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The Territory of Arizona was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863 until February 14, 1912, when it was admitted to the Union as the 48th state.

A forerunner, identical in name but largely differing in location and size, was the Confederate Territory of Arizona that existed officially from 1861 to 1863, when it was re-captured by the Union, after which the Union created in 1863 their Territory of Arizona.Though the Confederate Arizona government of continued to reign in exile until the end of the war in 1865. The two territories played a significant role in the western campaign of the American Civil War.

Civil War

After the expansion of the New Mexico Territory in 1853 by the Gadsden Purchase, proposals for a division of the territory and the organization of a separate Territory of Arizona in the southern half of the territory were advanced as early as 1856. The first proposals for the Arizona Territory divided the territory along a line of latitude rather than the later division along a line of longitude that would divide Arizona from New Mexico
The proposals arose from concerns about the effectiveness of the territorial government in Santa Femarker to administer the newly acquired southern portions of the territory.

The first proposal dates from a conference held in Tucsonmarker that convened on August 29, 1856. The conference issued a petition to the U.S. Congress, signed by 256 people, requesting organization of the territory and elected Nathan P. Cooke as the territorial delegate to Congress. In January 1857, the bill for the organization of the territory was introduced into the United States House of Representatives, but the proposal was defeated on the grounds that the population of the proposed territory was yet too small. Later a similar proposal was defeated in the Senate. The proposal for creation of the territory was controversial in part because of the perception that the New Mexico Territory was under the influence of southern sympathizers who were highly desirous of expanding slavery into the southwest.

In February 1858, the New Mexico territorial legislative adopted a resolution in favor of the creation of the Arizona territory, but with a north-south border along the 32nd meridian west from Washington, with the additional stipulation that all the Indians of New Mexico would be removed to northern Arizona.

In April 1860, impatient for Congress to act, a convention of 31 delegates met in Tucson and adopted a constitution for a provisional territorial government of the area south of the 34th parallel north. The delegates elected Lewis Owings as provisional governor.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, sentiment in the area south of the 34th parallel was in favor of the Confederacy. Territorial secession conventions were called at La Mesillamarker and Tucsonmarker in March 16, 1861, that adopted an Ordinance of Secession that declared itself independent of the United States and established the provisional Confederate Territory of Arizona with Owings as its governor, and petitioned the Confederate Congress for admission. The Confederate Territory of Arizona became officially recognized when President Jefferson Davis signed the proclamation on February 14, 1862. To commemorate this event, February 14, 1912, the fiftieth anniversary, was selected as official date of statehood for Arizona.

On March 30, 1861, there was a small skirmish at Stanwix Station which was the westernmost engagement of the Civil War within the Confederate States of America. Despite the losing the engagement the Confederate forces had succeeded in their objective, to destroy supplies of forage prepared by Union forces and delayed the advance of the California Column eastward across the desert from Fort Yumamarker. In April 1862, a small party of Confederate cavalry moving northwest from Tucson met a Union cavalry patrol from the California Column advancing eastward across Western Confederate Arizona' near Picacho Peakmarker. Confederate forces based in Tucson then retreated to Texas, after holding up the California Column, preventing it from reaching New Mexico and cutting off the rebel forces that were then retreating after being defeated in the New Mexico Campaign.

Early in war, the Confederacy regarded the territory as a valuable route for possible access to the Pacific Oceanmarker, with the specific intention of capturing Californiamarker. In July 1861, a small Confederate force of Texans under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor captured Mesillamarker in the eastern part of the territory, before fighting the Battle of Mesillamarker against the garrison of Fort Fillmore, just outside of town, which then hastily retreated back to the fort. After John Baylor won the battle, he called for reinforcements and cannon to lay siege to the citadel. Upon hearing of this, commanding Union officer Isaac Lynde abandoned the fortification, Baylor's force cut off the fleeing Union troops and forced them to surrender. On August 1, Baylor issued a "The Proclamation to the People of the Territory of Arizona", taking possession of the territory for the Confederacy, with Mesilla as the capital and himself as the governor.

On August 28, a convention met again in Tucson and declared that the territory formed the previous year was part of the Confederacy. Granville H. Oury was elected as delegate to the Confederate Congress. Oury drafted legislation authorizing the organization of the Confederate Territory of Arizona. The legislation passed on January 13, 1862, and the territory was officially created by proclamation of President Jefferson Davis on February 14.

The following month, in March 1862, the U.S. House of Representatives, now devoid of the southern delegates and controlled by Republicans, passed a bill to create the United States Arizona Territory using the north-south border of the 32nd meridian west from Washington. The use of a north-south border rather than an east-west one had the effect of denying a de facto ratification of the Confederate Arizona Territory. The house bill stipulated that Tucson was to be capital. It also stipulated that slavery was to be abolished in the new territory, although it never existed there in the first place. The Arizona Organic Act passed the Senate in February 1863 without the Tucson-as-capital stipulation, and was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on February 24, the date of the official organization of the US Arizona Territory. The first capital was at Fort Whipple, which served until the founding of Prescottmarker, in the northern Union-controlled area. In 1867, following the end of the Civil War, the capital was moved to Tucsonmarker. In 1877 the capital returned to Prescott and in 1889 it was moved to Phoenixmarker.

The early mining frontier

One result of the steamboat trade was the establishment of ports and landings up and down the Colorado. Most were ramshackle affairs that served local mines, but a few developed into small towns: Yuma, La Paz, Ehrenburg, and Hardyville. No other stretch of Arizona was as hot, and the communities themselves offered few luxuries to weary travelers who pulled up there, but the ports had strategic importance. Steamboats deposited shipped goods along the riverbanks, where wagons freighted them to forts, mines, and ranches of the interior. With the aid of steamships and freight wagons, 19th century industrial America conquered Arizona in three and a half decades for the sole purpose of obtaining silver and gold.

Jacob Snively made the first big strike in 1857 when he discovered gold along the Gila River about 20 miles (30 km) upstream from the junction with the Colorado. A year later more than a thousand people were panning for coarse grains in placers or robbing those who did in Arizona's first boomtown, Gila City. It set the pattern for the boomtowns to come. Although a few prospectors became wealthy, most barely found enough gold to purchase food at the inflated prices, bread for a dollar a loaf and beans at 50 cents a pound ($1.1/kg). In 1864, according to journalist J. Ross Browne, the "promising Metropolis of Arizona consisted of three chimneys and a coyote."

Another type of mining community, the company town, also developed, that were fueled by corporate ventures. Most did not appear until railroads and a revolution in technology made large-scale copper mining feasible, but a few such as the Sonora Mining and Exploring Company represented corporate capitalism's first foray onto the Arizona frontier. Two partners, Samuel Heintzelman (a hard-nosed Pennsylvaniamarker German) and Charles Debrille Poston [53834] started the company in Cincinnati in 1856. Poston and a German mining engineer named Herman Ehrenburg established the company's headquarters at the abandoned presidio of Tubacmarker and purchased the 17,000 acre (69 km²) ranch of Arivaca from Tomás and Ignacio Ortiz. The following spring, another German engineer, Frederick Brunckow, discovered silver in the Cerro Colorado Mountains just north of Arivaca. Soon advertisements were trumpeting Poston and Heintzelman's venture as "the most important Mining Company on this Continent."

Heintzelman left Poston in charge of the mines while he attempted to raise money back east. More interested in self-promotion than production, Poston allowed his engineers to open too many mines without developing any of them and never completed the smelting works at Arivaca, and he spent much more than he made. The Panic of 1857 swept across the financial centers of the United States and the business unraveled. While Heintzelman tried to entice investors, banks failed, debts mounted, and work in the mines themselves proceeded at a snail's pace. In December, Heintzelman persuaded firearms inventor Samuel Colt to invest $10,000 in the company. By 1859, Colt had seized control of the company. Colt imported new boilers, lathes, and steam-powered crushers and amalgamators, but ore still had to be shipped out by wagon across southern Arizona and loaded onto steamboats near Fort Yumamarker.

