Indian Raids and Treaties

The feeling prevailed at this time among the people of Arizona that the only way to effect a permanent peace, was by the slaughter of every Indian capable of bearing arms. Lieutenant Mowry declared that they were as venomous as rattlesnakes and should be treated accordingly. General Carleton issued orders that no buck should be taken prisoner but that the women and children should be spared.

On the 14th of January, 1863, according to the Fish manuscript, Captain Shirland was detached, with twenty men of his company, with orders to proceed at once in advance of the main body, and find Mangus Colorado, known to be in the neighborhood of Pinos Altos. Captain Shirland was given discretionary orders, either to capture the chief in fair fight, or to get possession of his body by strategy. Mangus Colorado was invited to visit Fort McLane for the purpose of making a treaty and receiving presents. Captain Shirland returned to the fort on the 17th, accompanied by Mangus Colorado and four of his chiefs. The statement which follows is condensed from the Fish manuscript, the facts of which Mr. Fish states he received from 0. A. Cooley, an old scout, and Captain Henry Warren, who w T as a member of the California Volunteers, both of whom were present at Fort McLane at the time the following circumstances occurred.

Mangus came in all the pomp of a victorious chief, gaudily painted in vermilion and ochre, and decorated with feathers and brass ornaments. After a long talk with Mangus by the officers assembled, he was told that the remainder of his days would be spent as a prisoner in the hands of the Government authorities; that his family would be permitted to join him and they would be well treated. He was also told that upon making any attempt to escape, his life would be immediately forfeited. During the night the sentry purposely unfastened the prison door, and about one o’clock in the morning of the 18th, placed his bayonet in the fire, got it red hot, and then stuck it up against the bare backs of the prisoners, (Mangus Colorado and the chiefs with him). At this, the victims jumped, and availed themselves of the means of escape offered by the door being open, and they were deliberately shot down by the soldiers, who had been stationed outside for that purpose. The officers reported that the Indians, after making several attempts to escape, were shot down. Mangus Colorado’s head was

severed from his body by a surgeon, the brain was taken out and weighed, and it was found that the head measured larger than that of Daniel Webster, and the brain was of corresponding weight. The skull was sent to Washington and is now on exhibit in the Smithsonian Museum. This was the story of Captain Warren, who also stated that the killing of Mangus Colorado was regarded as absolutely necessary in order to suppress the savages.

