each end, a single sharp cry gave the signal,
upon which each Yuma present, probably a hundred,
seized his burning brand, and commenced the work of
death, dealing blows to the nearest American, while an
other large party rushed fully armed upon the scene,
and quickly dispatched their unprepared and unsuspect
ing visitors. The Americans fought with desperation,
discharging their six-shooters and using their knives
with bloody effect, but were soon overcome by resistless
numbers, and slain to a man. It was during this con
test, which engaged the whole attention of the Yumas,
that our two guests managed to effect their escape. They
had traveled for four days without food, hiding them
selves from morning till night, and prosecuting their way
only after dark. Seeing a small party of Americans,
whom they knew were always friendly to their tribe, and
incited by the double motives of obtaining food and
warning us of our danger, they had sought our camp.

Our danger was indeed imminent. Our party con
sisted only of seven Americans and three Mexicans, and
our ammunition had been reduced to forty rounds for
each weapon. A party of well armed men, more than
three times our number, had been massacred only a few
days before by a hostile tribe of Indians, through the
heart of whose country we would be compelled to make
our way, if we continued. The enemy had driven off
the miserably small garrison, and were flushed with the
success of their last great robbery and murder. The
Colorado river was impassable without a launch, and
that was in possession of the Indians. "We were in a
"regular fix/' and a council of war was immediately


held. I am free to acknowledge that I was afraid to go
forward, and used every argument to show the foolhard-
iness of such an attempt, but all my objections were met
by the imperturbable Dr. Webb, who contented himself
with saying " Our provisions are nearly exhausted, our
ammunition is nearly expended, we are ordered to go
on, and it is our duty. We may be killed, but it is bet
ter to die fighting, since we have been warned and are
on our guard, than to die of starvation on these terrible
deserts. In any case, it is only a choice of deaths, but
it is certain destruction to turn back, while we may man
age to escape or pass the Yumas in safety." It was
finally agreed to adopt his views keep a sharp lookout,
fight if need be, to the bitter end, and die like men in
the proper discharge of a recognized duty. This deter
mination was duly imparted to our Maricopa friends,
who could not restrain expressions of amazement, and
gave us some additional valuable information about the
existence of the launches in which to cross the Colorado,
the nature and habits of the Yumas, their treacherous
manner of approach, and the best means for us to adopt.
Those kindly people were then supplied with provisions
enough to last them to their villages, and took leave of
us with unfeigned regret, expecting never to see one of
our number again. My next meeting with them will be
found in a succeeding chapter.

Early next morning we resumed our journey down the
Gila, and prosecuted it for several days until we reached
the Colorado near its junction with the Gila. At that
period the whole country was a wilderness, and the place
now occupied by large houses and well filled stores, with
an American population of six or seven hundred souls,
was waste and desolate. The approach to the river was
hidden by a dense mass of young willow trees, through


which we had to pass in order to reach water, of which
ourselves and animals were greatly in need. The ther
mometer stood at 118 degrees Fahrenheit, in the shade,
and we had marched twenty-four miles that day without
water. On emerging from the willows to the banks of
the broad, red, swift and turbid stream which met our
gaze, we discovered, on the opposite side, within easy
rifle reach, a large number of Yuma men, women and
children, a fact which assured us that our approach had
not been known by that tribe. They instantly fled in all
directions, thereby proving their fear and suspicions,
whi*ch would not have been entertained if the two people
had been at peace with each other. Having watered our
suffering animals, we prosecuted our way down the Col
orado, and encamped upon an open sand beach, with
three hundred yards of clear ground in the rear and the
river in front. No weapon in possession of the Yumas
could reach anything like that distance, while our rifles
commanded the whole area. Our animals were drawn
up in line on the river side with a careful guard, and
were fed with an abundance of young willow tops,
which they eat greedily. Our fires were well supplied
and kept blazing brightly, so as to shed light on the sur
rounding shore and disclose the approach of any enemy.
In this manner we passed an anxious night.

The next day, soon after dawn, an Indian presented
himself unarmed, and with reiterated assurances of the
most cordial friendship for the Americans. He subse
quently proved to be Caballo en Pelo, or the "Naked
Horse," the head chief of the Yumas. Our reception
was not calculated to excite his hopes, every one extend
ing his left hand, and keeping a revolver in his right,
and it was not long before Caballo en Pelo found that
he -had committed himself to the tender mercies of men


who entertained the deepest suspicion of his professed
amity. To test his sincerity, Dr. Webb asked what had
become of the soldiers, to which he replied that they had
voluntarily withdrawn three months before. This we
knew to be a lie, as Gen. Conde had informed us of their
presence with a couple of good launches to assist the
crossing of immigrants, and we had met the General
only twenty days previous, when this information was
received from him, who had come directly from the Col
orado in eleven days. The report of our Maricopa visit
ors also disproved the statement of Caballo en Pelo, and
we immediately consulted together as to our future
course, which was afterward carried into effect, as the
reader will discover, and to it I attribute our escape from
the treacherous Yumas.

We subsequently learned that the persons massacred
by the Yumas just before our arrival, were John Gallan-
tin and his band. This man had the reputation of being-
one of the worst scoundrels who ever existed even in
that demoralized and villainous region. It is reported
..of him, that the Governor of Chihuahua, having offered
a premium of thirty dollars for every Apache scalp, Gal-
lantin got together a band of cut-throats and went into
the business. But all his activity and cupidity failed to
find the Apaches, and scalps became very scarce. De
termined to make money out of the Governor's terms, he
commenced killing Papago, Opatah and Yaqui Indians,
whose scalps he sold in considerable numbers at thirty
dollars each, declaring that they had been taken from
the heads of Apaches. But the ease with which Gallan-
tin and his band supplied themselves, without producing
any sensible diminution of Apache raids, excited sus
picion, and he was actually caught taking the scalps
from the heads of several Mexicans murdered by his


people in cold blood. Finding that he had been discov
ered in his unspeakable villainies, he fled to New Mexico,
where, by stealing and by purchase, he collected about
two thousand five hundred head of sheep, with which he
was passing into California, when he encountered his
well-merited fate at the hands of the Yumas. Not a
soul of his band escaped death.

At the period about which I am writing, Arizona and
New Mexico were cursed by the presence of two or three
hundred of the most infamous scoundrels it is possible
to conceive. Innocent and unoffending men were shot
down or bowie-knived merely for the pleasure of witness
ing their death agonies. Men walked the streets and
public squares with double-barreled shot guns, and
hunted each other as sportsmen hunt for game. In
the graveyard of Tucson there were forty-seven graves of
white men in 1860, ten years after the events above re
cited, and of that number only two had died natural
deaths, all the rest being murdered in broils and bar
room quarrels. Since Carleton's occupation of those
Territories with his California Column, a great change
for the better has taken place, and this melioration
promises to gain ground.


Fort Yuma. The Yuma Indians. Desperate Situation. Dr. Webb's Bluntness.
Caballo en Pelo. Method of Camping. Yuma Chiefs our Prisoners.
The Launch. Crossing the Colorado. March into the Desert. Release of
the Yumas. Sandstorm in the Desert. Final Escape from the Yumas.
Sufferings on the Desert. Carisso Creek. "Vallecito. Hospitality of Army
Officers. Col. Heintzleman. Yumas Reduced to Subjection.

THE foregoing digression is excusable, on the ground
that it exposes, to some extent, the character of the
American people who first made the intimate acquaint
ance of the Indian tribes occupying the country on the
direct route of migration between the Atlantic and Pa
cific States, and, in a measure, accounts for their hostile
advances. The Pimos and Maricopas must, however, be
excepted from this category, as they never, on any occa
sion, no matter how much goaded, exhibited any venge
ful or adverse spirit toward Americans. In like man
ner, these remarks cannot apply to the Apaches, who
never, at any time, ceased their active hostility and
treacherous attacks.

Soon after Caballo en Pelo, or the "Naked Horse,"
entered our camp, he made a signal to his associates,
and we soon had an accession of fourteen more, embrac
ing several of the principal men in the Yuma tribe.
They were all unarmed, and each one expressed his de
sire to maintain friendly relations with our people. Dr.
Webb, with his usual blunt honesty of character, and
total neglect of policy, abruptly asked them "If
you mean as you profess, why did you drive away the


small body of soldiers left here to assist the Americans
in crossing the river and supplying their needs, and,
why did you massacre the American party with sheep,
who came here on their road to California ?" These un
expected queries discomfited the savages, and threw us
"all aback," as may readily be supposed. Caballo en
Pelo, Pasqual, and several other leading men, undertook
to deny these charges in toto, but we were too well in
formed, and their denials only tended to put us more
than ever on the qui vive.

A few words interchanged between the members of our
party decided our course of action. ^In any case we
were fully committed, and nothing but perilous meas
ures could decide the result of our desperate surround
ings. It was determined to hold all the Yumas present
as captives, subject to instant death upon the exhibition
of any hostility on the part of that tribe. We felt that
our lives were at the mercy of those savages, but also re
solved that we should not be sacrificed without a corre
sponding amount of satisfaction. Their principal men
were in our camp unarmed; we had the disposal of their
lives in our power, and knew that they could not escape
in the event of any hostile act against our small party.
These deliberations were fully unfolded to the chiefs,
who were informed that no more of their tribe would be
admitted into our camp without jeopardizing the safety
of those already there. The} 7 were also told, that hav
ing come of their own free will, they would be expected
to remain during our pleasure, and, in the meantime, be
fed fronvour very limited resources. They were further
more informed that the launch which they had taken
from the soldiers would be needed for our conveyance
across the Colorado, and as we knew it to be in their
possession, it must be forthcoming when required. The


first act of Caballo en Pelo was to signalize his people
not to approach our camp, which was located on a sand-
spit, with three hundred yards clear rifle range on all
sides not covered by the river. He then went on to dis
claim any inimical design, quoting the fact that he and
his chief men had sought us unarmed, when they might
have overwhelmed our paltry force with hundreds of
warriors. He also stated that they had no hostile feel
ings toward white men coming from the east, but would
oppose all from the west, as they had learned that a
force from that quarter was being prepared for a cam
paign against them. They were not at war with Amer
icans generally, but solely with those whom they ex
pected from California with warlike intentions. Caballo
en Pelo then asked if he and his companions were to
consider themselves prisoners. To this home question
Dr. Webb, who was in charge of our party, directed me
to answer yes, they were; and would be held as such,
until the launches they had taken from the soldiers were
produced for our passage across the Colorado, and they
had given satisfactory evidence of their peaceful inten
tions. This abrupt announcement was not pleasing to
our savage guests, who exhibited alarm, mingled with
half -uttered threats of vengeance; but the old motto,
"in for a penny, in for a pound," was the only one we
could adopt under the circumstances, and our resolution
was as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Per

Dr. Webb furthermore informed the Yumas that they
must order their warriors, who were gathering thickly on
our side the river, not to approach within three hundred
yards, adding, " we suspect your motives, and intend to
have the first blood, if any is to be shed. Your chief
men are in our power. Your people can kill us, as they


are so much more numerous, but we will kill you first, if
they do not obey our orders which shall be promulgated
through you/'

This was undoubtedly the ' ' tightest fix " our visitors
ever got in. They were by no means prepared for such
a decided stand, and were quite at a loss for expedient.
Seeing resolution in each man's eye, and knowing that it
was our determination to put them to death the moment
any decidedly hostile step should be taken by their peo
ple, they concluded to make the best of a bad bargain,
and escape by strategy from the trap they had prepared
to spring upon us, but in which they had caught them

Caballo en Pelo made a few signs to the surrounding
and anxious multitude, which then quietly retreated out
of sight among the dense willows which grew with re
markable luxuriance about three hundred yards from the
river. We then dug two holes, about'twenty feet apart,
parallel to each other, and each about five feet long by
one and a half wide and two deep. In these holes we
made blazing fires which rose about two or three feet
above the surface of the ground, and between these fires
we ordered the Yumas to lie down, side by side, while a
sentinel with a cocked six-shooter paraded along the
line of their heads, and another along the line of their
feet. A flank escape was impossible, as it was prevented
by a bright and hot fire on each side. Our few remain
ing animals were drawn up in line on the river side of
the camp, with a guard outside of them and within
twenty feet of the whole party. "We slept but little that
night, and at early dawn we were once more afoot, and
in discussion with the Yumas, who stoutly denied any
hostile motive, and professed indignation at their treat
ment. We gave them a good breakfast, as we had given


them a plentiful supper the evening previous, and then
reiterated our demand for the, while they as
stubbornly denied any knowledge of their existence.

That day we moved down the river about eleven miles
and selected a good camp ground early in the afternoon.
Again we were surrounded by hundreds of Indians, but
the personal fears of our hostages kept them at bay, and
they did not approach nearer than three hundred yards.
The night passed as the previous one had done, and we
perceived it was the intention of the Yumas to wear us
out, and then seize their opportunity; but this scheme
was frustrated by the nerve and decision of Dr. Webb,
who next morning informed Caballo en Pelo and his
chief followers, that "we were well aware of the exist
ence of the launches by oral as well as written intelli
gence; that they were absolutely necessary to cross the
Colorado; that we knew the Yumas had driven away the
small garrison of American soldiers and had the launches
in their possession; that we had met the escaped Marico-
pas, who told us all about the massacre of Gallantin and
his party, and the appropriation of the launches by the
Yumas; and, finally, that if those launches were not
forthcoming by twelve o'clock the next day, we should
at once proceed to extremities and kill him and all the
Yumas in our camp."

It may well be supposed that this sort of talk aroused
the liveliest alarm among our prisoners, who commenced
an excited conversation in their own tongue, which cul
minated in a request from Caballo en Pelo that one of
his young men be permitted to leave our camp and make
inquiry if the launches really were in existence, and if
so, to bring it down river to our camp. This was agreed
to, and a young lad, about eighteen years of age, the
son of Pasqual, selected for the business. He was al-


lowed to depart with the positive assurance that we would
keep our words in regarc^to his father and the other head
men of the Yuma tribe in our camp.

That night we observed more than the usual precau
tions, for one-half our number were on guard at all
times. Next morning no Indians were to be seen, but at
ten o'clock A. M., a large launch, capable of holding half
our party with their baggage, was seen approaching un
der the conduct of two Yumas. It was moored in front
of our camp, and immediate preparations were made for
crossing. Five of us, taking half the Yuma prisoners,
immediately embarked with rifles in hand, ready for use,
and as we could easily sweep both sides the river, our
party was really as strong as ever. Our mules and
horses were made to swim across under the lead and
direction of two Yumas, who were kept within range of
our rifles, and in this manner we succeeded in gaining
the western bank of the Colorado, after three most ex
citing days of detention amidst overwhelming numbers
of" hostile savages; but our troubles were not yet ended.
"We had still to undergo another ordeal, even more per
ilous, because we had no hostages as securities for our
safety from attack.

Having gained the western bank of the Colorado in
peace, the Yumas demanded to be released from captiv
ity, but our safety would not permit such a course, and
Dr. Webb informed them that they must remain in camp
that night and would be set free next day. The utmost
precaution was again observed throughout the night, and
at three o'clock next morning we were once more en
route toward California, accompanied by the leading
Yumas, who were kept closely guarded. That day we
penetrated twenty-eight miles into the great Colorado
desert, halting about four o'clock p. M., in a place where


neither water nor wood existed, and completely sur
rounded by hills and banks of white sand. With much
toil several of our number ascended one or two of the
highest hillocks, but as far as the eye could reach noth
ing was to be seen but one unbroken expanse of sand
white, dazzling under the rays of a burning sun, unre
lieved by a single bush or shrub broken and fretted
with countless hillocks, and utterly void of animal life.
This part of the Colorado desert is much more frightful
than the great Sahara of Africa. The absolute stillness
and repose is something awful; it is death in life; it is
the most impressive lesson of man's feebleness, and the
most startling reproof against his vanity. In our case
these sensations were not mitigated by the knowledge of
being surrounded by a fierce, warlike and numerous In
dian tribe, thirsting for our blood, and eager to revenge
the indignity they had 'suffered by the captivity of their
head chiefs, and the failure of their treacherous schemes.
As before stated, we halted and made preparations as
if to encamp. Dr. Webb then directed Mr. Thurber to
ascend the highest sand hill in the neighborhood, exam
ine all around with his field glass and report if the In
dians were upon our trail. In about half an hour Mr.
Thurber returned, and assured us that from two to three
hundred Yumas were within five miles of our position,
and heading toward our camp. There was no time to
lose. Caballo en Pelo with his fellow captives were im
mediately informed that they must take the back track
and return to the river, that our road was toward the
west, that we had no more provisions to give them, and
that it was indispensable for us to part company then
and there. To these requirements the wily chief demur
red, and stated his desire to go on with us to California.
He was overruled by the strong persuasive force of draw-


ing our pistols, and giving him the sole alternative of
obeying or dying. They chose the former, and decamped
with haste. So soon as they disappeared round the base
of a friendly sand hill, we immediately repacked our
wagon, and drove on with all possible speed, hoping to
escape in the fast coming darkness.

Eleven years afterward, Pasqual himself told me that
they met about three hundred of their warriors half an
hour after being expelled from our camp, and the whole
band came in pursuit of us, but as the Indian never risks
life w T hen he thinks the same end can be accomplished
by strategy, and as time is of no moment to them, it was
agreed to fall foul of us just before daylight the next
morning, and by a rapid and combined assault massacre
our little party with comparative ease and impunity.
Acting on that policy, they approached our abandoned
camp with extreme caution, and commenced a survey
from surrounding hillocks. They were not surprised to
see no fire, as they knew there was no wood in that part
of the desert, and they remained quiescent until nearly
morning, when their scouts gave them the unwelcome
information that we were gone.

Our night was continued all night and part of the next
day, until overtaken by one of those dreadful sandstorms
which prevail on the Colorado desert. The day was in
tensely hot, and tHe most oppressive silence seemed to
reign absolute. Suddenly a dark, dense and singular
looking cloud arose in the west and moved toward us
with incredible velocity. Great masses of heavy sand
were lifted as if they were so many feathers and carried
high into the air with extreme violence. The places for
merly occupied by huge hillocks containing many thou
sand tons of sand, were swept clean as if by magic in a
few moments, and the vast banks removed to other lo-


calities in the twinkling of an eye. Our mules fell flat
upon their bellies and thrust their noses close to the
ground, our horses followed their example none of us
could stand against the force and might of the storm
and we, too, laid down flat, hauling a tent over us. In
a few moments the tent was so deeply covered with sand
as to retain its position, and every now and then we were
compelled to remove the swiftly gathering mass, to avoid
being absolutely buried alive. Amidst the distress, the
horrible sensations, and the suffocating feelings occa
sioned by this sirocco, we entertained the grateful sense
of protection from our savage pursuers, who were quite
as incapable of facing that terrific storm as we were.
For forty-eight hours we had not tasted food, and were
more than a day without water in the hottest climate
known to man, and our distress heightened by the in
tense craving for water invariably attendant on those
scorching blasts of the desert. These sensations were
not alleviated by the fact of knowing that we had yet a
journey of forty miles before we could find water.

About three o'clock p. M., the storm passed off, and we
instantly resumed our way without cooking food, for eat
ing could only add to our already terrible thirst. All
that night our weary feet trod that infernal desert until
the glowing morning sun shone upon us like a plate of
molten brass, but we had arrived at a~fine camp ground,
thickly supplied with shady mesquit trees and abound
ing with excellent grass for our worn-out animals, which
had dwindled down to less than one-half the number we
boasted before crossing the Colorado. About an hour
after camping, the step-father of Inez, who served us as
guide, reported that he saw an alamo tree a short dis
tance off, and he believed that there must be water in its
neighborhood. Several of us proceeded to the spot and


in a short time discovered a small pool containing about
twenty gallons of water deposited in a hollow by a for
mer copious rain, and sheltered from the sun by friendly
brush. The joyful news was soon made known to the
rest of our comrades, and our raging thirst slaked, after
which the remainder of the water was equally divided
among our famishing stock. As Carisso creek was then
within a day's march, no thought was taken for the mor
row, and after a most refreshing night's rest, we re-com-
rnenced our journey at early dawn, reaching Carisso
creek about five o'clock on the afternoon of the same
day. At this place we felt ourselves wholly -safe from
the Yumas. There was abundance of pasture, and water
and wood, and we would have remained for a day or two
to obtain much needed rest, but our provisions had en
tirely given out, and we had still one hundred miles of
travel before us without an ounce of food, unless such as
might possibly be procured in the way of game.

With sad hearts and weakened frames we pushed for
ward until we reached Yallecito, where we found an
American garrison consisting of a company of infantry
and three officers. By these warm-hearted and gallant
gentlemen we were received with the greatest courtesy
and kindliness, and entertained by them with a warmth
of hospitality which has found an abiding place among
my most grateful recollections. Some time had elapsed
since supplies were received from San Diego, and they
were themselves on "short commons," and unable to
furnish us with the provisions needed to complete our
journey; but gave us freely to the extent of their power.
It would have been gross ingratitude to remain there,
living upon the very diminished stores of our kind enter
tainers, and we again pushed forward the next day. Our
course lay over the Volcan mountain, and upon its mag-


nificent height we found a rancho owned and inhabited
by a big-hearted gentleman, who ministered to our wants
and furnished us with two fresh mules. Next day we
resumed our march, and soon after passing the old battle
ground of San Pascual met Col. Heintzleman, in com
mand of three hundred troops, on his way to chastise
the Yuma Indians for their many murders and robberies.
The officers were surprised to meet us coming from the
river, and asked many questions, which we were de
lighted to answer, giving valuable information.

Col. Heintzleman's force was subsequently increased
to five hundred rn?n, and after two years' active warfare
he succeeded in reducing the Yumas, who have never
since presumed to contend against our power. Since
then Fort Yuma has become a noted frontier fortification,
surrounded by many hundreds of American citizens, who
live, for the most part, on the eastern bank of the river,
and carry on a lucrative trade with the interior of Ari
zona and the Yumas, Cocopahs, Cushans, Amojaves and
other tribes. The waters of the Colorado are now plowed
by half a dozen steamers, and my old enemies, the Yumas,
do the "chores" and menial offices for the whites. The
next day after meeting Col. Heintzleman we reached San
Diego, devoutly thankful to Providence for our many
and almost miraculous escapes from the tomahawks and
scalping knives of the Indian tribes through which we
had passed for the distance of two thousand eight hun
dred miles.


Letter from Senator Clemens. Resign from the Boundary Commission. Depar
ture of the Commission. New Expedition. Ride up the Gila. Terrible
Conflict with Apaches. Desperate Personal Encounter. Defeat of the
Savages. Return of the Expedition. Long for a Quiet Life. San Fran
cisco. Cogitations on Indian Character. Advice Given and Disdained.
"flie Fatal Results. Necessity for Constant Caution. Extent of Apache
Country. Numerical Strength of the Apaches. Female Warriors. False
Impressions of Indian Character.

A WEEK after our safe arrival in San Diego, worn-out
and suffering from nearly two years' wandering upon the
uninhabited deserts of Texas, Arizona, northern Sonora,
and a portion of New Mexico, I received a warm, cordial
and brotherly letter from the Hon. Jere Clemens, Sen
ator from Alabama, who had been my Lieutenant-Colonel
during a portion of the Mexican war, after the death of
Col. Ransom, and the capture of Chapultepec, which
letter informed me that although the appropriation for
the Boundary Commission had passed Congress, yet
John B. Weller, Senator from California, had managed
to have inserted in it a proviso which would have the
effect of rendering that appropriation unavailable, and
that the probabilities were we would be disbanded in the
deserts, without money, or the means of return to our
friends and home at the East. He also advised me to
leave the Commission, as we had arrived within the pre
cincts of civilization, and pursue some other avocation.
The advice and arguments of my former superior, whose
kindness and remembrance had followed me throughout
our toilsome and dangerous career, convinced niy mind


of their value, and I resigned my place in the Commis
sion. Three weeks afterward it returned toward the
East, while I remained in San Diego.

About a month after the Commission had departed,
carrying with it my warmest and most kindly esteem to
ward its gallant and noble-hearted members, a small
party of ten men was formed for the purpose of entering
and exploring a portion of Arizona, with a view to locate
and exploit some of its valuable gold and silver mines,
and I was engaged as the interpreter and guide of the
party, on a salary of five hundred dollars per month.

On an appointed day we started, and after a tedious
march, reached the Colorado, which was then the theater
of an active war against the Yuma Indians. Col. Heint-
zleman had arrived with his troops and had begun a vig
orous campaign. We w T ere immediately crossed by the
guard in charge of the launch, and cautioned about the
Yumas, who were then supposed to be in force on the
Gila, about thirty miles from its junction with the Col
orado. In consequence of this warning, we determined
to proceed by night instead of day until we had passed
the field occupied by the savages. The rumbling of our
two wagons, and the watchful stillness of our party, im
pressed the savages with the belief that we were an
armed body stealing a march upon them, and we passed
unmolested in the dark, arriving at Antelope Peak in
our march from Fort Yuma. Here we considered our
selves comparatively safe from the Yumas, although ex
posed to visits from the Tonto Apaches, who inhabit the
northern side of the Gila from Antelope Peak to the
Pimo villages. Our party was well armed, each person
having two revolvers, a good rifle and a large knife, and
we felt ourselves equal to four or five times our number
of Indians in an open fight, but were also aware that the
utmost precaution was necessary at all times.


Just below and about what is known as GrinnelFs
Station the road is covered from four to five inches deep
with a fine and almost impalpable dust, containing- an
abundance of alkali. The lightest treacj. sends it in clouds
far over head, and a body of men riding together in close
column are so thoroughly enveloped as to prevent the
recognizing of each other at the distance of only three
feet. In some places the road passes through the middle
of an extensive plain, apparently incapable of affording
covert to a hare. We had arrived at one of these wide
openings, and were inclosed in a cloud of dust so dense
as completely to bar the vision of all except the two who
occupied the advance. One or two others attempted to
ride on one side of the road, but the terrible thorns of
the cactus and the pointed leaves of the Spanish bayonet
which soon covered their horses legs with blood, and
lamed the poor animals, induced them to resume the
dusty road. No one expected an attack in so open, ex
posed and unsheltered a place, yet it was the very one se
lected for such a purpose. The wily savages knew that we
would be upon our guard in passing a defile, a thick wood,
or a rocky canon; and also judged that we might be care
less while crossing an open plain. They were well ac
quainted with the dusty character of the road, and re
lying on it to conceal their presence, had secreted them
selves close to its southern edge, awaiting our approach.

&t a certain spot, where a dozen or two yucca trees
elevated their sharp-pointed leaves about four feet above
ground, and while we were shrouded in a cloud of dust,
a sharp, rattling volley was poured into us from a dis
tance of less than twenty yards. It has always been a
matter of astonishment to me that none of our party
were either killed or wounded; but w r e lost two mules
and three horses by that fire. The dense dust prevented


the Apaches from taking aim, and they fired a little too
low. It was no time for hesitation, and the order was
at once given to dismount and fight on foot. We could
distinguish little or nothing; shot after shot was ex
pended in the direction of the savages; now and then a
dark body would be seen and made a target of as soon
as seen. Each man threw himself flat upon the ground;
but scarcely any could tell where his companions were.
It was pre-eminently a fight in % which each man was on
"his own hook."

While we laid prostrate the dust settled somewhat,
and we were about to obtain a good sight of the enemy,
when John Wollaston cried out "Up boys, they are
making a rush." Each man rose at the word, and a
hand to hand contest ensued which beggars all descrip
tion. It was at this juncture that our revolvers did the
work, as was afterward shown. Again the dust rose in
blinding clouds, hurried up by the tramping feet of con
tending men. We stood as much chance to be shot by
each other as by the savages. The quick rattling of pis
tols was heard on all sides, but the actors in this work
of death were invisible. Tiie last charge of my second
pistol had been exhausted; my large knife lost in the
thick dust on the road, and the only weapon left me was
a small double-edged, but sharp and keen, dagger, with
a black whalebone hilt, and about four inches long on
the blade. I was just reloading a six-shooter, whelf a
robust and athletic Apache, much heavier than myself,
stood before me, not more than, three feet off. He was
naked with the single exception of a breach cloth, and
his person was oiled from head to foot. I was clothed
in a green hunting frock, edged with black, a pair of
green pants, trimmed with black welts, and a green,
broad-brimmed felt hat. The instant we met, he ad-


vanced upon me with a long and keen knife, with which
he made a plunge at my breast. This attack was met by
stopping his right wrist with my left hand, and at the
same moment I lunged my small dagger full at his ab
domen. He caught my right wrist in his left hand, and
for a couple of seconds a long time under such circum
stances we stood regarding each other, my left hand
holding his right above my head, and his left retaining
my right on a level with his body. Feeling that he was
greased, and that I had no certain hold, I tripped him
with a sudden and violent pass of the right foot, which
brought him to the ground, but in falling he seized and
carried me down with him. In a moment the desperate
savage gained the ascendant, and planted himself firmly
on my person, with his right knee on my left arm, con
fining it closely, and his left arm pinioning my right to
the ground, while his right arm was free. I was com
pletely at his mercy. His personal strength and weight
were greater than mine. His triumph and delight glared
from his glittering black eyes, and he resolved to lose
nothing of his savage enjoyment. Holding me down
with the'-grasp of a giant, against which all my struggles
were wholly vain, he raised aloft his long, sharp knife,
and said " Pindah lickoyee das-ay-go, dee-dab, tatsan,"
which means, "the white-eyed man, you will be soon
dead." I thought as he did, and in that frightful mo
ment made a hasty commendation of my soul to the Be
nevolent, but I am afraid that it was mingled with some
scheme to get out of my predicament, if possible.

To express the sensations I underwent at that moment
is not within the province of language. My erratic and
useless life passed in review before me in less than an in
stant of time. I lived more in that minute or two of our
deadly struggle than I had ever done in years, and, as I


was wholly powerless, I gave myself up for lost another
victim to Apache ferocity. His bloodshot eyes gleamed
upon me with intense delight, and he seemed to delay
the death-stroke for the purpose of gladdening his heart
upon my fears and inexpressible torture. All this trans
pired in less than half a minute, but to me it seemed
hours. Suddenly he raised his right arm for the final
stroke. I saw the descending blow of the deadly weapon,
and knew the force with which it was driven.

The love of life is a strong feeling at any time; but to
be killed like a pig, by an Apache, seemed pre-eminently
dreadful and contumelious. Down came the murderous
knife, aimed full at my throat, for his position on my
body made that the most prominent part of attack. In
stantly I twisted my head and neck one side to avoid the
blow and prolong life as much as possible. The keen
blade passed in dangerous proximity to my throat, and
buried itself deeply in the soft soil, penetrating my black
silk cravat, while his right thumb came within reach of
my mouth, and was as quickly seized between my teeth.
His struggles to free himself were fearful, but my life
depended on holding fast. Finding his efforts vain, he
released his grasp of my right arm and seized his knife
with his left hand, but the change, effected under ex
treme pain, reversed the whole state of affairs. Before
my antagonist could extricate his deeply-buried weapon
with his left hand, and while his right was held fast be
tween my teeth, I circled his body and plunged my sharp
and faithful dagger twice between his ribs, just under
his left arm, at the same time making another convulsive
effort to throw off his weight. In this I succeeded, and
in a few moments had the satisfaction of seeing my en
emy gasping his last under my repeated thrusts. Lan
guage would fail to convey anything like my sensations


during that deadly contest, and I will not attempt the

About the same time the battle terminated with the
defeat of our assailants, who lost ten killed and several
wounded, how many we never knew. On our side, we
lost one man James Kendick and had three wounded,
viz: John Wollaston, John H. Marble and Theodore
Heuston. Houston and Marble died of their wounds
soon after reaching Tucson, although they received the
kindest nursing and attention from that noble Castilian
gentleman, Juan Fernandez, and his amiable family.
This sad result broke up the party, and I returned to
San Diego shortly afterward with a party of immigrants
coming to California.

The above was one of the few occasions wherein the
Apaches have boldly attacked travelers from whom they
could expect no great booty and lose many lives in a con
flict. They were probably incited to the surprise by
some more than usually daring spirit, who planned the
affair and trusted for success in its distinctive and un
expected nature. We were precisely in a portion of the
country which afforded no ostensible covert, and conse
quently made us less cautious. They knew the charac
ter of the road, and the blinding nature and volume of
the dust. They depended upon the first fire to slay a
number of our party, and produce a panic among the
survivors. They counted upon a surprise and an easy
victory, and expected to inherit our horses, mules, arms
and provisions. They had conceived well, and acted
gallantly, but were frustrated, although the results were
of the saddest nature to our small company, as they com
pletely upset our original intentions by the death of The
odore Heuston, who was the capitalist and founder of
the expedition.


This event initiated me into another phase of Apache
character I had never before seen. It proved that they
are capable of bold and dangerous undertakings under
very adverse circumstances, or when the chances are
nearly evenly balanced; but this seldom occurs, as they
almost invariably have opportunities to examine, at their
leisure, all persons or parties who enter the regions in
habited by them, and form their plans so as to take every
advantage with the least possible chance of losing a

After my return to San Diego, I determined to forsake
my wild, almost nomadic life, and return to civilized ex
istence. I was tired and disgusted with the incessant
watchfulness, the unceasing warfare, and unrequited
privations I had suffered. Life had been a round of con
tentions for two years. I had passed through an un
broken series of tribulations and dangers during that
period. Hunger, thirst, severe cold and excessive heat,
with much personal peril, had been my invariable con
comitants, and I panted for a more quiet life. San
Francisco held forth the only inducement on this coast,
and thither I wended my way, on the steamer Sea Bird,
then commanded by Capt. Healey, with Gorman as

As this narrative is wholly devoted to incidents and
adventures among Indian tribes, the author will be ex
cused from giving a recital of his life until he was again
compelled, in obedience to orders, to renew acquaint
ance with nomadic races. It is sufficient to say, that
twelve years elapsed before such intimacy was effected,
faithful details of which will be given in the succeeding

During the period of quiescence from exciting life
which succeeded two. years' eventful wanderings across


the North American continent, abundant opportunities
existed for reconsidering and drawing just inferences
from the past. The conclusions arrived at then appeared
well founded, if judged from the light of the experiences
through which I had passed; but a subsequent career,
under unusually favorable circumstances, gave me to
comprehend how much my early judgment had erred.
I had seen bat the outside had witnessed but the husk;
the interior the kernel of the nut still remained un-
tasted and unknown. I had nattered myself with having
achieved a fair knowledge of Indian character. I believe
my personal observations had been sufficient to instruct
me on that subject. Former travels through South
America, from Buenos Ayres to Valparaiso when I was
a sort of captive among the Pategonian Indians for seven
months seemed to justify me in thinking I had made a
correct analysis of Indian traits. But I was much in
error. Sufficient credit had not been given to their
mental powers, their ability to calculate chances, to
estimate and foresee the plans of others, to take pre
cautions, to manoeuvre with skill, to insure concert of
action by a recognized code of signals, to convey infor
mation to succeeding parties of the route, numbers and
designs of those who preceded, and to bring together
formidable bodies from distant points without the aid of
messengers. Much, very much, was yet to be learned.

A boy of twenty years is very apt to credit himself
with having acquired a very satisfactory idea of human
nature, and no amount of instruction and advice from
his elders will induce him to change his views until a
fuller experience makes him realize the fact that when
he thought himself master of the situation, he was in
reality only entering upon its rudimental knowledge.
Of all people, Americans seem less inclined to receive


and profit by the advice of others founded upon a larger
and more matured experience. They want to know for
themselves, and place the most abiding faith in their
own judgment and readiness of resource. They seem to
regard a warning as a sort of reflection upon their per
sonal courage or skill, and frequently treat friendly
counsel with somewhat of petulance. A most lamenta
ble instance of this nature occurred to myself. After
my second term of military service in Arizona, I was re
turning home via Fort Yuma, when I received an intro
duction to a Paymaster, with the rank of Major, in the
Regular service. Dr. Tappan, Assistant Surgeon of Vol
unteers, was present at the time, and asked me to favor
him with some instructions in reference to the marches,
camping grounds, distances, and dangers to be met on
their projected route up the Gila river to the place for
merly known as Fort Breckinridge. It was clearly my
duty, as well as my pleasure, to put him in possession of
all the knowledge I had gleaned in reference to these
points, and I closed my information by tracing a map of
the route, and volunteering advice to the following effect.
You must never, said I, permit your zeal to outrun
your discretion. Remember that a well appointed and
careful party may travel through Arizona from one year's
end to the other, without ever seeing an Apache, or any
trace of his existence, and from this cause travelers fre
quently become careless and fall an easy prey to their
sleepless watchfulness. Indeed, it is not difficult to
point out many who have no faith in their apparent
ubiquity, but believe that they must be sought in their
strongholds. There are others again who will not be
convinced that the eyes of these Indians are always upon
them, because they see nothing to indicate that fact; but
the truth is, every move you make, every step you ad-


vance, every camp you visit, is seen and noted by them,
with the strictest scrutiny. If they perceive that you are
careful, prepared for any contingency, and always on
your guard, they wll hesitate about making any attack
with ten times your force, especially if your party does
not oifer sufficient inducement in the matter of plunder.
Bat if they observe the least neglect, or want of precau
tion on your part, you will be assaulted at the very mo
ment, in the very place, and under circumstances when
least expected, with every probability of success in their
favor. I further remarked, your party, I understand,
will be a small one, of not more than ten or twelve per
sons, including an escort of nine men of the Regular
Infantry. None of these men have probably ever been
in an Indian country, and, if they have, no experience
elsewhere will avail them among the Apaches, whose
mode of warfare is so entirely at variance with those of
all other tribes. The Regular soldiers, in order to pre
serve the polish and fine appearance of their guns, are in
the habit of carrying them in covers and unloaded. This
should be avoided. The men should be made to carry
their muskets loaded, capped, and ready for action at a
second's warning. They must be restrained from strag
gling, and moved in such order as will guarantee the
greatest amount of security to every individual. Special
care should be observed soon after entering a camping-
ground, when the men generally lay aside their weapons
and separate into detachments to bring wood and water.
I cannot too strongly impress you with the necessity for
a rigid observance of this caution in all cases where the
party is small, and no sufficient armed body left in camp,
or provided as guards for the protection of those engaged
in other necessary duties.