Mexican labor

Heintzelman and Poston's most immediate problem was the labor. Like Sylvester Mowry's Patagonia mine, the Sonora Mining and Exploring Company relied heavily on Mexican labor, a precedent that would be followed by most of Arizona's extractive industries for years to come. There were 231 males living at Tubac in 1860, only 23 of whom had been born outside Mexico or the territory of New Mexico. In the mining communities of Santa Rica, Arivaca, and Cerro Colorado, Mexicans constituted 70 percent of the labor force (67 of 96). Poston bragged of his paternalism and claimed that he married Mexican couples and baptized their children. Other managers despised their Mexican employees and never understood the fluid work patterns of the frontier. When Mexicans left the mines in late August for the fiesta of San Augustín in Tucson or made their annual pilgrimage to Magdalena, Sonora, to pay homage to San Franciscomarker in early October, Heintzelman and his German engineers complained about Mexican laziness and unreliability, not understanding how fiestas maintained bonds between people and powerful saints and made life more bearable and knit families together on the frontier.

More serious was the exploitation of Mexican labor itself. According to mining engineer Raphael Pumpelly, Mexican workers received 12 to 15 dollars per month, compared to 30 to 17 dollars for Anglo workers. The mining companies often paid them "in cotton and other goods, on which the company made a profit from one hundred to three hundred percent." Differential wage scales, combined with late pay, lead poisoning, malarial fevers, and abusive overseers prompted Mexicans to strike for better conditions or to simply walk off the job.

On May 1, 1859, in an event known as the Sonoita Massacre, a ranch foreman named George Mercer whipped and shaved the heads of seven Mexican workers. Five days later, one of Mercer's friends was murdered at his ranch near Tumacacori. Enraged, Mercer and seven other armed men vowed to drive all Mexicans from the region. They rode up to a mescal distillery in the Sonoita Valley and opened fire, killing four Mexicans and one Yaqui Indian.

News of the attack spread rapidly, and many Mexicans fled to Sonoramarker. Watching their workforce evaporate, mine owners condemned the massacre and some workers came back to the mines. Acts of violence escalated. During the late 1850s and early 1860s, Mexicans murdered 25 people in Arizona, yet Anglos, the minority, killed 39 people in the same period, 23 of whom were Mexicans. It must be remembered that the Mexican population was very small. Other than Tucson and Nogales, which were nothing more than towns, the latter being on the current border, Arizona was a vast frontier. Mexico did not begin colonizing their Northern frontier until after the Mexican/American war and the treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo in 1848. Mexico intended to enlarge their population in the north in order to help prevent further territorial losses. In a few ways Arizona is like the Texas and New Mexican border region, but only because of Mexico and the relations with Mexicans. All three were regions where Anglos and Mexican desperadoes slipped back and forth across the border to commit crimes.

Expansion of the mining industry

Prescott's first courthouse, 1885
When the party of gold seeker Joseph R. Walker called on Brigadier General James H. Carleton in New Mexico in 1862, Walker may have offered Carleton an unofficial partnership in exchange for military protection. Walker left for Arizona with Carleton's blessings, and in 1863 he and his men discovered gold along the north bank of the Hassayampa River five miles (8 km) south of Prescott. Other prospectors made strikes along Lynx, Weaver, and Big Bug creeks, which soon became known as the Walker Mining District. Carleton established Fort Whipple in Chino Valleymarker later that year.

For the first time in Arizona's history, non-Indians came to the mountainous interior and stayed. After Ohiomarker mining interests led by Samuel Heintzelman pushed the Arizona Organic Act through Congress in 1863, Fort Whipple even became the first capital of the new Arizona Territory. Then the following year, both fort and capital were moved south to a new town named after William Hickling Prescott, author of History of the Conquest of Mexico. A community of miners, merchants, and territorial officials sprang up in the middle of Yavapai and Apache country, and one bonanza generated ripples of exploration that led to other bonanzas. Soon mines tunneled into some of the driest country in North America, and names like Hassayampa, Haquahala, and Castle Dome entered the geography of the mining frontier. Like most features of that geography, Arizona's early mines rarely developed into permanent communities, because the miners tended to leave after stripping away all of the gold.

The prospectors pioneered hundreds of miles of mule trails and wagon roads across the western Arizona desert. The first route embarked from La Paz, the second from Fort Mohave, the third from Hardyville over a toll road that enabled great high-wheeled freight wagons to carry loads as heavy as 15,000 pounds (7,000 kg). For six months of the year, temperatures could rise above 100 °F (38 °C) as the sun reflected off the desert pavement and the rocks of the low western mountains. The freighters had to double- or triple-team their wagons up inclines like Yarnell Hill to reach ore-bearing high-country of the interior. Steamships on the Colorado and freight wagons straining across the basins and ranges of the Harcuvar, Aquarius, and Vulture mountains made Prescott the most important center of settlement north of the Santa Cruz Valley. They also led to the escalation of Arizona's Indian wars.

Mormon settlement

Under the direction of Brigham Young, Mormon settlers were sent to colonize the area that became the Arizona Territory as early as the 1850s. A provisional government, the State of Deseret operated for a few years following U.S. acquisition of this area, and it included much of northern Arizona. Most Mormon settlers were recalled to the Utah Territory during the Utah War.

A second wave of Mormon settlers was sent to Arizona by Young in the 1870s. Major Mormon settlements included St. Johnsmarker, Snowflakemarker, and Mesamarker.

During the U.S. government's crackdown on polygamy, many Mormons used the Arizona Stripmarker to hide from authorities. The Grand Canyonmarker separates the northern half of Mohave Countymarker from the county seat of Kingmanmarker, making it more difficult for law enforcement to operate there, even into the 21st century. John D. Lee successfully evaded authorities for years while operating Lee's Ferrymarker there. Colorado City, Arizonamarker, continues to have a reputation as a haven for polygamists.

Civilian militias and the Arizona Volunteers

The first round of hostilities towards native American groups after the Civil War involved civilian militias. Carleton's California Volunteers established Camp Lowell in Tucson in 1862 after Captain Sherod Hunter evacuated his Confederates. They also founded Fort Bowie near Apache Pass and Fort Whipple near Prescott. Even though Carleton and his Confederate counterpart, John Baylor, ordered the extermination of all hostile Apache men in Arizona, the California Volunteers were spread too thin to conquer the Yavapais and Apaches or protect the settlers in outlying ranches and mines.

The most famous civilian fighter of the 1860s was King S. Woolsey, a man from Arizona who sold hay and other supplies to federal troops. He made money off the government, lost money in mining, and established two ranches, one of which was east of Prescott on the Agua Fria River. Woolsey hated the Yavapais and Apaches who ran off his stock, but he was a close friend of Juan Chivaria, a Maricopa war leader who fought alongside him. The old pattern of military alliances forged by the Spaniards of the Santa Cruz Valley prevailed. During the 1860s and late 1870s, Maricopas and Pimas often joined Anglos and Mexicans in short, savage campaigns against their Apache and Yavapais enemies.

After a series of raids around Prescott in January 1864, Woolsey and 69 other Anglos, Maricopas, and Gila Pimas pursued the attackers across the Agua Fria and Verde drainages to Fish Creek Canyon in the Salt River country. There they encountered about 200 Apaches or Yavapais. Woolsey touched his left hand to his hat and his party opened fire. According to one eyewitness, 24 Indians died. Many Indians died, but not enough to change the balance of power in the territory. Atrocity bred atrocity as the body count on both sides climbed into the hundreds.