Mr. D. E. Conner, the last surviving member of the Walker Party, to which reference will be made as this history progresses, gives the following account of the capture of Mangus. Mr. Conner was the historian of the Walker Party, and wrote at the time a full account of their adventures, which he has preserved to the present day. According to Mr. Conner, the Walker Party was encamped on a grassy plain at old Fort McLane, where they were herding and resting their stock. About fifteen miles from their camp in a dividing mountain range was located the temporary headquarters of some Mexican renegades, supposed to be allies of the Apaches. A Mexican came to their camp, professing to be an escaped prisoner of the savages and informed them that Mangus Colorado was north of these headquarters, which these Mexicans called “Pinos Altos,” with several hundred warriors. He disappeared in the night as mysteriously as he came. Upon this information the Walker Party decided to remain at Fort McLane, opposite to Pinos Altos, until the whereabouts of Mangus Colorado could be ascertained. His warriors had followed the party, laying ambuscades and making attacks upon them at water holes all the winter down to their arrival at Fort McLane in February, 1863. From this camp Captain Walker decided to send nearly half of his command to the Pinos Altos under the lead of John W. Swilling, to capture Mangus if possible. Mangus used signal smokes to telegraph the movements of the party, to defeat which Swilling and his command decided to start before daylight. The day before they started the advance guard of General West of the California Column, about thirty soldiers under command of Captain Shirland, arrived in the Walker camp. Captain Walker invited them to join in the search for Mangus. The invitation was accepted, and the next morning saw a company of citizens and soldiers hurrying up the mountain to Pinos Altos. When they arrived the soldiers concealed themselves in an old hackel and behind the rocks and chaparral. A few moments later the Walker Party marched boldly across the open ground to the summit, where John W. Swilling, who was in command “uttered a war whoop loud enough to make an Apache ashamed of himself,” hearing which, Mangus, who was a short distance away, slowly advanced in the direction of Swilling ‘s command, followed by about a dozen of his bodyguard. Swilling went out alone and met them about a hundred and fifty paces from the rest of his command where they all halted for a moment until the citizen party levelled their rifles upon them. Jack Swilling laid his hand upon Mangus’ shoulder, and in broken Spanish, which both could understand, convinced him that resistance was in vain. Under the menace of levelled guns they slowly advanced to the Walker party. Swilling told Mangus that his bodyguard was not wanted, and Mangus halted them and in Spanish told them: “Tell my people to look for me when they see me.” Knowing that Mangus had a large force of warriors in this vicinity, they hurried away with the prisoner. Passing back over the summit of the ridge, the soldiers came out of their concealment to the evident disgust of Mangus, who began to see into the trick to capture him. There was not a shot fired. The party arrived with their prisoner in safety at Fort McLane about three o’clock P. M., to find that General West had arrived with two companies of California Volunteers en route for the war in the States. He ordered that Mangus be brought before him, and what transpired there was not made known to Mr. Conner, but Mangus, in charge of two soldiers, stood about the camp the rest of the day, a head and shoulders above all the palefaces present, not less than six and a half feet tall and large in proportion. He had a heavy suit of long, black hair, a heavy oval face and cruel bloodshot eyes. Stolid and indifferent, he refused to notice or to speak to anyone. He wore a large sombrero of Mexican manufacture, an ordinary check shirt, and blue overalls, cut off at the knees. His only redeeming feature was his delicate aquiline nose. Night came on and the two soldiers brought Mangus to the one fire used by the Walker Party before the arrival of the soldiers, near which the old savage lay, wrapped in a blanket. It was a cold February night. Mr. Conner says: “Our beat ran from the fire, about one hundred and fifty yards into the outer darkness. I was the citizen sentinel until midnight. About nine o’clock P. M., I discovered the soldiers were annoying the old savage while I was out in the dark, and ceased as I returned to the fire, when they appeared to be sleepy. Thenceforward I would rapidly reach the outer end of my beat, turn back slowly, and observe the soldiers, heating their bayonets in the fire and touching them to the old savage’s feet and legs. They kept up this annoyance until midnight, and upon my last return to the firelight Mangus raised upon his elbow angrily protesting that he was no child to be played with, whereupon each soldier fired upon him, once with muskets, and twice apiece with six shooters, after which George Lount took my place on guard, and I went into my blankets. The following morning the body of Mangus occupied exactly the same position it did during the night. I took his trinkets from under his huge head and gave them to a Lieutenant during the day. A little soldier calling himself John T. Wright, scalped Mangus with an Arkansas toothpick, borrowed from Bill Lallier, the soldiers’ cook, for the purpose. A few nights later the army surgeon, Dr. Sturgeon, exhumed the body, and obtained the huge skull to send east. Now you have the real facts to which I can subscribe under oath.”

Commenting upon the above Mr. Conner says: “But what about General West’s report to the War Department, a copy of which I have in my scrapbook, taken from the Washington Republican and the Cincinnati Enquirer, which says that ‘Mangus was taken red handed in a fight with the troops under Capt. Shirland of the California Volunteers, and delivered to him half an hour after the capture V That he placed a guard over the savage, a sergeant and nine men, and yet Mangus rushed his guard at midnight and was shot down, etc. I don’t believe General West meant to prevaricate, but took the word of those under him, who have always disgraced the history of the West, worse than the fraudulent legends of Old Mexico.

“Let me refer to other facts in this case, if it does make you blush: Taken from these same newspapers and in my scrapbook, Governor Arny takes General West to task for the killing of Mangus, saying that he was present at the killing of the old savage and writes from personal knowledge; that the military officers decided that Mangus must die, and to get an excuse, roused the old savage up by thrusting a red hot iron bar through a crack of the adobe wall into the room where Mangus was confined at Fort Buchanan, and killed him. Fort Buchanan, where the Governor locates the scene at which he was present, is something near three hundred miles from Fort McLane where Mangus was killed, yet the Governor and the General had a long controversy for the benefit of history as published and preserved in my scrapbook.

“I am going to suggest that General West’s false report to the War Department will be matured by time into good history, like thousands of Arizona circumstances which it will be next to impossible to detect. I am in the case like Governor Arny, only I saw the killing of Mangus nearly three hundred miles from where the Governor personally saw the same killing.”