Dr. Tappan thanked me cordially for the information


imparted, and especially for the advice given in relation
to the Apaches, but the Major rather coolly intimated
that he was quite capable of managing his own affairs,
and had seen enough of Indian life to put him in posses
sion of all necessary information. I touched my cap and
withdrew somewhat mortified. Soon afterward intelli
gence was received that the Major, Dr. Tappan and three
others had been killed at the Cotton-wood Springs, by
the Apaches. It seems that soon after entering upon
the camp ground, the party broke into small unarmed
squads, which went in search. of wood and to bring wa
ter, when their ever-watchful and tigerish fees seized
the opportunity to dash in and massacre all they could.
In this miserable manner the lives of two valuable offi
cers and three brave men were sacrificed for the want of
a little caution which could have been easily exercised.

Let it be borne in mind at all times that the Apaches
have scarcely ever been known to make a fighting attack
at night. Under cover of the darkness they will steal
into camp and conceal themselves from detection with
wondrous skill, in the hope of effecting a robbery; but
that is the extent of their night operations, unless they
become emboldened by the most reckless and foolhardy
carelessness. Their onslaughts are almost invariably
made by day, and at such times and places as tend to
impart the greatest sense of security. When they mean
mischief no marks are to be seen no traces, no tracks,
no "signs" discoverable. The unsuspecting traveler,
lulled into, a fatal belief that none of them are near, re
laxes his caution, and is caught as surely as the spider
meshes the confiding fly. I have seen men, who, being
in company with large and well armed parties, had never
seen an Apache after a year of wandering in their coun
try, actually doubted the existence of those savages


except amidst their strongholds, until a recklessness
begotten of unbelief, induced them to relax their
watchfulness and incur special risks. In some cases,
they have succeeded and got off scot free, but in ninety
out of a hundred they have either fallen victims to mis
placed confidence, or escaped almost by miracle. Let
no one natter himself with the idea that, from the mo
ment he has passed the Pimo villages, he is at any time
unobserved by the Apaches. Being a non-productive
race, subsisting wholly on plunder and game, and inca
pable of providing a commissariat which will maintain
any considerable body for even a week or two, they
are scattered in small but active parties throughout the
whole of Arizona, a large part of New Mexico, and all
the northern portions of Chihuahua and Sonora, and in
some parts of Durango. The territory over which they
roam, and in which they appear to be ubiquitous, is
more than three times larger than California; and Cali
fornia possesses more area than all the New England
States, together with New York and New Jersey. This
is to say, that the country over which the Apache race
holds the mastership which is literally the fact is
nearly as extensive as all the States which border on the
Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico put together. No great
expenditure of arithmetic is necessary to prove that, to
domineer over a region so vast, to guard all its passes,
to keep watchmen on all the principal heights overlook
ing the plains usually traveled, to keep up a regular
system of videttes over its expanse, to strike a half dozen
places two and three hundred miles apart at the same
time, to organize parties for scouring the wide valleys
and attending the movements of travelers, and to be a
terror and a scourge throughout its whole area, must
employ the utmost resources, activity and energy of a


numerous people, exceedingly vigilant and rapid in their

Casual observers have, unintentionally, done serious
evil by underrating their real strength, to an extent al
most inconceivable among those who are better informed.
I have been in company with a body of fifteen hundred
at the very time that intelligence was received that a
half dozen other parties, numbering from twenty to
three hundred each, were actively engaged in commit
ting depredations at other points embraced in a radius
of five hundred miles, and yet I have seen the number
of Apaches estimated as low as fifteen hundred and two
thousand. Nearly eight years of personal experiences
have satisfied me that the Apache race, collectively, will
number fully twenty-five thousand souls. In this esti
mate the Navajoes and Lipans are not included, but those
are who inhabit portions of northwestern Mexico. Of
this number five thousand are capable of taking the field
and bearing an active part in their system of warfare. A
boy of fourteen is quite as formidable an antagonist as a
man of forty. From behind his rocky rampart or wooded
covert he speeds a rifle ball as straight to the heart of his
foe, while his chances for escape, in the event of failure,
are greater than those of his more aged and heavier as
sociate. Many of the women delight to participate in
predatory excursions, urging on the men, and actually
taking part in conflicts. They ride like centaurs and
handle their rifles with deadly skill. I cannot conceive
why the bullet sped by a woman should not be quite as
much an object of danger as the one shot from the weapon
of a man. In the estimate made, no account is taken of
the fighting women, who are numerous, well trained, and
desperate, often exhibiting more real courage than the


If any one indulges the idea that the Apaches are weak
and few; that they can be reduced to submission by the
establishment of scattered forts in the regions occupied
by them; that they can be tamed, and rendered peace
able under any circumstances; that they are to be bound
and holden by treaty stipulations; that they are suscep
tible of any law except the lex lalionis, or are to be
constrained by any rule but that of the argumentum ad
hominum, they are wonderfully in error. The succeeding
chapters of this unpretending volume of personal experi
ence acquired after nearly eight years of extraordinary
facilities to learn the truth will probably have the effect
to disprove these sophistries in a convincing manner.
And. here, I assert, that I was in every way predisposed
to offer every kindly act toward that race. Admiring
their unyielding resistance ; their acknowledged prowess;
their undisputed skill and dexterity; their undoubted in
telligence and native force of character; acquainted with
their language, traditions, tribal and family organiza
tions, and enjoying their confidence to a degree never
before accorded to any but an Apache, I strenuously
used every effort in consonance with my orders and plain
duties, to better their condition, and instill such infor
mation as would best conduce to their future peace and
happiness. These facts will appear in the course of my
narrative, together with the lamentable failure of all con
ciliatory schemes, which were notably aided and seconded
by the commanding General and his subalterns.


Enter the Volunteer Service. The Column from California. Antelope Peak.
Visited by Yumas. Making Metates. Get Rid of them by a Ruse. The
Maricopas Again. Carrying the Mails. Small Force in Camp. Visit of
Col. Bigg. The Maricopas Recognize me. Their Gratitude. Captain
Killmoon. Another Remarkable Lunar Performance. Loring's Assist
ance. Bargaining for Chickens. Magic Virtues of the Compass. Effect
of the Burning Glass.

TEN years had passed away before I renewed acquaint
ance with "Lo." It had been my fervent desire and
solemn resolve never more to revisit the scenes of so
much suffering and personal risk. No pecuniary offer
would have proved a sufficient inducement to forego that
resolve. But the dreadful war of rebellion burst with
fury over our heads. My country needed the help of all
her loyal sons, and I quietly placed myself in their ranks
as Captain of a company of the Second Cavalry, Califor
nia Volunteers. General James H. Carleton was ordered
to advance into Arizona and New Mexico, with a column
of nearly three thousand California!! soldiers, consisting
of artillery, infantry and cavalry. He did me the honor
to select my company from my regiment and make it a
part of his force. Although nattered by the compliment,
as mine was the only company of the Second Cavalry
attached to his column, I felt by no means delighted
with the prospect of again traveling those arid, exten
sive, and most inhospitable deserts, mountain gorges,
and scorching plains, over which the Apache held almost
undisturbed rule. In military life obedience to order is
the first requisite of a soldier, and of course I submitted


without murmur to this unexpected and disagreeable

It is foreign to the text of this work to enter into de
tails of experiences not indicative of Indian character,
and I will, therefore, pass over the many occurrences
of military life during the trying winter of 1861 and
1862, when nearly the whole State was overflowed, and
over sixty millions of dollars worth of property destroyed
by the floods. It is not necessary to recite the gigantic
labors performed by the column from California, in mak
ing roads; digging and restoring wells in desert places;
constructing bridges; establishing depots; escorting
trains, and sending forward advanced bodies of observa
tion; for certain intelligence had been received that the
enemy were advancing upon the frontiers of this State,
and were not far from Fort Yuma. All these details
have no connection with this volume, and will therefore
be ignored.

I was ordered in the advance by Gen. Carleton, with
instruction to occupy the pass at Antelope Peak until his
arrival. On reaching that place I found that the Gila
river had made great inroads upon the mesa or table
land between it and the hill, until only a passage of
something like a hundred yards intervened. Of this
pass I took possession, drawing up my two wagons and
picket line in such a manner as to intercept all travel,
while a lookout was maintained during the day from the
top of the peak, and a well ordered patrol scoured the
country for a space of ten miles to the eastward at all
times of day and night. During our occupancy of this
pass a band of Yumas, about thirty in number, all war
riors, came up from the Colorado river to collect stones,
and make metates for their wives. The metate is a slightly
hollowed hard stone, upon which soaked maize is laid,


and then reduced to paste by the vigorous friction of an
other oblong and partially rounded stone, in the hands
of squaws " who love their lords." The paste so formed
is then patted between the hands until it assumes a flat,
thin and round appearance, when it is laid on a hot pan
and baked into a tortilla. As no stones of a suitable
character are found in the neighborhood of the Colorado
river, nearer than Antelope Peak, the Yum as yearly visit
that place to obtain them, as the metate is an indispens
able culinary utensil.

Three days after we had occupied the pass we were
visited by the Yumas, who immediately set to work se
lecting stones and hewing them into the required shape
in their rude manner. But it was soon discovered that*
several blankets, and a revolver, for which I was res
ponsible, had disappeared, and I determined to get rid
of my Yumas friends soon by stratagem if possible, by
force if need be. The deadly feud between the Yumas
and the Maricopas and Pimos has already been stated,
and the knowledge of this feud served me in the case.
The sentinel on the hill was instructed to give the alarm
to indicate the advance of a body from the east, and to
answer, when questioned, that they were Indians. As that
side of the compass was occupied only by the Maricopas
and Pimos, such an arrangement would probably have
the effect of alarming the Yumas and ridding us of their
presence. In obedience to order the signal was duly
made and the programme carried out. The Yumas w r ere
greatly alarmed, and inquired whether I would protect
them from the Maricopas. My answer was, that I had
nothing at all to do with their quarrels; that the Mari
copas were as much our friends as the Yumas; that I
possessed no power to take sides, but was entirely sub
servient to the orders of my chief, and that, if they


would procure such an order, I would obey it to tlie
letter, but under any other circumstances refused to take
action in the premises. This was enough. Hastily bund
ling up their metales they decamped with the utmost ce
lerity and left us undisturbed during the remainder of
our stay at Antelope Peak.

- Sometime afterward we reached the first Maricopa vil
lage, where I was ordered to establish my camp and
keep up communications between the column and Cali
fornia. Lieut. -Col. Theodore Coult, of the infantry, was
in command at the central village, twelve miles beyond
my post, and successive orders of his reduced my force
to the Orderly Sergeant, E. B. Loring, (subequently Cap
tain of Co. A, Second Cavalry, Cal. Vols.) one man with
a broken arm, and myself. My chief bugler and Quar
termaster-Sergeant, George Shearer, had been dispatched
across the Grila Bend, sixty-five miles, with the mails, and
orders to bring forward the return mails from California.
Our camp was located on an extensive, clear plain, cov
ered with short, green alkaline grass, wholly unfit for
our animals, of which we had twenty-seven, including
horses and mules. There was also about fifty thousand
dollars worth of Government property to be guarded,
and for which I was responsible. By digging a foot
or two, water was obtainable in abundance, but it was
so deeply impregnated with alkali as to be almost un-
drinkable. However, there was nothing else for it,
and we were compelled to use it or die of thirst. The
camp ground was nearly two miles west from the near
est Maricopa village, and had frequently been invaded
by the Apaches. As our animals were sickened by the
grass about us, it became indispensable to graze them in
a more favorable locality which existed about three miles
further westward, and exactly where the Apaches were


frequently visitors. Fortunately, we escaped their at
tentions at that time. Our far-reaching carbines swept
the whole expanse around "us, and we had formed a sort
of redoubt of earth, as a defense in case of attack, within
which our ammunition, spare arms, provisions and per
sonal effects were ensconced. One kept guard while
the other slept. Our animals were placed in a line which
could be swept by our fire, and the wagons so arranged
as to furnish additional defense. In this unpleasant and
inglorious manner several days passed, until the arrival
of Col. E. A. Bigg, who was quite astonished at the facts
brought to his knowledge and immediately imparted
them to the commanding General, by whom I was or
dered once more in the advance, and the major part of
of my company reunited under my control.

The grazing ground to which we resorted during our
stay near the Maricopa villages had been the scene of a
desperate conflict between that tribe and the Pimos, on
one side, and the Yumas, Chimehuevis, and Amojaves,
on the other. Victory rested with the Maricopas and
Pimos, who slew over four hundred of the allied tribes,
and so humiliated them that no effort has ever been
made on their part to renew hostilities. This battle oc
curred four years before our advent, and the ground was
strewed with the skulls and bones of slaughtered war
riors. Every day large numbers of the Maricopas visited
my camp and were received with kindness, which they
never failed to appreciate. On one occasion the head
chief, Juan Chivari, and his Lieutenant, Palacio, paid
me a visit, and almost immediately recognized me as the
man who, ten years before, they had dubbed with the
title of "Captain Killmooii," by reason of the part I
took when Lieut. Whipple was observing an eclipse of
the moon. I acknowledged the soft impeachment and


was received with every demonstration of regard and
kindness. Messengers were dispatched to inform the
Maricopa man and woman we had succored more than
twelve years before; and, although they resided some ten
miles distant, in another village, in less than four hours
they were hugging and embracing me as if I were their
warmest friend. This recognition and gratitude for the
slight services rendered touched me nearly, especially
when the priceless information they imparted at the time
was probably the means of saving our lives. Every little
gift within my possession was freely and gratefully con
ferred upon these two deserving beings, savages though
they were, who had married and were passing their
peaceable lives together.

One afternoon Palacio said to me: "You killed the
moon once, and brought it to life again. That was good.
You are a great medicine. You were then among us.
You are here once more. I have told my young people
of the affair; -but they will not believe, although hun
dreds were witnesses. When can you kill the moon
again, and prove the fact?"

An almanac happened to be within reach, and I re
ferred to it for the next lunar eclipse. To my great sur
prise, it stated that a full eclipse of that luminary would
take place two nights from that date. Preserving the
greatest composure, I told Palacio that if he would
bring his people to my camp two nights from that time,
and wait till a certain hour, I would again kill the moon,
and again restore her to life. This piece of news was
extensively spread throughout all the villages; and next
day my camp was thronged, from morning till night,
with Maricopas and Piinos anxious to know if Palacio
had reported correctly. They were answered in the
affirmative, and sent away with very mixed sensations.


Before the time for slaughter arrived, I visited the
grazing ground and selected seven finely polished skulls
of Yumas, which I kept concealed in a sack. A quan
tity of powder was then mixed and made into a paste,
and so arranged as to compose fuses. A few iron filings
were mixed with several of these fuses, and a number of
carbine caps arranged in such a manner as to flash and
snap when required. The skulls were placed in a circle,
the center of which I was to occupy. In each one was
a burning candle, the light from which shone through
the eye sockets. In front of every skull was a small
fuse, and from each fuse led a train of dry powder to
the center of the ring. Back of the fuses were placed
considerable charges of dry powder, which would ex
plode so soon as the fuses burned to their locations, and
which explosion would immediately extinguish the can
dles, leaving all in darkness. The skulls were also at
tached to each other by a fine but strong thread, and
the thread to a small twine, which, when drawn in, would
bring the whole affair in a pile, and allow of their secre
tion. All my designs were confided to Loring, the Or
derly Sergeant, and our plans laid.

Long before the appointed time, (about ten o'clock
p. M.) the camp was crowded by excited Pimos and Mar-
icopas. Probably three thousand were present. - It was
necessary to distract their attention from my movements,
and I directed Sergeant Shearer to draw them off by
some device from my immediate neighborhood. In this
he succeeded admirably. No one was present to observe
what I did. The skulls were properly arranged; the
fuses, powder and caps laid, and candles lighted; and I
took my place in the center, armed with a sabre, my
head and right shoulder bare, and my gaze fixed on the
moon, which was about to be obscured. The signal


was given, and Shearer led the excited crowds toward
my position. "With great ceremony I drew a circle round
the lighted skulls, and forbade the already frightened
audience from passing that bound on pain of death. I
sat in the center of the circle, with my head between my
hands, waiting for time to pass until the eclipse should
be complete, or nearly so. The silence and anxiety of
that immense crowd of savages was something fearful.
I was undertaking a dangerous experiment. If it failed,
the consequences might be fatal; if it succeeded, my in
fluence among them would be almost unbounded. Cir
cumstanced as I was, the thing was worth trying. As an
officer of my country, I felt the necessity of obtaining a
moral as well as physical ascendancy of these populous
tribes, which occupied the highway of immigration be
tween the East and the West. I was almost alone among
them, and they had begun to despise the paucity of my
force. It had become necessary to re-assert our superi
ority, and the adventitious circumstances before related
favored my attempt. Crouched down, with a naked sa
bre in my hand, gleaming with the lights thrown through
the sightless sockets of the encircling skulls, I impa
tiently waited the time to apply the match to my train.
It came at last. The train was touched; the brilliant
flame flashed with the speed of lightning and ignited the
fuses, which fizzed and sputtered, and sent forth streams
of bright sparks, lighting up the scene with somewhat of
radiance, when suddenly the whole affair terminated in
darkness. The change from intense light was so great
that no one observed Shearer draw in and secrete the
skulls, and when vision was restored the whole parapher
nalia had passed away. In the meantime, the moon be
gan to reappear; its disc became rapidly more observa
ble and brilliant, until she again "O'er the dark her sil-


ver mantle threw " in all its splendor. The effect upon
the surrounding Indians I can not pretend to describe;
but the sobriquet of "Captain Killmoon" was unani
mously adopted as a very proper appellation. About
one o'clock A. M. the savages retired, and left us to the
enjoyment of a hearty laugh and undisturbed repose.

Two days afterward I had occasion to visit the head
quarters of Col. Coult, and received his hospitality.
That officer informed me that since our arrival the In
dians had increased their prices for ground provisions,
poultry, etc., five and six hundred per cent. Chickens,
which had been a drug at a bit a piece, were then worth
seventy-five cents. I told the Colonel that I could ob
tain all I required at twenty-five cents each, and he com
missioned me to purchase a dozen or more on his account.
This statement of mine had been made off-hand, and
without any deliberation. I had bought only three or
four chickens, and had no right to determine the mar
ket; but as the promise was given, it was my duty to ful
fill it, even at expense to myself. Here, again, strategy
came into play. "Captain Bob Shorty" was once more
at his old tricks.

I was the fortunate possessor of a powerful magnet
and a fine pocket compass, and with these instruments I
resolved to test the acumen of my savage friends. A
strong burning glass aided me greatly, as it did on
subsequent occasions, to obtain their implicit trust and
confidence. Armed with these peaceable weapons, I in
formed the Maricopas that chickens would find a ready
market in my camp, and in a few hours several dozen
were proffered. Determined upon paying only a fair
price, I coolly commenced rolling a cigarito, at the same
time giving one to a Maricopa, who went to the camp
fire and got a light, with which he returned and prof-


fered me the civility of igniting my cigarito from his.
This did not suit my purpose, and taking my burning
glass, I said "Do you think that a 'Great Medicine*
like me would light his cigar from common fire? No; I
will draw it from heaven/' and, suiting the action to the
words, I drew a focus in that glaring sun, which soon
gave me the needed fire. This simple achievement filled
them with unbounded astonishment, and prepared them
for the reception of other miracles. Turning to a war
rior who appeared a person of some consequence, I or
dered him to produce his chickens, whereupon half a
dozen of fair quality were offered for sale. I took them
one by one in my hand, appeared to go through a most
careful examination, and then suddenly turning to the
man, inquired what he meant by trying to deceive me.
The poor fellow was exceedingly mortified, and asked in
what particular. The reply was, you have offered to sell
me sick chickens, unfit for food, and are therefore at
tempting an imposition. He stoutly denied the charge,
insisting that the chickens were sound and well. We
will soon test that, I answered, and then deposited my
fine pocket compass on the ground, holding the magnet
concealed in the hollow of my left hand. v The needle ,
soon ceased oscillating and settled down to its proper
pointings, when the Indian was requested to turn the
compass round, which he did, and, to his great wonder,
the needle again resumed its normal situation. After
several essays of this kind, he became convinced that the
north pole would invariably point northward, no matter
what changes were made in the position of the case. So
soon as the required impression had been effected, they
were told to lay their chickens, one after the other, either
on the east or west side of the compass, and informed
that if the birds were good and healthy no change would
be observed in the instrument; but if not, the north pole


would point directly at the object and detect the impo
sition. These injunctions were implicitly followed, and
keeping the magnet in my left hand, with the index fin
ger of the right, I approached the instrument, muttering
several cabalistic words, and described a half circle close
to and about the case. Of course, no movement fol
lowed, and the chicken was accepted at the price asked.
In this manner two or three were bought: but then came
my turn. Changing the magnet into the hollow of my
right hand, I again approached the compass, at the south
pole, and instantly it commenced to circle round in obe
dience to well known causes, and under full control of
the magnet, until the north pole pointed exactly toward
the doomed chicken. There! I exclaimed, in a tone of
simulated indignation, did I not tell you that some of
your chickens were sick and bad? Do you expect to
cheat a " Great Medicine?" If you are not more honest
for the future, you may possibly be visited by a malady,
which will kill off all your fowls.

By this time a large and anxious crowd had assembled
to witness this new and extraordinary test, and any at
tempt to describe their wonderment would be fruitless.
Realizing the impression made, I then continued in the
following strain : I do not believe that you meant to be
bad, but rather give you credit for ignorance, and I only
claim that all the sick chickens shall be forfeited to me,
for I can cure them, and make them ultimately useful.
This proposition was eagerly accepted, nem. con., and in^
this manner I secured six dozen of excellent birds at the
rate of two bits each, while only twelve miles distant my
brother officers were paying six bits each for inferior
birds. The Indians, knowing us to be in their power
for supplies of this kind, had raised the prices five hun
dred per cent. , and I had turned the scales against them
by a very simple process.


Sent to the Front. Dreadful Storm at the San Pedro Eiver. Night Alarm.
Apaches Gathering. Dragoon Springs. Capt. Thomas Roberts. Apache
Pass. Bloody and Desperate Fight with Apaches. The Savages Whipped.
Remarkable Infantry March. Heroism of John Teal. He wounds
Mangas Colorado, and whips off Fifteen Apaches. Gallantry of Sergeant
Mitchel and his Cavalry. Effect of Shelling the Apaches. Number of
Indians Killed. Our Losses. Re-enter the Pass. Refused Permission to
Charge. San Simon.

IN consequence of the report made by Lieut. -Col. E.
A. Riggj Gen. Carleton again ordered me in the advance,
with Capt. Thomas Koberts, Co. E, First California In
fantry. Arriving at the San Pedro river, it became
necessary to learn whether Dragoon Springs, some twen
ty-eight miles further on, could supply both companies,
at a time, with water, or whether we would be obliged
to break into detachments. Capt. Roberts took the ad
vance with his infantry and three wagons, having also
selected seven of my best mounted men to serve as scouts
and couriers. I remained behind with fifteen of my cav
alry and ten of Roberts' company, including the detach
ment left as a garrison at the river, where a tolerable
adobe building, erected by the Overland Mail Stage
Company, afforded decent shelter, and a defensible po

The night after Roberts left was one of the most
stormy I ever witnessed. The rain descended in floods.
Earth and sky appeared thunder riven; blazing light
nings leaped from the inky clouds, and absorbed the
Cimmerian darkness with their blinding flashes. The San


Pedro roared and foamed, the animals quailed and bent
before the storm, and all nature seemed convulsed. I
was in charge of sixteen wagons with' their mules and
precious freight, and my chief attention was elicited to
secure their safety. Experience had taught me that the
Apaches would select exactly such a time to make a bold
attempt, and I doubled my sentries. Throwing myself
on the earthen floor, in front of a decent fire, without
removing my side arms or any portion of my clothing, I
endeavored to obtain some repose. About two o'clock
A. M., I was aroused by the Sergeant of the guard, who
informed me that strange lights were visible coming
down the hills on the west, north and south sides. A
hasty survey showed me four lights, as of large burning
brands, on three different sides of the compass, and ap
parently approaching the station. I felt convinced from
this open demonstration, that no attack was meditated,
for, in that case, the greatest secrecy and caution would
have been observed by the Apaches. Nevertheless, the
garrison was summoned and disposed to the best advan
tage. All fires were extinguished, and all lights shrouded
from observation. In the course of a few minutes seven
or eight more lights made their appearance, and seemed
to be carried by persons walking at a rapid pace. Some
of them approached within, what I considered, two hun
dred yards of the station, and at one time I felt greatly
inclined to try the effect of a chance shot from ray rifle,
but gave up the idea from the conviction that no Apache
would carry a torch within that distance, and maintain
an erect position, while my fire might expose the persons
of my men and draw a more effective return. After an
hour and a half of anxious watch, the lights gradually
united and faded away toward the east.

It was not until more than a year had elapsed that I


learned the meaning of this occurrence. A celebrated
leading man of the Mescalero Apaches, named Gian-nah-
tah, or " Always Ready," gave the desired information,
which precisely tallied with succeeding events. He said
that, as the Apaches are a dispersed and perpetually
wandering race, it is impossible for one detachment to
know where others might be at any time; but that when
a great body of them was needed for any joint under
taking they made smoke signals of a certain character
by day, and signals of fire by night. That, on the occa
sion of which I write, the nature of the country prohibited
fire signals from being seen except from very short dis
tances, and runners were hurried through the district,
bearing torches, which would indicate that the aid of all
within sight was required. In fine, it was the "speed,
Malise, speed," of the Apache. This explanation will
account for what followed.

Between three and four o'clock A. M., just after the
lights had disappeared, the sound of horses advancing
at a fast gallop was heard approaching the station. The
sentinel challenged, and was immediately answered with
the round Saxon response, "Friends." It proved to be
two of my own company, who had been sent back by
Capt. Roberts with the information that there was abund
ance of water at Dragoon Springs, and instruction to join
him with the train without delay. The poor fellows had
ridden twenty-eight miles through that terrible storm,
and in the heart of a country swarming with hostile and
ever vigilant savages. Two days subsequently they had
a splendid opportunity to test their gallantry, and most
nobly did they respond to the appeal. In obedience to
order, we set forward before daylight to join Captain
Roberts, and reached Dragoon Springs, without inci
dent, at three o'clock p. M. A long and fatiguing march


of forty miles had to be made before reaching Apache
Pass, where the next water was to be had, and as we
were in doubt as to the quantity, it was again agreed
that I should remain at Dragoon Springs until next
morning, while Capt. Koberts was to push ahead with
his infantry and seven of my company, leaving the train
under my charge. At half-past five o'clock P. M. he set
out, and the strictest vigilance was maintained in camp
the whole night. By daylight next morning we were
again in the saddle, and the train duly straightened out
for the long and dreary march. Had we not been en
cumbered with wagons my cavalry could have made the
distance easily in seven hours; but we were compelled
to keep pace with those indispensable transports of food,
ammunition, clothing and medicine. A little before dark
we arrived at Ewell's Station, fifteen miles west of the
pass, and I determined to park the train, as the mules
had almost given out, and were quite unable to accom
plish the remainder of the march without some rest.
Just as I had come to this conclusion we perceived sev
eral riders coming toward us with all speed, and they
soon proved to be the detachment of my company which
had been detailed to act with Capt. Eoberts. Two of
them were mounted behind two others, and all had evi
dently ridden hard. Sergeant Mitchell approached, and
saluting, said: "Capt. Roberts has been attacked in
Apache Pass by a very large body of Indians. We
fought them for six hours, and finally compelled them
to run. Capt. Eoberts then directed us to come back
through the pass, and report to you with orders to park
the train and take every precaution for its safety. He
will join you to-night. On leaving the pass we were
pursued by over fifty well armed and mounted Apaches,
and we lost three horses, killed under us, and that one


pointing to a splendid gray is mortally wounded. Ser
geant Maynard, now present, has his right arm fractured
at the elbow, with a rifle ball, and John Teal we believe
to be killed, as we saw him cut off by a band of fifteen
or twenty savages, while we were unable to render him
any assistance."

The wagons were ordered to be parked; every man
was supplied with ammunition and posted to the best
advantage; proper attention was paid to my wounded
sergeant, and the camp arranged in such a manner as to
insure a warm reception to a large body of savages. We
remained on the qui vive until one o'clock A. M., when to
my extreme surprise and sincere gratification we were
joined by John Teal, who was supposed to have been
killed. He brought with him his saddle, blanket, sabre
and pistols, having lost his horse and spurs. His narra
tive is so full of interest, and so well illustrates a phase
in Apache character, that it is worth recording.

"Soon after we left the pass," said he, "we opened
upon a sort of hollow plain or vale, about a mile wide,
across which we dashed with speed. I was about two
hundred yards in the rear, and presently a body of about
fifteen Indians got between me and my companions. I
turned my horse's head southward and coursed along the
plain, lengthwise, in the hope of outrunning them, but
my horse had been too sorely tested, and could not get
away. They came up and commenced firing, one ball
passing through the body of my horse, just forward of
his hind quarters. It was then about dark, and I imme
diately dismounted, determined to fight it out to the bit
ter end. My horse fell, and as I approached him, he
began to lick my hands. I then swore to kill at least
one Apache. Lying down behind the body of my dying
animal, I opened fire upon them with my carbine, which


being a breech-loader, enabled me to keep up a lively
fusillade. This repeated fire seemed to confuse the sav
ages, and instead of advancing with a rush, they com
menced to circle round me, firing occasional shots in my
direction. They knew that I also had a six-shooter and
a sabre, and seemed unwilling to try close quarters. In
this way the fight continued for over an hour, when I
got a good chance at a prominent Indian and slipped a
carbine ball into his breast. He must have been a man
of some note, because soon after that they seemed to get
away from me, and I could hear their voices growing
fainter in the distance. I thought this a good time to
make tracks, and divesting myself of my spurs, I took
the saddle, bridle and blanket from my dead horse and
started for camp. I have walked eight miles since then/'

It is needless to add how gratified I was to receive this
brave and loyal soldier again, and find him free from
wound or scar. We subsequently ascertained that the
man he shot was no less an individual than the celebrated
Mangas Colorado, but, I regret to .add, the rascal sur
vived his wound to cause us more trouble.

About an hour after Teal had come in, I was joined
by Capt. Koberts with thirty men, and then got a full
description of the fight. I omitted to mention that two
twelve-pounder mountain howitzers were with our little
force, and to these guns the victory is probably attrib
utable. It seems that about one hundred and thirty or
forty miners had located themselves at the Pino Alto
gold mines, or the same mines mentioned in a former
portion of this work as the scene where Mr. Hay and his
family were attacked and their cattle stolen by the
Apaches, and also where Delgadito got badly scored by
Wells. This was the great stronghold of Mangas and
his band, and finding himself unable to dislodge the un-


welcome intruders without help, he had dispatched mes
sengers to Cheis, the principal warrior of the Chiricahui
Apaches, to assist him in expelling the miners. Cheis
was too much occupied by the advancing column of
American troops to give heed to this call, and failed to
attend. Such want of faith was inexplicable to Mangas,
who knew nothing of our approach, and at the head of
two hundred warriors he visited Cheis, to inquire the
reason for his apparent defection from the Apache cause.
In reply Cheis took Mangas to the top of the Chiricahui
and showed him the dust made by our advance guard,
and told him that it was his first duty to defend himself,
and that if Mangas would join in the affair, they could
whip the "white eyes," and make themselves masters of
the spoil. This arrangement was immediately agreed to
by Mangas, and their united forces, amounting to nearly
seven hundred warriors, so disposed as to take Roberts
by surprise and insure his defeat. But "the best laid
plans of men and mice, aft gang aglee," and these finely
fixed schemes were doomed to be terribly overthrown.

Roberts, entirely unsuspecting any attack, entered the
pass with the ordinary precautions. He had penetrated
two-thirds of the way, when from both sides of that
battlemented gorge a fearful rain of fire and lead was
poured upon his troops, within a range of from thirty
to eighty yards. On either hand the rocks afforded nat
ural and almost unassailable defenses. Every tree con
cealed an armed warrior, and each warrior boasted his
rifle, six-shooter and knife. A better armed host could
scarcely be imagined. From behind every species of
shelter came the angry and hissing missiles, and not a
soul to be seen. Quickly, vigorously, and bravely did
his men respond, but to what effect? They were ex
pending ammunition to no purpose; their foes were in-


visible; there was no way to escalade those impregnable
natural fortresses; the howitzers were useless, and the
men doubtful how to attack the foe. In such strait,
Roberts determined to fall back, reform and renew the
contest. The orders were given and obeyed with per
fect discipline. Beaching the entrance to the pass the
troops were reorganized, skirmishers were thrown out
over the hills so as to command the road; the howitzers
were loaded, and belched forth their shells whenever
found necessary. In this manner the troops again
marched forward. Water was indispensable for the con
tinuance of life. Unless they could reach the springs
they must perish. A march of forty miles under an
Arizonian sun, and over wide alkaline plains, with their
blinding dust and thirst-provoking effects, had already
been effected, and it would be impossible to march back
again without serious loss of life, and untold suffering,
without taking into account the seeming disgrace of
being defeated by seven times their force of Apaches.
What would it avail those brave men to know that the
Indians were as well armed as they; that they possessed
all the advantages; that they outnumbered them seven
to one, when the outside and carping world would be so
ready to taunt them with defeat, and adduce so many
specious reasons why they should have annihilated the
savages ?

Forward, steadily forward, under a continuous and
galling fire, did those gallant companies advance until
they reached the old station house in the pass, about six
hundred yards from the springs. The house was built of
stone, and afforded ample shelter; but still they had no
water, and eighteen hours, with a march of forty miles,
including six hours of sharp fighting, had been passed
without a drop. Men and officers were faint, worn-out


with fatigue, want of sleep, and intense privation and
excitement; still Roberts urged them on, and led the
way. His person was always the most exposed; his
voice ever cheering and encouraging. Immediately com
manding the springs are two hills, both high and diffi
cult of ascent. One is to the east, and the other over
looks them from the south. On these heights the Apaches
had built rude but efficient breastworks by piling rocks
one upon the other so as to form crenelle holes between
the interstices. From these fortifications they kept up a
rapid and scathing fire, which could not be returned
with effect by musketry from three to four hundred feet
below. The howitzers were got into position, but one
of them was so badly managed that the gunners were
brought immediately under the fire from the hills with
out being able to make even a decent response. In a
few moments it was overturned by some unaccountable
piece of stupidity, and the artillerists driven off by the
sharp fire of the savages. At that juncture, Sergeant
Mitchell with his six associates of my company, made a
rush to bring off the howitzer and place it in a better
position. Upon reaching the guns, they determined not
to turn it down hill, but up, so as to keep their fronts to
the fire. While performing this gallant act, they were
assailed with a storm of balls, but escaped untouched;
after having righted the gun, brought it away, and
placed it in a position best calculated to perform effect
ive service. So soon as this feat had been happily ac
complished, the exact range was obtained and shell after
shell hurled upon the hills, bursting just when they
should. The Apaches, wholly unused to such formida
ble engines, precipitately abandoned their rock works
and fled in all directions. It was nearly night. To re
main under those death-dealing heights during the night,


when camp-fires would afford trie enemy the best kind
of advantage, was not true policy, and Capt. Roberts
ordered each man to take a drink from the precious and
hardly-earned springs, and fill his canteen, after which
the troops retired within the shelter afforded by the
stone station house, the proper guards and pickets being

In this fight Roberts had two men killed and three
wounded, and I afterwards learned from a prominent
Apache who Was present in the engagement, that sixty-
three warriors were killed outright by the shells, while
only three perished from musketry fire. He added
:< We would have done well enough if you had not fired
wagons at us." The howitzers being on wheels, were
deemed a species of wagon by the Apaches, wholly in
experienced in that sort of warfare.

