Marc Simmons: Army enlisted Apache scouts in Indian wars
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011
"An extraordinary chapter in Southwest history highlights the service of U.S. Army Apache Scouts. Authorized by Congress in 1866, the Native units, organized in companies, were used for tracking down their own brethren, who were still hostile.
The Chiricahua branch of the tribe provided the largest number of scouts. Its range originally stretched from the Rio Grande across Southern New Mexico and deep into Arizona.
Apache Scouts voluntarily signed on for three, six or 12 months and many re-enlisted repeatedly. One scout named Deklay served the Army a total of 34 years.
All were issued regular uniforms, but Indians were allowed to wear what they pleased. Hence, Chiricahuas were often seen decked out in odd mixes of both Apache and military styles.
Army officers from the East, assigned to the region, were often hesitant to use Apaches as scouts, doubting their loyalty. They learned quickly, however, to rely on them. "
Get the Story:
Marc Simmons: Trail Dust: Apache Scouts helped Army against Native 'hostiles'
(The Santa Fe New Mexican 11/5)
Marc Simmons: Navajos weren't eager to accept Christian faith
Marc Simmons: John Collier
motivated to protect Pueblo people
(7/18)Marc Simmons: Military attempted attack on Navajos
(6/27) Marc Simmons: Religion
played a role in war in New Mexico
(6/13) Marc Simmons: Pueblo burials mixed non-Native
(5/31) Marc Simmons: Zuni Pueblo
often retreated to sacred site
(5/23) Marc Simmons: Spanish governor improved tribal
(4/18) Marc Simmons: How
Pueblos stayed warm during Little Ice Age
(4/4) Marc Simmons: Spanish expedition came through many
(1/24) Marc Simmons: Stories of
capture among Apache in New Mexico
Join the Conversation