So died the greatest chief the Apache nation had produced. His personal appearance is thus described: “He was six feet high, had a very large head with a broad forehead, a large aquiline nose, a most capacious mouth, a broad heavy chin, and a powerful and well made frame. His eyes were rather small but exceedingly brilliant, and flashed when under any excitement, although his demeanor was as imperturbable as brass.” His relation by marriage to Cochise and the Navajos gave him large influence with those tribes. He was noted for farsightedness and diplomacy, which made him influential in council and a recognized leader in battle. For fifty years his influence was felt over nearly all of Arizona, the northern part of Sonora, and the western portion of New Mexico. He made his raids at will, whenever and where ever he wished, and no enemy was able to cope with him. He was at all times the implacable foe of both the Mexicans and the Americans. Unlike most of the Apaches, he was deceitful and treacherous; his word was worthless; no treaty bound him, and he died as he had lived, a human tiger. He was about seventy years old when his career was treacherously ended.

Major Griner, after an investigation made in 1865 as to the cause of the Indian differences made this statement:

“In my experience I have never known a serious difficulty in the Territory between the Indians and citizens, which did not originate mainly with the latter. One of the most exciting difficulties in the Territory arose from the capture of Mrs. White, a very beautiful woman, and her little daughter, by the Jicarilla Apaches. I was appointed to investigate it. I found that at Las Vegas the troops had, without any sufficient cause or provocation, fired upon the Indians, and they in revenge joined with some Utes and attacked the next train coming from the States, killing Mr. White and others, and capturing his wife and child; and also the stage, with ten passengers, was taken and all killed. A war was the consequence.

“Another instance on the part of Mangus Colorado, the chief of the Apaches: During my administration as acting superintendent of Indian affairs, I was present with General Sumner to make a treaty of peace. He was an Indian of remarkable intelligence and great character. I asked him the cause of the difficulties with the people of Chihuahua and Sonora, for at that time, under the treaty with Mexico, we were bound to protect its people from the attacks of the Indians residing in New Mexico. He said: ‘I will tell you. Sometime ago my people were invited to a feast; aguardiente or whiskey, was there; my people drank and became intoxicated, and were lying asleep, when a party of Mexicans came in and beat out their brains with clubs. At another time a trader was sent among us from Chihuahua. While innocently engaged in trading, often leading to words of anger, a cannon concealed behind the goods was fired upon my people, and quite a number were killed. Since that, Chihuahua has offered a reward for our scalps, $150 each, and we have been hunted down ever since;’ and, with great emphasis and in the most impressive manner, he added, ‘How can we make peace with such people?’

“I have also learned from the agent of the tribe, Dr. Steck, that sixty Indians of the same tribe were poisoned by strychnine.”

Major Griner undoubtedly refers to the poisoning of the Indians by Colonel Baylor, of the Confederate forces, which led to his withdrawal from the Territory, and winch has been mentioned before in this work.

The death of Mangus Colorado seems to have concentrated upon the whites all the hatred in the Apache nature. Cochise was elected their chief, and it is asserted that before accepting the mantle of Mangus, he took the Indian oath that for every Apache murdered at Fort McLane, a hundred white men should die, an oath which was most religiously kept.

The cowardly killing of Mangus Colorado, together with his arrest by Lieutenant Bascom, transformed Cochise from the white man’s friend into the white man’s implacable enemy. For more than twenty years, and until near the close of his life, he spared no Americans, young or old, male or female; men, women and children were murdered indiscriminately, and all prisoners taken met a most cruel and vindictive death of inconceivable torture.

Following the death of Mangus Colorado, the Indians, under the lead of Cochise, renewed their activities, and the year 1863 opened with raids and murders. On January 29th the Indians attacked some hunting parties of the soldiers, near Pinos Altos, killing one soldier and wounding Sergeant Sitton. They were driven off with a loss of twenty killed and fifteen wounded. On the afternoon of March 22nd, the Gila Apaches made a descent upon the public herd, grazing near Fort West, New Mexico, and succeeded in running off sixty horses. At 8 P. M., Major McCleve started in pursuit, with a command consisting of Lieutenants French and Latimer, and about eighty men, all told. He followed the trail of the Indians some seventy miles west, then down the Gila five miles, then across the divide to the Kio Negro, moving up the stream and travelling most of the night some thirty miles more, when he succeeded in surprising them early in the morning. The fight lasted for twenty minutes and resulted in the complete rout of the Indians, the capture of many stolen horses and several Indian horses, the killing of twenty-five Indians, and the complete destruction of the rancheria, with its store of provisions. On his return, Major McCleve was attacked in a canyon, but the Indians were soon repulsed with a loss of three killed. In these two encounters the Indians lost twenty-eight killed and the troops one, Hall, who died the next day after the command returned.

