Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Last To Surrender...!

It's always sad to see the fall of a brave and mighty warrior, and this time was certainly no different!

His name will probably be known by many generations yet to come, but his history should be remembered as well!

Sep 4, 1886:
The last American Indian warrior surrenders

For almost 30 years he had fought the whites who invaded his homeland, but Geronimo, the wiliest and most dangerous Apache warrior of his time, finally surrenders in Skeleton Canyon, Arizona, on this day in 1886.

Known to the Apache as Goyalkla, or "One Who Yawns," most non-Indians knew him by his Spanish nickname, Geronimo. When he was a young man, Mexican soldiers had murdered his wife and children during a brutal attack on his village in Chihuahua, Mexico. Though Geronimo later remarried and fathered other children, the scars of that early tragedy left him with an abiding hatred for Mexicans.

Operating in the border region around Mexico's Sierra Madre and southern Arizona and New Mexico, Geronimo and his band of 50 Apache warriors succeeded in keeping white settlers off Apache lands for decades. Geronimo never learned to use a gun, yet he armed his men with the best modern rifles he could obtain and even used field glasses to aid reconnaissance during his campaigns. He was a brilliant strategist who used the Apache knowledge of the arid desert environment to his advantage, and for years Geronimo and his men successfully evaded two of the U.S. Army's most talented Indian fighters, General George Crook and General Nelson A. Miles. But by 1886, the great Apache warrior had grown tired of fighting and further resistance seemed increasingly pointless: there were just too many whites and too few Apaches. On September 4, 1886, Geronimo turned himself over to Miles, becoming the last American Indian warrior in history to formally surrender to the United States.

After several years of imprisonment, Geronimo was given his freedom, and he moved to Oklahoma where he converted to Christianity and became a successful farmer. He even occasionally worked as a scout and adviser for the U.S. army. Transformed into a safe and romantic symbol of the already vanishing era of the Wild West, he became a popular celebrity at world's fairs and expositions and even rode in President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade in 1905. He died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909, still on the federal payroll as an army scout.

Without a doubt Geronimo was one of the greatest American Indian warriors faced by the whites in the battle to unlawfully take control of Indian land. Very few, if any, men of his caliber will ever be seen again...and that is sad! Very, very sad!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. The rain is supposed to stay away for a day or two.


Sunnybrook Farm said...

Geronimo may have liked my great great grandfather who was in the rangers that captured Crook once.
He was in McNeill's unit:
On February 22, 1865, Jesse McNeill and 65 Rangers travelled 60 miles behind enemy lines to Cumberland, Maryland. Without being detected, they captured both Union Major General George Crook and Brig. Gen. Benjamin Kelley from their beds. They evaded pursuing Federal cavalry and delivered the captured generals to Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early who forwarded the prisoners to Richmond.[

Chickenmom said...

Their stories should be told in every school. It's a shame that we never learned about them. But now we can. The patio is fine - I'll bring a big box of Dunkin's.

Sixbears said...

A sad tale but a great man.

linda m said...

Geronimo was a great warrior; the likes of which we haven't seen since. More should be taught in our schools about these people. I visited the Apache lands in Southern Arizona and anyone who can survive there has to be one smart person.

vlad said...

David Robert wrote that when his tribe was down to 35 men, women and children Geronimo surrendered. The army general who accepted his surrender gave his word that the others could go home immediately, but Geronimo would have to serve two years. 24 years later Geronimo still a prisoner died at Fort Sill OK. He remarked on his death bed, "Whitey screwed us. We should have fought to the last."

JO said...

There are so many great books out there on his life and struggles to keep his people free. I have read a few. He certainly was a great leader.
And yes he was still a prisoner at his death.

Coffee on the patio will be nice for a change it is sunny here so far and cool. sure it will change in about and hour from now.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sunnybrook...
There were many stories like this that we never hear about. It's obvious that they knew what they were doing, but still it took a lot of guts and skill!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Phyllis...
Very little info that we were taught in school was really the truth, but what the folks in charge thought we should know!

The internet has sure changed that!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Sixbears...
Certainly was a tough ol' bird.

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Linda...
Unfortunately the history books back in our day (and probably now) are rather one-sided. Only taught what they wanted us to know.

For our own good, ya know?

Thanks for dropping by today

Hey Vlad...
So many good books are written about his struggle and his life!

I sure appreciate you coming over today!

Hey Jo...
Maybe between the two of us we can make a good weather day!

Always more to read about men like Geronimo, that's for sure!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

BBC said...

Before him there was other great Indian chiefs that almost stopped our ancestors from taking their country away from them. Sometimes I wish the Indians had won.

BBC said...