With the Civil War still going on and Carleton still fighting the Navajos, the U.S. War Department therefore authorized Governor John Noble Goodwin of Arizona to raise five companies of Arizona Volunteers in 1864. Recruitment was delayed for a year, but by the fall of 1865, more than 350 men had been issued into service under the command of nine officers. The overwhelming majority were Mexicans, many of them from Sonora, or O'odham and Maricopas from the Gila River villages, who had grown up fighting Yavapais and Apaches, as had their fathers and grandfathers. Many never received shoes or warm clothing. They lived in hovels and marched for days on beef jerky and parched cornmeal. They carried .54-caliber (14 mm) rifles with plenty of ammunition, in addition to bows, arrows, and war clubs. For the next year, these frontiersmen guarded wagon trains between Prescott and La Paz and campaigned relentlessly across central Arizona.

Their officers permitted them a few freedoms that made enlistment more tolerable. At the largely Mexican company at Camp Lincoln on the Verde River, 16 women joined the men. These women created a sense of community at the outpost, marching in procession behind an image of the Virgin of Guadalupemarker to meet the volunteers whenever they returned from the field. According to the Third Arizona Territorial Legislature, the volunteers inflicted "greater punishment on the Apaches than all other troops in the territory." Traveling "barefoot and upon half rations", they killed 150 to 173 Apaches and Yavapais while losing only ten men in combat themselves. Many territorial officials and militia officers requested their re-enlistment, but the end of the civil war brought federal troops back into the territory in large numbers and assumed federal military authority.

Indian-American relations and settlement

During the Mexican-American War, Mangas Coloradas, chief and leader of the Apaches, welcomed American soldiers and urged General Stephen Watts Kearny to join with the Apaches and conquer northern Mexico. Over the next 15 years, however, Apache-American friendship degenerated into war.

During the 1850s, the vast western half of the territory of New Mexico remained largely in Indian hands. A few merchants and artisans like Sam Hughes and Solomon Warner drifted into Tucson, engineers under the direction of a former bookseller named John Russel Barlett surveyed the U.S.-Mexican border, and military expeditions led by Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves, Lieutenant Amiel Weeks Whipple, and Lieutenant Joseph Ives mapped out wagon roads and railroad routes across the Colorado Plateau. The only areas where Americans attempted to create new settlements were a few mining communities in southern Arizona and a string of ports along the Colorado River. The rest of the region belonged to the Apaches, Upland Yumans, the O'odham, and the Navajo.

Throughout the 1850s, hostilities between Apaches and Americans were sporadic rather than sustained. The U.S. government established only two military posts in southern Arizona before the Civil War: Fort Buchanan at the headwaters of Sonoita Creek in 1856 and Fort Beckinridge along the San Pedro River in 1860. Civilians often had to defend themselves in Arizona during the Mexican period, and they continued during the first decade of American rule.

In 1861, Mangas Coloradas tried to persuade miners in southwestern New Mexicomarker to leave Chiricahua territory. The miners allegedly tied him to a tree and whipped him, so he and his son-in-law attacked them. The next year, he and his son-in-law, Cochise, ambushed troops from General James H. Carleton's California Column in Apache Pass between the Dos Cabezas and Chiricahua Mountains. The soldiers repulsed the ambush with howitzers, and Mangas Coloradas slipped away to nurse his wounds.

In January 1863 members of mountain man Joseph Walker's party of gold seekers lured the chief into the deserted mining camp of Pinos Altos to talk peace. Instead, they seized him and delivered him to General Joseph R. West. According to Daniel Ellis Conner, a member of the Walker party, the soldiers had burned his feet and legs by heating up their bayonets, and, after Coloradas protested, they shot and killed him with their navy six-shooters. The tales of Apache cruelty spread on the frontier, and a series of Chiricahua war chiefs swore revenge for the next 23 years.

Quechan and Mohave along the Colorado River

The lower Colorado Valley became the first region settled by non-Indians in the 18th century and the first part of Arizona penetrated by the Industrial Revolution. During the early territorial period, water linked the deserts of Arizona to Sonoramarker, California, and the rest of the world. Although rugged terrain to the east could only be transversed by horseback or mule train, steamboats plied the shifting channels of the Colorado.

The Yuman-speaking Quechan and Mohave Indians had dominated the lower Colorado River Valley for centuries, carrying raids and pitched battles against their Indian enemies and the Spanish who had settled there in 1781. War created a class of professional warriors known as kwanami. Their culture hero, Kumastamxo, ordained who were friends and who were foes. When thousands of Americans began entering their territory in 1849 they acted with antagonism as well as enterprise. They prospered by swimming gold seekers and their livestock across the Colorado but resented the Americans, whose numbers threatened their way of life.

Early in 1850 a group of scalp hunters led by John Joel Glanton tried to monopolize the ferry business by assaulting a Quechan chief and threatening to kill an Indian for every Mexican carried across the river, and the Quechans retaliated. Throughout the height of the Gold Rush they maintained control over one of the most strategic river crossings in North America. The American occupation of the lower Colorado Valley did not begin until February 1852 when Major Samuel Heintzelman reestablished Fort Yuma on the California side of the river. Like many officers Heintzelman spent as much time pursuing his business interests as his military duties and he became a major investor in the Colorado Ferry Company which took control of the crossing from the Quechans entirely.

As more and more Americans settled into the area, founding the community of Colorado City (modern Yumamarker), Quechan autonomy began to diminish and disappear. One of the last spasms of independence occurred on September 1, 1857 when several hundred Quechan, Mohave, and Yavapai warriors crossed more than 160 miles (260 km) of desert on foot to attack the Maricopas, who were living in two villages east of the Estrella Mountains near modern Phoenix. The Maricopas and Pimas counterattacked on horseback, killing more than 100 of the Yuman invaders. It was the last major battle the River Yumans fought.

The most important development in the conquest of the lower Colorado was the arrival of steam-powered ships. In December 1852, a 65-foot-long (20 m) paddlewheeler named the Uncle Sam went up the river as far as the Gila-Colorado confluence. It ran aground and sank the following spring, but the General Jesup took its place in 1854, pioneering stream transportation as far north as Mohave territory. By the 1870s, six streamers and five barges were calling upon ports as far north as Rioville near the mouth of the Virgin River. Shifting sandbars, scarce timber for fuel, fluctuating water levels, and the heat hindered their journeys, which progressed at 15 miles (24 km) a day. Until Chinese laborers completed the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1881, most goods entering Arizona came by boat.

Early Apache relations

During the Civil War America was left open to Apache attack when federal troops left Arizona to repel the Confederate invasion of New Mexico. On January 27, 1861 Apaches raided the ranch of John Ward 11 miles (18 km) south of Fort Buchanan and stole a young Mexican boy named Félix Ward. First Lieutenant George Bascom marched to Apache Pass. There he met Cochise, the chief of the central band of the Chiricahuas, who called themselves Chokokens. Because Cochise had not led the raid, he agreed to enter Basco's camp bringing along members of his family. Cochise told Bascom that the White Mountain Apaches had taken the boy and that he would get him back within ten days. Bascom replied that Cochise and his family would be held hostage until the boy was returned.

Cochise whipped out a knife and slashed a hole in the tent where he and Bascom were talking. He ran outside, pushed his way through the soldiers and escaped even though they fired at least 50 shots at him and wounded his leg. Cochise demanded the release of his relatives, and Bascom refused. The Apaches seized a relative of the Butterfield stage station. Cochise offered to exchange the prisoner for the Chircahuas and again Bascom turned him down.

Two days later Cochise burned a wagon train, killing nine Mexicansmarker and taking three Anglos prisoner. Then he attacked Bascom's command. When Bascom repulsed the assault, Cochise executed the four Anglo prisoners and mutilated their bodies. The soldiers hung six Apache men in retaliation, including Cochise's brother and two nephews. According to historian Dan Thrapp, 150 whites were killed within 60 days.

