George: Since I've been writing on the subject for some 40 years let me add a few things to what's been said.
Without going into a lot of details there was a 'no-quarter" war between the Spanish and later the Mexicans long before the arrival of the Americans. The Americans arrived in Arizona following the Gadsden Purchase in 1854 and at first there was relative peace between the two but there was an inevitable clash of cultures and just like the Spanish and Mexicans, they couldn't co-exist. It doesn't do any good to blame one side or the other...there were good guys and bad guys on both sides.
Bob mentions the Americans putting the Apache on reservations in 1856 but that isn't the case as there were no reservations in Arizona at the time.
During the Civil War the American military posts were abondoned. That was about the same time Cochise was wrongly accused of kidnapping a young half-Apache half-Mexican named Felix Telez, who grew up to become the great scout Mickey Free.
Cochise went to war as a result. It was a war that lasted ten years until a trusted white man named Tom Jeffords managed to arrange peace talks between the chief and General Oliver Howard. Cochise won the war. He asked for a reservation in the Chiricahua Mountains, his homeland, and Jeffords as his agent. General George Crook approved. However two things occured to screw things up. Crook was transferred and other Apache groups began using the Chiricahua Reservation as a staging area to launch their traditional raids into Mexico.
The Mexican government protested vehemently, telling the American government to control and discipline their Apache. You see George, it's never easy, or simple.
Cochise died and the US Government decided to move the Chiricahua to a new location further away from the Mexican border----to a God-forsaken place called San Carlos.
From there they were placed with other Apache and the Yavapai. A new phase began with bands led by leaders like Geronimo, Chatto, and old Nana. They bolted the reservation and went off raiding across Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.
General Crook was returned to Arizona in the early 1880s and a treaty with Mexico allowed the Army to pursue the Apache into Mexico. Crook realized they would be exterminated if they didn't come in and stay on the reservation. You can compare it to the outlaw gangs at the close of the 19th century. And the open range cowboy. The times were a-changing and those who didn't change were going to come to a bad end. In the early days the Indian was the majority but now the land was overwhelmed with more and more Americans, many who felt the red man should be eliminated completely.
As far as Americans go Crook was the best friend the Apache had but he was releived and General Nelson Miles came in and did the final mop up. Geronimo surrendered in September 1886. The final humiliation came when the trusted Apache scouts were loaded up on the trains and shipped to Florida along with the "hostiles" and their families. It was supposed to be a two year period but lasted until 1895 when they were moved to Oklahoma. As a tribe, the Chiricahua were never allowed to return to Arizona. Crook worked until he died to undo the wrong.
Well, George I didn't mean to ramble on so long but that's about it. I tried to give you a balanced look at what happened. Times and attitudes were different back then. As I said, it was an inevitable clash of cultures.
I always thought one of the strangest ironies was old Chatto died in a car wreck in the 1930s....Go figure.
Hope this helps.
Marshall I very much appreciate the info you posted. This goes a long way in allowing me to understand the situation back then concerning the indians and the americans. I knew there was great animosity between the indians and the mexicans with no quarter given to each other. Your input has helped me greatly thank you.
Bob, I don't know where you got the information that "Crook went all over the area killing any native man, woman or child he found off the reservations."
That's a pretty strong statement and I'm curious where that comes from.
As a result of the Camp Grant Massacre and attacks around the rest of the territory something had to be done to end the killing on both sides. President Grant sent two generals, one with an "olive branch", and one with a "sword." General Oliver Howard would attempt to arrange a peace. If that didn't succeed, Crook's orders were to "use the sword." Howard succeded with Cochise but failed with the Yavapai and Tonto Apache in the central mountains who continued raiding and pillaging. Even the citizens in the East had run out of patience. Crook was under pressure to take action.
Crook had issued General Orders No. 10 saying all roving bands would have to go to reservations or "be regarded as hostile and punished accordingly." Spies and captured Apache were turned loose to spread the word to all the roving bands.
Crooks plans were ruthless but humane. He knew if they didn't stop the raids they would be hunted down and killed. The only way to keep them from being exterminated was to whip them into submission. His orders were to try and make them surrender. If they preferred to fight, then fight them.
Orders were to Avoid killing women and children, and prisoners of either sex should not be abused in any way.
Crook's winter campaign of 1872-73 was successful and by spring of 1873 it was all over. The bands surrendered and were moved to reservations.
Crook was transferred out of Arizona.
I'd never say life on a reservation was ideal but the killing an pillaging was reduced to small groups bolting the reservation. Many lives were spared on both sides.
Because of continuing outbreaks and Apache raiding into Mexico, Crook returned to Arizona in the 1880s. He acted in the same humane way towards the Apache.
Yes, Crook sounds like a friend of the Indians. Indian leaders from Arizona to the Dakotas considered him the best friend the Indian had.
Lastly, you can put any military leader, Indian or white, under a microscope and come up with flaws.