Capt. Roberts suffered his men to recruit their wasted
energies with supper, and then taking one-half his com
pany, the remainder being left under command of Lieut.
Thompson, marched back to Swell's Station, fifteen
miles, to assure the safety of the train under my com
mand, and escort it through the pass. As before stated,
he reached my camp a little after two o'clock A.M., where
the men rested until five, when the march toward the
pass was resumed. Several alarms were given before
his arrival, and we heard the Apaches careering around
us; but they made no attack, and kept out of sight. At
five o'clock A.M., the train was straightened out with
half my effective cavalry force three hundred yards in
the advance, and the other half about as far in the rear,
while the wagons were flanked on either side by the in
fantry. In this order we entered that most formidable
of gorges, when the bugles blew a halt. A considerable
body of the infantry were then thrown out on either side


as skirmishers, with a small reserve as the rallying point,
while the cavalry were ordered to guard the train, and
make occasional dashes into the side canons. " Up hill
and down dale" went the skirmishers, plunging into
dark and forbidding denies, and climbing steep, rocky
and difficult acclivities, while the cavalry made frequent
sorties from the main body to the distance of several
hundred yards. Being without a subaltern, Gen. Carle-
ton had assigned Lieut. Muller, of the First Cavalry
California Volunteers, to service with my command.
This officer soon after gave sufficient proof of his gal
lantry and zeal, for which I now gratefully return thanks.

In this manner we progressed through that great
stronghold of the Apaches and dangerous defile, until
we joined the detachment under Lieut. Thompson, at
the stone station house, where we quartered for the re
mainder of that day. Let it be borne in mind that Capt.
Roberts' company of Californian Infantry had marched
forty miles without food or water, had fought for six
hours with desperation against six times their numbers
of splendidly armed Apaches, ensconced behind their
own natural ramparts, and with every possible advantage
in their favor; had driven that force before them, occu
pied their defiles, taken their strongholds, and, after
only one draught of water and a hasty meal, had made
another march of thirty miles, almost absolutely with
out rest. I doubt much if any record exists to show
where infantry have made a march of seventy miles,
fought one terrible battle of six hours' duration, and
achieved a decided victory under such circumstances.

The shrill fife, the rattling drum and the mellow bu
gles sounded the reveille before dawn of the next day.
The camp-fires were soon throwing up their lively jets
of flame and smoke, while the grateful odors of frying


bacon and browning flap-jacks saluted the appreciative
nostrils of the hungry troops. But we had no water,
and without water we could have no coffee, that most
coveted of all rations. There was reason to believe that
the Apaches intended to put our metal to another trial.
They had again occupied the heights above the springs,
and also the water sources, which were thickly sheltered
by trees and willow underbrush. Roberts again made
preparations to dislodge the savages, and ordered his
howitzers into the most favorable positions. Just then
I saluted him, and said, " Captain, you have done your
share of this fight; I now respectfully ask for my chance.
If you will throw your shells on the heights above the
springs, I will charge the latter with my men, and clean
out the Apaches in a very few moments. I certainly
think this concession due me."

Roberts reflected a few moments, and replied " I am
truly sorry that your wish cannot be granted. Yours is
the only cavalry I have, and their safety is indispensable
to ours. We are going to the San Simon river, where I
am ordered to establish a depot and await the arrival of
other troops with supplies. You are to take back this
train for those supplies, and you will have enough to do
in your proper turn. I cannot, under the circumstances,
grant your request/ 3

To this I replied: "Your objections appear cogent;
but I cannot perceive why all these things cannot be ac
complished, and still permit my men, who are burning
with anxiety, to charge those springs and disperse that
wretched horde of savages. They are already cowed,
and will immediately flee before a vigorous assault."

Capt. Roberts replied: "You have had my answer,
Captain, and it should be enough. I do not intend to
jeopard my own meri, but will shell the heights and


springs, and effect a bloodless victory, in so far as we
are concerned/'

After this rebuff I could make no further personal ap
peal, but instructed Lieut. Muller to beseech Capt. Kob-
erts, and, if possible, induce him to change his mind.
Muller argued for half an hour, until Koberts told him
either to obey or be placed under arrest. This ended
the colloquy. The howitzers then opened fire the shells
burst splendidly; large numbers of Apaches were ob
served to decamp from the heights in the most hurried
manner; the springs also underwent a similar cleaning,
and in less than twenty minutes the troops were permit
ted to advance and fill their canteens, while my cavalry,
without waiting further orders, made a rush after the
retreating savages until the rapid rise and terribly broken
nature of the ground checked their career. The hill
sides were covered with fleeing Apaches, who seemed
imbued with supernatural powers of locomotion. Up
wards they sped with the celerity of Alpine goats, until
they disappeared behind the crests of tall mountains and
rugged hills. In peace and quiet we partook of the
precious fountain. Our horses and mules, which had
not tasted water for forty-eight hours, and were nearly
famished from so dusty a road and so long a journey
under the hottest of suns, drank as if they would never
be satisfied. An hour later we moved through the pass,
entered upon the wide plain which separates it from the
San Simon river, and reached our camp on that creek,
without further trouble, about four o'clock p. M.


Return from the San Simon. Avoid Apache Pass. Reasons for so Doing. Night
Marching. Apaches show Themselves. Rattlesnakes. Ojo de los Her-
manos. San Pedro Again. Return through Apache Pass. Meet thirteen
Dead Americans. Mangas Colorado's Deceit. How the Americans were
Killed. Apache Cunning and Calculation. Bury the Dead. How Mangas
was Cured of his Wound. Death of Mangas Colorado. The Genius and
Abilities of Mangas. Apache Democracy. Extent of the Ravages of
Mangas Colorado.

BUT short breathing space was afforded me at the San
Simon. On the morning of the third day after our ar
rival, and the trying tests to which we had been sub
jected, I received orders from Capt. Roberts to escort
the train of twenty-six wagons back to the San Pedro,
in order to furnish the required transportation for the
provision, ammunition, clothing and other supplies of
the column. For this duty I was assigned fourteen of
my troopers, and seven men of Roberts' company. The
intervening country had been well examined through
fine field glasses, and on two occasions a thorough re-
connissance had been made by the cavalry, which showed
that a very excellent passage existed to the north of the
Chiricahui range, over nearly a level plain, and that the
distance would be only some seven miles longer. This
route, with the approbation of Capt. Roberts, was at
once selected for our return, and for the following rea
sons : The safety of our train was of the very first import
ance, as upon it depended the success of the unprece
dented march the " Column from California" was then
attempting. In the next place, if the Apaches had given


us such a strong and determined fight when we mustered
one hundred and twenty-nine men and two mountain
howitzers, what great chance would I have of safely con
ducting a train of twenty-six wagons with only twenty-
one men, and without artillery, through such a terrific
stronghold? In the third place, nature provided a pas
sage nearly as short, much less laborious for men and an
imals, well supplied with water, wood and grass, and by
its open character, affording the very best field for the
operations of cavalry, and the widest range for our
splendid breech-loading weapons of long reach. It was
not a question whether we should again fight the Indians,
but whether we could forward the main object of the
expedition. Indeed, strict orders had been given to re
frain from Indian broils as much as possible, to suffer
some wrong rather than divert our time and attention
from the great purpose contemplated, which was to lib
erate Arizona from Confederate rule and effect a junction
with Gen. Canby as soon as possible. Had we been
exclusively on an Indian campaign, other means would
have been adopted.

Having taken a final survey, I started in the evening
just after sundown, to prevent the Apaches from seeing
the dust raised by the column, and directed our course
over the open plain, north of the Chiricahui range, and
between it and the mountains from which it is divided
some four miles by an open and elevated piece of clear
land, without trees or rocks, and thickly covered with
the finest grama grass. We traveled all night with the
cavalry covering the front and rear, and the seven infan
trymen sleeping in the empty wagons, with their weap
ons loaded and ready at a moment's warning. Every
little while the cavalry were required to patrol the length
of the column, to ward off any sudden and unforeseen


attack. The infantry were allowed to sleep, in order
that they might be fresh to keep guard throughout the
day. In this manner we progressed until five A. M., next
day, when I ordered a halt, had the wagons handsomely
corralled nearly in a circle, with the animals and men all
inside, except the guard, and the camp properly pre
pared against surprise. We were then exactly north of
the Chiricahui mountains, and south of another range,
each being about two miles distant. I could distinctly
see large numbers of Apaches riding furiously up and
down the steeps of those heights, and sometimes advanc
ing on the plain, as if to attack. But experience had
taught them that our carbines and Minnie rifles were
deadly at nearly a mile of distance, and they did not ap
proach within their reach. Our horses were tied to the
picket rope which extended across the open end of the
corral, and covered by a sufficient guard. Finding that
the Apaches did not care to make an onslaught, the cav
alry and teamsters, all of whom were well armed, re
tired to rest, after partaking of a hearty meal. Next
evening, at dark, we again hitched up and pursued our
journey as before. I was in the. advance with Sergeant
Loring, when our horses suddenly jumped one side and
our ears were greeted by the spiteful warning of a rattle
snake, coiled up directly in our path. To avoid this ma
lignant reptile the train diverged about twenty yards
from the road, and after a little while entered it again.
This sort of thing occurred many times during the night,
until we again struck the regular highway nearly due
west of Apache Pass. Our next halt was made six miles
from Swell's Station, and we had come seventy miles in
two nights. That day we saw no Indians, although the
same precautions were adopted as if we were surrounded
by large numbers. Our next march was to the Ojo de


los Hermanos, or the ' ' Brothers' Springs," so as to avoid
stopping to water at Dragoon Springs, which were two
miles up a deep and dangerous canon, where the enemy
would possess every possible advantage, and where the
animals would have to be led to water a mile or more
from the wagons, with the delightful prospect of not
finding anything like a sufficiency.

In due course of time, we regained the San Pedro
river, where Gen. Carleton had arrived with a consider
able body of troops. I turned over my train, and was
ordered to advance once more with head-quarters.
Apache Pass was again entered and traversed; but it
seemed as if no Indian had ever awakened its echoes
with his war-whoop as if it had ever been the abode of
peace and silence. I rode beside Dr. McNulty for a
while, and described to him the terrible conflict which
had taken place there only eight days previous. That
true soldier and soldiers' friend frequently exclaimed
"By George, I wish I had been here!" "What splendid
natural breastworks are these, old fellow!" a peculiar
expression of his "I am glad you came out of it all
right!" Next day we emerged from the pass without
molestation, or seeing an Indian sign; but, instead of
directing our course toward the San Simon, diverged by
another route toward the Cienega, a flat, marshy place,
at the foot of the next easterly range of mountains, of
which Stein's Peak is the most prominent. The San
Simon creek, as it is called, sinks about a mile south of
the station bearing that name, and undoubtedly fur
nishes the supply of water which is to be had at the
Cienega, located on the same plain, and about eight
miles south of the spot where the creek disappears.

"We had progressed about two miles beyond the pass,
when we suddenly came upon the bodies of thirteen


persons, pierced in many places with bullet and arrow
holes, and some with the arrows still sticking, driven
deeply into their frames. After some examination, the
verdict was that they were the bodies of white men killed
by the Apaches but a short time before. This conclu
sion proved correct, as was afterward ascertained beyond
all doubt, and as their destruction was compassed by a
trick peculiarly illustrative of Apache character, I will
relate it in extenso.

My readers will bear in mind the place described as
Santa Rita del Cobre, where the Boundary Commission
remained for several months, where Inez G-onzales and
the two Mexican boys were rescued from captivity, where
Delgadito made his attack upon Mr. Hay, and where he
got handsomely seamed by Wells. The gold mines
worked by Mr. Hay at that period, twelve years prior, had
proved to be very rich, and attracted many bold adven
turers, among whom were a number of celebrated Indian
fighters, who had passed years upon our frontiers, and
were universally dreaded by all the wild Indian tribes of
Arizona and New Mexico. In a short time the mining
population at that point amounted to something like two
hundred, of whom one hundred and fifty were well
armed, fearless and experienced men. The presence of
such a party was far from pleasing to Mangas Colorado
and his band, as they claimed exclusive proprietorship
to that whole region, which was their main fastness.
They also regarded the miners as the legitimate succes
sors of the Boundary Commission, with whom they had.
parted in deadly enmity after a short season of simulated
friendship. Mangas made many skillful efforts to dis
lodge the miners, and divert their attention from the
Copper Mines, but without effect. He privately visited
some of the more prominent among them, and profess-


ing the most disinterested friendship, offered to show
them where gold was far more abundant and could be
obtained with less labor, accompanying his promises
with something like the following style of inducement :

"You good man. You stay here long time and never
hurt Apache. You want the 'yellow iron;' I know where
plenty is. Suppose you go with me, I show you; but
tell no one else. Mangas your friend, he want to do you
good. You like 'yellow iron' good! Me no want
' yellow iron/ Him no good for me can no eat, can no
drink, can no keepee out cold. Come, I show you."

For a while each person so approached kept this offer
to himself, but after a time they "began to compare notes,
and found that Mangas had made like promises to each,
under the ban of secrecy and the pretense of exclusive
personal friendship. * Those who at first believed the old
rascal, at once comprehended that it was a trap set to
separate and sacrifice the bolder and leading men by
gaining their confidence and killing them in detail, while
their fates would remain unknown to those left behind.
The next time, after this eclair cissement, that Mangas
visited that camp, he was tied to a tree and administered
a dose of "strap oil," well applied by lusty arms. His
vengeance was more keenly aroused by this deserved
treatment, and from that time forth every sort of annoy
ance was put into operation against the miners. They
were shot at from the cover of trees and rocks, their cat
tle and horses were driven off, their supply trains robbed
and destroyed, and themselves reduced to want. But
Mangas desired their utter extirpation. He wanted their
blood; he was anxious for their annihilation, and feeling
himself unable to cope with them single handed, he
dispatched emissaries to Cheis, the most famed warrior
of the Chiricahui tribe, to come and help him oust the


Just at that time news was received by Clieis that the
Americans were advancing from the west, and were
about to overrun Ipis country. "Charity begins at
home/' was the motto of that prominent Apache, and,
instead of going to the relief of Mangas, notified him of
the newly threatened invasion, and asked his assistance,
promising to help Mangas, in his turn. The proffer was
accepted, and Mangas joined Cheis at the Apache Pass
with two hundred warriors, which accounts for the
large force against which Koberts had to contend in that
formidable gorge.

While these united forces were occupying Apache
Pass, waiting our arrival, they descried a small band of
Americans approaching from the east, across the wide
plain intervening between that place and the Cienega,
and determined to cut it off. Those wily Indians soon
recognized in the new-comers a small, but well armed,
party of the hardy and experienced miners from the
Santa Rita del Cobre, and knew that such men were al
ways on their guard and prepared to defend their lives
with the greatest courage and determination. They also
knew that they would be specially on the qui vive after
having entered the pass, and that any attack upon them
would probably result in the loss of several of their war
riors. How to compass their ends and obviate this last
possibility, became the chief objects of their attention.
Two miles east of the pass, right in the clear and unob
structed plain, there is a gully, formed by the washing
of heavy rains through a porous and yielding soil. This
gully is from six to eight feet deep, a quarter of a mile
long, three or four yards wide, and cannot be seen from
horseback until the rider is within fifty yards of the spot.
"With consummate cunning a large body of the Apaches
ensconced themselves in this gully, knowing that the


travelers would be somewhat off their guard in an open
plain, apparently without place of concealment, and
awaited the approach of their victims. The scheme
proved eminently successful. Wholly unapprehensive
of a danger they could not see and had no reason to sus
pect, "the hardy miners rode forward with their rifles
resting in the slings across their saddle bows, their pis
tols in scabbards, and their whole attention absorbed in
the pass they were about to enter. "When they had ar
rived within forty yards of the gully or ditch, a terrific
and simultaneous fire was opened upon them by the con
cealed Indians, which killed one-half their number out
right, and sent the remainder wounded and panic
stricken to seek safety in flight. They were immediately
pursued and massacred to a man. Theirs were the
bodies discovered by us soon after emerging from Apache
Pass, and although we grieved over their death, as brave
men grieve for each other, the circumstance taught us
another and most instructive lesson in Apache character,
and the wondrously shrewd calculations made by those
people when determined to effect a desired object.

I subsequently learned that the victims had with them
a considerable sum in gold dust, nearly fifty thousand
dollars' worth, all of which fell into the hands of their
slayers, who had become well acquainted with its value.
Their bodies were as decently interred as circumstances
would permit, after which we moved forward toward the
Cienega, in mournful and somewhat vindictive mood.

Mangas Colorado returned with his diminished band
to the Pino Alto country after his disastrous defeat in
Apache Pass, but he returned with a carbine ball in his
chest, fired by John Teal, whose gallant conduct has al
ready been described. It was owing to this chance shot
that the Apaches abandoned their attack upon Teal, in


order to give succor to so prominent a man as Mangas.
He was carefully conveyed to Janos, in Chihuahua, where
he received the enforced attendance and aid of a Mexican
physician, who happened to be in that place at the time.
It was a case of the practice of surgery under unique
circumstances. If the patient survived, well and good;
he would return to his native wilds to again renew his
fearful devastations; but if he died, the doctor and all
the inhabitants were assured they should visit the spirit
land with him. The ball was extracted, Mangas recov
ered, an'd the people were saved; but his was a short
lease of life, for he was soon afterward captured by Capt.
E. D. Shirland, of the First California Volunteer Cav
alry, and killed while attempting to effect his escape
from the guard house. In this manner perished Mangas
Colorado, the greatest and most talented Apache Indian
of the nineteenth century. In truth, he was a wonder
ful man. His sagacious counsels partook more of the
character of wide and enlarged statesmanship than those
of any other Indian of modern times. His subtle and
comprehensive intellect enrolled and united the three
principal tribes of Arizona and New Mexico in one com
mon cause. He found means to collect and keep to
gether, for weeks at a time, large bodies of savages, such
as none of, his predecessors could assemble and feed.
He quieted and allayed all jealousies and disagreements
between different branches of the great Apache family,
and taught them to comprehend the value of unity and
collective strength. Although never remarkable for per
sonal prowess and courage, he knew how to evoke those
qualities in others, and appropriate the credit to himself.
Crafty and skilled in human nature, he laid plans and
devised schemes remarkable for their shrewdness of con
ception and success in execution. In council he was the


last to speak, in action lie was the last to come on the
field, and the first to leave if defeated; yet he had the
reputation among all his people of being the wisest and
bravest. That he was the wisest has never been denied;
that he was the bravest has never been proved. But,
take him for all in all, he exercised an influence never
equaled by any savage of our time, when we take into
consideration the fact that the Apaches acknowledge no
chiefs, and obey no orders from any source. They con
stitute a pure democracy, in which every man is the
equal of every other. Each is sovereign inliis own right
as a warrior, and disclaims all allegiance. But this sub
ject will be treated at length in another portion of this

The life of Mangas Colorado, if it could be ascertained,
would be a tissue of the most extensive and afflicting
revelationSj the most atrocious cruelties, the most vin
dictive revenges, and widespread injuries ever perpetra
ted by an American Indian. "We read with sensations
of horror the dreadful massacre at Schenectady, the
bloody deeds at Wyoming, the cruelties of Proctor's
savage allies, and others of like character; but they sink
into absolute insignificance beside the acts of Mangas
Colorado, running through a series of fifty years, for
Mangas was fully seventy when sent to his last account.
The northern portions of Chihuahua and Sonora, large
tracts of Durango, the whole of Arizona, and a very con
siderable part of New Mexico, were laid waste, ravished,
destroyed by this man and his followers. A strip of
country twice as large as all California was rendered al
most houseless, unproductive, uninhabitable by his active
and uncompromising hostility. Large and flourishing
towns were depopulated and ruined. Vast ranches, such
as that of Barbacomori and San Bernardino, once teem-


ing with wealth and immense herds of cattle, horses and
mules, were turned into waste places, and restored to
their pristine solitudes. The name of Mangas Colorado
was the tocsin of terror and dismay throughout a vast
region of country, whose inhabitants existed by his suf
ferance under penalty of supplying him with the requisite
arms and ammunition for his many and terrible raids.
He combined many attributes of real greatness with the
ferocity and brutality of the most savage savage. The
names of his victims, by actual slaughter or by captivity,
would fill a volume, and the relation of his deeds through
out a long and merciless life would put to shame the
records of the "Newgate Calendar." I dismiss him
with disgust and loathing, not unmingled with some
degree of respect for his abilities.


Apache Signals. Mode of Marching through Arizona and New Mexico. Apache
Watchfulness and Caution. The Gila Country. Grama Grass. The In.
formation Indispensable for a Successful Campaign against Apaches.
The Smoke Columns. Pressed Grass. Bent and Broken Twigs. Blazed
Trees. Mounted Parties. The Stone Signals. Kit Carson. Comparison
between White Men's and Apache Philosophy. The Present Condition of
Apache Armament. Their Knowledge of Colors, and the Use they make
of It. Their Hatred of all Other Races. Proofs of their Good Breeding.
Our Indian Policy Discussed. Apache Want of Sympathy. How they
Obtain their Guns and Ammunition. Extent of their Ravages in North
ern Mexico. Monuments of Apache Massacres in Arizona. Mines of

THE experiences of several years liad not been ignored.
The time which had elapsed between my first and second
appearance upon the stage of Indian action had given
me opportunity to reflect upon many events, and study
their causes, characters, and mechanism of production.
Keposing in the midst of civilized security, and alto
gether freed from the excitement of unseen, deadly perils
to which life m the Apache countries is invariably sub
ject, I was enabled to draw more correct conclusions
than could have been arrived at on the ground, while
compelled to regard personal safety as the first necessity.
In this calm and undisturbed survey of the field many
circumstances were accounted for which at the time ap
peared more the result of untoward accident than of
well laid schemes founded upon a shrewd knowledge of
natural instincts. The pyramidal columns of smoke, so
often seen to ascend from mountain heights, had ap
peared to me as merely warnings of our presence in the


country; the apparently casual turning over of a stone,
close to the highway, never attracted attention; the
breaking of a few insignificant branches in a forest
did not seem to be more than accidental occurrences;
bat closer investigation led me to believe that all these
things, and many more, had their peculiar significance;
that they were neither more nor less than lithographic
notices by which one party could know the force of an
other the direction taken the extent and nature of the
danger which threatened, and impart the summons for
a gathering. That these surmises were correct every old
Indian fighter knows; but the responsibilities of my po
sition determined me to make a study of points so essen
tial to a successful campaign, and the safety of my com
mand. Nevertheless, it will be found that a party, even
though it be a small one, which is well armed; which
never relaxes its vigilance ; which selects clear, open
ground for camping; which invariably throws out an ad
vanced guard, and keeps its weapons always ready for
use at a moment's warning, can move with safety through
all portions of Arizona and New Mexico; while ten times
their number, disregarding these precautions, are sure
to be attacked, and if attacked about as certain to be
defeated with loss. Let it be again distinctly impressed
upon my readers, that the Apache never attacks unless
fully convinced of an easy victory. They will watch for
days, scanning your every movement, observing your
every act; taking exact note of your party and all its
belongings. Let no one suppose that these assaults are
made upon the spur of the moment by bands accidentally
encountered. Far from it; they are almost invariably
the results of long watching patient waiting careful
and rigorous observation, and anxious counsel.

Throughout nearly the whole of Arizona the traveler


encounters a succession of high mountain ridges, run
ning northwest and southeast, overlooking intermediate,
unwooded and unconcealed plains, which are from fif
teen to forty miles from ridge to ridge. The sierras are
not continuous or united, but occur in isolated ranges of
from twenty to fifty miles in extent, with smooth and
clear prairie lands between them. These intervals ex
tend from one to five miles; but as they afford neither
wood nor water, are never traveled except by very small
parties, which can move quickly and are too weak to risk
the dangerous mountain passes and canons. But even
this cannot be effected in some places without making a
detour of many miles from the direct road, and it is often
indispensable to run all risks rather than lose time, or
suffer the inconveniences of such a round-about and
wretchedly provided march, where one is likely to perish
from the want of w^ater.

The land along the Gila is excessively alkaline and un
productive in its present condition, although in many
places the willow, cotton-wood and mesquit flourish lux
uriantly. In wet weather the soil becomes a soft, deep
and tenacious muck, which almost wholly impedes wagon
travel, and during the dry season the roads are so deeply
covered with a fine, almost impassable and light dust,
that every footfall throws up clouds of it yards above the
traveler's head, completely shutting out from sight all
objects more than three yards distant. To such an ex
tent does this prevail in some localities, that I have been
unable to distinguish the man or his horse at my side,
and within reach of my arm, on a fine moonlight night.

In the immediate neighborhood of Tucson, on the ta
ble land outside of its cultivated fields, the traveler, for
the first time, meets with the far-famed grama grass, but
on descending from this mesa does not again come in


contact with it until he reaches Dragoon Springs. This
grama grass is beyond all comparison the most nutricious
herbage ever cropped by quadrupeds. It is much heav
ier, contains more saccharine in connection with more
farinaceous and strength-giving aliment than any other
grass known. At least such is my experience, and that
of all other men who have had occasion to test its virtues
and time to pronounce upon its merits. I .give it the
very first rank among all sorts of hay, believing it to
be superior to clover, timothy, alfalfa, or all three to
gether. Although I have never been able to observe any
seed upon this grass, it seems to combine the qualities
of grain and hay in the greatest perfection. Horses will
live and do well upon it, provided they can obtain it
regularly, while doing active cavalry duty, without other
feed; but they must have it, as stated, regularly in
abundance, and be permitted to crop it from native pas
tures. It bears no flower, exhibits no seed, but seems to
reproduce itself from the roots by the shooting up of
young, green and vigorous spires, which are at first in
closed within the sheaths of their old and dried-up pre
decessors, and by their growth split and cast them to
earth, and occupy their places.

I am not sufficiently versed in botany to give my read
ers a more elaborate and scientific account of this superb
grass, and if I were, it would not be my desire in a work
of this character to inflict upon the general reader a se
ries of double-barreled Greek terms which not one in a
thousand could understand, and, understanding, would
care about. The object is to convey some tolerable idea
of that great aliment for herbivorous animals upon which
the Apache races rely for the support of their horses,
and which, by its singularly strength-giving properties,
is capable of enabling their ponies to perform extraordi
nary feats of endurance.


From Dragoon Pass eastward the whole of the vast
region inhabited by the Apaches is covered with this
species of grass, which is more or less thick and nourish
ing, according to circumstances, but always in sufficient
abundance to afford all the nutriment required. It is
this plentiful distribution of the most strengthening
grass in the world which enables the Apache to maintain
his herds, make his extraordinary marches, and inflict
wide-spread depredations.

A knowledge of signals, whether smokes or fires, or
bent twigs and pressed grass, or of turned stones, to
gether with the localities of water sources, the different
passes through the sierras, the nature and quantity of
the fodder to be had in certain districts, the capacity to
distinguish tracks and state with certainty by whom
made, and how long before, are absolutely indispensable
to a successful campaign among those savages. To the
acquirement of all these points I devoted much atten
tion, and, without egotism, can claim such success as to
privilege me in giving the result of my researches as
worthy of confidence.

Smokes are of various kinds, each one significant of a
particular object. A sudden puff, rising into a graceful
column from the mountain heights, and almost as sud
denly losing its identity by dissolving into the rarified
atmosphere of those heights, simply indicates the pres
ence of a strange party upon the plains below; but if
those columns are rapidly multiplied and repeated, they
serve as a warning to show that the travelers are well
armed and numerous. If a steady smoke is. maintained
for some time, the object is to collect the scattered bands
of savages at some designated point, with hostile inten
tion, should it be practicable. These signals are made
at night, in the same order, by the use of fires, which


being kindled, are either alternately exposed and
shrouded from view, or suffered to burn steadily, as oc
casion may require. All travelers in Arizona and New
Mexico are acquainted with the fact that if the grass be
pressed down in a certain direction during the dry sea
son, it will retain the impress and grow daily more and
more yellow until the rainy season imparts new life and
restores it to pristine vigor and greenness. The Apaches
are so well versed in this style of signalizing that they
can tell you, by the appearance of the grass, how many
days have elapsed since it was trodden upon, whether
the party consisted of Indians or whites, about how many
there were, and, if Indians, to what particular tribe they
belonged. In order to define these points, they select
some well marked footstep, for which they hunt with
avidity, and gently pressing down the trodden grass so
as not to disturb surrounding herbage, they very care
fully examine the print. The difference between the
crushing heel of a white man's boot or shoe, and the
light imprint left by an Indian's moccasin, is too strik
ing to admit of doubt, while the different styles of moc
casin used by the several divisions of the Apache tribes
are well known among them. The time which has
elapsed since the passage of the party is determined by
discoloration of the herbage and breaking off a few spires
to ascertain the approximate amount of natural juice still
left in the crushed grass. Numbers are arrived at by
the multiplicity of tracks. Signalizing by bent twigs,
broken branches and blazed trees, is too well known to
deserve special mention here. In these respects the
Apaches do not differ from other Indian tribes of this

If a mounted party has been on the road, their num
bers, quality and time of passage are determined with


exactitude, as well as the precise sex and species of the
animals ridden. The moment such a trail is fallen in
with, they follow it eagerly, having nothing else to do,
until they find some of the dung, which is immediately
broken open, and from its moisture and other properties,
the date of travel is arrived at nearly to a certainty,
while the constituents almost invariably declare the re
gion from which the party came. This last point de
pends upon whether the dung is composed of grama
grass, barley and grass, corn, bunch grass, buffalo grass,
sacaton, or any of the well known grasses of the coun
try, for as they are chiefly produced in different districts,
the fact of their presence in the dung shows precisely
from what district the animal last came. When barley
is discovered the Apaches have reason to believe that
Americans have been over the route, and when maize is
found they feel confident that the travelers were either
Mexicans or people from that country. These remarks
apply only to unshod horses, for iron prints speak for
themselves. The difference in sexes is easily told by the
attitude each assumes while urinating the male stretch
ing himself and ejecting his urine forward of his hind
feet, while the female ejects to the rear of the hind prints.
Signalizing by stones is much more difficult to com
prehend, and very few have ever arrived at even a dis
tant knowledge of this art. Perhaps the most skillful
detecter of such notices was "Kit Carson," as he was
generally termed, and it would be very strange if he
were not. No man in the United States has had greater
experience, and no man possessed a keener natural in
stinct to detect Indian signs. I must confess my ina
bility to do this part of the subject full justice, but will
give the result of my observations. The traveler is often
surprised to notice a number of stones on one side the


road, lying apparently without any set arrangement,
when he can observe no others within reach of his eye.
A careful observation will convince him that they never
grew in that region, but were brought from some consid
erable distance. This translation was certainly neither
the work of Americans nor Mexicans, but of Indians,
and evidently for some fixed purpose. A closer exam
ination will show that these stones are regularly ar
ranged, and that the majority point to some special
point of the compass, while the number of those who
planted them is designated by some concerted placement
of each stone. For instance, no one need be told that in
wild countries like Arizona, where deluges of rain pour
down during the rainy season, the heaviest side of a stone
will, in course of time, find itself underneath, and when
this order is reversed, especially under the circumstances
above cited, there is good reason to believe that it has
been purposely done. This belief becomes certainty on
seeing that each one of the group, or parcel, is precisely
the same way. Besides, a stone which has been long
lying on one particular side, soon contracts a quantity
of clay or soil on its nether surface, while its upper one
has been washed clean. If it be turned over, or partly
over, the difference becomes easily discoverable. If one
stone be placed on end so as to rest against another, it
means that the party so placing it require aid and assist
ance. If turned completely over^it indicates disaster
during some raid; and if only partly turned, that the ex
pedition has been a failure. Success is noted by the
stones being left in a natural position, heaviest side down,
but so arranged as to be nearly in line. I am not suffi
ciently expert in this style of signalizing to give any
further explanations, and I doubt if any one but "Kit
Carson " was capable of fully decyphering this kind of
Apache warnings.


These remarks have seemed necessary to the full de
velopment of the Apache character, as they, in some
sort, serve to account for the clear and explicit under
standing which undoubtedly exists among the many de
tached fragments of that race. Without some such codes
of signals, they would be comparatively incapable of the
terrible devastations and outrages they have perpetrated.
Neither could they collect their scattered bands for any
occasion requiring numbers without great loss of time
and trouble. Having no reliable means for subsistence
beyond what they obtain by marauding excursions, they
are wholly incapable of maintaining any considerable
number for more than a few days at a time, and they,
therefore, depend upon their signals as the means of
warning each other, and consolidating whenever the
"game is worth the candle." The Apaches brought
their system to wonderful perfection, and from this arises
their capacity to act conjointly with celerity, vigor and
effect, although the operating bodies may not actually
meet until just before the time for action arrives. It is
to this system that the Apache bands of fives, tens and
twenties, separated from each other by twenty, thirty
and forty miles, feel that they are operating always in
concert, and manage to maintain a rigid police espion
age over the vast region they inhabit.

"When will the white man ever become wise, and, in
stead of treating the Indian with scornful indifference,
give him credit for his intelligence, his quick and remark
able instincts, his powers of reflection and organization,
and his inveterate opposition to all innovation? We
have been too much in the habit of treating them with
contempt, and underrating our savage enemies. This
has been a serious blunder, the rock upon which so
many millions of money and so many precious lives have


been wrecked. Is it not time to accept a new policy in
their regard ? Will civilized people never learn that they
are quite as obtuse to comprehend real Indian nature as
the Indians to understand their civilization? Can they
not see that their hauteur, self-sufficiency and overbear
ing conceit, are quite as reprehensible as the Indian's ig
norance, distrust and superstition? The savage is par
donable in his mental darkness, but the white man is
inexcusable in his light. Semi-idiotic people believe
that the Apache of to-day is like his ancestor of half a
century ago; that he fights with bow and stone-headed
arrows; that he has learned nothing from experience;
that he is a biped brute who is as easily killed as a wolf;
that he possesses no power of organization, combination,
judgment, skill, strategy or reflection; but the truth is,
that he possesses them all in an eminent degree. When
the popular mind shall have been disabused of such
heresy, it will have' accomplished the first step 'toward
that long-wanted result, the domination and consequent
pacification of the Indian tribes of the North American

Let it be well understood that the Apache of to-day is
armed with the best kind of rifle, with Colt's six-shooters
and with knives, and that, in addition to these, he is
never without his silent, death-dealing bow and quiver
full of iron-headed arrows. While adopting our im
proved weapons, whenever occasion offers, they never
abandon those of their sires. The reasons for this are
fourfold : First, the bow and arrow in the hands of skill
ful warriors proves very deadly; it makes no noise, and
for night attacks or the taking off of sentinels, is far su
perior to the gun. Secondly, it is the best weapon that
can be used in the chase, or, more properly, on the
hunt, as half a dozen animals may be slain in a herd be-


fore their comrades are made aware of the fact. Thirdly,
they are so light that they can be worn without the
slightest sense of encumbrance. Fourthly, they can al
ways be relied on, at close quarters, when other weapons
fail, or ammunition, of which they possess limited sup
plies, gives out. It is, therefore, not strange that the
Apache will invariably add his bow and arrows to his
personal armament, although he may be the owner of a
Spencer rifle and a couple of Colt's revolvers, with am
munition to suit. Whenever they design entering one
of our military camps they invariably conceal, at some
distance, firearms; so that they may appear innocent of
designed enmity or their possession, but should occasion
serve, they quickly manage to re-possess themselves of
all their weapons.

Let it also be understood that the Apache has as per
fect a knowledge of the. assimilation of colors as the most
experienced Paris modiste. By means of his acumen in
this respect, he can conceal his swart body amidst the
green grass, behind brown shrubs, or gray rocks, with
so much address and judgment that any but the experi
enced would pass him by without detection at the dis
tance of three or four yards. Sometimes they will en
velop themselves in a gray blanket, and by an artistic
sprinkling of earth, will so resemble a granite boulder as
to be passed within near range without suspicion. At
others, they will cover their persons with freshly gath
ered grass, and lying prostrate, appear as a natural por
tion of the field. Again, they will plant themselves
among the yuccas, and so closely imitate the appearance
of that tree as to pass for one of its species. These ex
act imitations of natural objects which are continually
present to the traveler, tend to disarm suspicion; yet, I
would not advise the wayfarer to examine each suspected


bush, tree or rock, but simply to maintain a cautious
system of marching never, for a moment, relaxing his
watchfulness, and invariably keeping his weapons ready
for immediate use. Whenever these precautions are ob
served, the Apache is slow to attack, even at monstrous
odds in his favor.

The selfishness inherent in the human race crops out
with intensity among these Indians; yet their hatred and
animosity toward all other races is even stronger, and is
the matrix of the cohesive principle by which they have
been kept together, and which has proved their safe
guard against all outside corrupting influences. Under
no circumstances will one Apache risk anything for an
other, unless it is manifestly to his interest. The most
refined civilization could not advance him in this respect.
He appreciates self just as well as those who have been
the habitues of "Wall street, the Stock Exchange, or the
Parisian Boulevards. If the height of good breeding
consists in being perfectly impassive, and disregardful
of the events which attend on fellow men, then the
Apache has arrived at the apex of good breeding, and
lordlings may take lessons from his school of manners.
Their great natural intelligence makes them comprehend
that "in union is strength," and their desire to exhibit
that strength is ever prevalent. They delight to mani
fest their numerical power, for the reason that oppor
tunities for such exhibition are very rare, and whatever
is of common occurrence ceases to interest; and also
because such combinations tend to inflict additional
dread upon their enemies, and the inculcation of this
sentiment is a chief cause of security to each Apache.