The Bascom Affair and the murder of Mangas Coloradas two years later triggered a chain reaction of resistance that did not end until Geronimo surrendered to General Nelson Miles in 1886. Confederates under Captain Sherod Hunter, who occupied southern Arizona during the spring of 1862, bore orders to lure the Apaches into Tucson for peace talks and exterminate the adults. Hunter's frontiersmen spent most of their time expelling Union supporters and skirmishing with Union troops, so the order was never enforced. A detachment of Colonel James H. Carleton's California Column, which drove the Confederates out of Tucson, fought the Battle of Apache Passmarker after being ambushed by Cochise and Mangas Coloradas. Even though the column withstood the Apaches and established Fort Bowie to secure the pass, Chokonens under Cochise, Chihennes (Eastern Chiricahuas) under Mangas Coloradas's successors, Nana and Victorio, and Nednhis (Southern Chiricahuas) under Juh continued the struggle.

The subjugation of the Navajos

The government had greater success in subduing another Athapaskan people, the Diné, or Navajos. Like the Apaches, the Diné ran off cattle, horses, and sheep from New Mexican settlements in the upper Rio Grande Valley. Lieutenant W. H. Emory of the Army of the West called them "lords of New Mexico" because they attacked communities from Zuni to Santa Femarker. Unlike the Apaches, the Navajos used stolen animals to replenish their own herds. According to Charles Bent, the first American governor of New Mexico, the tribe possessed an estimated 30,000 horned cattle, 500,000 sheep, and 10,000 horses, mules, and donkeys. Those herds enabled them to spread across a vast region that stretched from the Chama River to the Little Colorado.

The Diné were more successful cultivators than the Apaches. They raised wheat, corn, beans, squash, melons, and peaches, especially in Canyon de Chellymarker. Anglo American observers emphasized Navajo raiding because raiding fit their preconceptions of Indian savagery, but the Navajo economy and Navajo-New Mexican relationships were far more complex. Both groups preyed upon each other, the Navajos rounding up New Mexican herds, the New Mexicans rounding up Navajos as slaves and converts. They also traded with each other, with the Navajos trading woolen blankets in return for silver, metal goods, and other commodities. Once the United States invaded New Mexico during the Mexican War, U.S. military authorities attempted to end the raids. Their double standard policy puzzled the Diné, who thought that the Navajos and Americans were fighting a common foe, the former Mexican militia and settlements.

For the next 17 years, U.S.-Navajo relations oscillated between conclusive peace negotiations and abortive military campaigns. Treaties were made at Jemez pueblomarker in 1852 and at Laguna Negra in 1855, but neither brought lasting peace. Civilians and other tribes continued to raid the relatively rich Navajo which added to the tension. In 1858 a campaign led by Colonel Duixom Miles tried to track down Navajo war leader Manuelito. Two years later, Manuelito nearly captured Fort Defiance, in a dispute over grazing rights.

By the fall of 1860, the citizens of New Mexico saw a lack of military leadership. Five companies of volunteer militia commanded by Manuel Chaves scoured the Navajo country, killing any men they found and enslaving about 100 women and children. The volunteers also destroyed Navajo cornfields and captured thousands of cattle, horses, and sheep. In October 1862, Brigadier General Carleton took command of the military department of New Mexico after leading his California Column across the Mojave Desert and Arizona. Carleton craved battle with the Confederates, whom he considered vile secessionists. By the time he arrived in Santa Fe, his predecessor, General Edward Canby, had already run the Confederates out of New Mexico. Carleton therefore turned his moral wrath on the Navajos and the Mescalero Apaches. Canby advised him that the only way to deal with the Apaches and Navajos was to force them onto remote reservations, and Carleton decided on a wide stretch of floodplain along the Pecos River in New Mexico known as Bosque Redondo.

Carleton chose Christopher "Kit" Carson, a beaver trapper, buffalo hunter, army scout, and Taos pioneer, to carry out his plans. Carleton commanded him to deliver an ultimatum to the Navajos. "Say to them: 'Go to the Bosque Redondo, or we will pursue and destroy you. We will not make peace with you on any other terms.'" In July 1863 Carson reached Fort Defiance, which he renamed Fort Canby, with more than 700 soldiers and Ute Indian scouts. The Utes tracked down the Navajos, killed the men, and seized the women and children as slaves. The soldiers burned Navajo cornfields, slaughtered their sheep, and confiscated their cattle and horses. As time went on, small groups of starving Navajos straggled into Fort Canby to surrender. By the end of the year, the only refuge left was Canyon de Chelly.

James H. Carleton's forces entered Canyon de Chelly from the east and west. Carson fought no pitched battles with the Diné, but he once again systematically razed their fields and destroyed their herds. By February, hundreds of famished Navajos had embarked upon their Long Walk to the desolate Bosque Redondo. Carleton reported that Bosque Redondo held 8,354 of them by January 1865 along with a few hundred Mescelaro Apaches.

Navajos lived at Bosque Redondo until 1868, where poor planning, natural disasters, and Comanche raids made it obvious that the grand experiment was not working. The Navajo negotiated a return to their traditional lands. The government issued rations and gave each Navajo family livestock. After a few years, the Army had control of the reservation boundary, so that civilians and other native Americans were unable to raid the growing flocks and crops of the tribe.

The Hualapai War

After their year in service ended, the War Department disbanded the Arizona Volunteers. The official reason was bureaucratic. The army did not have the authority to retain native recruits, but racial and cultural prejudices undoubtedly played a role in this decision as well. During the mid-1860s, the army was too disorganized to take on the Apaches in a systematic fashion, so they turned their attention to the Pai Indians of northwestern Arizona.

Today the Yuman-speaking Pai are divided into two "tribes", the Hualapai and Havasupaimarker, but those divisions reflect U.S. policy rather than cultural or linguistic differences. When Anglos first moved into their territory, there were three major Pai subgroups: the Middle Mountain People (Witoov Mi'uka Pa'a), the Yavapai Fighters, and the Plateau People (Ko'audva Kopaya). The three subgroups were composed of 13 bands, each of which had 85 to 250 individuals and occupied distinct but overlapping ranges. During much of the year the band broke into smaller camps of three or four related families. All these little scattered groups of kin considered themselves a people, The People, Pai, distinct from their linguistic relatives, the Yavapai, who were known as Jiwha', or The Enemy. All believed that their territory had been given to them by Tudjupa, their creator.

During the summer months they irrigated their crops from creeks and springs. During the other seasons they moved from one wild plant harvest to another. Pai territory stretched from the Grand Canyonmarker to the Bill Williams River, an immense territory considering the small number of Pais. Long before Anglos came to Arizona, the Pais defended their huge expanse of desert and mountain as God-given land, so when prospectors fanned out across their desert territory in 1863, many Pais, like Sherum, chief of the Middle Mountain People, grew alarmed. Under his direction, Pais traded buckskin for Navajo blankets, which they traded to the Paiutes for Mormon guns.

Hostilities almost erupted in April 1865 when drunken Anglos murdered a Pai leader. In retaliation Pais severed transportation routes between Prescott and the Colorado River ports. The diplomacy of freighter W.H. Hardy reopened the toll road between Prescott and Hardyville and prevented the conflict from spreading. Hardy's peace lasted only about nine months. Chief Wauba Yuma of the Yavapai Fighters rode into Beale Springs to show a group of freighters a copy of the treaty with Hardy. A former member of the Walker party put a bullet through his lungs, and soon the Hualapai War was spread across northwestern Arizona.