On April 14th, 1863′, the reports from Tucson stated that the Indians were hostile. They had driven away about forty head of cattle from San Xavier, and had also captured a train of twenty-eight mules, belonging to Mexican freighters who were hauling from Fort Yuma. Sub-Indian Agent Abraham Lyon was at Tucson at this time and arrangements were made so that he got a hundred stand of old arms, which he delivered to the Pima Indians to aid in the defense against the Apaches.

Indian hostilities were increasing, if that were possible. On April 25th, there appeared before Fort Bowie, about two hundred Indians. A running fight occurred between them and Captain B. F. Harrover, who was sent out to meet them. It lasted about three hours. The Indians were driven about four miles; one man was wounded and three Indians were killed. About this time orders came to “Show no mercy to adult male Apaches under any circumstances.”

On April 6th, 1863, a treaty was concluded at Washington between John T. Usher, Commissioner on the part of the United States and a few of the chiefs and headmen of a few of the tribes of Indians, including a small representation of Apaches. This treaty had no beneficial effect in Arizona, for, with the beginning of May, the Apaches were as active as ever. They attacked Captain Charles T. Hay den’s train near the line of Chihuahua, but were driven off with the loss of eleven killed, including one of their chiefs. There was renewed activity in the fighting the Apaches. On May 8th, Colonel J. F. Chavez reported the capture of Gardo, who was reported killed in attempting to escape. On May 2nd, General West reported his campaign to the headquarters of the Gila. He thought the Indians were pretty well cleaned out, with the exception of a few about the Mimbres and the Copper Mines. On the day of General West’s report, Captain T. T. Tidball, at Tucson, was ordered to make an attack on a rancheria of the Apaches in the Aravaipa Canyon, about twenty miles from Old Fort Breckenridge. He was told on starting: “All grown males are fair game; the women and children capture and bring here.” His company consisted of twenty-five picked men, ten citizens, thirty-two Mexicans and twenty Papagoes. Jesus Maria Elias accompanied him as guide. Captain Tidball marched five nights, hiding by day to avoid being seen. He thus managed to fall upon the Indians unawares, and killed over fifty, besides wounding many more. He took ten prisoners and captured sixty-six head of stock. He lost one man, a civilian by the name of Thomas C. McClellan, who accompanied the expedition. This was a heavy blow to the Apaches of that vicinity. Although the year opened with many fights with the Indians, little was done in that direction during the summer. J. Ross Browne, in his work “The Apache Country” contributes an interesting story of Apache attacks. He says:

“As an illustration of the hazards of life in Arizona, tending to show the causes which have hitherto retarded the development of the mines in that region, a brief narrative of Mr. Butterworth’s adventure will not be uninteresting. The positions of honor and trust occupied by this gentleman as United States District Attorney of Mississippi, and more recently as Treasurer of the United States at New York, together with his recognized financial abilities, and his eminent services in the adjustment of the great Almaden difficulty, have rendered his name familiar to the public throughout the United States. Upon the completion of his business as President of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mines, he received, before his departure from the Pacific Coast, an urgent request from some prominent capitalists in New York to visit the silver regions of Arizona, and report upon their condition and prospects. At the same time he was appointed President of the Arizona Mining Company, and every facility was tendered him for the prosecution of his inquiries in the new Territory. A spirit of adventure and a desire to see something of a country which was beginning to attract so much attention, with a laudable ambition to aid in its development, induced Mr. Butterworth to accept these flattering propositions; and on or about the 1st of December, (probably 1863) he left San Francisco by steamer for Guaymas. His party consisted of Mr. Kustel, metallurgist, and Mr. Higgins and Mr. Janin, two young gentlemen of scientific attainments.