In all our dealings with Indian tribes we have quite
underrated their abilities, and in this we have demon
strated our own stupidity. The vanity and self-conceit


of civilized and educated men are never more stilted
than when brought in contact with savage races. Such
persons are prone to address the Indian with a smirk or
patronizing air which is very offensive, and would never
be used toward an equal. No allowance is made for the
fact that the proud savage does consider himself not
only the equal, but the superior of his white brother.
It seems never to have been understood that consider
able deference should be paid to his very ignorance, be
cause that ignorance is his sufficient excuse for crediting
himself with superior intelligence. The conceit of the
educated white man is fully equaled by that of the
savage, and the lower he is in the scale of mental ability
the greater will be his pretension to superiority. The
fact that a wise man knows himself to be ignorant, while
an ignorant man believes himself to be wise, is fully
exemplified in our intercourse with the Apaches, but it
is a question in my mind whether the Apaches have not
had the best end of the argument, when the character
and acts of their agents, and. others, who have been ap
pointed to treat with them, are known and considered.
To arrive at a successful arrangement with these In
dians they must be approached in the first place as equals.
This will flatter their inordinate vanity, and minister to
their excessive selfishness. After a few interviews for
the purpose of establishing amicable understanding, the
agent, or treating party, or traveler, should carefully in
troduce some cheap natural effects, the employment of
which would be ridiculed in ordinary civilized life, but
present astounding revelations to the wild Indian. The
use of a double convexed lens, as a magnifier, or as a
burning-glass; the employment of a strong field glass;
exhibiting the powers and qualities of a strong magnet;
showing the wonders of the magic lantern, and other


like simple demonstrations, will invariably impress them
with something of respect and regard toward the oper
ator, provided he is exceedingly careful in his first at
tempts not to alarm their pride and suspicion by any
boastful or vain expression or demeanor. These things
should be done as if with the intention of asking from
them an exhibition of their skill in return for your efforts
to please. They should never be permitted to infer that
they are the results of boastful superiority. In this man
ner a feeling of mutual regard can be engendered which
is the first step toward the establishment of durable
amity. They should be asked to exhibit their address
in shooting, riding, hunting and other pursuits of like
character, in which they are expert. The white man
should evince a desire to learn as well as teach; but so
long as we continue to approach them with hauteur and
with patronizing airs, they will resist our efforts and em
ploy all their cunning to overreach and leave us worse
off than ever. As they cannot rise to our level we must
descend to theirs to understand and appreciate their true

But even under the most favorable circumstances, and
with the employment of every resource within our power,
only very meagre and unsatisfactory results can be ob
tained. The labors and experiences of two hundred
and fifty years have failed utterly to create any favor
able impression upon our Indian races, with the excep
tion of the Choctaws and Cherokees, who were actually
hemmed in by intelligent people, and had civilization
forced upon them to some extent, and scarcely one of
whom is tu-day of pure Indian blood. I consider the
idea of emancipating our savage tribes from the thraldom
of their ignorance and perverse traditional hatred of the
whites as wholly utopian. Of all the tribes on our con-


tinent the Apache is the most impracticable. Their
enmity toward mankind, and distrust of every word and
act are ineradicable. As their whole system of life and
training is to plunder, murder and deceive, they cannot
comprehend opposite attributes in others. He whom
we would denounce as the greatest scoundrel they regard
with special esteem and honor. With no people are they
on amicable terms, and never hesitate to rob from each
other when it can be done with impunity. There is no
sympathy among them; the quality is unknown. Should
an Apache's horse escape and run past another of the
tribe, close enough to catch the animal by simply reach
ing forth his hand, that hand will never be stretched for
the purpose; but the owner must do the business for
himself, if his squaw is not at hand to do it for him.
Nevertheless, after a successful raid, in which they have
captured many animals, and having selected the best for
riding, retire to some remote fastness to feed upon the
remainder so long as they last, they will freely share to
the very last bit with any and all comers of their race.
This seeming hospitality is, however, not the result of
kindliness, but the prompting of a selfish policy, for
they are aware it assists to unite them in one common
band of plundering brotherhood, and to preserve those
relations toward each other without which they cannot
operate advantageously. Frequently when one has re
ceived a small present of tobacco, or some such article,
he will divide it among all on the spot, simply because
he knows that the same thing will be done to him by the
others whenever occasion serves, and not from any sense
of generosity, as may be seen from the fact that, if one
only be present to receive a gift, he immediately hides
it on some part of his person and complacently ignores
its existence to all who may arrive after the event.


There is nothing of which they are so careful as am
munition. Always difficult to obtain, and indispensable
in their engagements at the present day, every grain of
powder is preserved with extraordinary solicitude. In
their hunting excursions they never fire a gun or pistol
if it can possibly be avoided, but depend entirely upon
their skill in approaching the game near enough to use
the bow and arrow. At an early period they understood
fully the value of double sights on any weapon carrying
a ball, and the old-fashioned single-barreled shot guns,
a few of them possessed at that time, were invariably
sawed into with a knife to the depth of one-eighth of an
inch, a few inches from the breech, when the thin sliver
was raised above the barrel and carefully notched to form
the rear sight.

At the present writing they have a considerable num
ber of Henry's, Spencer's and Sharp's rifles, with some
of the fixed ammunition required by the two first men
tioned. Every cartridge they get hold of is preserved
with solicitude until it can be expended with decided
advantage. These weapons have been obtained grad
ually by the robbery and murder of their former owners,
and not a few have been bought in the frontier Mexican
towns, where they were sold by immigrants to obtain
food and other supplies while crossing the continent.
The hostilities which raged along the northern portion
of Mexico for four years also contributed to place within
their reach many weapons of fair quality. That they
know how to handle these arms with deadly skill has
been attested on too many occasions to need particular
mention in thse pages. From Gila Bend to Paso del
Norte is little better than a continuous grave-yard,
grizzly with the rude monuments of Apache bloodthirst-
iness. Town after town, once containing several thou-


sand inhabitants and even now showing the remains of
fine brick churches; rancho after rancho, formerly stocked
with hundreds of thousands of cattle and horses, and
teeming- with wealth; village after village all through the
northern parts of Sonora and Chihuahua, the whole em
braced in a belt five hundred miles long and from thirty
to eighty wide, now exhibit one wide-spread and tenant-
less desolation, the work of the Apache Indians. For
ninety consecutive years this ruthless warfare has been,
carried on against a timid, nearly unarmed and demor
alized people. Thousands of lives have been destroyed,
and thousands of women and children carried into a cap
tivity worse than death, during that period; and yet the
deadly, destructive and unholy work goes on with unre-
laxed vigor. It is both sickening and maddening to ride
through that region and witness the far-reaching ruin,
to listen to the dreadful tales of unequaled atrocities,
and note the despairing terror which the bare mention
of the Apaches conjures up to their diseased and horrified

Coming to the American side, we enter upon another
field of destruction, but in nowise comparable to that
which Mexico exhibits. The great majority of our sacri
fices of life and property have been the results of want
of caution, of fool-hardiness and too great self-reliance.
As already stated, we are too prone to underrate the
Apache in all respects, ^and by so doing set a trap for our
own feet. But even on our side the border the traveler
will encounter many fine farms abandoned, their build
ings in ruins, and the products of years of industry
wrested from their grasp. On every road little mounds
of stones by the way-side, some with a rude cross, and
others with a modest head-board, speak in silent but
'terribly suggestive language of the Apaches' bloody


work. Scattered all over Arizona are mines of wondrous
wealth utterly inapplicable to the uses of mankind so
long as that tribe remains unsubdued and unconquered.
Communication between any two places, if not more
than a mile apart, cannot be ventured upon without ab
solute danger. No man can trust his animals to graze
three hundred yards from the town walls without incur
ring the risk of losing them at high noon. Mexican wo
men and children have been carried off during the day
time, while washing in the stream, within four hundred
yards of their own doors and in plain sight of their towns
people. These atrocities, and others unnecessary to
mention, go on year after year; and thus far no success
ful result has been obtained, as might have been ex
pected, from the puerile and ill-directed efforts made to
suppress them. "Wherever an intelligent and well con
ceived movement has been concerted within the power
of the limited force in Arizona, official stupidity has in
variably disconcerted and paralyzed its efficiency. This
is no vague and untenable charge, as will be seen in suc
ceeding pages. There is but one opinion on the subject
throughout all Arizona. The correspondence between
Gov. McCormick and Gen. McDowell, some of which
has been made public through the daily papers, is in it
self sufficient to establish the assertion, and no doubt
led to the removal of Gen. McDowell from the field of
his operations. Personally, my regard for that officer
as a gentleman is very sincere; but it may be doubted if
the army register contains the name gf another so wholly,
so utterly incapable of comprehending Indian nature
and the requirements of Indian warfare. As a cabinet
officer he may have few equals in the service; but for In
dian campaigning, it would be difficult to select another
so little fitted.


Condition of New Mexico and Arizona. Active Campaign. Calif ornian Soldiers.
Bosqiie Redondo. More Intimate Relations with Apaches. Site of Fort
Sumner. Scarcity of Wood. Climate. Arrival of Apache Prisoners of
War. Dog Canon. Apache Embassy. Mr. Labadie. Placed in Charge of
the Apaches.- -Form a Council. Hunting Excursion with Apaches. Their
Mode of Killing Antelopes. Learn more of Indian Character. Obtain a
G reater Share of their Confidence.

So soon as Sibley's command had been driven from
Arizona and New Mexico, Gen. Carleton devoted his at
tention to protect from Indian outrage the inhabitants
of those Territories. Previous to our arrival no one had
the hardihood to venture outside the skirts of the towns
and villages, unless accompanied by a force respectable
in numbers, if in nothing else. The whole country was
a theater of desolation. What the Confederates failed
to appropriate, the Apaches destroyed. The inhabitants
were literally starving and utterly demoralized. Instead
of being able to furnish us supplies, we were compelled
to afford them occasional assistance. This state of affairs
had been foreseen by Carleton, to some extent, and we
were consequently in a condition to be independent un
til such protection could be granted as would induce the
resident population to re-commence farming operations.

Soon after our advent, .Gen. Canby was recalled, and
the chief command invested in Carleton. From that time
a series of active and energetic campaigns against the
Apache and Navajo tribes was inaugurated, which had
the effect of completely humiliating those leading na-


tions and re-establishing the peace, security and produc
tiveness of the two Territories. After much delibera
tion, and years subsequent to the incidents narrated, it
is my conviction that the many signal triumphs obtained
over the Apaches and Navajoes could only have been
achieved by Californian soldiers, who seem gifted in a
special manner with the address and ability to contend
advantageously against them. This assertion has been
so frequently admitted by the resident populations that
it is not deemed necessary to dilate further than mention
the names of such men as Koberts, McCleave, Fritz,
Shirland, the two Greens, Tidball, Whitlock, Thayer,
Pettis, and many others, who rendered good service and
compassed the security and peace of the two Territories
during their term of service. "With the retirement of
the Californian troops another series of robberies and
massacres was instituted by the Indians, and maintained
until the present time without apparent hindrance.

In the winter of 1862-3, I was ordered from Albu
querque to join Capt. Updegraff, commanding company
A, Fifth United States Infantry, and to proceed to the
Bosque Bedondo, somewhere on the Pecos river, over
two hundred and fifty miles to the eastward outside the
bounds of all human habitation, and ninety miles from
the nearest civilized inhabitant. Capt. Updegraff was
instructed to examine the Bosque Kedondo, and select
a site for the construction of a large fort, with the view
of establishing an extensive Indian Reservation in its im
mediate neighborhood. This sort of exile was anything
but displeasing to me, for I much preferred being from
under the nose of a commanding General, whose unscru
pulous ambition and exclusive selfishness had passed into
a proverb, despite his acknowledged ability and appar
ent zeal. But it is not my task to discuss matters of


this nature; and the reference is only to show by what
means I again became intimately acquainted with re
nowned Apaches and acquired their language, together
with a knowledge of those traits, customs and organiza
tions, which has enabled me to write with confidence and
understanding upon these and kindred points.

Capt. Updegraff was ordered to make a reconnoissance
of the Bosque Redondo, and select a site for the future
post and reservation; such selection to be approved or
disapproved by a board of engineers, specially ordered
to make a thorough survey. On arriving at the Bosque,
the Captain ordered me to go ahead and select a camp
ground; and in obedience thereto, I took ten men and
reconnoitered the river and its banks for several miles,
finally fixing on a spot formerly used as a sheep corral
by Mexicans during a time of peace, many years before.
This spot was chosen for the three fold reasons that it
was near water, which was approachable through an
open space in the woods; that it was covered with excel
lent pasture; and that it contained the stakes and tim
bers of the old corral, which were dry and made excel
lent fire-wood. This selection was approved, and the
next day a further reconnoissance was made to fix a per
manent site for the fort. This ended in confirming the
first choice, and here the most beautiful Indian fort in
the United States was ultimately constructed, the board
of engineers having indorsed the spot as being the most
eligible on the river. This fort was built almost wholly
by Calif ornian soldiers, and is beyond comparison the
handsomest and most picturesque in the Union. Never
theless, it was easy to comprehend that, should &ny great
number of persons be assembled thereat, a scarcity of
wood must ultimately occur, and as Fahrenheit's ther
mometer occasionally falls to eight and ten degrees be-


low zero in the winter time, wood was an object of prime
necessity. The alamo furnished the whole supply of this
material , and the extent of the Bosque Redondo , or Round
Woods, was only sixteen miles long by half a mile wide
in the widest place, and for several miles affording only
a few scattered trees, which were by no means thick even
in the densest portions. When we arrived the weather
was very cold, with eight inches of snow upon the ground,
and the first duty was to " hut in" the command. This
was accomplished in a short time, after which rude but
serviceable stables were put up, a hospital, quartermas
ter's and commissary's stores built, and the other requi
site shelters erected.

Scarcely had these precautions been taken before we
received an invoice of five hundred Apaches, including
the leading warriors of the Mescalero tribe, their women
and children, and a few of the chief Jicarillas. These
were the savages who had so long held Dog Canon, and
defied all attempts to force a passage through that re
nowned stronghold. Capt. McCleave, of company A,
First Cavalry California Volunteers, determined to
"give it a try;" and having obtained permission, soon
succeeded in routing and completely demoralizing the
savages, who fled to Fort Stanton for shelter and protec
tion, closely pursued by McCleave and his company so
closely, in fact, that the Apaches saw no other means of
escape from certain destruction except to deliver them
selves up as prisoners of war to Col. "Kit" Carson, at
that time in charge of Fort Stanton, with four compa
nies of infantry and one of native New Mexican cavalry.
Carson informed McCleave that the Indians had placed
themselves under his protection, subject to the disposal
of the General commanding; upon which McCleave with
drew, not over-pleased with the result, although he had
whipped them handsomely in Dog Canon.


Soon afterward five of the leading warriors proceeded
to Santa Fe, under an armed escort, to confer with the
General, who exacted that they should submit to being
placed upon the reservation of the Bosque Eedondo.
The answer of their chief spokesman, named Cadete'by
the Mexicans, but whose Apache appellation is Gian-
nah-tah, or "Always Ready," is indicative of the nature
and character of his tribe. Having listened to the Gen
eral's final determination, he answered and said:

"You are stronger than we. We have fought ybu so
long as we had rifles and powder; but your arms are
better than ours. Give us like weapons and turn us
loose, we will fight you again; but we are worn-out; we
have no more heart; we have no provisions, no means to
live; your troops are everywhere; our springs and water
holes are either occupied or overlooked by your young
men. You have driven us from our last and best strong
hold, and we have no more heart. Do with us as may
seem, good to you, but do not forget we are men and

They were remanded back to Fort Stanton, and from
thence sent to the Bosque Eedondo, since called Fort
Sumner, where they arrived after a long and painful
march of one hundred and thirty miles, with short ra
tions and much suffering. They were immediately turned
over to my charge by Capt. TJpdegraff, although the In
dian agent, Mr. Labaclie, was with them, and from that
moment I laid the foundation of that confidence and
respect which was never alienated, and which enabled
me to perfect a knowledge of their character far greater
than ever arrived at by the experiences of any other
white man.

In a short time their number was increased to seven
hundred, and subsequently to nearly fifteen hundred.


By their own request I was authorized to take exclusive
charge of their affairs. In so far as military movements
were concerned, they appointed me their Nantanh-in-
jah, or Chief Captain, and submitted to my arbitration
all their social and tribal difficulties, my decision being
final. I soon formed a council of their principal men,
and lost no opportunity to make myself acquainted with
their views, manners, habits, customs, religious and so
cial observances, language, and, in fine, whatever tended
to unfold their characteristics. My council consisted of
Gian-nah-tah, or Always Ready; Na-tanh, or the Corn
Flower; Too-ah-y ay-say, or the Strong Swimmer; Natch-
in-ilk-kisn, or the Colored Beads; Nah-kah-yen, or the
Keen Sighted; Para-dee-ah-tran, or the Contented; Klo-
sen, or the Hair Hope; and a Jicarilla man of note, whose
Indian naime has escaped my memory, but the meaning
of which was the Kicking Horse. The renown of these
warriors was too well established in the tribe to admit of
doubt, and, whatever they said, was submitted to with
out question. How this control was obtained over these
grim savages is worthy of mention, as indicative of their
profound respect for personal adventure.

Five days after their arrival in camp, Mr. Labadie
came to me and said: "These Indians are in great des
titution. They consumed their rations two days ago,
and have nothing to eat. There are many women and
children among them, and two days more must elapse
before rations are again distributed. Their warriors
have asked that they be allowed to go hunting. The
plains close by are filled with herds of antelopes, which
may easily be taken. I have been to Capt. Updegraff,
but he will not hearken to the proposition; please try
and see what you can do, for otherwise they may attempt
to escape from the Reservation."


I immediately sought the post commander and said to
him : " Captain, the Apaches have asked your permission
to go on a grand hunt, which you have refused; allow
me to say that they are starving, that you have their
wives and children as hostages for their return, and if
you will recall your determination, I will volunteer to go
out with them and be answerable for their safe return
within forty-eight hours."

Capt. Updegraff peered at me through his black, in
telligent eyes for a moment or two, and then replied:
"Very well, Captain; if you choose to trust yourself
with these unmitigated red devils and make yourself re
sponsible for their return, and give me official assurance
in writing, that it is indispensably necessary, you can
start with them to-morrow morning at daylight; but do
not remain away longer than forty-eight hours."

This resolution was forthwith conveyed to Mr. Laba-
dife, who spread it among the Apaches, taking care to
inform them by what means the favor had been granted.

Next morning, at seven o'clock, we sallied forth, the
party numbering one hundred and ten Apaches, ninety-
five of whom were warriors and fifteen women the only
person present, not an Apache, being myself. I had
four Colt's six-shooters, two in my saddle-holsters and
two in my belt, with a large bowie knife, but my horse
was infinitely superior to anything they could boast in
that line. They were all armed with bows and arrows
all who possessed rifles or pistols having left them in

In the field, whether for warlike purposes or for hunt
ing, the Apache is very reticent, and by no means given
to talking. Conversation is only indulged while in camp,
and amidst friends during a period of apparent security.
But upon this occasion they gave full vent to their joy


and satisfaction, and offered me a number of little atten
tions. We rode on for five miles until the top of a hill
was reached, from which we could obtain a fair view of
the surrounding country. Here a short consultation was
held among them, during which I smoked a cigarito,
giving* several to those close in my neighborhood. A
certain direction having been selected as the field of op
erations, we again started, and after having progressed
about two miles, the band formed into two lines, the
first being about six hundred yards in advance of the
second. These two bodies then prolonged their lines so
that no two individuals were nearer than forty or fifty
yards, which stretched each line to the distance of two
thousand five hundrec^ or three thousand yards, sweep
ing a large surface of territory, and yet close enough
to prevent the escape of an antelope through the two
human barriers, or between the huntsmen in each. In
this f ormatibn we progressed until a herd was seen abaut
half a mile in advance. Instantly the two wings of the
first line rode forward at full speed, and succeeded in
cutting off the retreat of the doomed animals by com
pleting a circle; at the same time the gaps were rapidly
closed up, and the circle narrowed with amazing celerity
and dexterity. The terror-stricken antelopes turned to
flee, but on every side they met an inexorable and keenly
watchful enemy. Bewildered, panting with agony and
fear, inclosed on all sides, they soon became incapable
of continuing the unequal contest, and were killed with
perfect ease. The few which contrived to break through
the first line were sure to meet death at the hands of the
second. Not one in fifty escaped, and their preservation
seemed almost miraculous. In this way we managed to
destroy eighty-seven antelopes on that expedition, and
it was my good fortune to kill five, being two more than


were bagged by any other hunter on the field. These I
gave the Apaches, reserving only a hind quarter for my
self. Within thirty-six hours I had the satisfaction of
reporting to Capt. Updegraff, and relating to him the
complete success of our hunting excursion, at which he
was so well pleased that I never afterward met any ob
jection from that gallant and good officer when a like
expedition was to be undertaken.

After this event the Apaches seemingly gave me more
of their confidence than ever, but I was still far from the
point ultimately reached, although I then thought I had
achieved it nearly all. This fact should warn us never
to arrive at hasty conclusions, especially when dealing
with a people which have studiously endeavored to mis
lead and cozen all with whom they come in contact. I
had rendered them r an important service; they were
grateful to me for such aid. I had trusted myself unre
servedly among them, the avowed enemies of my race,
and they respected me for my confidence. But I was
still a white man, and they were still Apaches. "While
professing a certain degree of personal regard, they not
only refused to admit me within the sanctum of their
trust, but some of them even began to look upon me as
endeavoring to gain their confidence for the purpose of
betraying and using it against them should opportunity
serve. Fortunately, these suspicions were allayed in the
course of time, and after a year and a half of constant
intercourse, during which period they and several thou
sand Navajoes a branch of the great Apache race
were under my personal supervision, I was admitted to
a tolerably fair knowledge of the points under consider
ation in this work.


Satisfaction of the Apaches. Policy. Beneficial Results to my Men. Individual
Responsibility. Short Allowance. The Apache nations Continued. Gen.
Carleton's Visit. Bishop Lamy. Supplies Received. Apaches Elect a
Governor. Juan Cojo. Commence Learning the Apache Language. Com
pile a Vocabulary. Gradually gain Apache Confidence. Renew Acquaint
ance with Old Enemies. Altered Relations. Former Events Recalled.
Instruction thrown Away. Apache Ideas of Warfare. Their Horror of
Work. Influence of their Women. Mescal. Its Intoxicating Qualities.

THE successful result of our hunting expedition put
the Apaches in high spirits. They understood that they
were not to be treated as prisoners of war, in the strict
sense of that phrase, but were to be allowed the privilege
of wide and extensive hunting grounds, teeming with
game; were not interrupted in their social relations, only
in so far as a rigid police of their camp was required to
prevent disease, and could live almost as unrestrained
as in their native wilds, provided they were all present
or duly accounted for at the stated roll-call, which took
place every evening at sunset.

Feeling that many of these privileges had been ob
tained through my instrumentality, they sought my tent
daily in great numbers, and seemed inclined to regard
me as their protector and best friend. As it was well
known that they were in constant correspondence with
those of their race who had not surrenderee!, and as the
members of my company were always detailed for mili
tary couriers between Fort Sumner, Fort Mason, Fort
Stanton, Santa Fe, and other points, I judged it pru
dent to gain the confidence and good will of the Apaches


to the greatest possible extent, knowing that their kind
ness for me W|mld extend itself to the men of my com
pany, and this'lbelief was afterward fully justified when
roving parties of Indians happened to meet my couriers.
Tins occurred on several occasions, when the savages
were so numerous as to make resistence out of the ques
tion. They would ride up, examine the soldier atten
tively, find out that he belonged to my company at Fort
Sumner, bid him good-by in their best manner, and ride
off, without attempting to do him harm or deprive him
of horse or weapons.

About six months afterward, G-ian-nah-tah, commonly
called Cadete by the Mexicans, told me confidentially
that neither myself nor my men would be harmed by the
Apaches so long as we remained in the country, as those
in camp felt that they were greatly indebted to us for
many little kindnesses. This promise w T as carried out to
the letter, and convinced me that gratitude for services
rendered is by no means a strange emotion in the Apache
character. I, however, doubt much if any other white
man ever had the opportunity, or, having it, ever did
take so much pains to win the respect and confidence of
those strange and suspicious people. It will be observed
that I use the word " those" in the foregoing sentence,
instead of "that," and simply because each is so per
fectly independent in all his belongings from all other
tribes that they cannot be justly classified as a conjoint
or co-operative race except for purposes of plunder and
mutual defense when attacked. "When summoned to
prosecute hostilities, unless against some marauding
party of Comanches, Navajoes, or other tribes, each in
dividual is free to join or not as he may see fit. Should
the enterprise promise plenty of plunder with but little
personal risk, no trouble will be found to engage all the


warriors needed; but, no matter how greatly superior
their force may be, no precaution for safety is neg
lected, and no means ignored which promises to secure
their object without loss of life. It is only when prompt
and immediate action is necessary that they resign their
personal independence wholly to the guidance of some
well known and selected warrior, but the occasion passed,
that same leader falls back to his original individuality,
the same as the President of the United States resumes
his plain citizenship after the expiration of his term of

About this time Gen. Carleton instituted rigid inquiries
as to the quantity of provision on hand in the subsist
ence departments of New Mexico and Arizona, and from
the reports made to him, came to the conclusion that
there would be somewhat of a scarcity before supplies
could be received. Nearly three thousand Californian
troops had been thrown into the two Territories, nine
thousand Indians Apaches and Navajoes had suc
cumbed to our arms, the country had been overrun and
devastated by Sibley's column from Texas, no industrial
nor agricultural pursuits had been re-commenced, and
absolute want stared everybody in the face. Orders
were immediately given to shorten the rations, and that
for the Indians on the Fort Sumner Keservation were to
be cut down largely. The order was issued to Capt.
Updegraff, Fifth United States Infantry, commanding
Fort Sumner, to take effect at a fixed date. Capt. Up
degraff notified Mr. Labadie, the Indian Agent, of the
order; Mr. Labadie communicated the fact to me, and I
immediately waited upon Capt. Updegraff and requested
him to communicate with the General commanding, and
state the following arguments: There were nearly nine
thousand Indians on that one Keservation. They had


been subdued by the Californian troops after great exer
tions, and the Territory rendered comparatively free
from those terrible Indian raids that for so many years
had laid it waste from one end to the other; that so long
as those raids continued the industry of the people
would be suppressed and crushed out, and that the best
guaranty which could be given the inhabitants would be
to retain the savages on the Reservation . This could
be done so long as they had sufficient to eat. There were
large numbers of women and children who could neither
hunt nor obtain their livelihoods by any means except
through the Government rations, so long as they re
mained in semi-captivity; that the Reservation farm was
not yet in a condition to yield the requisite support, and
that if their rations were diminished, a spirit of intense
dissatisfaction would display itself in the escape of thou
sands whom it would be impossible to restrain with our
very limited force, and that the escaping parties would
immediately betake themselves to plunder, assassination
and destructive inroads. I, therefore, begged Capt.
Updegraff to represent these and other cogent argu
ments to the General, with a view of having the full ra
tion continued to the Indians.

These arguments had weight with the Post Com
mander, and were by him urged on the attention of the
General, who immediately perceived their truthfulness,
and ordered the full ration continued until such time as
he could make personal investigation. Fortunately an
opportunity soon occurred, and the General visited Fort
Sumner with several officers and the Et. Eev. Bishop
Lamy, Bishop of New Mexico.

Next day Capt. Updegraff candidly informed the Gen
eral that I had prompted his letter, and I was summoned
to the interview which followed. After a careful inquiry



and examination of several days, Gen. Carletori arrived
at the same opinion with myself, and the full ration was
ordered to be given as before. Six weeks subsequently
the several Commissaries in the two Territories made
official returns of their supplies, and it was found that
their former estimates were far short of the mark. At
the same time subsistence stores began to arrive from the
East, and the new crops were being harvested, in peace,
for the first time for many years. Upon these represen
tations, orders were issued to restore full rations to all
the troops, and abundance once more gladdened our ta
bles. Whether right or wrong, the savages were taught
by Mr. Labadie to believe that I was the person whose
agency had preserved them from half rations, and the
reader can well suppose how much I rose in their esti
mation. I was appointed grand director of their camps,
with power to decide all differences and settle all quar
rels between parties. Every grievance, real or imagined,
was submitted for my jurisdiction; and, I am proud to
add, that my administration was regarded with affection
ate reverence. Those wild and untamed sons and
daughters of the forests, the plains and the mountains,
would throng my casita from reveille until tattoo, asking
a thousand questions and always receiving proper atten
tion. Among them was a Mexican, about forty years
old, who had been a captive to their "bow and spear"
for twenty odd years. He was taken at the age of eleven
and did not obtain his release until he was past thirty-
three. That man, Juan Cojo, spoke their language as
fluently as themselves, and had been engaged as inter
preter. Juan and I soon became good friends, although
I must confess that his Apache education had somewhat
unfitted him to be the most moral character of my ac
quaintance. Nevertheless, his services were indispensa-


ble, and I induced Gen. Carleton tcv appropriate fifty
dollars per month additional pay to Juan*<to teach me
the Apache language. The fellow worked faithfully
with me for nearly three months, during which time I
compiled the only vocabulary of the Apache language in
existence, and forwarded the result of my labors to G-en.
Carleton, with the view of having it published for gen
eral use at the different posts in New Mexico and Ar
izona. The General sent the manuscript to the Smith
sonian Institution, and it was placed in the hands of
Prof. George Gibbs for publication iu an exhaustive
work on Ethnology, to be issued under the auspices
of the Institution. I have waited several years for its
appearance, but have not yet seen anything of the kind.
Perhaps it will some day come to light. In the mean
time, I received from the Institution an acknowledgment
of my labors, the chief credit being given to Gen. Carle-
ton probably because he was General, and I only a
Captain, subject to his orders. Let that be as it may, I
felt both pride and pleasure in acquiring a language
never before spoken by a white man, and I took much
pains to systematize it as far as practicable, or my abili
ties could go. In order to be certain about the reliabil
ity of my novel acquirement, I every day submitted what
I had learned the day previous to the criticism of the
leading warriors of the tribe. They expressed much de
light at my desire to learn and communicate with them
in their own tongue, and manifested zeal in putting me
right on all occasions. Nothing was committed to final
record until it had been fully tested four or five times,
and I believe the work to be as nearly perfect as could
be got up under the circumstances.

This zeal on my part enhanced the favorable opinion
the Apaches already held toward me, and rendered them


unusually communicative. So soon as they found that
I was anxious to converse with them in their own lan
guage, and had labored to acquire it, their confidence
and regard increased in geometrical progression. It was
not unusual with them, when asking a favor, another
officer being present, to address me in Apache, and their
little secrets were never betrayed. The reader will have
no difficulty to comprehend how, under such circum
stances, the writer should have gained an ascendancy
over this most untamable and intensely suspicious of all
our Indian tribes. It was not the work of a month nor
of a year, but the experience of several years, aided by
events which may never happen again. Many of them
had seen and known me while interpreter of the Boun
dary Commission under the Hon. John K. Bartlett.
Some of them were present and took part in that terrific
chase along the Jornada del Muerto, and they reminded
me of the event, after they became convinced that I was
their best friend and harbored no vindictive feelings
against the parties. While conversing on this matter
one day, a warrior led to me an old squaw, her two
daughters and one son, all grown up, the oldest being
about twenty- two, and informed me that they were the
wife and children of the man who led the chase against
me thirteen years before. I received them kindly, and
asked if they did not think it better for them that I
should be alive to do them kindness then, than to have
been murdered by their relatives in 1850. They replied
by saying, " Yes, much better/' laughing and asking me
to give them some vermilion a color very highly prized
by the Apaches.

On the Eeservation were one or two who happened to
be at the Copper Mines at the time that Inez Gonzales
and the two Mexican boys were rescued, as related in


preceding chapters, but they never could be made to
comprehend the justice of those rescues, until I asked
them "You took those people captive by force, did you

"Yes; we took them because we were stronger and
more expert than they."

"Well, I took them from you for the same reasons.
We were stronger and more expert than you, and we de
prived you of your spoil. Suppose you were to meet a
small band of Comanches with two or three hundred
horses which they had stolen from Mexican owners, and
your party were the stronger of the two, would you not
take their spoil ?"

" Certainly, because they would do so to us under like

"Very well; you would have taken two American Igfds
and an American girl, if you had met them unprotected,
I know, because you have done it; and we took not your
people, but those you had reduced to captivity, and re
stored them to their relatives. We did not keep them
for our servants and slaves; but, they being our friends,
we released them from your grasp when we found them
in distress. The same* rule you apply to the Comanches
and all other peoples we applied to you; were we not

The justice and pertinence of these remarks were ad
mitted with reluctance, for the untutored Apache mind,
like that of what is called high civilization and refine
ment, is eminently selfish and obtuse to moral convic
tion. Extremes meet.

It was, nevertheless, pleasant to recall the many times
I had escaped their well-laid plans to deprive me and
my associates of life or property, and the as many occa
sions in which they had been foiled in their benevolent


intentions. The sanguinary deaths of Mangas Colorado,
of Cuchillo Negro, of Ponce, of Delgadito, of Amarillo,
and other renowned warriors, were cited in proof of the
futility of their efforts to combat successfully against the
white men. Their then dependence, as prisoners of war,
their defenseless condition on the Reservation, their
rapidly decreasing numbers, their disintegrating forces,
and other like examples, were also pointed out and em
phasized, and had momentary effect; but the next day,
after admitting the severe lessons of history, they would
resume their hauteur and exclaim, "that if they pos
sessed as good weapons as ours, they could whip us out
of the country they claimed as exclusively their own."

The teachings of experience are lost upon the Apache.
He believes himself the superior being, and frequent ad
versities are accounted for in so many and plausible
ways that his self-love and inordinate vanity are always
appeased. He has shown himself more than a match
for other barbarous tribes, and for the semi-civilized na
tives of New Mexico and Arizona. He infers that be
cause we inhabit the houses of the last mentioned, and
consort with them freely, in the absence of other society,
that we are of the same general stamp and character. He
admits the superior gallantry and prowess of the Amer
ican race, but attributes them to our confidence in the
superiority of our weapons. The result is that he uses
more precaution in approaching the American than the
Mexican; but this renders his attacks more to be dreaded
and guarded against, although he never loses sight of
subtlety and careful consideration in all his movements,
no matter against whom directed. This is a distinguish
ing feature of the Apache. If fifty of them were to ap
proach a single armed traveler they would do so with


Like all other savages they highly prize physical
strength and personal courage, but are severe critics in
reference to the latter quality. When Lord Cardigan
led the famous charge of the six hundred at Balaklava,
it was carefully observed by the French Marshal, Pel-
issier, who exclaimed: "C'est beau, c'est grande, metis,
c'est ne pas de la guerre." In like manner, the Apache
regards our reckless onsets as vain and foolish. He is
in the habit of saying: "The Americans are brave, but
they lack astuteness. They build a great fire which
throws out so much heat that they cannot approach it
to warm themselves, and when they hear a gun fired
they are absurd enough to rush to the spot. But it is
not so with us; we build small fires in secluded nooks
which cannot be seen by persons unless close by, and
we gather near to them so as to obtain the warmth, and
when we hear a gun fired we get away as soon as possi
ble to some place from which we can ascertain the
cause/' They regard our daring as folly, and think
" discretion the better part of valor." I am not so sure
but that they are correct in this idea, as well as in sev
eral others.

There is nothing which an Apache holds in greater
detestation than labor or work of any kind. All occu
pations unconnected with war or plunder are esteemed
altogether beneath his dignity and attention. He will
patiently and industriously manufacture his bow and
quiver full of arrows, his spear and other arms; but he
disdains all other kinds of employment. He will suffer
the pangs of hunger before engaging in the chase, and
absolutely refuses to cultivate the ground, even at the
cost of simply sowing the seed; but he is ever ready to
take the war-path, and will undergo indescribable suf
ferings and hardships for the hope of a little plunder.


Herein lies his credit and fame as a warrior; upon his
success in such undertakings rests his whole celebrity
and standing among the squaws whom he affects to treat
with indifference, but whose smiles and favors are, after
all, the greatest incentives to his acts. It is a grand
mistake to suppose that because the Apaches are seem
ingly indifferent to the condition of their women that,
because like other savage tribes, they force the burden
of hard labor upon them, they are not elated by their
praises or humbled by their censures. On the contrary,
they are keenly alive to such sensations, and under the
mask of apparent indifference and assumed superiority
are quite as susceptible to the blandishments of the fe
male sex, and to their opinions as regards merits, as the
most civilized and enlightened of their fellow country
men white Americans. After a successful raid they are
received with songs and rejoicings. Their deeds are re
hearsed with many eulogiums, and they become great,
in their own estimations, for a while. But if unsuccess
ful, they meet with jeers and insults. The women turn
away from them with assumed indifference and con
tempt. They are upbraided as cowards, or for want of
skill and tact, and are told that such men should not
have wives, because they do not know how to provide
for their wants. When so reproached, the warriors hang
their heads and offer no excuse for failure. To do so
would only subject them to more ridicule and objurga
tion; but, Indian-like, they bide their time, in the hope
of finally making their peace by some successful raid.
When it is understood that the Apaches neither sow nor
plant, that they do not cultivate the ground, that they
manufacture nothing except their arms, that they de
pend altogether upon their wars for plunder as a means
of livelihood with the exceptional occasions of hunting,


that their women collect all the mescal for food and in
toxicating drink, that they dig all the roots, gather all
the seeds, and make them into food, there will be no
difficulty in perceiving that the women are their real

In some branches of the great tribe, residing on the
head-waters of the Gila, and among the Mescaleros and
Jicarillas, a very limited amount of planting is done, ex
tending mainly to maize, pumpkins, squashes and beans.
Their great dependence is on mescal, the roots of which
.are collected in quantity, and placed in a large hole dug
in the ground and highly heated. The mescal roots,
being deposited, are then covered with green leaves and
grass, which is in turn overlaid with earth, and a steady
fire kept burning on top for a whole day. After allow
ing the mass to remain in this impromptu oven for three
days, it is unearthed, pared and eaten with great zest.
It has a sweetish taste, not unlike the beet; but it is not
so tender, and possesses remarkable anti-scorbutic pro
perties. In order to make an intoxicating beverage of
the mescal, the roasted root is macerated in a propor
tionable quantity of water, which is allowed to stand
several days, when it ferments rapidly. The liquor is
boiled down and produces a strongly intoxicating fluid.