Like most conflicts during this period, the war rarely consisted of pitched battles. The Pais swooped down on freighters or stoned miners to death in their shafts. Cavalry detachments from Fort Mohave responded by attacking Pai rancherías, burning wikiups and cornfields, and capturing women and children. Mohaves occasionally joined these campaigns or mounted ones of their own, using the Hualapai War as a pretext to avenge themselves on their traditional adversaries. The army exploited these antagonisms just as the Spaniards and Mexicans had done for nearly 200 years. Arizona's Indians were never able to forge intertribal alliances. Each group helped defeat each other in turn.

The Pais held out for more than two years against their better-armed foes. On one occasion Sherum mobilized several hundred Pais to attack soldiers at Beale's Springs. On several others he held off U.S. forces even though his warriors had only 40 rifles and muskets among them. After one such engagement, a surprise attack on Sherum's own ranchería in the Cerbat Mountains, Captain Samuel Young and his men were forced to withdraw after one hour and 25 minutes.

Between June 1867 and December 1868, cavalry columns destroyed at least 68 Pai racherías and killed about 175 Pais, nearly one-fourth of the tribe. During the last summer of the war, an epidemic of whooping cough or dysentery further devastated the resistance fighters. Under Chief Leve Leve of the Yavapai Fighters, the Pais therefore began to surrender at Fort Mohave and were temporarily interned along the Colorado River. Sherum laid down his arms after twice escaping from soldiers who were trying to deport him to Angel Islandmarker in San Francisco Baymarker. A year later, 50 Pais were scouting for army forces campaigning against the Yavapais, and the military was ready to penetrate the Apachería itself.

The Camp Grant Massacre

Indian affairs in early 1870s Arizona lurched back and forth between peace and war. Each new round of Indian hostilities brought increasing conflict between the settlers and the soldiers, leading General E.O.C. Ord to declare that war was the foundation of the Arizona economy and that civilians demanded more troops because they wanted profit, not peace. Westerners generally favored exterminating the Indians. Easterners vacillated between the ploughshare and the sword. The report of the Indian Peace Commission, in 1867, led to the creation of the Board of Indian Commissioners two years later. Investigating abuses within the Office of Indian Affairs, the two commissioners, led by Colyer, spearheaded a growing movement for Indian rights that culminated in the "Quaker Policy" of President Grant's administration. That policy placed the appointment of Indian agents in the hands of Protestant religious organizations, not political patrons. The frontiersmen were infuriated by having the Eastern clergymen tell them what to do.

The biggest problem Arizona's military faced was that they had too few soldiers for too vast of a land. Although most chronicles of the time regarded Apaches as the biggest menace, but Yuman-speaking Yavapais, who were usually identified as Apache Mohaves or Apache Yumas, resisted Anglo intruders just as tenaciously. Divided into four subtribes, the Tolkapaya (Western Yavapais), the Yavepe and the Wipukpaya (Northeastern Yavapais), and the Kewevkapaya (Southeastern Yavapais), the Yavapais ranged from the Colorado River to the Tonto Basinmarker. Like the Apaches, they were mobile and extremely independent, their only political authorities being war chiefs and advisory chiefs selected by local groups. This made it extremely difficult for the U.S. military to run down or negotiate with more than one Yavapais group at a time. Troopers, many of them German and Irish immigrants, had to pursue the Yavapais across rough desert terrain. Many of the soldiers deserted, fleeing places like Camp Grant, a sun-scorched collection of adobes.

Early in 1871 a 37 year old first lieutenant named Royal Emerson Whitman assumed command of Camp Grant on the San Pedro River about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Tucson. In February 1871 five old Apache women straggled into Camp Grant to look for a son who had been taken prisoner. Whitman fed them and treated them kindly, so other Apaches from Aravaipa and Pinal bands soon came to the post to receive rations of beef and flour. That spring, Whitman created a refuge along Aravaipa Creek about five miles (8 km) east of Camp Grant for nearly 500 Aravaipa and Pinal Apaches, including Chief Eskiminzin. The Apaches began cutting hay for the post's horse and harvesting barley in nearby ranchers' fields.

Whitman may have suspected that peace could not last. He urged Eskiminzin to move his people to the White Mountains near Camp (later Fort) Apache, which was established in 1870, but he refused. During the winter and spring, William Oury and Jesús María Elías formed a "Committee of Public Safety", which blamed every depredation in southern Arizona on the Camp Grant Apaches. After Apaches ran off livestock from San Xavier on April 10, Elías contacted his old ally Francisco Galerita, leader of the Tohono O'odham at San Xavier. Oury collected arms and ammunition from his fellow Anglos.

On the afternoon of April 28, six Anglos, 48 Mexicans, and 94 O'odham gathered along Rillito Creek and set off on a march to Aravaipa Canyon. At dawn on Sunday, April 30, they surrounded the Apache camp. O'odham were the main fighters, while Anglos and Mexicans picked off any Apaches that tried to escape. Most of the Apache men were off hunting in the mountains. All but eight of the corpses were women and children. Twenty-seven children had been captured and more than 100 Aravaipas and Pinals had been mutilated and slain.

Lieutenant Whitman searched for the wounded, found none, buried the bodies, and dispatched interpreters into the mountains to find the Apache men and assure them that his soldiers had not participated in the "vile transaction." The following evening, the surviving Aravaipas began trickling back to Camp Grant. Most of the settlers in southern Arizona considered the attack justifiable homicide and agreed with Oury. The U.S. military and Eastern press called it a massacre. President Grant informed Governor A.P.K. Safford that if the perpetrators were not brought to trial, he would place Arizona under martial law. The trial lasted five days, and after 19 minutes of deliberation, the jury acquitted every defendant.

Many army officers considered the trial a travesty and believed that a nefarious "Tucson Ring" of freighters and government contractors had encouraged the Camp Grant Massacre in order to provoke the Aravaipas and keep supplies flowing to the troops, though the arguments made the common mistake in Western history of attributing the massacre to Anglos when the leading participants had been O'odham or Mexicans.

General Crook's campaign against the Yavapais and Apaches

Arizona's army exercised little control over both Indians and civilians. Dissension continued to wrack the federal government as the "peace party" and the "war party" savaged each other in the White Housemarker, Congress, and the press. General George Crook took command of the Department of Arizona in June 1871, siding with Oury and Elías against Whitman over the Camp Grant Massacre. He interviewed every officer in southern Arizona before deciding on a course of action and realized that the Yavapais and Apaches had to be pursued into every corner of their territory before they would accept confinement on reservations. He also recognized that neither soldiers nor civilians knew the Apachería well enough to make that pursuit successful. After experimenting with Navajos and Mexicans, Crook turned to the Apaches themselves and enlisted members of the White Mountain bands as scouts. Other Spanish, Mexican and American military commanders had used Apaches to fight Apaches, but Crook systematized that strategy until it became an essential part of his campaign.

In the fall of 1872, the federal government unleashed Crook and his troops. Three columns left Camp Hualpai northwest of Prescott to sweep the area from Camp Verde to the San Francisco Peaksmarker. Two detachments from Camp Date Creek and two from Camp Verdemarker pursued the Yavapais in the Hassayampa, Agua Fria, and Verde drainages. Other expeditions rode out from Camp Apache, Camp Grant, and Fort McDowell. By the end of the year, Crook had nine columns in the field. After scouring the margins of Yavapais and Apache country, the veterans slowly began to converge upon the Tonto Basin where the Tonto Apaches lived. Starvation and cold forced the Indians out of the desert and onto higher ground.

The offensive turned out to be a success. Although there were major battles such as the massacre at Skeleton Cave in the Salt River Canyon, where soldiers shot or stoned to death 76 Yavapais from the Kewevkapaya subtribe, most engagements were less decisive. A few Indian men would be killed and a few women and children captured if the soldiers spared them. More important to the outcome of the war than the body count was the destruction of weapons, clothing, and food supplies. During the winter, the Apaches and Yavapais subsisted almost entirely upon stores of cornmeal, dried meat, wild seeds, and roasted mescal that had been pounded into cakes and spread out to dry. Those caches were confiscated and burned, part of the concept of "total war" advocated by General William T. Sherman and General Phillip Sheridan during the Civil War.

