Marc Simmons: An Apache warrior's escape
"In the last years of the Apache wars, a warrior named Massai acquired something of a name for himself when he made a daring escape from the clutches of his white captors.

A Mimbres Apache born in Southern New Mexico, Massai and his people were forcibly removed to Arizona's San Carlos Reservation in 1877. He was 30 years old at the time.

There, Massai took a wife and had children. He also joined the Apache police commanded by a white officer. They willingly scouted for the army against their own people, who were still roaming and raiding.

In 1882, Massai's unit was assigned briefly to New Mexico. When the duty there was completed, the scouts were sent back to Arizona by train.

On the way, word was received that the Chiricahua Apache leader Juh, from his stronghold in Mexico, had swept north to raid San Carlos. Needing recruits, he had abducted a band of peaceful Mimbres and forced them to retreat with him into Sonora.

When Massai heard that, he was frantic. His wife and children were among the captives.

Therefore, when no one was watching, he jumped from the train and started a long walk into Mexico to find them. Eventually, he did catch up with the Chiricahuas and joined his family."

Get the Story:
Marc Simmons: Massai's escape part of Apache history (The Santa Fe New Mexican 11/15)

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