Dangerous Hunting at the Bosque. Dr. McNulty's Adventure. Don Carlos and
his Indians. Mr. Descourtis' Adventure. Nah-kah-yen and Nah-tanh.
Hunting a Lion. The Indian and the Panther. Combat Between a Bear
and a Lion. The Eesult. Beavers. Apache Love of Torturing. Gallant
Indian. A Wounded Apache to be Dreaded.

AMONG the Apaches under my charge were a number
highly renowned as hunters. Those men seemed to pos
sess a peculiar sagacity for this business, and whenever
I indulged in a hunt I invariably took one or more of
them with me. The Pecos for twenty-five miles about
the Bosque Redondo is fringed for a half mile in depth,
on both sides, with gigantic cotton-wood trees, or rather
it was, for I have since learned that they were nearly all
destroyed in furnishing fuel to the numerous body of
Indians collected at Fort Sumner, and for the garrison
at that place; and in consequence of the scarcity now
existing, the fort and Reservation have either been aban
doned by this time, or soon will be, as the Indian De
partment has already taken steps to locate the Reserva
tion on a more favorable location.

The cotton-woods and the dense undergrowth of
shrubbery, which produced many kinds of wild berries,
and large fields of wild sun-flowers, abounding with nu-
tricious seeds, render the Bosque Kedondo a favorite
abode with wild turkeys, which existed there in great
numbers, and were exceedingly fat and fine flavored.
My Apache friends kept my larder lavishly supplied
with turkeys, grouse, deer, bear and antelope hams,



and a species of very superior turtle s which is abundant
in that part of the Pecos river. I have had as many as
seven live wild turkeys in my corral at one time, and
quite as many dead ones dressed and hanging up. On
public days, such as New Year, Christmas, Fourth of
July, and sometimes on Sundays, my company were fully
supplied with good things from my private larder. But
hunting was somewhat of a dangerous pastime in that
vicinity. Prowling bands of hostile Apaches, Navajoes
and Comanches were at any time liable to be met, and
it was safe practice, when double-barreled guns were
used, to place a dozen well-fitting balls in one's pouch
and a goodly quantity of heavy buck-shot. Besides,
what are known as Californian lions, were very plenti
ful, while catamounts, panthers, grizzly bears, and even
jaguars were by no means uncommon. The Apaches
never ventured out unless in sufficient force to resist an
ordinary attack, until they had resided there some time
and had made themselves perfect masters of the situa
tion. On the other hand, the Comanches, with whom
the Bost[ue Redondo had formerly been a chosen hunt
ing ground, gradually but reluctantly withdrew, when
they found out that the Apaches were numerous and
would be protected by our troops.

Soon after our first arrival at that spot then a howl
ing wilderness, ninety miles distant from the nearest
habitation a commission of engineers, headed by Col.
A. L. Anderson, was sent down to the Bosque, for the
purpose of selecting a site for a permanent fort, to be
called Fort Sunmer, with the view of establishing a large
Indian Reservation there, and erecting a valuable ad
vance post on the line of approach from Texas. Among
our visitors was Dr. J. M. McNulty, then Medical Di
rector for New Mexico and Arizona, and probably the


most popular officer in the "Column from California."
The Doctor and myself had long been acquainted, and I
was proud to have the privilege of showing him some
little attention; but his visit came near being attended
with fatal results, to him at least. When we left Albu
querque for the Bosque Redondo, Gen. Carleton sup
plied us with five semi-civilized Indians from a town
about eighteen miles distant from Santa Fe, the name
of which has escaped my memory. The chief of the
tribe was named Don Carlos, a man about fifty-five years
of age short, thick-set and resolute. He had visited
"Washington, New York, Philadelphia, and other East
ern cities, and had an exalted opinion of the Ameri
can people. Dr. McNulty, learning that wild turkeys
abounded in the immediate vicinity, determined to go
on a hunt for some of those delicate birds, and took one
of Don Carlos' Indians as a guide. As the distance to
be traveled was not more than a mile and a half, they
waited until within half an hour of sundown, and then
repaired to the roosting place. The birds were fast
gathering upon the tree, and the Doctor determined to
wait a little until they got quiet, when he perceived that
a band of hostile Indians were as eagerly watching him
as he the turkeys. His guide also became cognizant of
the fact about the same time, and both turned their
horses to recross the river and gain our side for, be it
known, that the banks of the Pecos are from ten to
twenty-five feet perpendicular descent, and that cross
ings are only found at rare intervals and the Doctor,
having crossed, was compelled to seek the same ford for
his return. The Apaches, for they were of that tribe,
perceiving his intention, made a bold and concerted
effort to cut him off, but the Doctor succeeded in foiling
their plan, and returned safely to camp much faster


than he had gone. His ardor to obtain wild turkeys of
his own killing at the Bosque Redondo was considerably
cooled by this adventure.

Another more serious, but very laughable, adventure
occurred on a turkey hunt a few days afterward. My
First Lieutenant, Mr. Descourtis, was exceedingly fond
of the chase, and he joined me about that time, after
nearly nine months absence from his company, in obedi
ence to very strict orders from Gen. Carleton. One eve
ning he determined to go and shoot some wild turkeys,
and engaged one of the Indians of Don Carlos. About
an hour after their departure the guide came back howl
ing with pain, and declared that Descourtis had shot
him. Upon examination it was found that his posteriors
were fully pitted with small shot, and upon the return
of Mr. Descourtis, which occurred about five minutes
later, that officer stated that his gun had gone off acci
dentally and shot the Indian. The wounds were pain
ful, but by no means dangerous, and under the skillful
treatment of Dr. Gwyther, Post Surgeon, were healed in
a few days. The Indian subsequently said, that on ar
riving at the ground he perceived a band of hostile
Apaches or Navajoes, and warned Mr. Descourtis of
their presence; but he failed to discover them. The
guide then told him that he would not risk his life for
a turkey or two, and started to leave him, when Mr. Des
courtis became enraged and shot him. I cannot pretend
to decide between the two, but it is certain that Mr. Des
courtis brought back no turkeys, and the Indian fetched
a whole load of shot in his carcass, and both came home
as fast as their horses would carry them; but the Indian's
animal having received a liberal supply of the same pel
lets in his rear, came much the quicker. This event
greatly disgusted Don Carlos and his people, and it was


only with infinite trouble, during the time that the guide
was under surgical treatment, that I could persuade
the old man to remain and fulfill his contract. None
of them could ever be induced to approach Descourtis

Among the Apaches was one who particularly out
shone the rest in the chase. He was a young man of
about twenty-seven years, named Nah-kah-yen, or the
"Keen Sighted/' a reputation to which he was fully en
titled. This man's knowledge of woodcraft, and the
habits of animals, was really wonderful. He could not
only perceive an object so distant as to be almost in
visible, but could distinguish the particular species.
Nah-kah-yen was of medium height, well formed and as
active as a panther. He was a sort of dandy among
them, being always the best dressed, and paid great at
tention to his hair, which was always kept well combed
and oiled. His long scalp lock was an especial object
of attention, and highly ornamented with small silver
plates, made into little round shields buttons, beads,
feathers and tinsel. Another of my most trusted favor
ites was a grim old warrior named Nah-tanh, or the
"Corn Flower," commonly called Chato by the Mexi
cans, on account of his large nose which had been broken
and flattened by the kick of a horse. Nah-tanh was much
esteemed in his tribe, both as a warrior and judicious
counselor. He was about forty years old, weighed about
two hundred pounds; broad and deep-chested, very pow
erful and very grave scarcely ever deigning to smile.
His decision in reference to the qualities of a horse or a
weapon was considered final. He had been one of the
most dreaded scourges in the country, but having sur
rendered he professed his determination to abide by his
promise, and during the whole term of my service in


New Mexico lie kept his word faithfully. His imper
turbable coolness and profound sagacity, especially on a
bear or lion hunt, proved very serviceable.

After killing an animal I would give the skin to the
Apaches to have it dressed for me, and they turned me
out some elegant deer, lion and beaver skins, softly
dressed, with the fur perfectly preserved. Having dis
covered the tracks of a very large lion along the river-
bottom, I summoned Nah-kah-yen and Nah-tanh to ac
company me on the hunt for his majesty. Both were
eager, and we started about ten o'clock A. M. I showed
them the trail, which they examined carefully for a few
moments, and then concluded that the animal had a
haunt in a jungle about five miles below. Without pre
tending to follow up the tracks we struck off into the
clear prairie, and went down stream until opposite the
jungle, when we separated, each one taking a side of
what we supposed to be the animal's lair, and at a signal
we approached together. At that place the Pecos is about
eight feet deep for a couple of hundred yards, when it
shoals again to one, two and three feet, the river being
much wider. The jungle was neared with caution, and
it being about midday, there was good reason to suppose
that the lion was taking his rest after a night's rambles.
One large cotton-wood tree flung its branches out wider
than the rest, while its top overlooked its surrounding-
comrades. It grew on the very bank of the river, and
overhung the jungle. Nah-tanh dismounted from his
horse, which was left free, and being perfectly broken,
remained quiet where he was left; he then climbed the
tree referred to and crawled out on a large limb, until
he was directly over the water and could get a fair view
of the supposed lair.

The Californian lion and the panther are both cow-


ardly animals, and will rarely stand at bay, even when
wounded; but there are exceptional cases, and some
times they will become the attacking parties. While
Nah-tanh was endeavoring to penetrate the secrets of
the thicket, he was summoned by Nah-kah-yen to look
out for himself, and gazing in the direction pointed out,
we saw a large panther crouching on another limb, not
more than fifteen feet from Nah-tanh, and evidently bent
on trying titles with my friend. In an instant Nah-kah-
yen raised his rifle and took a rapid shot at the beast,
but the ball only inflicted a slight flesh wound and made
him hasten his motions, for in another moment he made
his spring toward Nah-tanh. That wary Apache was
not to be so easily caught, for the instant that the pan
ther left the limb on which he had been crouching Nah-
tanh dropped from his into the water some thirty feet,
and disappeared under the surface, nor did he rise again
until he had reached the friendly shelter of the bank,
out of his enemy's sight. The panther landed on the
spot so suddenly vacated, and gazed anxiously down into
the depths below, cracking his tail against his sides and
clawing great pieces of the bark from the limb. By
this time Nah-kah-yen had reloaded, and I had come up
with my breech-loading carbine and two heavy Colt's
revolvers. We both took good aim and brought the
beast from his high perch. We soon hauled his carcass
to land and stripped him of his hide. It was an enor
mous specimen, measuring nearly seven feet from the tip
of his tail to the end of his nose. I brought his skin to
California with me as a souvenir of the occurrence, and
subsequently made it a present to Philip Martinetti.
When Nah-tanh surveyed the lifeless body of his late
antagonist, he smiled grimly and said: " Tagoon-ya-dah;
shis Inday to-dah ishan ;" which means "Fool; an
Apache is no food for you."


"We were about to return home, when our attention
was attracted by a terrible noise in a rocky cation, about
four hundred yards lower down the river. Hastily re
mounting, we galloped to the place, and after having
dismounted, approached the canon with caution. Sud
denly we came upon a very exciting and interesting
scene. A very large lion, probably the one of which we
were in pursuit, was engaged in deadly conflict with a
well-developed brown bear. The lion was crouched
down about twelve feet from bruin, and the bear was
standing erect on his hind legs, his forearms protruded,
and his back against a large rock. His cries were pierc
ing, and to them we owed the pleasure of being present
at the combat, which quickly began. The lion watched
his adversary with intense gaze, his long and sinewy tail
working and twisting like a large wounded serpent. His
formidable claws occasionally grappled the rocks and
gravel, and every now and then he would exhibit his
terrible teeth and utter a low but significant growl.
Having reached the sticking point, the lion leaped for
ward with a fearful rush and grappled the bear. Then
commenced the most frightful cries from both fur, dust
and blood flew from each combatant in quantities; biting,
tearing and hugging were indulged without stint. After
about two minutes of this terrific strife, the lion sud
denly released himself and sprang away. Each animal
then commenced to lick its wounds, the lion having re-
occupied his former position in front of the bear, and
evidently bent on " fighting it out on that line if it took
all summer." The bear was decidedly anxious to get
away, but did not dare turn his back on his more agile
adversary. After some ten minutes spent in licking
their wounds and repairing damages, the lion reassumed
the offensive, and the bear again placed himself on the


defensive. The same scene was repeated, but this time
the lion had succeeded in tearing open the bear's back
and drawing his vitals through the gap. The bear fell
dead, and the lion hauled off once more to lick his
wounds. Having taken breath, he leisurely proceeded
to haul the bear's carcass down into the canon and bury
it with leaves, sand and other debris. Just then I heard
the crack of a rifle, and the late conqueror tumbled over
on his side dead, beside the body of his late foe, having
received a rifle ball just back of the ear from the weapon
of Nah-tanh, who had by no means forgotten his own
recent encounter. This beast measured seven feet seven
inches and a half from the end of his nose to the tip of
his tail. His skin I also preserved, and afterward pre
sented it to Major (now General) H. D. Whalen, then
commanding Fort Sumner, As we had more than we
could carry, Nah-kah-yen was dispatched to the Apache
camp to bring some pack horses, and squaws to cut up
the meat and take it to camp, for the Apaches are rather
fond of lion and panther meat, but seldom touch that of
the bear. This was sport enough for one day, and after
discovering a couple of fine turkey roosts, we returned
home, quite elated with the result of our hunt.

Beavers were quite plentiful on the Pecos, about Fort
Sumner, and we used to enjoy shooting them on fine
moonlight nights. The Apaches have a great regard for
the beaver, which they aver to be by far the most saga
cious and intelligent of animals. The Pecos beavers are
very large, and in midwinter have an unusually thick,
heavy and soft fur. Their tails, roasted in ashes, make
a capital dish, and are much esteemed, but rather too fat
and musky for most stomachs. The Apaches brought
me quite a number of young ones, about a week old, but
milk was difficult to obtain, and I only succeeded in


raising one until it got to be three months old and able
to care for itself, when I released the poor thing by re
turning it to its tribe. It had become quite a pet, and
would perform several little tricks with ease. As it was
brought up among human beings, it possessed none of
the native fear of man which is so strongly characteristic
of its race, and it is quite probable that the poor little
f ellow"subsequently fell a victim to misplaced confidence,
although I carried it six miles below camp, where there
was a large beaver dam, before restoring it to freedom.
The quality of mercy is unknown among the Apaches.
They frequently take birds and animals alive, but invari
ably give them to their children to torture. A warrior
is seized with delight when his son exhibits superior skill
in this way. He looks on approvingly and makes occa
sional suggestions to the aspiring youth. The squaws
are especially pleased with the precociousness of their
children in the art of torturing. Even their horses are
not spared, and their dogs may truly be said to lead
c 'dogs' lives." What we call chivalry is also unknown to
the Apache, who regards it as sheer folly and useless
risk of life; yet there are instances of self-sacrifice and
heroic devotion which would be second to none recorded
in history, were it not for the fact that in each case the
hero was mortally wounded before he displayed remark-
_able bravery for the safety of others. A .badly wounded
Indian is much more dangerous than one who is not.
Feeling that he cannot escape, his first object is to kill
as many of his foes as possible, and protect his own
people to the last gasp. I have seen a single Apache,
stationed at the narrow entrance to a defile, receive four
carbine balls through the breast before he sank on his
knees, and every time the cavalry charged that man
would keep back the horses by .dashing a red blanket in


their faces. By this heroism and wonderful tenacity of
life he saved some sixty or seventy of his people, who
gained time to retreat amidst inaccessible rocks. He
was only finished by receiving a pistol ball through the
brain, and continued fighting, single-handed, until fin
ally dispatched. His bow and quiver of arrows are now
in the rooms of the California Pioneers.


Anecdote of Capt. Bristol. Surprise and Admiration of the Indians. They Vote
Him a Great Medicine. Wonders of the Microscope. Their Modes of
Hunting. Departure of Ojo Blanco. Apache Dread of Disease. The
Influenza. Apache Prophet. His Dream and Interpretation. My Coun
ter Dream and Interpretation. Usefiil Services of Dr. Gwyther. Faith
fulness of Gian-nah-tah. Necessity of Using Artifice.

AMONG the many unique incidents which occurred at
Fort Sumner may be mentioned one, which had a great
effect among the Indians gathered at that place. The
Navajoes, who had become captives to the "pioneers"
of the Column from California, numbered over nine
thousand, including well known chiefs and distin
guished warriors, women and children. The Apaches
proper, who were in like condition, amounted to nearly
fifteen hundred. This disparity is sufficient to prove the
superior warlike character of the latter tribe; their in
vincible determination to "fight it out on that line/ 3 and
their utter intractability. Capt. H. B. Bristol, Fifth
United States Infantry, was one of those genial, kind-
hearted and educated gentlemen who have the happy
faculty of attaching all within the sphere of their ac
quaintance. A strict disciplinarian, and imbued with a
deep-seated love for his profession, he possessed the tact
of gaining the affections and confidence of his men, as
well as their implicit obedience to order. The suaviter in
modo etfortiter in re, for which he became distinguished
in the command, gradually spread its influence among
the Indians, who are ever ready to appreciate and recog-


nize those characteristics which influence other men. In
a short time his cabin became a popular resort among
the nomads, who were delighted with his generosity,
while he experienced a pleasure in studying their vari
ous attributes. Capt. Bristol frequently amused his
friends by sticking pins and needles in various parts of
his person, driving them in full length without appear
ing to suffer a particle of inconvenience. One afternoon,
while his cabin was full of savages, he proceeded to peg
his pantaloons fast to his thighs with pins, until an hun
dred or more were imbedded in his flesh, without draw
ing blood, or provoking any evidence of distress. The
Apaches and Navajoes were filled with surprise and ad
miration, while the officers present pretended to be af
flicted with anxiety. Having succeeded so far, Bristol
deliberately opened his penknife, and thrust the blade
alongside of the pins. He then invited the Indians to
plunge their knives into his body, assuring them that it
could do him no harm. This last coup de jonglerie com
pletely upset all their doubts, and with one accord, they
voted him to be a "great medicine." From that date
his influence was very considerable, as they believed that
he could not l?e slain by ordinary means. All this was
done without ostentation, and in a purely natural man
ner. No attempt was made to impress the savage visi
tors with an idea of superiority, and they accorded their
full homage and respect to the act. Had they been led
to understand that some extraordinary ability of the
white man was to be exhibited; had they been told that
something was to be done in the "medicine" line excel
ling what they could do, they would have regarded the
affair with distrust, suspicion and aversion; but it was
so impromptu and unaffected that their confidence was
won, and their belief fixed.


Quite a number of other innocent devices were re
sorted to for the purpose of quietly infiltrating the
Apache mind with a sense of our superiority, but always
most carefully guarding against any appearance of seek
ing to contrast American attainment with savage igno
rance. Their bigotry and self-conceit could not be
rudely assailed without exciting their natural distrust
and alarm. They were ready to perceive a "nigger in
every fence," and were ever on the alert to detect the
slightest approximation to deceit, or effort to mislead by
the assumption of higher intelligence. A person once
discovered in the attempt to make them believe that in
which he himself had no faith, is immediately and for
ever tabooed. No subsequent acts or promises of iiis
could restore their confidence. It was after I had ac
quired a very fair knowledge of their language that these
traits became fully apparent, and I made it my study to
conduct myself in such a manner as to allay all doubts.

I possessed a very good microscope, which I had pur
chased from a French priest, and also an excellent sun
dial, with several other instruments, such as burning-
glass, field-glass, compass, several maps of New Mexico,
etc. The anxiety to show the wonders of these instru
ments to my untutored visitors was very great, but I felt
the imprudence of so doing until occasion could serve,
when it would appear the result of their application, and
not of my ostentation.

One day, while receiving instruction from Juan Cojo,
my preceptor in the Apache language, I suddenly pre
tended that it was necessary for me to examine a minute
object whose conformation was somewhat indistinguish
able to the naked eye. Juan watched me with intense
interest as I uncased the microscope and placed beneath
its focus the body of a common flea. I was careful not


to ask him to view the object, feeling convinced that his
own curiosity would induce him to make the request.
After I had gazed attentively for a few seconds, Juan
asked what I was looking at, and I told him that I had
an instrument which made a flea look as large as a mule
and showed me his whole conformation. He immedi
ately expressed a desire to see this monster, and after
being accorded a good, long look, he exclaimed : ' ' Madre
de DIGS, que cosa tan hororosa!" which means, mother
of God, what a horrible thing. In this manner we went
through half a dozen objects, each of which elicited ex
pressions of unbounded surprise from Juan, who com
menced to regard me as a magician of power and influ
ence. In this way the train was laid for further confi
dence on the part of the savages, to whom Juan related
the whole affair, because I had never employed such
means to assert claims to their respect, and had appar
ently striven to keep my possession of them from their
knowledge. They seemed to have got their information
by accident, and I allowed them to press me frequently
before I yielded to their request for a look through the
wonderful instrument of which they had heard from
Juan. Their admiration was also excited by the burn
ing-glass, field-glass, etc. ; and when I took out the maps
and explained to them all about portions of the country
which they knew well, but I had never visited, they be
gan to think that nothing was hidden from our knowl
edge if we only took the pains to consult our magical

During all the time of our intimate relations, I was as
great an inquirer into their funds of information as they
were into that which I possessed. I was regularly in
ducted into their modes of hunting, and taught where
and when the desired game might be expected. The art


of tracking was also sedulously shown me, but this re
quires very long and constant practice. Their code of
signals by smokes, stones, broken branches, etc., was
explained with apparent delight, in the conviction that
the white man could learn something from them.

The force at Fort Sumner was so ludicrously small, in
comparison with the number of Indians to be controlled
and guarded, that I am convinced the savages would
never have remained so long as they did had it not been
for the extreme vigilance employed, and the peculiar
policy adopted. . In fact, within six months after my de
parture, Ojo Blanco, a famous Apache, took French
leave of Fort Sumner, after having induced a goodly
number of others to keep him company, and it was not
long before nearly all the rest of his tribe followed the

Nothing can induce the Apaches to remain an hour in
the place where one of them has died from disease, and
they give a wide berth to all localities where Apaches
have been "known to give up the ghost from any cause.

The nearest town was Anton Chico, nearly ninety
miles distant, and there were quite a number of well-
known villages ranging from one hundred to one hun
dred and thirty miles northwest, west and southwest
from the fort. The influenza was raging in the settle
ments, and had become epidemic. A great many chil
dren and quite a number of adults in the Mexican towns
fell victims to the disease, which had assumed a malig
nant type. It soon made its appearance among the
Apaches, but Dr. Gwyther, assisted by myself as inter
preter, was unremitting in his attention, and by timely
and judicious efforts, prevented the disease from being
fatal in a single case, although nearly all were more or
less affected. A wily and rascally old Apache, who had


wielded great influence among them as a medicine man,
seized upon the occasion to sow disaffection and discon
tent. He upbraided them for their servile obedience to
the whites, covered them with reproach for having
yielded their absolute independence, and taunted them
in every conceivable way. These things were told me by
Gian-nah-tah, Nah-tanh, Natch-in-ilk-kisn, and Nah-kah-
yen, but the fact of their telling me was sufficient to
prove that the prophet was not to be feared, and I coun
seled them to keep quiet and let me know all that passed,
but on no account to acquaint their comrades with the
secret of their having told me anything about such pro
ceedings, v^
One day Gian-nah-tah stated that the prophet had held
a great gathering the evening before, at which he had ex
plained a vision. The time selected was about midnight.
The Apaches sat in a dense circle, in the center of which
stood the prophet dressed in the savage decorations of
his sacred office. His eager auditors were informed that
he had been blessed with a vision in whicn he saw a
black cloud about the size of his blanket. The cloud
rose gradually from the west and increased as it rose in
darkness and magnitude, until it covered a large space.
Its course was directed toward the Apache camp, over
which it hovered and then descended until the camp was
completely enveloped within its Cimmerian folds. The
interpretation of this vision was that the black cloud
represented the anger of the Great Spirit, and that he
had sent it among the Apaches to slay them with disease
for having remained captive to the Americans. He
threatened that if they did not all leave at the earliest
possible opportunity, not one would be saved from the
anger of the Great Spirit. It may well be supposed
that such an announcement from their most noted med-


icine man at a time when a terrific epidemic was raging,
would have an immense influence among those savage
and extremely superstitious people.

My determination what to do was immediately taken,
and without intimating to Gian-nah-tah what my inten
tion was, I bade him convoke the whole camp on the
following night, as near midnight as possible. The
moon was very brilliant, and the air clear and perfectly
still. I placed a couple of six-shooters and my knife in
my belt, and cutting a hole for my head in the center of
a sheet, invested myself with that article as if it were a
toga. When the Apaches were all assembled, and won
dering why they were got together, I suddenly made my
appearance among them, and taking position in the cen
ter, addressed them to the following effect. I told them
that I had been favored with a vision, full of importance
to them, and as they had appointed me their " Tata/' or
Governor, it had been imparted to me for their benefit.
I said that two nights previous their prophet had seen a
black cloud, which grew larger and blacker as it ap
proached the Apache camp, over which it settled until
it was concealed from sight; but that a lying spirit had
been put into his mouth, and the true meaning of the
vision had been withheld from his knowledge. In my
capacity as their Tata, it had been revealed to me, with
directions to impart it to the tribe.

They knew, I added, that the Angel of Death had been
very busy among the Mexican towns and villages, cut
ting off the men* women and children, and sparing
neither age nor condition. But who among you, said I,
have died ? Where is the wife that mourns for her hus
band, or the mother for the child, or the warrior for
those that are dear to him ? Not one of your number is
missing, and all of you are now well or nearly well from
the attacks of this infirmity which has killed so many.


Now, the true rendering of the vision is this : The Great
Spirit has seen with satisfaction that you have kept your
promise, that you no longer exist by robbery, that you
do not murder the incautious traveler, that you live here
happily and well supplied with every comfort, and are
cared for by skillful medicine men when you are sick;
and in reward for your excellent conduct, the Good
Spirit said I have sent the Angel of Death abroad in
the land and he knows nothing but to destroy, for that
is his mission. My Apache people have done well and
must be preserved, and to shield them from the vision
of the Destroying Angel, I will wrap them in a dark
cloud which his eyes cannot penetrate; then will he pass
them by, and they shall live because they have kept their
promise to the Americans. This, I added, is the true
rendering of the vision seen by your prophet, and I am
come here to tell you, in order that his evil counsel may
not prevail and lead you to destruction.

The reader can conjecture the rage of the prophet and
the profound astonishment of the whole tribe, except
Giaii-nah-tah. No one but he knew that I possessed any
information on the subject, and, of course, not a soul,
the prophet included, doubted the reality of what I had
said. The contemplated hegira came to a sudden end;
the Apaches returned to their allegiance with more will
ingness than before, and our intercourse became more
harmonious than ever. For my part, I was far better
satisfied with the result than if we had been compelled
to use force and slay a hundred or two of the savages
before again impressing them with the necessity for obe
dience. The prophet lost his influence, while we gained
in proportion.

The foregoing incident conveys its own moral, and
shows the virtue of using artifice instead of force, when
artifice has to be met.


The Apache Language. Its Kemarkable Regularity and Copicmsness. Examples
Given. Reflections. How Apaches are Named. Apache Beauties. Dis
inclination to tell their Apache Names.

ELSEWHERE it has been stated that my vocabulary of
the Apache language had been forwarded to the Smith
sonian Institute through Gen. Carleton, and that it had
been handed to Professor George Gibbs for the purpose
of being incorporated in his forthcoming work on Eth
nology. As it was the only copy in my possession, I
am compelled to rely solely on memory for the very un
satisfactory skeleton I am able to offer in this chapter.
It will, however, serve to convince the reader of the su
perior intelligence of the Apache Indians as compared
with nearly all other tribes of American savages, while it
places them at the head of races purely nomadic.

Many of the African, Australian, North and South
American tribes, and those who inhabit the Pacific Oce-
anica, together with several of Asia, cannot count beyond
ten, but the Apaches count ten thousand with as much
regularity as we do. They even make use of the decimal
sequences. With us the number one has no correlative.
It is unique in expression as well as in meaning, but
when we come to two, we say two, twelve, twenty, two
hundred; with the numeral three for a starter, we say
thirteen, thirty, three hundred; and again, four, four
teen, forty, four hundred, and so on up to ten, when the
process is repeated by referring to the same root numeral


from which, the higher number derives its name. In like
manner the Apaches use a unique word to express one,
and another to mention eleven; but all the rest are de
rived from the root name of the numbers between one
and ten. This will be seen from the subjoined table of
their numerals: One is called lash-ay-ay ; two, nah-kee;
three, Tcah-yay; four, twi-yay; five, asht-lay; six, host-kon-
ay; seven, host-ee-day; eight, hah-pee; nine, en-gost-ay;
ten, go-nay-nan-ay. But on arriving at eleven they use
an entirely different word, and say klats-ah-tah-hay , which
never occurs again, either in part or in whole, until they
reach eleven hundred, which is klats-at-too-ooh. When
twelve is to be expressed recourse is had to the nah-kee,
or two, which is then enlarged into nah-kee-sah-tah. In
like manner thirteen is derived from kah-yay, three, and
becomes kah-yay-sah-tah. After ten until twenty their
numbers are named as follows: Eleven, klats-ah-tah-hay;
twelve, nah-kee-sah-tah; thirteen, kah-yay-sah-tah; four
teen, tin-sah-tah-hay ; fifteen, asht-lay-sah-tah-hay ; sixteen,
host-kon-sah-lah-hay ; seventeen, host-ee-sah-tah-hay ; eigh
teen, sam-pee-sah-tah-hay ; nineteen, en-gost-ee-sah-lah-hay ;
twenty, nah-tin-yay. It will be observed that after four
teen the aspirated syllable hay is added, and this is for
the sake of euphony, as well as the change from hah-pee,
eight, to sam-pee in eighteen. It will also be observed
that nah-tin-yay, twenty, receives its derivation, like nah-
kee-sah-tah, twelve, from nah-kee, two ; and this is regu
larly observed in the following numbers: For instance,
thirty is called kah-tin-yay; forty, tish-tin-yay ; fifty, asht-
tin-yay; sixty, host-kon-tin-yay; seventy, host-ee-tin-yay ;
eighty, sam-pee-tin-yay ; ninety, en-gost-ee-tin-yay; one
hundred, too-ooh, after which comes nah-kee-too-ooh, two
hundred; kah-y ay -too-ooh, three hundred, etc., until one
thousand, which is expressed by go-nay-nan-too-ooh, or


ten hundred; two thousand is termed nah-Jcee-go-nay-
nan-too-ooh, etc.

Here we have evidence sufficient to prove that the
Apaches must have possessed objects of sufficient im
portance and numbers to have compelled the creation of
terms by which the number could be indicated. In the
absence of any other object furnished by the region they
inhabit, it is fairly presumable that the numerical strength
of their race was the impelling cause.

Their verbs express the past, present and future with
much regularity, and have the infinitive, indicative, sub
junctive and imperative moods, together with the first,
second and third persons, and the singular, dual and
plural numbers. Many of them are very irregular, and
depend upon auxiliaries which are few. In all that re
lates to special individuality the language is exacting;
thus, shee means I or me; but shee-dah means I myself,
or me myself; dee means thee or thou; but dee-dah means
you yourself especially and personally, without reference
to any other being. When an Apache is relating his
own personal adventures he never says shee, for I, be
cause that word, in some sense, includes all who were
present and took any part in the affair; but he uses the
word shee-dah, to show that the act was wholly his own.
The pronouns are: Shee I; shee-dah I myself; dee
thee or thou; dee-dah thee thyself; -aghan it, he, her,
or they. The word to-dah means no, and all their affirm
atives are negatived by dividing this word so as to place
the first syllable in front and the second in the rear of
the verb to be negatived. For example, inlc-tah means
sit down, but to say, do not sit down, we must express it
to-ink-tah-dah; nuest-chee-shee , come here; to-nuest-chee-
shee-dah, do not come here; anah-zont-tee, begone; to-
anah-zont-iee-dah, do not begone, and so on throughout
the language.


The word tats-an means dead in Apache; "but they never
employ it when speaking of a dead friend, but say of him
that he is yah-ik-tee, which means that he is not present
that he is wanting. If one goes to an Apache's camp,
and inquires for him during his absence, the visitor is
answered that he is yah-ik-tee, or gone somewhere. This
usage, while speaking of their deceased friends, is not so
much due to delicacy and regret for their loss as to their
superstitious fears of the dead, for they entertain an im
plicit belief in ghosts and spirits, although I could never
trace the causes for their credence. In alluding to an
animal destroyed in the chase, so soon as the mortal blow
is given they exclaim, yah-tats-an, now it is dead; but if
it should only be wounded, and rise again, it is said, to-
tats-an-see-dah, it is not dead.

Whenever an object is shown them for the first time,
they adopt its Spanish name which is made to terminate
with their favorite guttural, hay. Formerly they knew
no difference between the values or qualities of iron,
silver, copper, brass or gold. Their name for iron is
pesh, and the several metals were distinguished by their
colors. Silver was called pesh-lickoyee, or white iron;
gold, pesh-klitso, or yellow iron; bat after learning the
difference in their values and uses, they adopted the
Spanish terms, and silver became plata-hay, gold changed
to oro-hay, and brass was suffered to retain the appella
tion of pesh-klitso , or yellow iron.

As the Apaches build no houses, and rarely remain
more than a week in any one locality, the place of their
temporary abode receives its name from their word kunh,
which means fire; so that to express a camp, or a few
twigs tied together for shelter, we must say kunh-gan-
hay, meaning fire-place. TVIany of their words depend
entirely upon their accent for individuality of meaning.


Kali is the word for an arrow, and also for a rabbit, but
when the latter is intended, it is necessary to give a
strongly aspirated sound to the lc, rolling it from the
throat with marked expression. The term ah-han-day
means afar off, a long way; but if the speaker intends to
convey the idea of great distance, he must emphasize
and dwell upon the last syllable, and pronounce the
word ah-han-d-a-y . The word schlanh means much, a
good deal; but to represent a great deal, an unusually
large quantity, we must say schlan-go, with the accent
on the last syllable.

As it is not contemplated to insert the Apache vocab
ulary in this work, the foregoing illustrations must suf
fice to convince the reader that for a race so purely
nomadic, their language is in advance of many others
spoken by uncivilized races residing in villages and en
gaged in semi-pastoral and agricultural pursuits.

Apache warriors take their names from some marked
trait of character, personal conformation, or noteworthy
act. Until one of these features be developed to such
extent as to be prominent, the youth is called ish-kay-
nay, a boy. The women are named in like manner, but
as they are deemed altogether inferior, many of them
are without particular designation, but are addressed or
spoken of as isli-tia-nay , or woman. The names of some
of the more eminent warriors on the Fort Simmer Reser
vation will convey the best idea of this subject. There
were Gian-nah-tah, which means "Always Ready," and
was admirably descriptive of the man's character. The
name given him by the Mexicans was Cadete. Then
came Nah-tanh, or the "Corn Flower," so called from
having on one occasion, while on a raid in Sonora, com
pletely hidden himself and party in a field of corn near
the large town of Ures, and succeeded in running off


two or three hundred head of horses. On one occasion
he received a kick on the nose from one of the captured
animals, which had the effect of flattening that feature
over a considerable portion of his naturally unattractive
countenance. From this accident the Mexicans dubbed
him El Chato. A tall, stately fellow, rejoiced in the
name of Natch-in-Uk-kisn, or the "Colored Beads," of
which he always wore a thickly-worked and stiff collar
around his throat, and bracelets on his wrists. Nah-kah-
yen means the "Keen Sighted," and was so baptized be
cause of his wonderful powers of vision. Too-ah-yay-
say, the " Strong Swimmer," got his title from a narrow
escape from drowning in the Bio Grande, while endeav
oring to cross it with a band of stolen horses. After a
desperate struggle, in which several of the animals were
lost, he succeeded in reaching the shore and effecting
his escape with the rest from a large pursuing party of
Mexicans, who did not dare venture into the swollen
and turbid flood, ^f quiet, easy-tempered and good-
natured fellow was known as Para-ah-dee-ah-tran, mean
ing the "Contented." One old sagamore received the
sobriquet of Klo-sen, or the "Hair Rope," for having
lassoed and killed a Comanche during a fight between
the tribes, with one of those cabeslros. His arrows had
been expended, and possessing himself of the arms of
his slain enemy, Klo-sen contributed greatly toward win
ning the fight. Pindah-Lickoyee, or ""White Eye," was
a noted warrior, who got the appellation from the un
usually large amount of white around the small, black,
flashing pupils of his eyes. His Mexican title was Ojo

As before remarked, few of the women are ever hon
ored with names ; but there are some who have decidedly
poetical appellations. Among them was a very bright


and handsome girl of eighteen or nineteen, who had in
variably refused all offers of matrimony. She was light
colored, with strictly Grecian features and exquisitely
small feet and hands. Her eyes were large, black and
lustrous, while her figure was magnificently developed,
and her carriage redolent with the grace and freedom of
the wild girl of the sierras. She was known as Sons-ee-
ah-ray, which means the "Morning Star." Another,
likewise indifferent to marriage, was called Ish-kay-nay ,
the "Boy," from her torn-boy character and disposition.
There was one who received particular honor from the
other sex, but her Apache name has escaped my memory.
She was renowned as one of the most dexterous horse
thieves and horse breakers in the tribe, and seldom per
mitted an expedition to go on a raid without her pres
ence. The translation of her Apache title was, the
" Dexterous Horse Thief." They do not call themselves
"Apaches," but Shis-Inday, or "Men of the Woods,"
probably because their winter quarters are always lo
cated amidst the forests which grow upon the sierras,
far above the plains, and while they afford fire and shel
ter from the wintry blasts, enable them to observe all
that passes in the vales below.