By the spring of 1873, Yavapais and Western Apache resistance was broken. After months in the saddle and days on foot after an epidemic devastated army horse herds, Crook's cavalry had driven the Indians from the Bradshaws, Mazatzals, Sierra Anchas, Superstitions, Pinals, and the foothills of the Mogollon Rim. The last war chief to surrender was Delshay, a Tonto Apache from the Mazatzals.

The early reservation system

Hostilities did not completely cease after Crook's offensive, but the surrender of most of the surviving Yavapais and Western Apaches, and the increasing availability of Apache scouts made life outside the reservations more dangerous for Native Americans. Bourke estimated that troops from Camp Grant alone killed more than 500 Indians. Life in captivity became a slow death itself. Corrupt Indian agents would cheat them out of their rations and epidemics swept across the reservations, killing hundreds. Indians living on early reservations had the advantage of remaining in their home ranges, surrounded by landmarks, which constituted a moral as well as a physical geography for the Indians who lived there.

This changed in 1874, when the government decided to consolidate many of the smaller reserves into one giant reservation where the Indians could be isolated and controlled. That reservation was San Carlosmarker, the southern part of the White Mountain Apache Reservation. San Carlos straddled the Gila River downstream from Saffordmarker where Mexican and Mormon farmers were already diverting the Gila onto their fields. From there it stretched northward over the Gila Mountains to Ash Flat and the Natanes Plateau. Then it descended into the canyons of the Black River, which joined with the White River to form the Salt about 20 miles (30 km) southwest of Camp Apache.

Before relocation, this was the territory of the San Carlos band of the Western Apaches, who were closely related to the Pinal Apaches to the west and the Aravaipa Apaches to the south. To the north and west of the Mogollon Rim were bands of Carrizo, Cibecue, and Canyon Creek Apaches. To the north and east were the Western and Eastern White Mountain Apaches. The mountains were sacred sources of supernatural power to the Apaches and were one of the deepest sources of Apache identity and culture.

The federal government established San Carlos in one of the lowest and hottest portions of the reservation, a flat where San Carlos Creek trickled into the Gila. The spot was chosen because it was relatively close to Tucson, where powerful freighters and merchants lived, and because the terrain was open and the army could keep an eye on the Indians confined there. The government conducted an experiment in relocation unmatched in Arizona history until the internment of the Japanese during World War II, throwing thousands of Yavapais, Chiricahaus, and Western Apaches together with little regard for cultural, political, or linguistic differences.

The first group removed against their will were Yavapais and Tonto Apaches living near Camp Verde and Date Creek. The forced march from Camp Verde to San Carlos began on February 27, 1875. For eight days, 1,400 Yavapais and Tonto Apaches trudged across 180 miles (290 km) of the roughest country in their territory. By the end of the journey, more than 100 Indians had died. Afterward the Indians at Camp Apache, from which Crook recruited his earliest scouts, were moved 60 miles (100 km) southwest to San Carlos.

During the early 1870s the reservation escaped much of the upheaval wracking the rest of the Apachería. The Dutch Reformed Church, which was given jurisdiction over the Apaches by the Grant administration, appointed James E. Roberts as an agent in December 1872. Roberts encouraged stock raising and agriculture among the White Mountain people, convinced that the Indians would "become civilized just as soon as they became lovers of money." By the spring of 1874, Roverts's charges had dug more than five miles (8 km) of canals and were irrigating more than 500 acres (2 km²) of land around Camp Apache. The military responded by purchasing 100 bushels (4 m³) of beans, 6,000 bushels (210 m³) of corn, and 150 tons of hay from the Apache farmers. In Roberts's mind, the first steps toward Apache capitalism had begun.

Then the soldiers started interfering in the internal affairs of the reservation. They undercut Roberts's authority to issue passes and took over the dispensation of rations. In 1874, Roberts became caught up in a complex scheme to reduce the size of the reservation because copper ore had been discovered near modern Cliftonmarker. Territorial officials, including Governor A.P.K. Safford and Delegate to Congress Richard C. McCormick, were attempting to return the area to public domain. Roberts grew increasing unstable, which gave the military a convenient excuse to occupy agency buildings, remove Roberts from office, and seize control of the reservation itself.

The Chiricahua Reservation

To prevent a complete breakdown in civil-military relations, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs placed the White Mountain Apaches under the jurisdiction of the San Carlos agent, John Clum, a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. When he arrived at San Carlos in August 1874, Clum was almost 23 years old and was convinced that the army did more harm than good on Indian reservations. He struck a lifelong friendship with Eskmininzin and persuaded many of the White Mountain people to move south to San Carlos. By visiting Apache camps without soldiers and by fiercely defending the Apaches against the military, Clum won the confidence of his charges. They responded by turning in their weapons, setting up a tribal court to try minor infractions, and organizing their own police under Clum's command. The agent soon had 4,200 Indians, Apaches and Yavaais, living on his semi-arid reservation. The military grudgingly stated that he was doing a good job.

Unlike Eskiminzin, whose people had been shatterd by the Camp Grant Massacre, the Chiricahua chiefs had not yet been broken by the new order taking shape in Arizona, and they despised Clum's arrogance. They also hated San Carlos, where they first experienced malaria. Most of all they had loved how their mountain homelands gave them access to both the United States and Mexico, allowing them to retreat to Mexico when pressure in the U.S. became too intense. Because Mexico had recovered from the revolution and the Mexican War by the early 1870s, many chiefs, including Cochise, were ready to talk peace.

According to legend, the key figure in these negotiations was Thomas Johnathan Jeffords, a redheaded steamboat captain on the Great Lakes who had drifted into Arizona during the Civil War. While working for the Southern Overland Mail, Jeffords supposedly rode into Cochise's camp alone in the early 1860s to persuade the chief to stop killing his riders, and Cochise was so impressed with his bravery that they became close friends. The Bascom Affair had made Cochise hate Anglos and his friendship with Tom Jeffords made him trust them again. This moral fable was simplified for the movie myths of Blood Brother and Broken Arrow and other Western novels and Hollywood movies.

The Jeffords myth overemphasized the role of Anglo Americans in Arizona and ignored the roles of Mexicans in Apache wars. Cochise's biographer, historian Edwin Sweeney, concludes that Jeffords and Cochise probably did not meet until the early 1870s when Cochise was already beginning to talk with U.S. authorities at the Cañada Alamosa Reservation in New Mexico. Cochise trusted Jeffords and arranged with him to negotiate with the U.S. military, but he did so because he and his people were being harassed from all sides by Chihuahuan scalp hunters, Sonoran soldiers, O'odham revenge parties, and Manso Apaches from Tucson bankrolled by merchant Estevan Ochoa.

Peace was not easily achieved. Cochise first met with army officers in late September 1871. The army wanted Cochise and other Chiricahuas to settle at Tularosa, New Mexicomarker. Cochise refused. A year later, General O.O. Howard met with Cochise, accompanied by Jeffords, two Chiricahuas, and his aide, Lieutenant Joseph Sladen. The party rode into the Dragoon Mountains east of the San Pedro River on September 30, 1872. The next day, Cochise came to the general's camp with his youngest wife, his youngest son, and his sister, a 50-year-old widow who was one of his most trusted advisors.

