GERONIMO Term Paper

This essay has a total of 3297 words and 14 pages.

GERONIMO

More than 5,000 troops were under General Miles' command at that time, including elements
of the 4th, 6th and 10th Cavalry. He gave the principal pursuit mission to the 4th because
it was headquartered at Fort Huachuca, the base of operations for the campaign. The Army
had permission to go to Mexico in pursuit.

Captain Henry Lawton, commanding officer of "B" Troop, 4th Cavalry, was an experienced
soldier who knew the ways of the Apaches. His tactics were to wear them down by constant
pursuit.

Stationed at the fort at that time were many men who would later become well known in the
Army: Colonel W. B. Royall, commanding officer of the fort and the 4th Cavalry, who was
responsible for the logistical support of the Geronimo campaign; Leonard Wood, who went
along on the expedition as contract surgeon; Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Forsyht; Captain
C.A.P. Hatfield; Captain J.H. Dorst; and First Lieutenant Powhatan H. Clarke, who was
immortalized by the artist, Remington, for saving a black trooper during the campaign.

With the fort as advance base for the pursuit forces, the heliograph communications
network, which General Miles had established in Arizona and New Mexico, was used
effectively for logistical purposes. However, the Indians and the Army were conducting
their chase in Mexico where the system did not extend. So the most the heliograph could do
in the campaign was relay messages brought by fast riders from the border.

April 1, 1886 was the date that Captain Lawton led his troopers with two pack trains and
30 Indian Scouts through the Huachuca Mountains to Nogales, Mexico, to pick up Geronimo's
trail. Though various units would join the pursuit later and separate to follow trails
left by the Indians back and forth across the border, there were few times that Army
troops and members of Geronimo's band would come face to face.

Four Months later, Captain Lawton and Leonard Wood were sent back to Fort Huachcua, worn
down by the rough country and grueling campaign.

More than 3,000 miles were covered by the Indians and the Army during the chase, which
took a month longer than General Miles had planned. The men had walked and ridden through
some of the most inaccessible desert land in North America, in heat sometimes above 110
degrees.

After Geronimo's surrender, "B" Troop of the 4th Cavalry was given the mission of escorting the Apache's to Florida.
The chase of Geronimo caught the interest of the Nation and the World. In 1887 President
Grover Cleveland approved the transfer of "B" Troop, 4th Cavalry to Fort Myer, VA, near
Washington, D.C. There, with Captain Lawton still commanding, the troop formed an honor
guard, and were reviewed by dignitaries, both foreign and national.

Captain Lawton, who had won the Medal of Honor with the 30th Indiana Infantry in the Civil
War, also fought in Cuba in 1898, and was killed in action in the Philippines in 1899 as a
Major General.

Leonard Wood kept a complete account of the Geronimo campaign and later, when he was
assigned to Cuba, put to good use his experiences in the pursuit. In 1895 in Cuba he
served under General Samuel Whitside, who had founded Fort Huachuca in March 1877 as a
Captain of "B" Company, 6th Cavalry. Leonard Wood later rose to the rank of General and
became Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.

Elements of the 4th were stationed at Fort Huachuca from 1884 to 1890. During World War II
the 4th was reorganized and redesignated the 4th Cavalry, Mechanized. After numerous
reassignments and changes, it became the 4th Cavalry, Armored.

An Apache war chief, Geronimo, and a small band of warriors broke
out of a concentration camp. He fought a guerrilla campaign against hundreds of United
States cavalry and held out for months by raiding from the mountains which had been the
Apache range until the white men came. While the cavalry followed rumours and false trails
from canyon to mesa, newspapers in the east quickly made the defiant Apache a folk legend,
demonizing him and at the same time making him a symbol of the vanishing frontier.

It was only with the help of other Apache scouts that the cavalry at last cornered
Geronimo and negotiated his surrender. Geronimo, who had left the army concentration camps
twice before, returned to the fences and lived until he was old by learning to sign his
name in English and selling his autographs at 'wild west' shows. Suffering from
tuberculosis and pneumonia, Geronimo died pathetically on a winter night, alone, after
falling from his horse. He had had a vision that he would die astride a horse.

There is so much about Geronimo that is appealing as a story. Geronimo the Man was a
brilliant personal leader, charismatic and proud, and immensely spiritual--a hero in the
real sense. The plight of the Apache, like the story of Wounded Knee, was for those who
stayed in the reserves, one of suffering and inhumanity. As Geronimo's exploits became
daily fare in the newspapers, the American government's Indian policy became the subject
of political machinations that extended even to the President. The hunt for Geronimo,
himself, of course, is the classic David vs. Goliath story become life.