George and Bob: I should have listed some respected sources. To learn more about General George Crook I recommend reading Robert Utley's "Frontier Regulars: The United States Army and the Indian, 1866-1890."
Also Dan Thrapp's "The Conquest of Apacheria." University of Oklahoma Press.
and John G. Bourke's "On the Border With Crook."
All three authors are among the most respected on the Apache Wars.
Quoting Utley on Crook: "Crook knew a great deal about Indians....He studied them as intensely as he studied the habits and psychology of birds and animals, so that as an aide recalled, "he knew the Indian better than the Indian did."
In war he was ruthless, in peace paternalistically humane and solicitous. His insistance on honest treatment of the Indian, on never making a promise he could not honor, amounted to almost an obsession."
Geronimo would likely have been taken off that prison train on its way to Florida in 1886 and returned to Tucson and been hanged had it not been for Crook, now retired. Crook unsuccessfully fought the deportation to Florida but managed to pursuade President Cleveland to not turn Geronimo over to civilian authorities.
There are many examples throughout western history where Army officers fought for justice against civilians and politicians who wanted to prosecute the Indians.
Col John Baylor was the 1st (and last) Governor of the CS(T) of AZ... and an interesting study of the times: "When Texas seceded from the Union, Lt. Col. Baylor was put in command of the Second Texas Mounted Rifles, which was assigned to occupy forts protecting stagecoach routes between Fort Clark and Fort Bliss at El Paso. From Fort Bliss, Baylor prepared to occupy the Mesilla Valley in the Arizona Territory. (Mesilla was south of present-day Las Cruces, N.M.)
On Feb. 14, 1862, Confederate President Jefferson Davis issued a proclamation to "organize the Territory of Arizona to be in full force and operation ... I have proceeded to appoint officers ... in and for said Territory."
One of these officers was Baylor.
At Mesilla, Baylor, now a full colonel, established the Confederate Territory of Arizona and proclaimed himself military governor. The territory included what is now New Mexico and Arizona south of the 34th parallel.
After Robert P. Kelly, editor of the pro-Confederate Mesilla Times, wrote unflattering articles about him, Baylor fatally injured Kelly in a fight.
Indian raids continued in the territory as troops concentrated more on the Civil War than on protecting settlers. At one point, Baylor sent a letter to a Confederate captain guarding the Pinos Altos mines ordering him to "exterminate" hostile Apaches. When Davis learned of the order, he relieved Baylor of civil and military commands.
Returning to Texas, an undaunted Baylor fought as a private at the battle of Galveston on Jan. 1, 1863. He even ran for the Second Confederate Congress, defeating Malcolm D. Graham.
As for the Hohokum... evidence of a major flood about 1450 effectively made the area uninhabitable... That and incursions by Aztec/Mayan 'sacrifice' parties to capture whoever could be found for that purpose. I believe the Hohokum merged with some others... possibly Hopi and the Anistazi cliff dwellers in response to these Aztec predations. So... where thet skill come from? Latent or a continuation of knowledge from Cartheginians? I dunno... but in my travels in the Med... the type of architecture in parts of Med mirrors that of the 'cliff dwellers'. I was much amazed at that... particularly those really old dwellings built on the slopes of islands that appeared to be designed/constucted with defense in mind (prior to firearms). The cliff dwellings are also skillfully camouflaged... and tho large, you could easily miss them depending on the angle of the sun. They were fearful of something... I've always figured that. But what? The Apache and Navajo were bad enuff... but doubtful even those tribes would put the fear of God into 'em bad enough to construct the cliff dwellings.
Thanks Marshall for the detailed and balanced answer to this question. I guess that's why you are an historian. As a side note to the discussion, it seems that the Apache weren't the first Indians living in the Tombstone area. I've read some accounts that indicate that the Apache and Spanish arrived in the area about the same time in the 16th century. The Apache drove the other tribes out as well as the Spanish (the ruins of their old forts can still be seen). They apparantly didn't have much competition for dominance in the region until the arrival of the Americans in the 19th century.
You're right, there was another group after the pre-historic Hohokam "left" the area. I say left because it's a great mystery whether they left or evolved into the modern tribes.
Anyway, the inhabitants in the San Pedro River area were a Piman People called Sobaipuri. When the Apache arrived, probably in the late 1400s or early 1500s they continually raided the Sobaipuri. In 1762, Father Alphonso Espinosa of San Xavier moved several hundred, to the Santa Cruz where it was relatively safer from the raids.
The Spanish presidio at Terrenate, established in August 1775 by the famous Irish mercenary, Col. Hugo O'Conor, but it was abandoned four years later due to Apache raiding on the Sobaipuri and Spanish soldiers. The survivors withdrew to the Tucson area.
The Sobaipuri eventually lost their identity and blended into the Pima.
That's an interesting and relatively unknown part of Arizona history