Howard offered to meet Cochise's earlier demand and allow the Chircahuas to move to Cañada Alamosa near the Black Range in New Mexico. Cochise countered with a proposal that surprised the party. He said, "Why not give me Apache Pass? Give me that and I will protect all the roads. I will see that nobody's property is taken by the Indians." Howard agreed to a reservation in Chokonen Chiricahua territory, one that ran from the Dragoon Mountains on the west to the Peloncillo Mountains on the east. It included the Chiricahua Mountains and ran south to the Mexican border. Howard offered promised rations of food and clothing to be distributed by Jeffords. Chokonen depredations in southern Arizona ceased, but the Chiricahuas continued to raid Sonora and Chihuahua just as they always had. Cochise himself did not join the raiding parties, but neither he nor Jeffords did much to discourage them.

By then Crook had launched his campaign against the Yavapais and Western Apaches and was searching for a legitimate excuse to take up arms against Cochise as well. He formulated a plan to provoke Cochise by demanding that the Chiricahuas submit to a daily roll call. If they refused, he wrote Governor Pesqueira of Sonora, who was complaining bitterly about Chiricahua hostilities in his state, "I will commence hostilities against them without delay." Cochise and Jeffords were able to fend off Crook and by the end of 1873, Cochise had convinced many of his own people and some of the Nednhi Chiricahuas living on the reservation to stop their Mexican raids.

Cochise died of a stomach ailment complicated by heavy drinking on June 8, 1874. Jeffords lived on for two more years, but did not have the influence over the Apaches that Cochise had. Many Americans, including Crook, did not trust him either. When the government cut Jeffords's beef ration from 889,000 to 650,000 pounds (403,000 to 295,000 kg) in the spring of 1876, a few Chiricahuas resumed raiding in southeastern Arizona. Then Nicolas Rodgers sold whiskey to a Chiricahua named Pionsenay and several companions at the Sulphur Springs state station. Pionsenay killed him and his cook after Rogers refused to sell more.

John Wasson, editor of the Tucson Weekly Citizen, thundered that Jeffords was an "incarnate demon" and accused him being a drunkard, being in collusion with whiskey peddlers and ammunition dealers, and receiving gold and livestock stolen by the Chiricahuas in Mexicos. Jeffords denies the accusations, but on May 3 the government ordered Chum to suspend Jeffords and, if "practicable", transfer the Chiricahuas to San Carlos.

Failure of relocation

After waiting for military reinforcements to arrive, Clum began the relocation in early June. Cochise's sons Taza and Naiche agreed to the move and killed several Chircahuas, including Eskinya, Cochise's trusted ally, when he insisted they go to war. Nednhi Chirica led by Juh also requested transfer. Clum granted them three days to round up their kinsmen. They used that time to elude the cavalry and flee south. Of the more than 1,000 Chiricahuas enumerated in Jeffords's infrequent censuses, only 42 men and 280 women and children accompanied Clum north.

The firing of Jeffords and the abolition of the reservation in southeastern Arizona drove the Chiricahuas deeper into Mexico or over to the Ojo Caliente reservation in New Mexico. In April 1877 the Interior Department ordered Clum to remove the bands at Ojo Caliente to San Carlos as well. Victorio and the Chihenne Chiricahuas acquiesced at first. Geronimo, on the other hand, appeared "defiant" to Clum, so he supposedly hid his Apache police in the commissary building at Ojo Caliente and surprised Geronimo, seizing his rifle and throwing him in shackles.

A total of 453 Chiricahuas, 100 from Geronimos band and the rest under Victorio, reached San Carlos in late May. From the very beginning they began quarreling with the other Apaches confined there. Clum's feuds with the military escalated until he resigned and left San Carlos on July 1, nearly three years after he had arrived. He was replaced by a series of agents who were renowned for their corruption. Two months later, Victorio, Loco, and 308 other Chiricahuas bolted for New Mexico, killing twelve ranchers before surrendering at Fort Wingate in early October.

Victorio and his people returned to Ojo Caliente, where they lived peacefully for less than a year before the government attempted to transfer them to San Carlos again in October 1878. Victorio escaped, and after a year of unsuccessful peace negotiations, he gathered Chiricahuas, Mescaleros, and a few Comanches and embarked on a guerilla campaign. He and his 125 to 150 men always traveled with women and children, some of whom were accomplished warriors themselves. For more than a year Victorio's little band outran thousands of soldiers and killed hundreds of settlers across New Mexico and west Texas.

In July and August 1880, Black cavalrymen (Buffalo Soldiers) in Southern New Mexico and West Texas relentlessly harried Victorio and his people, keeping him from the few sources of water in the nearby land. To escape them, Victorio crossed the Rio Grande near Fort Quitman and drifted south into the deserts of northeastern Chihuahua. There he met his end at the hands of Mexican militia, when the American force was ordered out of the country. On October 15, Joaqín Terazas, 260 Chihuahuans, and Tarahumara Indians hunted the Apaches down on three rocky outcrops called Tres Castillos. Victorio and his band fought until their ammunition ran out, and then they died, 78 of them, 62 of whom were men. Terrazas also took 68 prisoners. Victorio did not survive.

The Chiricahuas' last stand

Other Apaches continued on, despite Victorio's death. Nana, Victorio's old lieutenant, carried out devastating raids in Chihuahua and New Mexico during the summer of 1881, covering more than 1000 miles (1600 km) and killing 30 to 50 Anglos. Five women captured at Tres Castillos were taken to Mexico City and sold as slaves, including Sitki, a daughter of Loco. They endured captivity for three years before they escaped and headed for the deserts of northern Mexico with blankets and knives and joined Geronimo's band in the Sierra Madre.

The Apaches at San Carlos were thoroughly demoralized, hungry, and poorly clothed. They were also convinced that their agent, John Tiffany, was selling their rations to Americans off the reservation. Most of the Apaches realized that resistance was futile. so they turned to the Western Apache medicine man Noch-del-klinne as a prophet. He told his followers that if they held dances similar to the Ghost Dance, two dead chiefs would be resurrected and the whites would be driven away. As Noch-del-klinne's dances in the remote Cibecue Valley attracted more and more Apaches, General Eugene Carr at Fort Apache grew alarmed. In late August 1881, he organized an expedition of 117 troops to arrest the Apache leader. When he did, many of his Apache scouts rebelled. Shots were fired, people scattered, and both soldiers and Apaches were killed, including Noch-del-klinne. It was the only time during the history of the Apache Wars that Apache scouts turned against U.S. troops.

Crook believed that the scouts had been provoked and argued that "any attempt to punish any of the Indian soldiers for participation in it would bring on war." The army still court-martialed five of the scouts who surrendered anyway, sending two to the military prison of Alcatraz. The other three, Sergeant Dandy Jim, Sergeant Dead Shot, and Private Skippy, were hung at Fort Grant on March 3, 1882.

Many at San Carlos thought the army intended to punish them as well, so Juh, Chato, Naiche, Geronimo, and 66 other members of the Nednhi band slipped away in September 1881. For the next four years the Chiricahuas and their pursuers fought a war of attrition, most of it on Mexican soil. In the winter of 1882, Juh ambushed and killed a party of Mexicans led by the veteran Indian fighter Juan Mata Ortiz, Terrazas's second-in-command at Tres Castillos. The following year, Chihuahuan militia surprised Juh's camp and killed his wife and daughter. Sometime after that, Juh's horse slipped on a steep mountain trail above the Ríos Aros in northwestern Chihuahua, tumbling the chief into the water. Although other Chiricahuas tried to revive him, he never regained consciousness. From then on, Geronimo led most of the Chiricahuas who refused reservation life.