They set up camp on the outskirts of the pueblos, dressed in animal skins, used dogs as
pack animals, and pitched tentlike dwellings made of brush or hide, called wikiups. They
exchanged buffalo hides, tallow and meat, bones that could be worked into needles and
scrapers, and salt from the desert with the Pueblos for pottery, cotton, blankets,
turquoise, corn and other goods. But at times they simply saw what they wanted and took
it. They became known among the Pueblo villages by another name, apachu, "the enemy".
However, the Apache and Pueblos managed to maintain generally peaceful relations. But the
arrival of the Spaniards changed everything.

Their prowess in battle became the stuff of legend. An Apache warrior, it was said could
run 50 miles without stopping and travel more swiftly than a troop of mounted soldiers.
During the mid-1700's, one Apache raid caused as many as 4,000 colonists tolose their
lives. In the late 1800's, one U.S. Army general who had fought them meant it as a
grudging compliment when he described the Apache as "tigers of the human species."

The Apache saw themselves differently, they faced constant struggle to survive. When they
raided a village, they did so from pure necessity, to provide corn for their families when
game was scarce. Most of the time they went their own way, moving from camp to camp in
pursuit of deer and buffalo, collecting roots and berries, sometimes planting seeds that
they later returned to harvest.

Apache lived in extended family groups, all loosely related through the female line.
Generally speaking, each group operated independently under a respected family
leader....settling its own disputes, answering to no higher human authority. The main
exception to this occurred during wartime, when neighboring groups banded together to
fight a common enemy. Unlike ordinary raiding, where the main object was to acquire food
and possessions, war meant lethal business: an act of vengeance for the deaths of band
members in earlier raids or battles. Leaders of the local family groups would meet in
council to elect a war chief, who led the campaign. But if any one group preferred to
follow its own war chief, it was free to do so.

A strict code of conduct governed Apache life, based on strong family loyalties. The most
important bond led from an Apache mother to her children and on to her
grandchildren....Beyond this code of propriety and family obligations, the Apache shared a
rich oral history of myths and legends and a legacy of intense religious devotion that
touched virtually every aspect of their lives.

Cochise assumed leadership of the hostiles. From his stronghold in the Dragoon Mountains
of sourthern Arizona, he and about 200 warriors renewed their attacks on white
settlements. At this point another US commander, Gen. George Crook, tried a strategy that
proved more effective than any firearm-using Apache scouts as diplomats who traveled from
band to band, cajoling their kinsmen to move onto federal reservations. Reassured that his
people would not be forced to relocate to the dreaded Ft. Tularosa in western New Mexico,
but instead could retain their ancestral lands on a reservation in the Chiricahua
mountains, Cochise and his followers relented in the fall of 1872.

A peaceful interlude for the Apache held until 1875, when the government sought to
consolidate all the Apache bands on the San Carlos Reservation along the Gila River. Many
independent-minded fighters among the Warm Springs and Chiricahua groups balked at the
idea. Leading the Warm Springs renegades was Victorio who fled from San Carlos in
September 1877 with more than 300 followers. Recaptured a month later, he staged another
breakout with 80 warriors within a year. Victorio's swift-moving bands crossed the Rio
Grande repeatedly-until a sharpshooter killed him in Chihuahua, Mexico in October 1880.

Shortly after Victorio's death the appalling conditions on the San Carlos Reservation
sparked a further series of Apache breakouts...a new leader emerged from among the Apache
guerrillas, a seasoned fighter who had fought alongside Cochise and Victorio. He was named
Goyathlay, or "One Who Yawns," but he was better known as Geronimo led about 70 Chiricahua
warriors along with their families across the Rio Grande....But this time a regiment of
Mexican troops managed to cut off most of the Apache women and children and slaughtered
them all. General Crook ...was back in Arizona territory. War-weary and losing followers,
Geromino managed to evade the paid Apache scouts Crook used to track him down until May
1883, when Crook located his base camp and took the women and children hostage. The last
of Geromino's band finally gave themselves up in March 1884. In May 1885 Geronimo and
other leaders were caught consuming home-brewed corn beer, a violation of army rules.
While the authorities debated his punishment, Geronimo cut the telegraph wires, killed a
ranching family, and slipped back into his old haunts in Mexico's Sierra Madre with 134
warriors. In March 1886, Crook finally managed a two-day parley with Geronimo in Mexico's
Canon de los Embudos. Geronimo agreed to surrender and accept a two-year imprisonment at
Ft Marion, 2,000 miles away in Florida. But along the way, while being led to Ft Bowie by
Apache scouts, Geronimo and a handful of his followers broke free again.

The army at this point replaced Crook with Gen. Nelson Miles, who committed 5,000 troops
and 400 Apache scouts to the recapture of Geronimo. Even when confronted by a force of
this magnitude...Geronimo's band of 38 men, women, and children still eluded their
Continues for 7 more pages >>




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