The foregoing names are somewhat suggestive of
Apache character; so much so, indeed, that it is not un
usual for them to refuse giving their Apache names when
interrogated; but will endeavor to give some Mexican
appellative in its place. Before marriage the girls are
much the handsomest and most perfectly formed of any
Indian tribe I have ever seen; but after bearing children,
and performing for three or four years the onerous duties
imposed upon them by their husbands, they soon wither
and shrivel up, becoming thin, muscular and wrinkled


Chastity of Apache Women. Wantonness of the Navajoes. Comparison Insti
tuted. Curious Customs. A Feast and Dance. Ceremonies. DiTration
of the Feast. Depilorizing the Eyes. Apache Marriages. Style of Court
ship. Coquetry. Horses as Money. The Bower of Love. Affected Bash-
fulness. Apache System of Polygamy. Customs Regulating Marriage.
Nah-tanh's Views. Burials. Funeral Ceremonies. Apache Reserve.
Small-Pox. Capt. Shirland. Fort Davis. Fight with Apaches. Indians

AMONG those who have enjoyed the best opportunities
for judging, the award for female chastity is given to the
Apaches. During a period of about two years, when
hundreds of them were under our charge, and mingling
freely with our troops, not a single case occurred, to the
best of my knowledge, wherein an Apache woman sur
rendered her person to any man outside her tribe. Cases
of conjugal infidelity are extremely rare among them,
and the girls take no ordinaiy pride in guarding their
purity. The art of coquetry is practiced among them
with quite as much zest- as among the belles of our cities,
and with such delicacy and tact, that the most refined
among us might possibly study at a worse school. On
the other hand, the Navajoes are extremely loose anfl
sensuous. Although of the main branch of the great
Apache tree they differ in tribal organization, in their
manufacture of superb blankets, in their courage and
address, and in the fact that they keep large flocks of
sheep, and cultivate the earth. In all other respects
they are pure Apaches. Female virtue is little regarded
among them, but is deemed of primary importance among


the Apaches proper. When an Apache girl has reached
the second year of her puberty the fact is widely circu
lated, and all present are invited to a grand feast and
dance. She is then deemed marriageable and open to
the solicitations of the young warriors. On such occa
sions the girl is dressed in all her finery. Small bells
are hung to the skirts of her buckskin robe and along
the sides of her high moccasins, which reach the knee.
Bits of tinsel are profusely scattered all over her attire,
until she is fairly weighed down by the quantity of her
ornaments. Meat in abundance is cooked after their
fashion, and the guests partake of it ad libitum. Twilt-
kah-yw, an intoxicating beverage, is freely distributed.
A dried ox-hide is laid upon the ground, and some of
the more noted musicians entertain the company with
improvised songs, while others beat time upon the ox
hide with long and tough sticks. The noise of this
drumming can be heard for two miles on a clear, calm
night. Old warriors meet and recount their exploits;
young ones ogle and court the marriageable girls; old
women delight in cooking the supper and furnishing it
to their hungry applicants. Suddenly a shout is raised,
and a number of young men, variously attired in the
skins of buffaloes, deer, cougars, bears, and other beasts,
each looking as nearly natural as possible, make their
appearance, and commence dancing to a regular meas
ure around a huge central fire. The women pretend to
be greatly alarmed at this irruption of beasts; the men
seize their weapons and brandish them with menacing
gestures, to which the human menagerie pays no sort of
attention. Finding their efforts to intimidate futile, they
lay aside their arms and join in the dance, which is then
made more enjoyable by the intermingling of the young
girls. In the meantime the one in whose honor all these


rejoicings are given, remains isolated in a huge lodge,
in which are assembled the sagamores and principal
warriors of the tribe. She is not allowed to participate
in, or. even see what is going on outside; but listens
patiently to the responsibilities of her marriageable con
dition. This feast lasts from three to five days, accord
ing to the wealth of the girl's father. After it is finished
she is divested of her eyebrows, which is intended to pub
lish the fact that she is in the matrimonial market. A
month afterward the eye lashes are pulled out, one by
one, until not a hair remains. The reasons for this ex
traordinary despoliation I have never been able to learn,
and I doubt much if the Apaches themselves can assign
any cause for the act beyond the exactions of custom.
But this system of depilorizing the brows and eyes is not
confined to the women; it is universal among the war
riors, nor could any arguments of mine induce them to
forego the practice. It probably arose from a desire to
look unlike any other people, and to add to their fero
ciousness of aspect.

Marriage among the Apaches also has its singular
ities, and is not unworthy of special mention. The girls
are wholly free in their choice of husbands. Parents
never attempt to impose suitors upon their acceptance,
and the natural coquetry of the sought-for bride is al
lowed full scope. These are their halcyon days, for
after marriage "comes the deluge." Any amount of
ogling, sly pressing of hands, stolen interviews, etc.,
is gone through with, just the same as with us, until
the suitor believes his "game made," when he proceeds
to test his actual standing, which is invariably done
as follows: In the night time he stakes. his horse in
front of her roost, house, hovel, encampment, bivouac,
or whatever a few slender branches, with their butt ends


in the ground and their tops bound together, may be
termed. The lover then retires and awaits the issue.
Should the girl favor the suitor, his horse is taken by
her, led to water, fed, and secured in front of his lodge;
but should she decline the proffered honor, she will pay
no attention to the suffering steed. Four days comprise
the term allowed her for an answer in the manner re
lated. A ready acceptance is apt to be criticised wdth
some severity, while a tardy one is regarded as the ex
treme of coquetry. Scrircely any of them will lead the
horse to water before the second day, as a hasty per
formance of that act would indicate an unusual desire to
be married; nor will any suffer the fourth day to arrive
without furnishing the poor animal with its requisite
food and drink, provided they intend to accept the
suitor, for such a course would render them liable to the
charge of excessive vanity.

With us the possession of gold and silver indicates the
enjoyment of wealth. Gold and silver are the recognized
mediums of exchange for goods, and are called money;
but with the Apaches a horse is money, and the value of
any article is regulated by the number of horses which
it may bring. Of course, the animal must be sound, and
not over ten years of age, and no farrier among us is
more skillful in these matters than they.

The lover, having been accepted, it becomes his duty
to determine how many horses her parents are willing to
receive for their daughter, it being mutually understood
that the animals are given as a recompense for her serv
ices to the family. In exact proportion to the number
of horses given, her worth and attractiveness are exalted.
If a girl is sold for one animal, no matter how good, she
is deemed of little account quite plebeian, and by no
means of the bon ton by the rest of those present, and


I am not so sure that our expression, "a one-horse af
fair/' did not take its rise from this Apache system of
graduated values.

On the third night of the feastings and junketings in
cident to the marriage, the bride and bridegroom sud
denly disappear. During the whole of the time men
tioned, they have been constantly in the presence of the
sachems and wise squaws of the tribe, and are never per
mitted to even speak with each other. But love is far
more watchful than precaution, and when the old people
are overcome by drowsiness, incident upon long wake-
fulness and frequent potations, the young couple man
age to make their escape, usually with the connivance of
their seniors, who pretend to be quite innocent of the

Several days prior to his marriage the bridegroom se
lects some beautiful and retired spot, from three to five
miles from the main camp, and there he erects one of
the shelters already described, but festooned with wild
flowers, and generally embowered among the trees in a
place difficult to discover. Thither he retreats with his
bride, a sufficiency of provision having been laid in to
last them a week or ten days, and there they take up
their temporary abode. Their absence is expected, and
re-appearance creates no visible recognition, as it is
deemed indelicate to make any open demonstration on
such occasions. The young bride assumes the air and
pretenses of extraordinary modesty, and in the event of
meeting one of her former associates, invariably turns
her back or hides her face, and puts on all the simper
of an American girl of twenty years ago not iiow-a-
days when accused of having a lover.

In a week this seeming bashfulness gives place to the
regular and arduous duties of the Apache wife, and her


life of toil and slavish suffering commences. The war
rior may at any time repudiate his conjugal companion,
and her chances for a second marriage consist in her
reputation as a good worker, or fo,r her personal attrac
tions. In either case, she experiences no difficulty in
obtaining a second, and even a third or fourth husband,
but her market depends upon her prominence in these
respects. Should there be any children, it becomes the
reputed father's duty to provide for their support, and
he, in turn, imposes that responsibility upon his other
wives. The women are by no means averse to sharing
the affections of their lords with other wives, as the in
creased number lessens the work for each individual,
but the place of honor is always assigned to the one who
was the first married, irrespective of age.

The custom of polygamy was not always in vogue
among the Apaches. A celebrated warrior, and one
wise in the traditions of his people, told me that time
was when only one woman was deemed the proper share
of one man, but their losses by war, and other causes,
had so reduced the number of the males that it was
judged politic to make a change in this custom. He
farther added, that he thought degeneracy had been
produced by its adoption, and that the individuals of the
tribe had become more alienated from each other. He
rejoiced in but one wife with whom he had lived twenty
years, and although she had fallen into the "sere and
yellow leaf," he preferred her to all the young and more
attractive women. She had borne him two fine sons and
a daughter, all of whom were alive and well, and she
possessed the experience requisite to make him a con
tented husband. His oldest son was a warrior, and his
father's best friend and associate. He deprecated the
system of polygamy, and thought that it would eventu-


ally emasculate and destroy the independence of his
tribe. This was Nah-tanh, and his views were fully sec
onded by Klo-sen, and several others, but they could
not hold their own against the practices of Gian-nah-tah,
Natch-in-ilk-kisn, and other prominent and more licen
tious men. These recitals will serve to show that the
Apaches, although the most nomadic, savage and un
tamed of all races, have nevertheless pondered over some
of the most abstruse and perplexing social problems of
the highest civilized races.

In respect to burials I could never succeed in discov
ering but very little, and that little not at all of a satis
factory character. On this point they are absolutely
unapproachable, and invariably succeeded in foiling any
scheme I planned for a more thorough knowledge on the
subject. It is certain that they abhor cremation, and
resort to interment, and their burials are all performed
at night only by a few selected warriors. I have reason
to believe that their dead are conveyed to the most con
venient height, and deposited in the ground, care being
taken to so shroud their bodies with stones as to prevent
the wolves and coyotes from digging them up and muti
lating their remains. Everything of which the defunct
died possessed is scrupulously placed in the grave, but
with what ceremonies, and under what observances, I
have never been able to discover. The demise of a war
rior provokes an excessive demonstration of woe and
general sense of serious loss; the death of a squaw is al
most unnoticed, except by her intimate friends and per
sonal female relatives. Whatever external signs of grief
they may practice among themselves when in a state of
absolute independence and freedom, were never exhib
ited in presence of others while under the restraints of
subjection and obedience to our dictates, and opportu-


nity to witness them at other times was at no time vouch
safed to ine or any other person I ever met. It has never
been within my power to solve the reasons for this ex
treme caution; and all my inquiries failed to unlock the
doors of Apache reticence on this subject. The nearest
definition I ever arrived at was given me by old Klo-sen,
the same who instituted so many questions in reference
to the earth's sphericity, the formation of clouds, the
causes for rain, etc.

This reflecting and experienced warrior told me that
the reason why they buried all the worldly goods of dead
people with their bodies, was because of a strange disease
which broke out among them several years before he was
born, and carried off great numbers. It was found that
to use the clothing or household property of the de
ceased, or to come in contact with such person, was al
most certain to result in a like sickness to the individual
doing these things, and that the rule was adopted to
bury with him or her every single thing that the defunct
possessed at the time of death, and all that he or she
might have used or touched before that event. But he
strictly forbore from telling me anything more, although
I made every effort to draw him out. It occurred to me
that the disease alluded to was the small-pox, for there
were plenty of evidences that it had raged among the
Apaches in some past period. That they know what
this disease is, and comprehend its nature, to some ex
tent, can be exemplified by the following incidents :

Gen. Carleton dispatched Capt. E. D. Shirland and his
company, C of the First California Cavalry Yolunteers,
to retake >Fort Davis, in Texas. Upon Shirland's arrival
he found the fort deserted by the Confederates; but also
discovered that they had left three men behind who had
been seized with small-pox. Those poor fellows were


abandoned to their fate; but the Confederate troops had
scarcely left the place before the Apaches arrived, and
with their usual caution they made careful inspection
before trusting themselves into the building. In the
course of their investigations they discovered the three
sick men, and recognizing the disease with which they
were afflicted, filled their bodies full of arrows shot from
between the iron bars of the windows; and without at
tempting to enter the fortress, went on their way toward
their own fastnesses. A few days afterward, Shirland,
at the head of twenty-five men, encountered over two
hundred of those same Apaches at the place known as
"Dead Man's Hole," and killed twenty-two of them
without sustaining any other loss than that of a single


Apaches as Warriors. Fight with the Maricopas. Fight with the Comanches.-
CoW. Weather. Apache Camp Attacked by Hostile Navajoes. Navajoea
Pursued and Destroyed. Animals Recovered. Carillo and the Navajo.
McGrew and Porter. Their Gallantry. Apache Ideas of Scalping. Grand
Apache Parade. Strange Request. Denied. Purification of Arms. The
Prophet again Making Trouble. Apache Cavalry Manoeuvres. Reflections

SEVERAL fine opportunities were vouchsafed me to judge
of the Apaches as warriors, when compared with other
tribes. Some ten or twelve of them made a daring raid
on the westernmost Maricopa village, just at a time when
I was passing with my company. The Maricopas and
Pimos armed themselves in great numbers, and hurried
out to punish the invaders who had sought refuge in a
dense chaparal, just at the foot of the mountain range
which creates the Great Grila Bend. Thither they were
pursued and invested on three sides. The conflict waxed
warm, and several of the allies were wounded; but not
an Apache could be seen. The brush was riddled with
balls, and after a short council of war, it was assaulted
in great force, but their wily enemies had managed to
make their escape without the loss of a man.

A gentleman of New Mexico told me that he once wit
nessed a fight between eighty Apaches and one hundred
and fifty Comanches, in which the former gained a de
cided victory. The contest was entirely on horseback,
and the parties were equally armed. It occurred on the
plain known as the Llano Estacado, or " Staked Plain/*
east of the Pecos river. Exhibitions of rare skill in


horsemanship occurred during this conflict which were
admirable to behold.

In January, 1864, the weather at Fort Sumner was
very cold, Fahrenheit's thermometer being ten degrees
below zero at eight o'clock in the morning. The Apaches
under our care were then encamped about three miles
south of the fort, on the eastern bank of the Pecos.
They possessed quite a number of horses, in which con
sisted their whole wealth. One night, about twelve
o'clock, Major Whalen was roused by the guard, who
informed him that a deputation of Apaches were present,
earnestly desirous of making some communication. An
audience was immediately granted, and the Apaches in
formed the commanding officer that their camp had just
been visited by a large band of marauding Navajoes, and
their stock driven off. They came for aid to recover
their animals. It happened that nearly the whole of my
company the only cavalry force a the fort were ab
sent on a scout at the time, and only about twelve re
mained with some of the most used-up horses belonging
to the company. Nevertheless, the men were immedi
ately ordered to saddle up and place themselves under
command of Lieut. Newbold, while a company of United
Spates Infantry, under the command of Capt. Bristol,
was ordered to follow the cavalry with all speed. These
forces were assisted by twenty-five Apache warriors, un
der the conduct of Gian-nah-tah, that being the greatest
number tke Apaches could mount since the Navajo raid.
The trail led due south, and about seven o'clock in the
morning the cavalry and Apaches came upon the retreat
ing Navajoes, who were all on foot except those mounted
on the animals stolen from the Apaches. The band
numbered about one hundred and eighty, of whom about
sixty werfr mounted. So* soon as their pursuers came


into view they halted, formed, and prepared for fight.
Newbold and his small party of twelve cavalrymen and
twenty-five Apaches advanced rapidly toward the Nava-
joes until within eighty yards, when the latter opened
fire all along their line. This was answered by a closely
delivered volley from a dozen carbines, w r hich knocked
over nine Navajoes at the first fire. The weather was so
extremely cold that although the men found no difficulty
in recharging their breech-loading carbines, yet they
could not place the caps upon the nipples, their fingers
were so benumbed. Fortunately, the Navajoes were in
the same dilemma. The order to draw pistols and charge
was given, and the allies went down among the Navajoes
like a small tornado. In less than ten minutes their
line was broken, and the enemy in full retreat.

The Apaches had likewise abandoned the use of their
rifles, and betook themselves to their bows and arrows,
and lances. The retreat soon became a rout. Each
trooper had two first-class Colt's six-shooters, and used
them with terrific effect. The moment a Navajo fell he
was pierced full of arrows by the Apaches, and never
suffered to rise again. The whites took the lead, but
their savage allies seconded them with great courage
and undaunted gallantry. For an engagement in which
so few were present, the slaughter was terrific. No less
than ninety Navajoes were stretched dead upon the
ground, and so many others wounded that some of the
party w T ho afterward surrendered and placed themselves
upon the Reservation, informed me that only twenty of
the whole Navajo force ever arrived safely in their coun
try. In this very remarkable engagement, neither our
troops nor the Apaches lost man nor horse. Sixty-five
of the stolen animals were recovered and restored to
their owners.


It subsequently appeared that the Navajoes were
greatly incensed at the Apaches on the Keservation for
having surrendered themselves, and entered into peace
ful understanding with the Americans, and the raid had
been undertaken in revenge for this apparent perfidy.
Our allies were highly elated at their triumph, and also
conceived a more positive idea of the gallantry and
prowess of Californian cavalry, for whom they had al
ways entertained a high respect, coupled with a whole
some dread. As I was absent on a scout with the re
mainder of my company, I took no part in this affair,
but arrived at the fort the day after its occurrence, and
heard the same reports from all concerned. A visit to
the battle-field, only fifteen miles off, satisfied me as to
the number of slain Navajoes, and the subsequent rela
tion of the survivors corroborated the narratives of the
victorious parties.

Among the assailants were Mr. Labadie, the Indian
Agent, and a man named Carillo, the major-domo of the
Indian farm at Fort Sumner. Both these men were
eminently courageous, and both did splendid service.
Carillo had been a captive among the Navajoes, years
before, and spoke their language, the same as the
Apaches, with tolerable fluency. During the fight he
hailed a retreating Navajo v and said to him: " Halt, and
surrender. I do not wish to kill you. Here are num
bers of your people in our camp, who have given them
selves up, and are now living in peace and comfort, with
plenty to eat." The Navajo replied: "Am I not a man
as well as you? If you can kill me do 'so; if not, I will
try to kill you. Surrender I never will." At this re
sponse Carillo raised his rifle and fired, putting a half
ounce ball through his foe; but the fellow staggered on
at considerable speed, until his rifle was reloaded, when


he whirled about and let fly at Carillo, the ball passing
in close proximity to his head. Having re-charged his
rifle, Carillo again cried out': "Did I not "tell you; will
you now halt or must I shoot you again ?" The Navajo
made no other answer than to again raise his gun and
shoot at Carillo, who, being untouched, again sent a ball
through his foe. This second shot brought him to a halt,
when he sat down, and throwing away his rifle, com
menced to use his bow and arrows. At this juncture a
soldier rode up and sped a six-shooter ball through the
Indian's breast, which did not kill him, but had the ef
fect of distracting his attention from Carillo, who slipped
round behind the savage, and seizing him by the hair,
plunged a large bowie-knife in his heart. While in the
death agony this warrior said to his slayer, tu no vale
nada, meaning, "you are good for nothing." This in
cident, and another related elsewhere, demonstrate the
extreme tenacity of life possessed by the Apaches and
Navajoes, and I doubt not, by most of our American sav
ages. This engagement was signalized by many acts of
valor and cool courage on the part of our men. Privates
McGrew and Porter followed the retreating savages for
ten miles, killing fifteen more of them. McGrew him
self slew no less than thirteen Navajoes that day.

It may as well be mentioned here, that the Apaches
do not scalp all their enemies. After a considerable en
gagement they will select one or two scalps for the per
formance of a ceremony somewhat allied to the ' ' scalp
dance " of other tribes, but in most respects totally dif
ferent. With them it is a strictly religious ceremony,
growing out of their superstitions; while among other
races it is observed as a grand rejoicing, a triumphal
jubilee. Four days after the fight above narrated the
Apaches were observed to be dressed in their greatest


finery. About eighty of their most noted warriors were
mounted, and each was armed with a lance, from which
streamed a small red pennon. Every member of this
party was enveloped in a red blanket, given by the Gov
ernment a short time previous, and they were formed in
close column of twenty men front and four ranks deep.
After going through a variety of manoeuvres, they rode
directly toward the fort, and halted a few yards in front
of the commandant's residence. That officer, Major
"Whalen, requested me to inquire into their wishes,
which I did, and was answered by Gian-nah-tah that
they desired permission to visit the field of the late battle
for the purpose of obtaining a Navajo scalp, in order to
perform some religious rites imposed upon them by their
prophet, who, by the by, was the same wily rascal that
had attempted to lead them astray by his pretended
vision of the black cloud. To this request Major Whalen
bade me reply, that it was entirely impossible to accede;
that they had behaved like brave men during the fight,
and that they should not tarnish their gallant deeds by
acts of intense barbarism. He further added, that their
enemies, being defunct, were past all sensation, and that
stripping them of their scalps was an act of atrocious
cowardice, of which he had not believed his Apache
friends susceptible. He had given them credit for gal
lantry; but if they persisted in their demand, he, and
all of us, would be coerced into the conviction that they
were not animated by true courage. He would, there
fore, forbid them from visiting the battle ground for the
purpose named.

This reply evoked the extreme anger of the prophet,
who immediately informed the band that, unless the
ceremony took place, they and their people would be
visited with the vengeance of the Great Spirit. At this


they became much excited, and reiterated their request,
stating that but one scalp "was required to fulfill their
obligations to the Most High. Major Whalen remained
immovable, and gave me orders to get my company in
readiness immediately to frustrate any such attempt on
the part of the Apaches, at the same time instructing me
to inform them of this order,. They heard me through
with Indian patience, and then, with undisguised ex
pressions of hate against the commanding officer, rode
down the rfver in solid square until they arrived at a
point about three miles, below the fort, where the cere
monies, I am about to relate, were solemnized.

My company had been got ready, pursuant to order;
but were kept in waiting, at the fort, until it should be
come certain that the Apaches were determined to visit
the battle ground. Accompanied by two chosen men I
kept about four hundred yards in their rear, but never
intruded upon their privacy. Having reached a point
where the bank of the Pecos descended gradually to
ward the stream a very rare occurrence in that river
they wheeled to the right, and having reached the water,
formed line, the right toward the south, while the prophet,
dismounting from his horse, entered the stream, about
knee deep, and commenced a series of incantations, the
warriors preserving profound silence . Having performed
the rite of ablution upon his own person and arms, he
proceeded to the warrior at the southernmost end of the
line, and received from him the weapons he had used in
the fight above mentioned. The lance blade, the knife
and the arrow heads were bathed in the stream, and
then dried with a cloth, after which they were pointed
upward, and the prophet, with a strong expiration, blew
upon their respective blades, beginning at the hilts and
ending at tke points, at the same time muttering a series


of incantations, accompanied by the groans and apparent
contrition of the owner of the weapons. This system of
purgation was gone through with everj^ warrior present
who had been in the conflict. When the ceremony came
to an end the band separated into four distinct parties,
and went through a sort of sham fight, which lasted half
an hour. They then reformed in the order they came
and returned peaceably to camp.

I subsequently inquired of several of their more prom
inent men the objects contemplated in these ceremonials,
and was told that the spirits of the dead would haunt
them unless wafted away by the breath of the prophet.
The blood shed by them was supposed to be washed off
only by the power of their medicine man; but the ghosts
of the slain were laid by blowing them away from the
weapons by which they had died. This power was vested
solely in the prophet, but the ceremony was incomplete,
because they had no scalp. It was necessary to have
one, from which each warrior should take a few hairs
and burn them, in order that the fumes might purify the
atmosphere of the battle ground and prevent it from
being pestilential to the Apaches. Having been denied
the privilege by Maj. Whalen, they could no more hunt
in the direction of the field where' the Navajoes had
fallen without jeopardizing their personal safety, either
from disease or other causes.

This incident confirmed my opinions in regard to the
superstitious ideas of the Apaches, and induced me to
make many inquiries on the subject, but they were never
advanced as if from mere motives of curiosity, but rather
as being desirous to learn something which might be
beneficial. On no occasion did I ever permit myself to
intrude an innate sense of American superiority over
their savage ignorance, but approached them as a seeker


after knowledge which they alone could impart*. This
course nattered their vanity and opened to me sources of
information which I might otherwise have sought in vain.
Nothing was lost by this seeming dependence. They
knew as well as I that they were no match for Ameri
cans, but nothing could bring them to confess the fact.
They perfectly understood and appreciated the differ
ence between us, but it was beyond human nature to
think that they would acknowledge that difference. That
an American officer, placed in charge of their camp,
should seek information from them should endeavor to
comprehend their laws, nature, habits, language, man
ners, religion, and other ceremonies was something so
new and unexpected, that they involuntarily opened
their hearts and laid them comparatively bare, but never
for a moment did they forget to exercise caution and re
serve, even while accepting these advances. They inva
riably apply a test of acts, and refuse to put faith in
words which are systematically used by them k> cover
their designs; but the ordeal passed, they are prepared
to give limited credence to promises.


Ojo Blanco Wounded. Apache Doctoring. Dr. Gwyther'a Treatment. Results.
Ojo Blanco Killed in Battle. Religious Creed of the Apaches. Policy in
their Religion. The Deluge. Apaches Ignorant of their Origin. Their
Ideas in Reference to Women. Mexican Women as Wives of Apaches.
Character of their Children. Horrible Spectacle in Cooke's Canon. A few
Suggestions. Their Respect for Traditions Upset.

ONE day, while conversing with Dr. Gwyther, infor
mation was brought us from the Apache camp that Ojo
Blanco had been desperately wounded in a personal
quarrel with another Apache. We immediately pro
ceeded to the camp, where I arrested the assailant and
sent him to the guard house, while the Doctor visited
the wounded man, where I soon joined him. Ojo Blanco,
or Pin-dah-lickoyee, meaning the "White Eye," was
surrounded by a dozen or more of his mourning acquaint
ances, who were keeping up a concerted howl or chant,
in obedience to the directions of their prophet. The
Doctor, seeing that perfect repose and quiet were indis
pensable to the patient, requested me to order his friends
away, with instructions not to return. To rudely break
through the traditions of their tribe and superciliously
set aside the dictates of their "great medicine," was a
delicate task, so I directed the orderly in attendance to
send me, from my company, ten well armed and well
mounted soldiers, with a Sergeant and a Corporal. In
fifteen minutes the Sergeant reported and requested his
orders, which were to keep vigilant guard over the shel
tered cabin of Ojo Blanco, and under no pretense to al-


low an Apache to enter, or permit one to make a noise
in the vicinity, but to admit only the hospital nurse who
would be sent to tend on the wounded man. Having
given these orders, and seen the guard properly disposed,
I told the Apache mourners to quit the place, and not to
come back until permitted by the doctor. They had no
ticed the arrival of the troops, and knew that something
unusual was brewing, and when this mandate was given
them they left, very reluctantly and with sad foreboding,
but quietly and in order. In a few days Ojo Blanco
gave evidence of improved condition, and his former
mourners were admitted to see him, but commanded to
make no unusual demonstration. Three weeks subse
quently the wounded man was again walking around the
camp, an object of wonder to his people.

The reasons for these extraordinary precautions arose
from the fact that the injured person was one of the
most celebrated warriors of his tribe, and exercised very
great influence. His was also the first case of the kind
that had come under our cognizance; moreover, I sus
pected that the rascally prophet would use his death,
had it occurred, to stir up the dissatisfaction of his peo
ple on the Reservation, and induce their fugitive depart
ure, to engage again in their accustomed depredations.
It also afforded an opportunity to exhibit the white man's
skill and his interest in the Apaches, for Dr. Gwyther,
after examining the wound, pronounced it severe, but
not necessarily mortal. It will be seen that with proper
precaution and judicious nursing, we had the whole
thing in our hands, with the opportunity of further in
creasing Apache confidence and respect.

It is due to Ojo Blanco to say that his first visit, after
his recovery, was paid to Dr. Gwyther and myself, ex
pressing to each his fervent acknowledgments. In less


than six weeks after my recall from New Mexico, this
noted warrior fled from the Reservation at Fort Sumner,
accompanied by over two hundred other men, women
and children. I learned that he was subsequently killed
in a battle with the Calif ornian Volunteers.

My conversations with prominent warriors and saga
mores on the subject of religion were very frequent and
protracted. The Apaches believe in the immortality of
the soul, but they also place credence in two divinities,
the one of Good and the other of Evil, between whom
power is so evenly balanced that it is beyond the faculty
of man to determine which is the greater, although the
ultimate superiority is credited, without hesitation, to
the Good Spirit, but they modify this superiority in so
far as we are concerned, by curtailing the activity and
interest which the Good Spirit takes in OUT behalf; while
the Spirit of Evil is represented as being infinitely watch
ful and interested in the affairs of the Apache people.
The Spirit of Good is in the distant future; but the
Spirit of Evil takes part in our daily and hourly affairs.
The result is that while they look up to the God of Good
with extreme reverence and ultimate trust, their orisons,
or usual petitions, are made to the divinity which they
suppose to shape their earthly ends. This may be called
the excess of barbarism and heathenish mythology; but,
permit me to ask, is there any difference between the
untutored and savage Apache and the apparently chris
tianized, civilized, and refined man of the world? Does
not the latter put off his worship of Jehovah and take to
that of Mammon quite as fully and steadfastly as the
Apache endeavors to conciliate the spirit which he be
lieves will yield the most immediate and material re
sponse to his prayers? It is not mine to answer this
question; let men's consciences those who have any
respond for themselves.


The Apaches have no tradition whatever of the flood.
They are quite ignorant of their origin, and unhesitat
ingly state that they have always lived in the same
country, and been the same unmixed people. They
pride themselves on the purity of their blood, and al
though they admit that many of their wives have been
captured from Mexico, yet they affirm that it is not the
woman, but the man, who bequeathes tone, character
and speciality to the child. In addition to which they
assert that no Mexican woman who has become the wife
of an Apache, and remained so until she has borne him
children, ever desires to renew her former life. That
this last assertion is true, experience has sufficiently
proved to my comprehension; but the reasons are clear.

In the first place, there is but a modicum of difference
between the actual condition of the women in the north
ern frontiers of Mexico and that of the Apaches. In each
case it is she who does all the work, and undergoes all
the servitude to which women are condemned among
semi-civilized races. In the second place, after having
born children for an Apache her affections are concen
trated upon her offspring more than upon the savage
author of their birth, and she will not abandon them
under almost any circumstances. In the third place, she
knows that her restrained and protracted residence
among the Apaches would subject her to rude, inhuman
and opprobrious comments among her fellow country
women should she return although their own lives
may be the exemplars of all that is vile and prostituted.
It is not, therefore, difficult to conceive that the captive
Mexican woman, the wife of a noted warrior, should
cling to family relations of her own conception, whether
forced or not, in preference to those which may have
formerly occupied her attention as being natural.


People everywhere, and of all stages of refinement,
accommodate themselves to the circumstances by which
they are surrounded, and it is not ungenerous to permit
the same privilege to the ignorant, docile and demoralized
Mexican women of the lower classes. "Let him who is
without sin cast the first stone." But it is proverbially
true that from this mixture of races arise the most bloody,
cruel and revengeful of American savages. The genuine
Apache, after having killed his foe will leave his body to
be desecrated and mutilated by his half-Mexican off
spring, should such be present. It is true, that he will
not interfere to prevent such outrage; but he seldom
takes part in it himself, unless influenced by unwonted
excitement; but when he does, he proves himself the mas
ter spirit, and his treatment is carried to the extent of
savage excess. Precisely as the cat or terrier dog teaches
its young how to catch and torment their prey, does
the Apache instruct his disciples. In their heathenism,
and barbarous ignorance, the dead bodies of their enemies
are mutilated, and left in localities where they are sure
to be found, to convey a sense of dread rather than from
any innate disposition to deface that which they know to
be insensible to their acts.

Their philosophy and treatment of the captive is en
tirely different. In such a case their savage and blood
thirsty natures experience a real pleasure in tormenting
their victim. ^ v , e expression of pain or agony is
hailed with delight, and the one whose inventive genius
can devise the most excruciating kind of death is deemed
worthy of honor. One of the most cruel spectacles ever
presented to nrf^aze occurred in Cooke's Canon, about
twenty-eight miles east of the Mimbres river. A party
of eight well armed Mexicans, accompanied by their
families, and having seven wagons with eight mules to


each wagon, were on their way from Sonora to Cali
fornia. They had some money, and expected to convert
their mules and wagons into cash upon their arrival.
They had already traversed the more dangerous portions
of the Apache country, and had commenced to felicitate
themselves, when they were set upon by nearly two hun
dred savages in Cooke's Canon. The Mexicans defended
themselves with undaunted courage, which forced the
Apaches to take refuge in their accustomed cunning.
Suddenly ceasing their assault, they informed the Mexi
cans that they had no desire to destroy their lives, add
ing, that the Mexicans could perceive from the superior
numbers of their enemies, and their vantage ground, that
it would be no very difficult task to effect such an object,
had it been contemplated. They then said, that if the
Mexicans would surrender their arms, and give them half
the number of mules attached to the wagons, they might
prosecute their journey in peace with the remainder.
This proposition was accepted by the inexperienced Mex
icans, and so soon as their savage enemies had obtained
control of their arms, each man was seized, bound to the
wheel of a wagon, head downward, about eighteen inches
from the ground, a fire made under them, and their
brains roasted from their heads. The women and chil
dren were carried off captive, and the train with its con
tents became a prey to the Apaches. As I was the first
to pass through Cooke's Cafion after this affair, the full
horror of the torture was rendered terribly distinct. The
bursted heads, the agonized contortions of the facial
muscles among the dead, and the terrible destiny certain
to attend the living of that ill-fated party, were horribly
depicted on my mind.

It is all very well to argue* that the Indian knows no
better that he merely possesses the teachings of his


rdfce, that his cruelties are the results of untaught savage
disposition, etc.; but the real questions are: must we
continue to endure the perpetration of such atrocities,
simply because they are committed by uncivilized beings;
is it true policy that intelligent, Christian people should
be sacrificed, year after year, and their massacres ex
cused on the ground that the murderers were only In
dians? Is the special plea of the self-styled humanita
rian, who knows nothing about the matter, to set aside
the life-long experiences of other equally humane but
more practical and experienced men ? Mfrst we forever
continue to accept the wild and impracticable theories of
parlor readers on Indian character? Can we continue
to pay millions annually for the short-sighted and per
nicious policy which has heretofore regulated our Indian
affairs? The American savage is no idiot. He knows
right from wrong, and is quite as cognizant of the fact
wben he commits a wrong as the most instructed of our
race. If the reader should feel a particle of doubt on
this point, all he has to do is to commit a wrong upon
an Apache, and he will very soon become convinced
that the savage is quite as much aware of the fact as he
can be.

It is even criminal to contend that they do not distin
guish the full difference between the two qualities.
Their dealings with each other, and their conduct to
ward other races, prove that they do, and to an extent
almost commensurate in this respect with our own sys
tem of morals. The capacity to discriminate between
right and wrong is not the exclusive property of chris
tianized people.- It obtains with almost equal force
among barbarians and heathens, for otherwise commu
nities could not exist. Whenever the Apache commits
an act of atrocity, he does so with design and intention,


and not from any ignorance as to whether it is a good
or bad deed. He knows all about that as well as if he
had attended Sunday School all his life; but it is done
with an object a purpose which his untutored mind
cannot perceive the effect of when weighed in the balance
of the instructed in letters. When an Apache mutilates
the dead body of his enemy, he knows that he is doing
a wrong and cowardly act; but he persists in doing it,
because he judges us from his stand-point, and imagines
that sight of the mutilated corpse will produce terror in
the beholders. He has not arrived at that amount of in
formation which would instruct him that disgust and
anger, with a determination for redress at the earliest
opportunity, are engendered instead of dread. Like
the rest of mankind, he is apt to measure other people's
corn by his own bushel.

