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Apache Conflicts

Apaches, 1873 and 1885-1866. After Brig. Gen. George Crook became commander of the Department of Arizona in 1871 he undertook a series of winter campaigns by small detachments which pacified the region by 1874. In the years that followed, the Indian Bureau's policy of frequent removal created new dissatisfaction among the Apaches. Dissident elements went off the reservations, led by Chato, Victorio, Geronimo, and other chiefs, and raided settlements along both aides of the border, escaping into Mexico or the United States as circumstances dictated. To combat this practice the two nations agreed in 1882 to permit reasonable pursuit of Indian raiders by the troops of each country across the international boundary.

Victorio was killed by Mexican troops in 1880, but Chato and Geronimo remained at large until May 1883 when they surrendered to General Crook and elements of the 6th Cavalry, reinforced by Apache scouts, at a point some 200 miles inside Mexico. Two years later Geronimo and about 150 Chiricahua Apaches again left their White Mountain reservation (Arizona) and once more terrorized the border region. Elements of the 4th Cavalry and Apache scouts immediately took up pursuit of the Chiricahua renegades. In January 1886 Capt. Emmet Crawford and 80 Apache scouts attacked Geronimo's main band some 200 miles south of the border, but the Indians escaped into the mountains. Although Crawford was killed by Mexican irregulars shortly thereafter, his second in command, 1st Lt. M. P. Maus, was able to negotiate Geronimo's surrender to General Crook in late March 1886. But Geronimo and part of his band escaped within a few days (29 March). Capt. Henry W. Lawton's column (elements of the 4th Cavalry, 8th Infantry, and Apache scouts) surprised Geronimo's camp in the mountains of Mexico on 20 July. Although the Chiricahuas again fled, by the end of August they indicated a willingness to surrender. On 4 September 1886, 1st Lt. Charles B. Gatewood of Lawton's command negotiated the formal surrender to Brig. Gen. Nelson Miles who had relieved General Crook in April. Geronimo sad his band were removed to Florida and finally to the Fort Sill military reservation.



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