Geronimo's principal opponent was Crook, who returned to take over the Department of Arizona in 1882. On July 29, Mexico signed a treaty allowing U.S. troops to chase hostile Apaches across the international boundary. In May 1883, Crook gathered about 50 soldiers and 200 Quechan, Mohave, and Apache scouts and rode up the rugged valley of the Bavispe River in the northwestern Sonora until he turned east into the Sierra Madre. Captain Emmet Crawford and his scouts were the first to encounter the Chiricahuas, attacking the ranchería of Chato and Bonito, which turned out to be the only hostile engagement of the entire campaign. The penetration of their territory by U.S. troops was threat enough, and soon the Apaches, including Geronimo, made their way to Crook's camp in the Sierra Madre.

For the next several days, Crook and Geronimo sparred with each other for several days over the details of the surrender. Crook realized if he insisted complete submission, the Apaches would scatter into the mountains and the war would drag on for years. He accepted Geronimo's promise to return to San Carlos on his own, a move that prompted critics to charge that Geronimo had captured Crook rather than vice versa. Crook then led Nana, Loco, Bonito, and 225 other Chiricahuas back to Arizona, arriving at San Carlos on June 23.

Confounding the skeptics, Geronimo kept his part of the bargain in late February 1884. He and the other Chiricahuas settled along Turkey Creek 15 miles (24 km) below Fort Apache, where they cultivated 4,000 acres (16 km²) and harvested 3,850,000 pounds (1,750,000 kg) of corn, 600,000 pounds (270,000 kg) of wheat and other cereals, 540,000 pounds (240,000 kg) of beans, 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) of potatoes, and 200,000 pumpkins. Still, the officers at Fort Apache clashed incessantly with the agents at San Carlos. Accusations of corruption kept surfacing with the agents at San Carlos. Accusations of corruption kept surfacing, and in May Crook prohibited alcohol on the reservation, outlawing the brewing of tizwin, a fermented corn liquor favored by the Apaches. Under the guise of preventing wife beating, the military also began to interfere in the personal affairs of Apache families themselves. On May 15 the Chircahuas demonstrated their contempt by getting drunk on tizwin and flaunting their disobedience. Two days later, Geronimo, Naiche, Nana, and 131 other Chiricahuas deserted the reservation.

Crook organized another expedition into northern Sonora, and once gain Apache scouts, including former Chiricahua rebelts like Chato, led the way. The general and Geronimo sat down in a cottonwood-shaded ravine called Cañon de los Embudos on March 25, 1886. Crook's superiors wanted unconditional surrender. The Chiricahuas wanted an immediate return to San Carlos. Crook and Geronimo agreed to a compromise that would have allowed the Chiricahuas to return to the reservation after a two-year imprisonment back east, but as soon as General Phillip Sheridan and President Grover Cleveland learned of the agreement, they rejected it. By then, Geronimo, Naiche, and 40 other Chiricahuas, including 14 women and six children, had slipped away.

When Sheridan heard that the peace talks had collapsed, he concluded that the Apache scouts had allowed Geronimo to escape and told Crook to use regular troops from then on. He also ordered Crook to load the rest of the Chiricahuas onto railroad cars and ship them to Fort Marion (now Castillo de San Marcos National Monument) in St. Augustine, Florida with no promise of return. Crook asked to be relieved.

His successor was General Nelson Miles, who was given 5,000 soldiers, one-fourth of the entire U.S. army, to capture or kill Geronimo's little band. Miles deployed his regulars and erected 27 heliograph stations to keep track of the hostiles. Two Chiricahua scouts under Captain Charles Gatewood, Kayitah and Martine, tracked Geronimo to the Torres Mountains southeast of Fronteras. Gatewood met with the Chiricahua leader in late August and persuaded him to surrender for the fourth and final time. Geronimo did so at Skeleton Canyon in the Peloncillo Mountains on September 4, 1886.

Eastern exile of the Chiricahuas

The result of the surrender was a train ride to Florida and an exile that lasted 23 years. Miles and the U.S. government believed Arizona would not be secure until the Chiricahuas were destroyed, and their opinion prevailed. The first to go were 77 Chiricahuas rounded up during Crook's second campaign. The government dispatched them to Fort Marion in April 1886. Miles then persuaded Sheridan that all the Chiricahuas in Arizona had to be removed, although he argued for Indian Territory in Oklahoma as their destination rather than Florida, where the Apaches "would in a short time most likely die." He even arranged to send Chato and twelve other Chiricahua leaders, including three women, on a tour of Indian Territory to persuade them to settle there.

Instead, President Cleveland brought Chato and the rest of the Chiricahua delegation to Washington D.C., where Chato was presented with a silver medal. Cleveland asked him to convince his people to move to Florida. Chato refused and demanded a "paper" allowing them to stay in Arizona. Cleveland responded by giving the illiterate scout a document that proclaimed he had visited the nation's capital. Then, after the Chiricahuas were on their way back to Arizona, Chato and the others were arrested as prisoners of war at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The military called in the rest of the peaceful Chiricahuas and Indians married to Chiricahuas for a "routine count" at Fort Apache and reprimanded them to Fort Marion as well. Geronimo and his rebels were last to go. By the end of the year, the government had confined nearly 500 Chiricahuas on the other side of the continent. The men were sent to Fort Pickens near Pensacola, and the women and children were sent to Fort Marion on Florida's Atlantic coast. The Apache wars had come to an end.

Crook spent the last years of his life protesting the treatment of the Chiricahuas. On January, 1890, he even visited them at Mount Vernon, Alabama, where they had been transferred after 119 of the 498 exiles had died in the overcrowded prisons of Florida. He returned to Washington to lobby for a bill to settle the Chiricahuas at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, but after he died on March 21 of that year, the bill expired as well.

For the next four years the Apaches remained in Alabama, and in 1894 the government finally sent them to Fort Sill where they scattered across the reservation in "villages" that resembled their traditional local groups. Although Indian agents helped them become farmers and ranchers, most remained refugees on the Southern Plains. In 1913, after Arizona had become the 48th state of the U.S., they were offered a choice: private land in Oklahoma or a part of the Mescalero reservation in central New Mexico. After living outside the Southwest for nearly three decades, 187 of the 271 surviving Chiriciahuas, including Chato, chose to return home. No other Southwestern Indians had been moved so far or been gone so long.

The decline of the Gila Pimas

The Yavapais interned at San Carlos also began to trickle back into their traditional ranges, but the government did not create reservations for them until 1904 at Fort McDowell, 1910 near Camp Verde, and 1935 near Prescott. Hualapais were taken to La Paz on the Colorado River reservation in 1874, but they escaped a year later to find their country overrun by ranchers. The stockmen had run their cattle over the grasslands, destroying several of the wild plant species on which the Hualapais relied. In order to contain them, the government established a small reservation along the south rim of the Grand Canyon in 1883.

The Pimas had been allies of the Europeans ever since Kino rode through their country in the 17th century, and during the California Gold Rush they fed thousands of American and Mexicans with the produce of their floodplain fields. They had become the first agricultural entrepreneurs of Arizona in the 1840s, and because of the establishment of a stagecoach route through their territory in 1857 and the Civil War in 1861, they were selling three million pounds (1,400,000 kg) of wheat a year by 1870. If their water rights had been respected, it might have been the Pimas that built Phoenix.

During the late 1860s, Anglo and Mexican farmers settled the upriver from the Pima villages around Florence and dug irrigation ditches that siphoned off the waters of the Gila. In 1873, Chief Antonio Azul led a delegation of Pimas to Washington, D.C. to protest the situation. The Government responded by suggesting that the Pimas emigrate to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The O'odham refuse, but 1,200 did move north to the Salt River where irrigation water was more plentiful. Then, in 1887, the construction of a large canal near Florence diverted the Gila once and for all. By 1895, conditions were so poor that the government began issuing rations to the O'odham.

See also



  • Cheek, Lawrence W. (1995). Arizona. Oakland, CA: Compass American Guides. ISBN 1-878867-72-5
  • Sheridan, Thomas E. (1995). Arizona: A History. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-1515-8

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