In respect to traditions they are very tenacious; but
an incident occurred, when I enjoyed a favorable oppor
tunity, to demonstrate the utter uselessness of relying
upon such testimony. "After having acquired their lan
guage, the idea suggested itself that it would be good
policy to make them an address in the Apache tongue.
To this end I composed a short oration, and, to be cer
tain of the terms used and the pronunciation, I sum
moned Giaii-nah-tah, Nah-tanh and Klo-sen, to whom I
read my speech, requesting them to make the necessary
corrections, which they did with undisguised pleasure.
Having everything exactly right, a meeting of the lead
ing Apache warriors was convoked at my cabin to hear
my address in their own language. It can be readily
understood that such an extraordinary announcement
insured a full gathering of the invited warriors; and,
after some preliminary ceremonies, I read the lecture,
which was listened to with earnest attention. I took


particular pains to impress them with the importance of
remembering what I said, as it was my intention to de
mand from them a repetition of my words, or their tenor,
in a few days from that time. They were also requested
to convey the substance of my remarks to those who
were not present, as I intended to investigate for myself
the value of oral tradition. Three days subsequently I
collected G-ian-nah-tah, Klo-sen, Nah-tanh, and one or
two other leading men, and taking each one aside sepa
rately, I asked him to repeat what I had said on the oc
casion referred to above. Some of them came very near
stating the tenor of my remarks, while others gave very
erroneous versions; but when it came to questioning the
parties who had received my speech second-hand from
those who had heard it, I could scarcely recognize my
own offspring. Having listened carefully to all their
statements, I again read the original production, which
was immediately acknowledged as genuine.

Now, said I, you can comprehend the unreliability of
your traditions. If you cannot remember, for even three
days, the substance of so short an address, and if it be
comes so mangled by being related from one to another
that its .original meaning is entirely perverted, what
faith can be placed in those traditions which you say
came down to you through so many generations ? This
question, enforced as it had been by a notable example,
was unanswerable, and it was followed up by pointing
out the difference between oral and written tradition.
This paper, I said, holding up the manuscript of my
speech, will remain for generations exactly as it is now,
and should it be preserved for a thousand years, it will
read, at the expiration of that time, precisely as } 7 o*u have
just heard it read.

My hearers were wonderfully impressed with the truth


of these words; but when I endeavored to imbue them
with the necessity of learning to read and write, so that
they might be able to create written history, with one
accord they refused, on the ground that it was work and
consequently degrading. This abhorrence is so deeply
rooted in their minds as to be a part of their nature, and
no efforts of ours can remove it. Wherever an Apache
child has been taken captive, and converted into a serv
ant or domestic, it is only by extreme precaution that
they can be restrained from running off and leading a
vagabond life, and, if possible, rejoining some portion
of their tribe.

Among those who were present at the above mentioned
reading was the wife of Para-dee-ah-tran, who was also
the daughter of Gian-nah-tah. This woman deserves
special mention. Even in the most elevated circles of
refined society it would be difficult to find one who
possessed more grace, disunity and elegant self-repose.
She was above the medium height, and of very fair com
plexion, although a full blooded Apache. Every motion
and posture was replete with modesty and innate good
sense. She was always well and comely clad; but never
indulged in the tawdry finery and tinsel so much prized
by other Apache women. Her figure was lithe and sym
metrical; her hair long, black and glossy, and suffered
to grow without being subjected to the process of cut
ting even with the eye-brows, which had been ruthlessly
plucked out. It was parted in the middle, and smoothed
away from the brow with as much taste as could be ex
hibited by any of our ladies. Her eyes were very large,
black and lustrous, with a decided modesty of expression.

This woman was the pet of her tribe, and possessed
characteristics in harmony with her exterior superiority.
She was never permitted to perform hard labor, and her


hands were delicately small and well formed. She was
several times invited, with her husband and father, to
dine with the officers, by whom she was much respected,
and invariably conducted herself with an ease and dig
nified propriety which astonished her hosts. Her Indian
name has escaped my memory, but its definition in Eng
lish is the " Stately One/' It must, however, be borne
in mind that hers was a solitary exception, and so con
sidered by all of her own people. There were manj very
handsome young girls among them, but none like the
e( Stately," who, instead of being an object of envy, pos
sessed their unbounded admiration and respect.


Apache Endurance. Inroad. Extensive Traveling. "Wild Horses. El Cupido.
Passes in New Mexico. Heavy Snow. Cold Weather. Change Base.
Indians Break Cover. Continued Snow-storm. Go in Pursuit. Rough
Ride. Indians Overtaken by Mr. Labadie. Navajoes Whipped and Plun
der Recovered. Overtake and Protect Labadie. Hunt for Navajoes.
Labadie Arrives Safely at Fort Surnner. Conchas Springs. Intense
Cold. Indians' Indifference to Cold. Apache Method of Running Sheep.
Great Distances Accomplished.

ALLUSION has been made to the wonderful endurance
of the Apache race, and it now remains to give some
proofs of the fact.

Having received orders to make a scout of not less
than thirty days duration, I sallied out with thirty-four
men in December, 1863. Having learned that a large
band of Navajoes and Apaches had crossed the Bio
Grande and invaded New Mexico, where they had sub
divided into small parties of eight and ten each, in order
to carry on their operations with more security, and de
vastate a greater range of country, it became necessary
to wait until the scattered companies had reassembled,
and were about to leave the Territory with their plunder
before operations presenting any decisive result could
be inaugurated with reasonable hope of success. It
was known that the district upon which they had entered
offered only tw T o direct modes of egress, one or both of
which must be selected, or the band would be compelled
to make a circuit of twelve hundred miles before regain
ing home, and a considerable portion of this extensive
march was to be passed over the Llano Estacado, which


was frequently favored with the presence of Comanche
war parties, from whom no favor could be expected on
any terms. Instead, then, of pursuing the scattered
fragments of the invaders, our march was directed to
ward a point from which the two passes, that of the
Alamo Gordo Yiejo, and that of the Pajaro, could be
watched, so as to intercept the savages when leaving
with their accumulated plunder.

Our guide was the best in the country. He united an
intimate knowledge of localities with an excellent sense
of Indian character, and their modes of operating. The
first portion of our march was over an extensive rolling
prairie, deeply seamed with gulches, which compelled
us to make wide detours. Several bands of wild horses
were met on this excursion, but would bound off with
great speed at our approach. On one occasion, how
ever, a fine herd, headed by a superb black stallion,
came directly toward us, nor halted until within thirty
yards. They threw up their heads, snorted and seemed
to regard their visitors with intense curiosity, mingled
with doubt and fear. It was strictly forbidden to shoot
those animals, whose presence and unexpected proceed
ings were a source of pleasure, and after a good survey
of some five or six minutes, their leader stamped his
hoofs with violence, and being followed by the herd,
circled our little party several times, and then galloped
off with incredible speed and grace of movement. All
these signs were proofs positive that 'no Indians had been
there for some time, for the introduction of horse-flesh as
a delicate article of food is properly due to the Apaches,
and not the Parisians, although the latter may have re
fined upon the original system of cooking.

The guide led us to a smootH hill, perfectly free from
wood or brush of any sort, but richly 'covered with the


finest grama grass. After ascending this moderate ele
vation we beheld, just below, and occupying the inter
mediate vale between it and the next height, a delightful
and thick wood, no portion of which could be perceived
from any other point except the opposite hill. In the
the center of this wood was a never-failing spring of de
licious water, easy of access, and immediately adjoining
a first-rate camping ground. This spring was aptly
named Cupido, or Cupid. Here our little party came to
an anchor, nearly midw r ay between th$ two passes al
ready mentioned. The Alamo Gordo Vie jo Pass was
three miles south, and the Pajaro Pass five miles north
west from the Cupido. Three men were sent to watch
each pass, and to give the earliest possible information
of the approach of the savages.

The next clay, after our arrival, was signalized by a
heavy fall of snow, to the depth of eight or nine inches,
and this was followed by an almost intense cold, my
spirit thermometer showing twenty degrees below zero
of Fahrenheit's instrument. Four days previous we
were in a region where the same thermometer stood at
forty degrees above freezing point, making a difference
of ninety-two degrees in the short period mentioned.
We had been unconsciously rising to a very elevated po
sition, and had left the region of the cotton-wood and
the vine for that of the fir and the cedar. Here we
passed the New Year of 1864, anxiously waiting for the
savage marauders to break cover; and as the snow laid
thickly on the ground, it afforded an unfailing means by
which to note their advent. Becoming dissatisfied with
this state of rest, and knowing that the Pajaro Pass was
badly blocked with snow, I determined to move down
toward the pass of the Alamo Gordo, and occupy such
a position as would afford us a sort of cut-off to any


movement through that cailon. Camp was accordingly
changed, and a fresh position, in the open plain, selected.
No man in the command had more than two blankets,
and many had only one; wood was scarce, requiring all
hands to collect enough for ordinary cooking purposes;
the snow was six inches deep, and the weather looked
threatening. In no sense could our condition be deemed
agreeable. At eight o'clock p. M. another terrible snow
storm burst upon us. The wind howled with fury, and
the flakes covered us with such density that it was neces
sary to throw it from the upper blanket every half hour,
its weight being oppressive. In the meantime two men
had been- stationed at the outlet of the Alamo Gordo
Pass, with strict orders to inform me the moment the
Indians should make their appearance. Snow continued
to fall, but in moderate quantities, all of the next day,
and I heard nothing from my spies. The storm rather
increased that night, which was also extremely cold,
and next morning, at five o'clock, one of my lookout
men arrived in camp with the information that the In
dians had passed with a large body of sheep, at daylight
of the previous morning. He and his comrade had im
mediately come on to inform me, but the severity of the
storm and density of the snow were so great that he
could not distinguish objects, even at a short distance;
he had lost sight of his companion; had wandered about
all night, and was nearly dead with fatigue, suffering
and exposure.

The order to saddle up was immediately given and
obeyed, without waiting for breakfast, or even a cup of
hot coffee, and the command moved in such a direction
as would enable it to cut the Indian trail without losing
ground. Our rate of traveling was at the trot, and every
little while the horses' hoofs " balled" badly, greatly im-


peding our progress. In due course of time we reached
the Pecos river, which was frozen over about two inches
thick. The bank on our side was about four feet per
pendicular descent, but on the other it rose gradually
from the river. We plunged in, breaking through the
ice, and as the water was only about two feet and a half
deep, no damage was sustained further than cutting the
forelegs of the advance animals. Half an hour after
crossing the Pecos, we struck the broad, fresh trail of
the Navajoes, which gave evidence of having been passed
over some hours previous, as in many places it was cov
ered with fresh snow two inches deep. The knowledge
of this fact was disheartening, especially as night had
commenced to close its sable curtains about our vision;
but there was such a marked distinction between the
virgin snow and that which had been trampled, that
there was no difficulty in following the trail, although
with greatly lessened speed. The storm had ceased two
hours before, leaving us comparatively relieved. About
eight o'clock P. M., we were hailed by an Apache, who
said: Nejeunee, pindah lickoyee; nuestche shee which
means, " good friend, white eyes; come here." I halted
the command and bade the speaker come forward. It
proved to be Nah-tanh, accompanied by Nah-kah-yen
and Natch-in-ilk-kisn. Upon hearing my voice, they
came up and said that the Navajoes in their march, the
evening previous, had crossed through the camp of some
herders of beef cattle, about fifteen miles above Fort
Sumner, where a slight brush occurred between the
vaqueros and the Indians, which was terminated by the
Navajoes leaving fifteen hundred head of sheep behind,
and making the most of their way with the great body
of their plunder.

News was immediately conveyed to the fort, when


Maj. Whalen ordered out Capt. Bristol's company of
United States Infantry, while Mr. Labadie, with thirty
Apache Indians and seven men of my company, who had
been left in camp to care for the horses and company
property, immediately mounted and pursued the Nava-
joes. At three o'clock p. M., they came up with the ma
rauding band, which numbered about one hundred, and
at once engaged the enemy, who formed line and made
a stand with about two-thirds their force, while the re
mainder were urged forward with the sheep. The con
flict lasted about an hour, during which twenty-five Na-
vajoes were killed, and the remainder routed in all direc-
ions. Bent upon recovering "the prey, the victorious
party pushed on, but did not succeed in overtaking the
sheep until three hours later, when the parties in charge
fled and abandoned their hard-earned plunder, which
numbered nearly fourteen thousand head. Such was
the story told me by the Apaches. I asked Nah-tanh
whether his people had remained with Mr. Labadie to
guard the sheep, and he replied that he did not know,
but supposed some of them had.

It seems that the Eegular Jnfantry sent by Major
Whalen had obtained this intelligence, and believing
that the affair was ended, had retraced their steps to the
fort. Feeling it my duty to protect Mr. Labadie and
his diminished force, we hurried on until half -past ten
o'clock P. M., when we saw a very dim fire on the plain,
toward which we directed our course, and shortly ar
rived in his camp, having accomplished sixty-eight miles
through a snow-storm. It is needless to add that he
was delighted to find himself so perfectly reinforced, as
all his ammunition had been expended, and he only had
the seven men of my company and twelve Apaches with
him, and was apprehensive that the Navajoes would


make another attempt to regain their plunder and re
venge the death of their slaughtered comrades. Mr.
Labadie also gave me the gratifying intelligence that a
soldier of my company, Peter Loser, had contributed
more than any other person toward the success of his
expedition, having killed five Navajoes, and being al
ways in the front during t^e fight.

That night was extremely cold; the thermometer fell
to twenty- two degrees below zero. We had not a par
ticle of wood, but in that locality, strange to say, there
was no snow whatever upon the ground. The earth was
frozen as hard as a rock, and the keen, cold blasts swept
over an unbroken expanse of plain for a hundred miles.
Our sufferings were dreadful, but there was no chance
for relief. In their panic and eagerness to escape death,
the Navajoes had thrown away their blankets, and were
literally without any protection from the exceedingly
severe weather, whereas our Apache allies had gathered
up these much-needed trophies and were comparatively
well to do. Next morning, at daylight, an alarm was
given to the effect that the Navajoes had re-assembled,
and were coming down upon the camp. My command
was mounted in less than five minutes, and led out at
the gallop toward the point from whence the signal
came, which, by the way, had been given by an Apache;
but after spending two hours in the most active search,
we failed to perceive any sign whatever of their presence.
Convinced that there was no ground for the alarm, I re
turned to Mr. Labadie, and offered to escort him suffi
ciently far on his way to insure the safety of his com
mand and their prize, which offer was gratefully ac
cepted. Having seen Mr. Labadie out of danger, we
directed our course toward the route that it was pro
bable the Navajoes had taken, as it would be their first


effort to reach water, but our search was in vain ; not a
soul of them ever came under our observation. Subse
quent arrivals of Navajo prisoners at Fort Sumner con
tained several who had been engaged in the- affair just
narrated, and they told me that it had been their inten
tion to attack Mr. Labadie the night of the engagement,
but that our opportune arrival, of which they had be
come aware, completely changed the prospects of sue--
cess, and that instead of coming bak next morning,
they hurried off with all possible speed, and at the
time we were hunting for them they must have been at
least forty miles distant. Mr. Labadie arrived safely at
Fort Sumner with fourteen thousand head of re-captured
sheep, which would have fallen to us, but for the fact
that my sentinels at the Alamo Gordo Pass lost their
way in a snow-storm for twenty-four hours after the In
dians had left the pass with their plunder. His com
rade did not rejoin us until I again returned to Fort
Sumner, whither he had gone, after discovering that the
command had left for parts unknown.

Several of my men, being quite indisposed, were sent
back to the fort by this opportunity, while the remainder
continued the scout. Once more our direction laid to
{he northeast, but with little hope of finding more In
dians. After several days we .arrived at the Conchas
Springs, about one hundred and eighty miles east-north
east from Fort Sumner, and encountered a severity of
cold surpassing anything I had ever before experienced,
although a native of Maine, and a visitor to its northern
most borders in the heart of winter. In my command
were nine men from the same State, and none of them
had ever known anything to compare with the intensity
of the cold we suffered. The deepest part of the Con
chas Springs is about seven feet, and the men cut through


six feet of solid ice in the vain effort to obtain water for
their horses. Six hundred yards to the east was a slight
elevation crowned with stunted cedar trees, from four to
twelve feet high, and there I determined to pitch my
camp. The snow was eighteen inches deep and frozen
hard, so that it required the weight of the horses to
break through. We had no grain, and the only subsist
ence for the animals was the hardy grama grass which
laid covered with ice-bound snow to the depth men
tioned. It became absolutely necessary to uncover this
sole magazine of feed, and the horses were trotted about
until a considerable surface was broken, enough to ena
ble them to gather some fodder. In the meantime, a
small quantity of dry wood was collected, and a goodly
fire got under way, which was enlivened from time to
time by the resinous branches of the green cedars and
firs about us, which yielded a lively, hot, but evanescent
blaze. Green branches and trunks of trees were cut
down and carefully baked under the hot ashes until they
became combustible, and in their turn did like service
for others. On the night of January 5th, 1864, my
spirit thermometer declared forty degrees below zero of
Fahrenheit. No man could go three hundred yards
from camp and return at an ordinary walk without hav
ing his moustache covered with icicles, and if he wore a
beard in addition, the two would be frozen together.
Large quantities of snow and ice were melted in the
camp-kettles to provide water for the horses, but the an
imals were always led up to the fires, for if the water
were carried to them it would freeze hard before the
soldier could reach his horse.

These facts, of which many witnesses exist in Califor
nia, will serve to furnish some idea of Apache capacity
to endure intense cold, especially when we bear in mind


that they were at that time running about with nothing
on save a breech-cloth. When they succeed in steal
ing sheep, a warm suit is immediately improvised by
stripping the skin from the animal and investing their
own bodies within its fleecy folds. A few thin strings
of hide serve to connect the skins and form a robe.
When the rascals have time to make their arrangements,
the sheep are formed in a parallelogram, the width of
which never exceeds thirty feet, with a length sufficient
to accommodate the flock. The strongest sheep are then
selected and their horns lashed together in couples, and
these couples are ranged along either side of the main
flock, forming a sort of animal fence which prevents the
inclosed animals from wandering, especially while run
ning by night. Along each side of the mass are sta
tioned a string of Apaches on foot, who preserve regular
distances, and animate the sheep to maintain a regular
rate of speed. Immediately in front, a small body of
select warriors and keen runners lead the way, while the
main body of Indians follow in the rear to push forward
and urge on the plunder. In this manner the Apaches
will run a flock of twenty thousand sheep from fifty to
seventy miles in one day, gradually lessening the dis
tance, until they deem themselves tolerably safe from
pursuit. They have been known to accomplish the dis
tance of fourteen or fifteen hundred miles in the manner
above described. These data, are sufficient to determine
the Apache's capacity for endurance.

The term for our scout having nearly expired, I de
termined to seek the warmer region of the Pecos with
out delay, especially as the horses had become very
weak and thin. Fort Sumner was one hundred and
eighty miles distant, and for two-thirds of the road the
snow averaged from one foot to one inch in depth. We


reached the fort after five days marching, being at the
rate of thirty-six miles per day. On arriving, my ther
mometer was again consulted, and showed five degrees
below zero, which, although a severe cold, was neverthe
less a very grateful change in temperature. I was in
formed that the morning previous to our arrival the
thermometer at the fort stood at ten degrees below zero,
and it was then that the action took place between a few
troops and a small band of Apaches, on one side, and
one hundred and eighty Navajoes, as already recounted.
The clay before our arrival we came suddenly upon a
very large band of antelopes, and the men were given
permission to ride in among them for a hunt. We had
them fairly corraled in such a manner as to compel their
passage through our line close enough to pass within
pistol range. On they came, probably to the number of
two thousand, and dashed by with wonderful speed.
The cavalry closed upon them and opened a rapid fire,
which terminated in giving us ten fine animals in less
than ten minutes. The scene was very exciting, as the
men were all splendid riders and excellent marksmen.
Had their horses been in good condition, we might have
procured many more. Just at the time of the liveliest
shooting, an ambulance, containing Lieut. Newbold and
another officer, escorted by four cavalrymen, hove in
sight and halted on the road about four hundred yards
from the theater of operations. They thought, at first,
that we had engaged a body of Indians, but catching
sight of the scampering herd, they rode forward and
were given a fine buck, which was lashed on top the

It was curious to remark the immense numbers of
ravens which daily directed their course toward the
recent battle field, below the fort. Regularly, abouigthe


time of "reveille/' immense numbers of them would
wend their way right over the camp toward the south,
and as regularly return at the time of " retreat/' napping
their wings in a sluggish manner, as if gorged with food.
Curiosity impelled me to visit the ground and see these
birds at their feast. The field was literally black with
them, and every corpse was thickly covered with a flut
tering, fighting flock of scavengers. This regular flight
of crows and ravens was regarded by the Apaches with
unmistakable satisfaction, which w T as indignantly re
sented by the Navajoes, and served to keep alive the
feud which had arisen between them. So soon as this
feeling evinced itself it was pressed into service by the
Post Commander, who contrived to make the tribes
mutual spies upon each other's actions. Any misdeed
of an Apache was sure to be detected and exposed by a
Navajo, and vice versa; but the trouble of keeping them
in order was much simplified.


Eeligious Ceremonies. Lack of Veneration. Evidences of Mineral Wealth. An
Apache "Rough." Tats-ah-das-ay-go. Remarkable Order. Another
Scout. Apache "Hide and Seek." Prairie Dogs and their Guests.
Apache Customs concerning Murder. Sons-in-jah. His Career. His Re
citals. Former Condition of the New Mexicans. How the Difficulties
Commenced. Reflections. Articles of Apache Food. Native Potatoes.
Apache Estimate of Dead Women. Navajo Dread of Corpses.

OF religious ceremonies the Apaches have very few,
and these are limited to the immediate concerns of life.
The occasional scalp dance and its accompanying purifi
cation of weapons, the feasts made at marriages, and
when the girls attain the age of puberty, and the cere
monials observed at the sepulture of noted warriors,
comprise the whole among a people not overburdened
with reverential ideas, or prone to self-humiliation.
Their prayers for success, if any such are ever made, are
addressed to the Evil Spirit, who is supposed to rule en
tirely over the apportionment of fortuitous or preju
dicial results to the people of this world. It is greatly
to be doubted whether the bump of reverence was ever
discoverable in an Apache skull. It would be, as it has
always proved, a sheer waste of time and labor to make
any effort at inculcating sentiments which have been
abjured by them from the earliest periods, and to which
they have become wedded. The teachings of Christian
ity are so diametrically opposed to all their received
opinions and crystallized ideas, that they regard them
with abhorrence. To tell an Apache warrior that when
he is smitten on one cheek it is his duty to receive a


slap on the other, is to proclaim the teacher a fool and
an unworthy person, in his opinion. To instruct him
that it is criminal to deprive other people of their prop
erty, is to inform him that it is his duty to starve in or
der that his enemy may prosper. An endeavor to ex
plain to him that he should forgive his enemies and har
bor no feelings of vengeance for their assaults, would at
once convict his instructor of such unmitigated nonsense
as to forever debar him from all future consideration.
The most that can be effected is to enforce his submis
sion to superior power, which being accomplished, it
should be our aim to exhibit that leniency to which he
ma, stranger, and make a start from that point. This
would be a practical demonstration enlisting his atten
tion and homage, and specially contrasting, by acts, the
teachings of one religion as compared with those of the
other, or, more properly speaking, no religion at all.
To inculcate just ideas of -such important facts into the
savage mind, it is necessary to practice as well as preach,
and the practice must chaperon the preaching. But a
discussion on this subject is so entirely foreign to the
objects contemplated by the author, and so completely
outside his sphere of remark, that it will be dropped for
other and more practical considerations.

The Apaches entertain the greatest possible dread of
our discoveries of mineral wealth in their country. They
have had experience enough to assure them that the pos
session of lucre is the great incentive among us to stim
ulate what is termed " enterprise." They know and feel
that wherever mineral wealth exists to such an extent as
to render it available, the white man fastens upon it
with ineradicable tenacity. The massacre of the pioneer
set does not deter another company from experimenting
in the same engaging field. These localities are always


rendered more valuable by the proximity of wood and
water, two scarce articles in Arizona. The occupation
of mines involves the possession of water facilities and
sufficient fuel. To occupy a water privilege in Arizona
and New Mexico is tantamount to driving the Indians
from their most cherished possessions, and infuriates
them to the utmost extent. If one deprives them of
their ill-gained plunder he is regarded as an outrageous
robber; but should he seize upon one of their few water
springs, he is rated a common and dangerous enemy,
whose destruction it is the duty of all the tribe to com
pass. It may be reasonably inferred from these remarks
that when an Apache voluntarily discovers a rich mine
to a white man he is influenced either by kindness, or is
attempting to lay a trap for his destruction, baited by

Among those under our charge was a noted fighter
named Tats-ah-das-ay-go, or the " Quick Killer." This
man was feared even by the boldest of his tribe ; in fact,
he had acquired among them the reputation of being a
"Bough," or "Bowery Boy," and, although noted for
his personal courage and prowess, was severely left to
the enjoyment of his own society in time of peace. He
had espoused half a dozen wives, who found it impos
sible to live under his capricious rule, and he was, at
the time of our acquaintance, a sort of tabooed indivi
dual, to whom all paid outward respect, but entertained
concealed dislike. Tats-ah-das-ay-go paid little heed to
these demonstrations. He lived alone, hunted his own
game, received his own rations, and was seldom seen
among his fellows. For some unaccountable reason this
savage conceived a great personal regard for the writer,
and was accustomed to freely recount his adventures in
various parts of Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico. Ac-


cording to his own narrations, which were confirmed by
the testimony of his fellows, his whole life had been a
tissue of sanguinary deeds. A rivulet of blood tracked
the course of his history. He was a man of decided
native genius, and perfect master of all sorts of Apache
lures, wiles and deceits. From him I learned much of
Indian character, and he seemed desirous to teach. Tats-
ah-das-ay-go wore upon his body hair, which hung down
below the middle of his back in a broad, thick plait, a
number of silver shields, perfectly round, and with a
tongue or bar in the center of each, through which
passed the band of hair in such a manner as to display
the shields to the greatest advantage. The first, or up
per one, was the size of a common saucer, and nearly as
thick, while the next below was a little smaller, and each
succeeding one still less in size, until the last and thir
teenth was about twice as large as a silver dollar. Of
these he was extremely vain, and never laid them aside
.except to comb and dress his long and luxuriant hair.
These ornaments I had always believed were taken from
the saddle mountings of Mexican victims, and one day
I jocularly remarked:

"Did you have a hard time to acquire those spoils?"

"You mistake, Tata," he replied; "these are not
spoils taken from Mexicans; but I found this silver and
beat it out myself." -

"Where did you find it?" I asked.

"Away down in the mountains which border the Pecos,
far south from here;" adding, "I will tell you all about
it. We were in the Guadalupe Mountains, and were
going upon the Llano Estacado to hunt buffalo; but
previous to doing this a number of us climbed the sierra
to look out upon the plains and see that they were clear
of Comanches. In ascending the mountain I took hold


of a small bush to assist my steps, when it gave way,
and I saw a bright lump of something just under the
roots. Picking it up, I discovered that it was very heavy
and like the pesh-lickoyee , or plata-hay, with which rich
Mexicans mount their saddles. I collected a quantity,
and afterwards beat it out in the shape you see. This
was many years ago and I have never been there since."

I had seen enough of the mineral richness of Arizona
and New Mexico to convince me that there might be
some truth in this narration, but determined to wait
until a favorable opportunity should occur to permit ex
ploration. Three or four months afterward orders were
received from Gen. Carleton, ordering me to "keep the
country clear of Indians for the space of three hundred
miles around the post." Such an order had never before
been issued to an officer in the service. It was unparal
leled and altogether unique; but in obedience thereto a
scout was ordered under my command, and I determined
to make an exploration in the region mentioned by Tats-
ah-das-ay-go, and to take him with jne. In due season
the party left Fort Sumner, thirty-five strong, and trav
eled in a zig-zag direction for several days until the
Guadalupe Mountains were reached. On the succeeding
day Quick Killer informed me that we were near the
canon where he had found the silver, and that he would
direct us to it next morning, which he did about ten
o'clock the following day.

Having arrived at the canon, I left the command un
der the charge of the First Sergeant, and proceeded with
Quick Killer for about a mile and a quarter, when he
dismounted and hitched his horse to a tree, requesting
me to do the same, which I did, keeping my carbine
ready and placing my holster pistols in my belt. We
then ascended about three hundred feet until we reached


a bold and unmistakable mineral ledge, thickly shrouded
with underbrush and stunted trees. Quick Killer stopped
a moment, examined the place well, and proceeded di
rectly to a spot, which he unearthed for a few inches and
displayed several magnificent specimens of virgin silver.
I was satisfied, and possessing myself of a goodly lump,
we retraced our steps to the command, none of whom
were ever made cognizant of these occurrences. Wood,
water and grass abound in the locality, which is in west
ern Texas, on the Pecos river; but so long as the coun
try is held by the Apaches, this valuable region must
remain entirely useless for all practical purposes. This
is but one of many experiences demonstrating the vast
mineral resources of Arizona, New Mexico and Western
Texas. Sonora, Chihuahua and portions of Durango are
also extensively endowed with mineral wealth, but they
are unavailable under present circumstances. While
crossing an extensive prairie, dotted here and there by a
few shrubs and diminutive bushes, Quick Killer volun
teered, while resting at noon, to show me with what
dexterity an Apache could conceal himself, even where
no special opportunity existed for such concealment.
The offer was readily accepted, and we proceeded a short
distance until we came to a small bush, hardly sufficient
to hide a hare. Taking his stand behind this bush, he
said: " Turn your back and wait until I give the signal."
This proposition did not exactly suit my ideas of Apache
character, and I said: "No, I will walk forward until you
tell me to stop." This was agreed upon, and quietly
drawing my pistol, keeping a furtive glance over my
shoulder, I advanced; but had not gone ten steps, when
Quick Killer hailed me to stop and find him. I returned
to the bush, went around it three or four times, looked
in every direction there was no possible covert in sight;


the prairie was smooth and unbroken, and it seemed as
if the earth had opened and swallowed up the man.
Being unable to discover him, I called and bade him
come forth, when, to my extreme surprise, he arose
laughing and rejoiced, within two feet of the position I
then occupied. With incredible activity and skill he
had completely buried himself under the thick grama
grass, within six feet of the bush, and had covered him
self with such dexterity that one might have trodden
upon him without discovering his person. I took no
pains to conceal my astonishment and admiration, which
delighted him exceedingly, and he informed me that
their children were practiced regularly in this game of
"hide and seek," until they became perfect adepts.
"We have far-reaching rifles and destructive weapons, but
they must ever be ineffective against unseen enemies;
and it is part of a soldier's duty, while engaged in Indian
countries, to study all their various devices.

Another excellent illustration of their skill in conceal
ment was given me by Nah-kah-yen. We were hunting
together, when a large herd of antelopes made its ap
pearance. Nah-kah-yen immediately tore off a small
strip from an old red handkerchief and tied it to the
point of a yucca stalk, at the same time handing me his
rifle and saying: Ali-lmn-day anah-zon-lee "go off a
long way" he instantly buried himself under the sand
and grass with the ease and address of a mole. I at
once moved away several hundred yards, and sought to
creep up to the antelopes, who w T ere evidently attracted
by the piece of red rag fluttering on the yucca stalk.
Not wishing to interrupt the sport of my savage com
rade, and anxious to witness the upshot of his device, I
remained a "looker on and a spectator" of the affair.
In a little while a marked commotion was noticeable n


the herd, which galloped off very rapidly for a hundred
yards or so, but soon recovered their equanimity, and
again approached the attractive red rag. These strang e
agitations occurred several times, until the antelopes
finally dashed away over the plains with wonderful
speed. Nah-kah-yen then arose and beckoned me to
come, which I did, and found that he had killed four of
the herd. We had all the meat our horses could well
pack, but the distance to camp was only five miles and
soon made.

Travelers over our plains have frequently observed
that the prairie dog, rattlesnake and ground owl live to
gether in one habitation, and being unable to solve the
problem myself, I asked several shrewd Apache warriors
to do it for me. The rattlesnake, said they, is a very
wise reptile. He permits the prairie dog to make a nice,
warm nest, and then he quietly takes possession, but
does not disturb the safety of the inmates, who retire
and fit up another cell, quite ignorant of the snake's in
tention, who makes it a point never to injure the old
pair, unless pressed by dire necessity; but in the most
stealthy manner devours one of the young brood every
now and then, leaving no evidence of his carnivorous
propensity. The parents never seem to entertain any
suspicion of their dangerous guest, who always puts on
his best behavior in their presence, although capable of
destroying them with ease. On the other hand, the
snake never devoursa prairie dog when he can seize his
more legitimate prey above ground, but keeps them as a
sort of reserved fund. The ground owls scarcely ever
descend into the depths of the hole, but burrow a sepa
rate cell close by its entrance, whither they retire for
repose and to deposit and hatch their eggs. In the day
time they sit nodding on top the hillocks made by the


prairie dogs, and at night they hunt their prey, which
consists of lizards and all sorts of bugs and beetles, after
which they sleep in the early morning and re-appear
again about eleven o'clock A. M. As I have never exam
ined into this subject, I can only relate the Apache

Among nearly all other of our American tribes if one
man murders another, the next warrior of kin to the
slain person is entitled to the right of revenging his
death by killing his murderer, after he has been tried
and condemned by a council of the tribe; but this cus
tom does not obtain among the Apaches. If one man
kills another, the next of kin to the defunct individual
may kill the murderer if he can. He has the right to
challenge him to single combat, which takes place be
fore all assembled in the camp, and both must abide the
result of the conflict. There is no trial, no set council,
no regular examination into the crime or its causes; but
the ordeal of battle settles the whole matter. Should
the next of kin decline to prosecute the affair, then some
other warrior of the family may shoulder the responsi
bility and seek retribution.

Among those who had surrendered themselves was a
very old man, probably nearly a hundred years of age,
for other men of fifty-five and sixty told me that he was
a noted warrior when they were little children. His
name was Sons-in-jah, or the " Great Star." This man's
frame was of enormous proportions. His height, even
at that extreme age, was six feet three inches, without
moccasins. His shoulders were extremely broad, his
arms of uncommon length, and his shriveled limbs ex
hibited a volume of bone almost equal to that of a large
horse. The old man's eye-sight had begun to fail, but his
hearing was keen as ever. His head was as white as snow,


and lie was the only gray-headed Apache I ever saw.
Several of his front teeth were gone, probably lost from
a blow, but his molars were almost equal to those of a
horse. Heavy folds of thick skin fell over each other
down his abdomen; but the muscles and cords in his legs
and arms seemed to be made of steel. This old man
came regularly to see me every day that I was in camp,
and it delighted me to treat him with kindness, although
I felt convinced that for three-quarters of a century his
h*nds had been steeped in blood. His memory was
fresh and vivid, full of recollections, and teeming with
experiences of the past. He outlived his usefulness, and
was neglected by the tribe. He said, that when he was
a boy the hills and the valleys of his country were filled
with his people. They were very numerous and dreaded
by all surrounding peoples. But dissention crept in
among themselves. Family feuds led to family vendet
tas, and innumerable duels; that the defeated besought
the aid of the Spaniards, who afterward turned their
weapons against their allies. In those days, said he, we
had none but stone-headed arrows, and sharpened stakes
for lances. The Mexicans were just like ourselves. The
other day I was in Santa Fe and saw the Mexican women
dressed in great finery, with gowns of many colors; but
I. remember when they wore little more than breech-
cloths, and were but too happy to own the very coarsest
kind of vesture. By and by the Spaniards went away
and left the Mexicans to themselves. At first we lived
quite on good terms with each other; but then some
American traders arrived, who were dreadful people, al
ways getting drunk, and killing each other or somebody
else. These men made raids upon us, and carried off
our women and children whom they sold to the Mexicans.
This excited our vengeance against the invaders and those


who bought their plunder, and ever since a deadly feud
has raged between them and the Apaches. You "white
eyes/' added Sons-in-jah, know how to read and write;
you know how to circulate your information and ideas
from one to the other, although you may never see or
know the party: but we poor Apaches are obliged to re
late what we know and have seen by means of words
only, and we never get together in large parties to re
main long enough to disseminate any great amount of

The foregoing incisive sentences precisely reflect the
drift of the remarks made to me by the old man on
many occasions. I am largely indebted to him for much
information on other points, which he imparted with per
fect freedom, especially as he considered himself a pro
tege of mine, and received more kindness from me than
from his own people. But with all my efforts I failed to
obtain from Sons-in-jah any recital of their modes of
sepulture. On this point he was invariably reticent.
He was by no means vain-glorious; seldom referring to
his own deeds, unless extracted from him under favor
able circumstances. After sunning himself on a fine
day, he would wink his bleared eyes in a knowing man
ner, and invite me to take a seat near him and listen to
his recitals. Deeds of violence and sanguinary outrages,
hair-breadth escapes, terrific journeys and bold robberies
were rehearsed with intense gratification to the old man ;
but after relating each incident he was always particular
to give me a "reason" for his acts. In other words, he
sought to excuse the bloody record of his life by stating
the incentives. If any other argument were needed to
satisfy me that the Apache is fully cognizant of the dif
ference between right and wrong, this old reprobate's
excuses were sufficient to remove all remaining doubts


I utilized old Sons-in-jah in a variety of ways. He was
entirely nude, with the exception of a much worn breech-
cloth, and he complained bitterly that his people treated
him with neglect, and robbed him of his rations. I gave
him a good pair .of soldier's pants of the largest size, a
flannel shirt and a stout pair of shoes, which delighted
him greatly. He came regularly every day for food,
which he received from me whenever I was in camp,
and at other times from some member of the company.

"How is it," said I, "that the Apaches contrive to
live in places where there is neither game nor plunder?"
The old man laughed heartily at my ignorance and sim
plicity, and replied:

" There is food everywhere if one only knows how to
find it. Let us go down to the field below, and I will
show you."

The distance was not more than six hundred yards,
and we proceeded together. There appeared to be no
herbage whatever on the spot. The earth was com
pletely bare, and my inexperienced eyes could detect
nothing. Stooping down he dug with his knife, about
six inches deep, and soon unearthed a small root about
the size of a large gooseberry. "Taste that," said he;
I did, and found it excellent, somewhat resembling in
flavor a raw sweet potato, but more palatable. He then
pointed out to me a small dry stalk, not larger than an
ordinary match, and about half as long: "Wherever you
find these," he added, "you will find potatoes." This
was in October, and a few days afterward the field was
covered with Indians digging these roots, of which they
obtained large quantities. Pursuing the subject, Sons-
in-jah said: " You see that big field of sun-flowers; well,
they contain much food, for we take the seeds, reduce
them to flour upon our metates and make it into cakes,


which are very nice. Again: the mescal, which you
white people would pass without notice, is convertible
into excellent food by the simple process of roasting.
Furthermore, we know exactly when, where and how to
trap and catch small animals, like the prairie dogs, foxes,
raccoons and others; besides which there are many plants
containing nutriment of which you know nothing, or
would not eat if you did. One day an Apache woman
died in camp, and I asked Gian-nah-tah if there would
be much lamentation. He simply smiled at the idea,
and replied: "It was a woman; her death is of no ac
count." The Apaches are extremely reserved about
letting outsiders approach their dead, and invariably
bury them under the cover of night, with the most cau
tious secrecy; but the Navajoes were quite unreserved,
and it was only by threats or promises that we could
induce the nearest of kin to take a dead body out for
sepulture. Cases occurred when the corpses were left
wholly uhcared for several days successively, and the
deaths not reported, from a desire to escape the duty of
performing the dreaded burial service.


Apache Boldness and Address. The Papagoes. A Fine Herd Stolen by One
Apache. An Officer's Horse Stolen. Soldier Kobbed of his Horse. Ne.
cessity for Prudence. Apache Games. Sons-in-jah's Version. Apache
Ideas of Gambling. Racea at Fort Sunmer. The Winners. Manuelito,
the Great Navajo Warrior.

THE boldness and address with which the Apaches
carry out their designs, and the crafty cunning they dis
play when desiring to mislead their enemies, can be best
illustrated by stating several notable occurrences. The
horses of the two companies commanded by Captains
McCleave and Fritz, of the First California Cavalry, had
become thin and weak from long and active service, and
needed rest and refreshment. For this purpose General
Carleton ordered them to the Reventon, a large rancho
near the town of Tubac; but finding better grass and su
perior camping ground near the town of San Xavier del
Bac, the companies took up temporary residence at that
place. San Xavier is principally inhabited by Papago
Indians, and contains about fifteen hundred souls. The
Papagoes are semi - civilized, and have always been
friendly; but a deadly feud exists between them and the
Apaches, who seize every opportunity to annoy, rob and
murder those people. The Papagoes had a large num
ber of horses which were grazed, in the- daytime, near
the town, and caught up at night for fear of their being
stolen by the ever vigilant foe. When McCleave and
Fritz arrived with two hundred troopers, and grazed
their horses by night under a strong guard, the Papa-


goes imagined that* the force would deter the Apaches
and keep them away. Under this impression they also
permitted their animals to feed by night. On the other
hand, the Apaches, as one of them afterward told me,
foresaw precisely what happened. Those foolish Papa-
goes, said they, will think that because the Californian
troops are so near that their property will be safe, and
will relax their usual caution; now is our time to act.
They did act, and to such purpose that they took nearly
every horse once possessed by the Papagoes. Here was
a specimen of nice judgment, founded upon a shrewd
knowledge of human nature, and executed with boldness
and address.

A wealthy resident of New Mexico, near Polvadera,
owned a herd of superior horses of which he was extremely
careful. The band numbered nearly one hundred, and
were renowned for their excellence. These horses were
strictly guarded every day, while grazing not far from
the house, by twelve or fifteen well armed Mexicans, and
at nightfall were inclosed in a large and strong corral,
the walls of which were sixteen feet high and three feet
thick, the only entrance being through a large and strong
gate which was heavily barred and locked. Numerous
attempts to steal this herd had been made by the Apaches,
but invariably without success. The horses fed on a
smooth, open plain, which could be easily scanned, and
was so close to the corral that they could be placed in
safety in a few minutes. At length one bold rascal deter
mined either to get the herd or die attempting it. One
very dark and stormy night he contrived to climb over the
corral wall, and concealed himself in the hay and feed
scattered about. Here he remained until the earliest
dawn, when he selected the best horse in the lot, and
mounting him, waited for the gates to be thrown open.


Soon afterward the herders, yet unarmed, collected with
their reatas, each one ready to lasso a horse for that day's
service, as was their custom, after which the selected
horses were to be saddled, then arms taken, and the herd
driven to pasture. As soon as the gate was thrown open
the frolicsome horses made a rush to get out, as they
always did, the Apache keeping in the rear until all were
outside, when, with a yell, and the alarming sound of
an instrument they use when stampeding animals, he
started the frightened herd which darted off at full
speed, leaving the astonished and bewildered Mexicans
in distress. The scoundrel, by leaning down from the
horse so he could not be seen, had escaped notice and
accomplished the robbery. Comment upon this bold'
and desperate act is quite unnecessary; it speaks for itself.
Lieut. -Col. Ferguson, of the First California Cavalry,
bought a fine American horse, for which he paid three
hundred dollars. He availed himself of the escort of
fered by my company to proceed to Tucson. One after
noon we camped in a grove of large cotton-wood trees,
without underbrush, and in a favorable position. The
picket line was ran from tree to tree, and at sunset the
horses were fastened to it, fed, groomed, and a guard of
two men, one each side, placed over them. The Colonel
would not permit his horse to be tied up with those of
the company, saying that he did not want him kicked
nor bitten by those malicious half-breeds and, I must
say, with some reason for there were a number of
vicious animals among them. By his order, an iron
stake was driven in the ground, about twenty feet from
one end of the picket line, and just opposite the entrance
to a narrow, rocky canon. The moon was very brilliant,
but would set behind the mountains about one o'clock
A. M., and orders were given to keep a special watch over


the Colonel's horse after that hour. About the time
mentioned, the camp was alarmed by the report of a
couple of carbines, and on inquiring the cause, found
that the sentries had fired at an Apache who had gone
off with the Colonel's horse. The successful robber had
approached quite close to the animal without being dis
covered, and the moment the moon hid her light behind
the hill, he cut the halter, sprang upon its back, stooped
off on one side, and galloped up the canon. The sen
tries heard the noise, suspected the cause, and fired in
the direction of the retreating savage.

The mail service between Forts Sumner and Union,
one hundred and eighty miles apart, required that the
military courier should be mounted on the best horse
disposable. The Reservation, at the former place, was
forty miles square, and within its limits the Indians had
a right to roam. On one occasion, while the courier
was returning with the mails, he stopped near the en
trance to a large and very crooked canon, dotted with
huge fragments of rock. At this place the grass was
very fresh and fine, which induced the soldier to halt
and permit his tired and hungry horse to graze for half
an hour. He accordingly dismounted, and let the ani
mal range to the extent of his reata, which was a remark
ably fine one, and about sixty feet long. Although on
the Reservation, he drew his pistol and seated himself
on a fragment of the rock. While occupied in noticing
the movements of his horse, he was addressed by an
Apache, who had come up within four feet of him with
out being perceived. The Indian, who was unarmed,
held out his hand in the frankest manner, and said:
Nejeunee, nejeunee; which means, "friendly, kind."
The soldier, believing him to be one of those under our
charge, suffered him to approach and shake hands.


Soon the wily savage pretended to be delighted at the
reata, which he declared was the finest he ever saw,
and commenced to examine it with critical attention
throughout its length until he reached the horse, which
he also evidently admired. Patting the animal, he re-,
marked, mucho bueno; yes, answered the soldier, he is a
fine horse. In the meantime, the Indian, unnoticed by
the soldier, had drawn a small knife from the leg of his
moccasin and severed the reata close to the horse, keep
ing the cut ends concealed in his left hand while patting
the horse with his right. Suddenly he pointed behind
the soldier and shouted, Comanclie on ddhl; which means,
" the Comanches are coming." Involuntarily the soldier
turned to see, and at the instant the Apache sprang into
the saddle, and in two bounds was behind the friendly
shelter of a huge rock, from whence he effected his es
cape with the horse, leaving the soldier holding the reata
in one hand and his pistol in the other. I might go on
and relate many more incidents of the same character,
but as they all illustrate the same special traits, they
will be omitted. The moral to be drawn is, that the
traveler can never exercise too much prudence while
among the Apaches, and it will never do to underrate
their boldness, skill and craftiness.

They are fond of bathing in the summer, and are all
expert swimmers; but nothing can induce them to wash
themselves in winter* They are the most reckless of all
gamblers, risking anything they possess upon the turn
of a card. Men, women and children indiscriminately
engage in this vice; but there are some games to which
women are never allowed access. Among these is one
played with poles and a hoop. The former are gener
ally about ten feet in length, smooth and gradually ta
pering like a lance. It is marked with divisions through-


out its whole length, and these divisions are stained in
different colors. The hoop is of wood, about six inches
in diameter, and divided like the poles, of which each
player has one. Only two persons can engage in this
game at one time. A level place is selected, from which
the grass is removed a foot in width, and for twenty-five
or thirty feet in length, and the earth trodden down
firmly and smoothly. One of the players rolls the hoop
forward, and after it reaches a certain distance, both
dart their poles after it, overtaking and throwing it
down. The graduation of values is from the point of
the pole toward the butt, which ranks highest, and the
object is to make the hoop fall on the pole as near the
butt as possible, at the same time noting the value of
the part which touches the hoop. The two values are
then added and placed to the credit of the player. The
game usually runs up to a hundred, but the extent is
arbitrary among the players. While it is going on no
woman is permitted to approach within a hundred yards,
and each person present is compelled to leave all his
arms behind. I inquired the reason for these restric
tions, and was told that they were required by tradition;
but the shrewd old Sons-in-jah gave me another, and, I
believe, the true version. When people gamble, said
he, they become half crazy, and are very apt to quarrel.
This is the most exciting game we have, and those who
play it will wager all they possess. The loser is apt to get
angry, and fights have ensued which resulted in the loss
of many warriors. To prevent this, it was long ago de
termined that no warrior should be present with arms
upon his person or within near reach , and this game is
always played at some distance from camp. Three
prominent warriors are named as judges, and from their
decision there is no appeal. They are not suffered to bet


while acting in that capacity. The reason why women
are forbidden to be present is because they always
foment troubles between the players, and create confu
sion by taking sides and provoking dissention. I once
asked Gian-nah-tah why the Apaches were such fools as
to risk all they had in gaming. "Why," said he, "what
difference does it make ? They never play with any but
Apaches; fortune will not always stick to one person,
but continually changes. What is mine to-day will be
long to somebody else to-morrow, while I get another
man's goods; and, in course of time, I once more own
my old articles. In this manner each successively owns
the property of all his fellows." To argue against this
style of reasoning, by pointing out the vice and immo
rality of gambling, would only have subjected me to de
rision and contempt, and as I am not a missionary :
especially one of the self-sacrificing class I received his
explanation with every mark of favor. The women have
several games of their own, in which the men never
mingle; but when cards are used, everybody takes a
share in the business.

Racing on foot is another diversion frequently resorted
to by these active, restless Indians, and the women gen
erally manage to carry off the palm, provided the dis
tance is not too great. The officers at the post offered
a number of prizes to be competed for, the fastest run
ner to take the prize apportioned to the distance for
which it was offered. The longest race was half a mile,
the next a quarter, the third three hundred yards, and
the fourth one hundred. It was open for men under
forty years of age and over fifteen, and for girls from
fifteen up to twenty-five. About . a hundred Apaches
and Navajoes entered for the prizes, and practiced every
day for a week. At the appointed time everybody in


camp assembled to witness the contest. Among the
competitors was the Apache girl, Ish-kay-nay, a clean
limbed, handsome girl of seventeen, who had always
refused marriage, and she was the favorite among the
whites. Each runner was tightly girded with a broad
belt, and looked like a race horse. Ten entered for the
half mile stake, which was a gaudy piece of calico for a
dress or shirt, as the case might be. At the word, they
went off like rockets, Nah-kah-yen leading handsomely,
and Ish-kay-nay bringing up the rear, but running as
clean and easy as a greyhound. Within four hundred
yards of the goal, she closed the gap, went by like a
steam engine, and got in an easy winner, six yards ahead
of all competitors. For the quarter mile race she again
entered, but was ruled out by the other Indians, and
their objections were allowed, it being decided that the
victor in either race should not enter for another.

The second contest was won by Nah-kah-yen, but not
without a desperate struggle with Manuelito, a very
prominent Navajo chief. The third and fourth prizes
were gained by Navajoes. Manuelito was the finest
looking Indian man I ever saw. He was over six feet
in height, and of the most symmetrical figure, combin
ing ease, grace, and power and activity in a wonderful
degree. He was a great dandy, and was always elabor
ately dressed in the finest Indian costume. His leggings
were highly ornamented, and his buckskin jacket fitted
without a wrinkle. A splendid bunch of many colored
plumes, surmounted by two eagle's feathers, adorned
his head, while his shapely feet were incased in elegantly
worked moccasins. Navajo blankets have a wide and
merited reputation for beauty and excellence, some of
them being worth a hundred dollars a piece in the New
Mexican market, and over his shoulders was one of su-


perior character, worn with the grace and dignity with
which a Roman Senator might be supposed to don his
toga. So vain a man could not be well otherwise than
brave, and he was noted for his gallantry. But he was
also esteemed one of the wisest counselors in his tribe,
and had headed many a bloody and destructive inroad
until compelled to yield to the Californian troops. While
on the Reservation his conduct was proud, haughty and
decorous. He never honored any of us with his pres
ence except when he came on business, but never exhib
ited any animosity.

Although the Navajoes and Apaches are identically
one people, speaking the same language and observing
nearly the same ceremonies, yet they differ materially in
many respects, undoubtedly caused by a marked differ
ence of climate. The country of the Navajoes is cold
and inhospitable in winter subject to deep snows and
long continued frosts while that roamed over by the
Apaches is far milder, and in many portions of even tor
rid heat. This compels the Navajoes to erect substan
tial huts of an oval form, the lower portion of the hut
being excavated, and the upper composed of substantial
stakes brought together and firmly fastened at the top.
Long, slender and supple poles are then hooped closely
about the stakes, and the whole thickly covered with
mud. These huts are sometimes quite roomy, many of
them being twelve or fourteen feet in diameter. The
women are extremely dexterous in weaving a very su
perior kind of blanket, the colors of which are generally
black and white; but sometimes made of green, blue,
red, pink, purple, white, black, etc., so arranged as to
produce a very gaudy and striking effect. These blankets
are perfectly water-proof, and very thick, but they scarcely
impart as much warmth as one of first-class California


manufacture. They last for years, retaining their beauty
and colors without loss of brilliancy. This manufacture
of blankets arises from the exigencies of the climate, and
was originally learned from the Mexicans when the two
people lived on amicable terms. The procurement of
wool is one of their prime necessities, and is the inciting
cause of the terrific raids they make into New Mexico,
which is specially a sheep raising country. When large
herds of cattle are met, the Navajoes "gobble them up"
with avidity, but seldom molest them when few in num
ber, as they cannot be driven with the rapidity of sheep ;
leave a broader and more marked trail, and serve only
for food. These Indians live together in considerable
numbers during the winter months, a village frequently
containing from two hundred to eight hundred inhabit
ants. Such communities must necessarily be governed
by a more systematic organization than obtains among
the Apaches proper; hence they have regular chiefs and
sub-chiefs, whose orders are obeyed, and who are charged
with the government of all present; but his office is not
hereditary, the chieftainship being determined by elec
tion. The fortunate candidate holds office for life, or
during good behavior, and feels no little pride in his po
sition. In all matters wherein the Navajoes differ from
the Apaches, they will be found chargeable to the climatic
differences of their several countries. Their ceremonies,
religious views, traditions, language, and general deport
ment, as well as their personal appearance, are so strik
ingly similar as to be almost undistinguishable. If the
Navajo woman is more industrious and skilled than the
Apache, she is also muoh more loose and wanton. A
very marked characteristic of the latter people is their
strict chastity, while the Navajoes are quite as much
noted for their utter want of virtue.


Prior to the time of Mangas Colorado, several disputes
of a serious character had occurred between these two
tribes, but that shrewd Indian statesman managed to
bestow one of his daughters upon the most noted of the
Navajo chiefs, and finally succeeded in restoring the
strictest amity, which continued without cessation dur
ing his long life devoted to his people's good, and until
the Navajoes, angered at the surrender of the Apaches
at Fort Sumner, made a raid upon their horses, and
were driven off with great slaughter. But the enmity
engendered by such conflicts never extended to parties
outside the Reservation. Fort Bascom, situated on a
branch of the Bed river, one hundred and twenty-five
miles east-north-east from Fort Sumner, was frequently
visited by Comanche Indians, and on one occasion a
large band, numbering nearly two hundred, informed
the commander at Bascom that they intended to " clean
out" the Apaches located at Sumner. That officer re
plied: "Do not attempt so foolish a thing. There are
three companies of soldiers at that place, two of which
are cavalry, and so sure as you molest the Apaches un
der their charge they will not only fight you themselves,
but will arm and place the Apaches in the field against
you. Take my advice and let them alone." Shortly af
terward, while out with a small party, I met this same
band of Comanches, when the chief repeated his inten
tion to me, and told me what the commander of Bascom
had said. Divining the Indian's drift, I immediately
replied: "You tell me nothing new. We have all heard
this before, and have made preparations to give you a
welcome commensurate with your fame as a warrior.
My commander has sent me out with these twenty-five
men to find you and conduct you to his camp. The Co
manches and Americans are friends. He does not wish


to molest you, nor will he permit you to molest him, or
those for whose safety he is responsible; but if this thing
must -come off, the sooner the better. Whenever my
Comanche brother wishes to move toward Fort Sumner,
I am ready to accompany him." " I have no time now,"
was the reply, " but will come this way again after three
moons, and then we will catch the Apaches, but we will
not fight the Americans." He and his band then wheeled
their horses and rode off into the wilderness, taking an
easterly course. We never heard of them afterwards.


Ignorance of Indian Character Discussed. Political Indian Agencies. How the
Indian Affairs Should be Managed. Necessity of Force. Absurd System
in Vogue. Crushing Out Advised. How the Apache? Should be Fought.
Proper Method of Campaigning. Suggestions. Culpable Neglect of Con
gress. General Deductions. Californian Troops. Conclusion.

THE romantic wanderings of Catlin, Schoolcraft and
some others among the Indian tribes of North America;
the delightful tales of Cooper, as developed in his "Trap
per/' "Last of the Mohicans," etc. ; the stirring adven
tures of Captain John Smith, Daniel Boone, Chamberlin,
Carson, Hays and a host of noted pioneers, have invested
our Indian races with rare and absorbing interest. But
they have also tended to convey false and erroneous im
pressions of Indian character, and have contributed to
misguide our legislation on this subject to such an extent
as to become a most serious public burden.

Since the foundation of our Government, Indian wars
have cost the American people nearly four hundred
millions of dollars, and the stream of expenditure con
tinues with unabated volume. When the whites were
few and the savages many, the cost of keeping them in
subjection was measurably less than it has been since the
reversal of our respective numerical conditions. Whence
arises this anomaly? Simply because of our strange ig
norance of Indian character as it really exists, and not as
we have been taught to understand it by writers of attract
ive fiction, or the chroniclers of heroic deeds and romantic
adventures. This sweeping assertion may be met with


one more plausible and popular, because more suggestive,
and having the merit of being sanctioned by time. "Is
it possible," exclaims the old school debater, "that we
have been for more than two centuries and a half fighting,
treating, and dealing with our Indian tribes without ac
quiring a positive knoweldge of their character !" Such
an exclamation certainly seems to be staggering. It ap
pears to possess the vital force of reason and unanswera
ble argument; nevertheless, it is exactly true that, as a
people, we know little or nothing about this very impor
tant matter. Unfortunately, those who have been the
best able, from long and careful personal experience, to
give the requisite information, have also been, for the most
part, deficient in educational attainments and the capac
ity to impart their knowledge; while others have given
no evidence of entertaining a just value of its public
importance. Satisfied with their own acquirements,
they have not sought to publish them for the benefit of

The white races of the American people boast European
origin, mainly that of English lineage; but how much
did the British really know of Americans, even at the
period of our Revolution ? Is not the history of that
struggle indisputable evidence of the most lamentable
and inexplicable ignorance on the part of the mother
country? But, worse still; after the Revolution, after
we had been in strict and closest commercial and polit
ical relations with Great Britain for over sixty years,
after a second and sanguinary contest with that country,
we have only to read the works of some of their travelers
to arrive at the superficial and wonderfully erroneous
idea of American character possessed by intelligent

When the two leading commercial nations of the


globe, each claiming the highest civilization, speaking
identically the same language, and governed by the same
general laws, contrive to pass two centuries and a half
of close intercourse with such unsatisfactory interknowl-
edgable results, is it strange that a like ignorance should
exist between the American people and the nomadic
races of this continent ?

Causes similar to those which operated as a bar to
English knowledge of the American character have in
terposed against our acquisition of precise information
relative to the leading traits of Indian nature. Without
being captious, it is assumed that British tourists have,
for the most part, approached us with something of an
intolerant and pre-occupied spirit. They came pre
pared to encounter ill-bred, semi-educated, uncouth and
braggart provincials, rendered more unendurable by
their democratic form of government, and political hos
tility to the time honored institutions of their own coun
try. Reference can as emphatically be made to the
course pursued by the British in India, the Spaniards in
Mexico and Peru, the French in Africa and Cochin
China. The conquering race seldom care to inform
themselves minutely about the condition and character
istics of the conquered, and the results have been re
newed sanguinary struggles and immensely increased
expenditures. Our own dealings with the nomads of
North America have been but so many chapters of the
same record. What has our Government ever done, in
a concerted, intelligent and liberal spirit, to acquire a
definite knowledge of Indian character, as* it exists
among the tribes which wander over more than one-half
the public domain ?

The Indian Bureau, with its army of political camp-
followers, bent upon improving their short and preca-


rious official positions to "turn an honest penny/' can
scarcely be quoted as evidence of our search for the
needed information. Tales of violence and wrong, of
outrage and devilish malignity, committed by Indians,
are rife all along our frontiers; but who ever hears
the other side ? Who chronicles the inciting causes,
the long, unbroken series of injuries perpetrated by the
semi-civilized white savages who, like Cain, fled from
the retributive justice of outraged humanity, and sought
refuge among the copper-colored savages of the woods
and the plains? Naturally ferocious, warlike, revenge
ful and treacherous as were the aborigines of America,
we have educated them to a pitch of refinement in
cruelty, deceit and villainy far beyond their normal
standard. If the white man has come to be regarded as
his natural enemy, it may be set down as the result of
long and murderous schooling. The inherent disposi
tion of the American nomad inclined him to hospitality;
but that inclination has been completely blotted out,
and its opposite engrafted on his nature. Legends and
traditions of white men's ingratitude have been handed
down through so many generations, and the experiences
of the living have been in such direct accordance with
them, that they have become prime articles of their
creed. Keenly alive to a sense of the inferiority of their
armament, incapable of subsisting large bodies of men
for any considerable period, and perpetually engaged in
the work of exterminating each other, the several tribes
have been reduced to the necessity of employing deceit
against force, cunning against courage, artifice against

One of the most serious obstacles in the way of a
settled and satisfactory arrangement with our Indian
tribes results from our own form of government, which


requires a change of the whole working department of
the Indian Bureau whenever a change of administration
takes place. Nor can this evil be remedied so long as
the Indian Bureau continues to be a political machine.
The savages cannot comprehend why it is that every
few years imposes upon their acceptance new and un
tried Agents to regulate matters between them and their
" Great Father" at Washington, nor why the new Agents
should institute a policy different from that of their pre
decessors. Time, patience, zeal, great experience and
conscientious discharge of duty are indispensably requi
site for the proper and just management of our Indian
relations, and even then they will be found delicate and
difficult under peculiar circumstances which are con
stantly presenting themselves. The first great object
should be a total and sweeping reform in this respect.
The Department of Indian Affairs, as it is now organ
ized, should be abolished as a costly and unnecessary
adjunct to a Government already overburdened with
political patronage. We have a large number of meri
torious and highly educated officers of the army on the
retired list. Many of them have acquired considerable
insight into Indian character during the course of their
campaigns in our Territories and on our frontiers. They
are drawing pay from the Government without render
ing effective service. Their own high sense of honor
makes many of them feel as if they had been laid upon
the shelf as being no longer useful, and they would be
but too happy to prove that their capacity to serve their
country in this line is quite as great as it ever was in
their former field of operations. By appointing such
men, and merging the In'dian Bureau into the War
Department, a regular, systematic policy would be pur
sued, upon which our savage tribes could place reliance,


and which would ultimately gain their confidence and

Why persist in maintaining a Department not only un
necessary, but which has always imposed enormous ex
penditures upon the people, and has frequently plunged
us into costly Indian wars ? What can a political camp-
follower, who has done party service in our cities, and
been appointed Indian Agent as reward for such serv
ices, possibly know of Indian character? And being
profoundly ignorant of all that pertains to the people
whose affairs he is about to manage, how can he conduct
them with any degree of justice toward these people ? It
has been the writer's lot to be present at many meetings
between Indian Agents and their constituencies; and he
has always been shocked at the insolent, intolerant and
supercilious manner of the Agents. It is as necessary
to use common intelligence and prudence in our inter
course with savages as in the performance of any other
act. If a man were required to move an object, his
first business would be to ascertain the weight and char
acter of that object, with a view to applying the proper
motive power in a rational manner; but in our dealings
with Indian tribes this common sense and practical style
of operation is completely ignored. We have not even
condescended to apply the rules of every day life to a
subject of such extensive interest. Is the savage to be
blamed because he becomes provoked at such intolerable
folly? Is it to be wondered at that he should lose all
confidence in people who, while claiming to be his su
periors, display such despicable disregard of decency
and good faith? And when he does evince anger and
disgust, after his fashion the only one he compre
hends straightway the worthy Agent shouts ' ' stop
thief," to conceal his own avarice and rascality, while


he precipitates another costly conflict. Until this per
nicious system be utterly swept away, and the manage
ment of Indian affairs confided to intelligent and edu
cated men appointed for life, or during good behavior,
from the ranks of our meritorious retired officers, we
may hope in vain for any better condition of our rela
tions with the tribes.

In the foregoing pages the attentive reader will have
found some food for reflection. He will have perceived
that the Apaches are not fools and idiots. He will have
learned that they reflect, and argue with a great deal of
logical acumen. He will have understood that there is
much about them which can be studied with good re
sults/ He will have comprehended the impossibility of
making a durable treaty with a tribe, each individual of
which is sovereign in his own right, and disavows the
authority of any one to treat for him. There can be but
one policy pursued toward these Indians with any chance
of satisfactory result. They must be subdued by force
of arms, and after submission, they must be removed
from their country. It will -cost much to effect these
objects, but the expense will be a mere "drop in the
bucket," compared with that which must be disbursed
to maintain the miserable little guerrilla warfare hereto
fore pursued, and which has only imbued them with
contempt for our much vaunted power. It will require
a force of seven or eight thousand men to effectually
subdue the Apache race in Arizona and New Mexico;
but with such a force, properly officered and appointed,
the work can be done in less than one year.

Let it be understood, however, that the troops will be
required for constant, active and arduous service in the
field, and not to build forts, which are abandoned a year
or so after construction; nor to till the earth, nor culti-


vate fine gardens, nor spend their time in dress parades
and burnishing weapons which are never used. The
men selected for this service should be picked, and en
tirely reliable. The rations of coffee, sugar, tea, and
everything but hard bread, the best of jerked beef, and
tobacco, should be stopped while on duty in the field,
and their pay should be increased in proportion. All
the troops employed in active service must be cavalry,
and their accoutrements should be simplified to the
greatest possible extent. A trooper's horse should not
be cumbered with a useless valise, holsters, and a ridicu
lous amount of harness for display. The soldier should
be equipped with two Colt's belt pistols, a first-class
Spencer carbine, and a large knife. All posts should
be kept and guarded by the infantry, aided by a small
detachment of cavalry to act as herders, and at each post
there should not be less than from fifty to seventy-five
good horses, which may be rendered immediately avail
able by any scouting party whose animals are beginning
to tire. At each post the Commissary should be required
to keep constantly on hand and baled in raw-hide covers,
packages of bread and meat of not more than sixty
pounds in each bale, and enough in quantity to equal
ten days' rations for fifty men. There should also be a
sufficient number of pack mules and aparejos to pack
this amount of provision, and no mule should be laden
with more than two packs. With these precautions, a
pursuing party could replenish their stores and receive
fresh horses and mules without the unnecessary and
vexatious delays which have proved so fatal to success
in our Indian campaigns in the Territories named.

Three thousand men, divided into companies of fifty
each, would place sixty such companies in the field at
one time, and this force could sweep Arizona from end


to end in six months. Extreme care should be taken to
prevent the Apaches from escaping into Northern Mex
ico, and operations should commence from the southern
and eastern frontiers. The same system should be ap
plied to New Mexico at the same time, commencing at
the northern and western frontiers. The men, while on
scout, should take only one pair of socks, one shirt and
one pair of drawers with them, in addition to those they
wear. All blankets and other baggage should be con
veyed by pack mules so lightly laden that they may be
able to keep up with the horses. In winter the clothing
should consist of thick buckskin pants and jacket, lined
with flannel, and in summer of the usual cavalry dress,
but without trimmings, except the chevrons for non
commissioned officers. Marching by day should be
avoided as much as possible, unless when following a
trail. No fires should be allowed for cooking purposes;
and when the state of the weather required them, they
should be concealed as much as the ground might per
mit. The rations of coffee and sugar should be allowed
in winter. The course of operations in the field would
suggest itself to each officer in command of a company,
and he should be allowed discretionary power.

It will be perceived that, although these suggestions
require some space for their explanation, yet they pre
sent a far more simple system than any ever put in prac
tice, although susceptible of very great modifications and
improvements, which must be suggested by the circum
stances which may present themselves from time to time.
It is, however, clear that a great change must be made
in our mode of dealing with the Apache race. Twenty
years of unceasing warfare, without any other result
than the loss of many lives, much property, the expen
diture of enormous sums ; the devastation of a large


extent of country ; the unavailability of one of the
richest mineral regions in the "Union, and the continu
ance of the perils to which immigrants are exposed
while crossing it, should have sufficed to teach us that
we have been suffering from an inadequate system of
warfare. It is time that something more rigorous were
tried. Matters can scarcely be worse than they have
been and are.

Forty or fifty infantry at a post, which has its Com
missary and Quarter-Master's establishments, with their
various belongings; its hospital with its corps of nurses,
cooks and attendants ; its Adjutant's office with his
clerks ; the Commander's orderly, the company clerk,
and other modes of occupying the troops, can scarcely
be deemed a very effective force in an Apache country.
Nevertheless, such is the style of warfare which has been
carried on occasionally varied by a small squad of cav
alry making a scout with great lumbering army wagons,
marching by day, and following the highways. Let no
one imagine that these remarks are in any way intended
to reflect on the officers and men doing duty in Arizona
and New Mexico. All such idea is emphatically dis
avowed. They do the very best that can be done under
the circumstances. No man can be expected to fight
advantageously with both hands tied behind him. They
can't help themselves; but are placed in an awkward and
embarrassing position from which there seems to be no

While Congress has been voting millions for various
improvements, would it not have been wise to appropri
ate a small amount for the purification of two immensely
rich and extensive Territories in the very heart of the
country? If Alaska be worth seven millions, Arizona
and New Mexico are worth one hundred. It has been


suggested by one high, in authority, that an appropria
tion of three millions to assist the Sutro Tunnel project
would be an act of wisdom, as it would enormously in
crease the yield of the Comstock lode; but it seems never
to have suggested itself to the minds of our legislators,
that the region withheld from our occupation by the
Apache race contains more mineral wealth than twenty
Comstock lodes. We are floundering under a great na
tional debt, and financiers are puzzling their wits to de
termine how it shall be extinguished; but they never
dream of the untold wealth buried in the mountains
which form the stronghold of the Apaches. We have
behaved with the most Christian spirit of forbearance
toward that people. Every time they have smitten us
on one cheek we have turned the other to receive an ad
ditional slap, which they were by no means loth to be
stow. Is it not almost time to put our " Quaker" one
side and perform what we have so long threatened? Is
our Government aware that the people of those Terri
tories could present a bill for over fifty millions of dollars
for damages suffered at the hands of those Indians dur
ing the past twenty years ?

It matters not by what process or method of schooling
the Apache has become the most treacherous, blood
thirsty, villainous and unmitigated rascal upon earth;
it is quite sufficient that he is so, and that he is incapa
ble of improvement. Kindness and generosity provoke
his contempt, and he regards them as weaknesses. Chas
tisement does not procure his vengeance with any more
certainty than want of caution. The man who deems it
the highest achievement to become a dexterous robber is
scarcely an object in whom to repose confidence. What
ever regard they exhibited toward myself was more in
duced by the conviction that I was serviceable to them,


wliile their respect was enforced through their dread of
my troopers. Nevertheless, when I was ordered home
from Fort Sumner, they all mounted their horses and
rode with us for two hours, and appeared quite sorry at
our departure. This would seem to express some sense
of gratitude, and so I imagined it, until subsequent in
telligence disclosed the fact that they were never more

From the time of their last conflict with the Navajoes,
in which ninety of the latter were slain outright, within
fifteen miles of the Eeservation, where their dead bodies
were seen by the other Navajoes under our charge, the
two people had never lived comfortably together. Their
camps were located four miles apart, but little feuds and
disputes were constantly arising whfch occupied much of
my time to arrange. At length the matter became un
bearable to the Apaches, who were outnumbered nine to
one, and they applied to Gen. Carleton to be placed on
a separate Reservation. This was refused, and they re
solved to leave by the first good opportunity. The only
bar to this was the presence of my company, of which
they entertained a most salutary dread, although con
stantly receiving little presents and kind treatment from
all the men. The Apaches had frequently witnessed
their target practice with carbine and pistol, in both of
which arms they had acquired wonderful perfection, and
they were also struck with the easy and bold riding of
my troopers. Gian-nah-tah, being angry one day, told
Capt. Updegraff, who had denied them a favor he had
no right to grant "You think we care for you and your
men; not a bit of it, we are only restrained by those Cal-
ifornians." When they saw those Californians depart,
they were actually delighted, and in less than two
months afterward, the great body of them decamped to
parts unknown.


As an example of the precision to which my men had
arrived in the use of their fire-arms, the following inci
dent will suffice. While passing the "Caves" on the
road to the San Bernardino river, whither we had been
to settle a little difficulty with the Piutes, we were passed
by a fine antelope buck, about one hundred yards dis
tant, and going at speed. There were fourteen men in
single file behind me, and I cried out, "Fire at that an
telope." At the word each man checked his horse,
raised his carbine and fired. The animal fell, and upon
examination, it was found that every ball had struck

The information w r hich I received from Mr. Labadie
relative to the Apache hegira from Fort Sumner, only
added to my former conviction that they are incapable of
any enduring sense of gratitude. Their intense selfish
ness precludes any hope from that quarter, while the
long.and close experience I had with them, established
the conviction in my mind that their intensified procliv
ity to commit outrage can only be suppressed by force of
arms, in a vigorous and not too merciful campaign, pros
ecuted with an overwhelming force, and brought to a
sudden and decisive end by occupying many portions of
their country at the same time, and keeping the forces
in the field until the object be accomplished.

In the foregoing work only such personal adventures
have been recited as served to exemplify some trait of
Indian character; and if any of my readers have received
either pleasure or profit from its perusal, or if these ex
periences should serve in any way to modify or better
our Indian policy, the author will not have written in