“Nothing of particular interest occurred between Guaymas and Santa Cruz. On their arrival there, Mr. Kustel and Mr. Higgins proceeded to the Patagonia Mines with instructions to cross over by the way of Santa Rita, and meet Mr. Butterworth and Mr. Janin at Tubac.

“On the same day of the massacre of Mills and Stevens (December 29th) about five or six hours later, Mr. Butterworth’s party, which consisted of Mr. Janin, five Mexicans, an American driver and himself, were proceeding along the road a little way beyond the deserted ranch of Santa Barbara, when a band of Apaches, numbering some twenty-five or thirty, made an attack upon them from the brushwood fringing the bed of the Santa Cruz River. As soon as the Indians appeared they commenced yelling like devils, and firing their guns and bows and arrows, evidently with a view of producing confusion at the first shock of the attack. Mr. Butterworth called upon his men to stand by the wagons, and expressed his belief that they could easily whip the Apaches. The ambulance and baggage wagons were driven up to a mesquite three a little to the right of the road, where the animals could be secured. Meantime the Indians had come out of their ambush and set fire to the grass, which was tall and dry. The flames swept down upon the wagons so rapidly that it was found necessary to abandon the shelter of the tree, and make for a rise of ground about two hundred yards distant, where the position would be advantageous for a fight. Just as they reached this point, the Indians, shouting and yelling, all around them, the grass was again fired to windward, and the flames swept down toward them with fearful rapidity. Mr. Butterworth stood by the ambulance, armed with a double barreled shotgun, with which he kept the Indians at bay for some time. Young Janin had one of Henry’s rifles, and fired five or six shots at them, with what effect it was impossible to tell. While these two were making vigorous battle, the five Mexicans were making tracks over the hills, so that when Butterworth undertook to muster his men, he was unable to see any of them. The last he saw of his American driver, who, up to this period, was a great Indian fighter, that valiant individual had unhitched one of the mules, and was riding full tilt after the Mexicans- doubtless with a firm determination to bring them back, if he overtook them. But neither he nor they appeared on the battleground again. The Indians, perceiving their advantage, began to press in rather forcibly. Young Janin behaved with, great coolness. Turning to Butterworth, who had reserved his fire for the last desperate struggle, he said, ‘ Colonel, I can’t see them very well – lend me your specs! ‘ But the Colonel saw no speculation in that, and merely observed – ‘No; you had better save yourself, Janin.’ ‘I won’t desert you,’ said Janin, ‘but they’s getting rather too many for us, Colonel, and I think we had both better leave.’ By this time there were between twenty and thirty of the red devils yelling and shooting at rather close quarters. Under cover of the smoke, they retired a short distance from the wagons, where they became separated. Janin made his escape into a ravine, where he lay concealed for some time; and Butterworth took his stand behind a mesquite tree, about a couple of hundred yards from the wagons, where he resolved to make as good a fight as possible.

“The Indians set fire to the grass again, and the flames swept toward him with fearful rapidity, compelling him to climb the tree for security, and even then burning part of the leg off his pantaloons. Two bullet holes which we found in the tree indicated that his position was by no means a pleasant one. Upon further examination of the spot where the wagons stood, we found various fragments of the plunder scattered around, such as sardine boxes, broken candle boxes, cartridges, patent medicines, and a bottle inscribed ‘Philip Roach, San Francisco/This was one of a number bearing a similar brand, containing some brandy reputed to be fifty years old. Mr. Butterworth, I have been informed, said it went harder with him to see these brutal wretches drink up his choice brandy than all the rest of the disaster put together. Plunder was evidently their chief object, for as soon as they had gutted the wagons of their contents, they retired across the Santa Cruz River, where they held a grand carousal over their booty. They had succeeded in getting $1700 in gold coin and other property, amounting in the aggregate to about $3,000. It is gratifying to know that this band of Apaches has since met with summary vengeance at the hands of the California Volunteers. Most, if not all of them, have been killed, and $700 of the money taken from their dead bodies. Had there been two resolute men with our unlucky friend, when he heard them carousing across’ the river, during the night, he could have had a more prompt and satisfactory settlement. These were the same Indians who had killed Mills and Stevens a few hours before. They had crossed over with the rifles of these unfortunate men from the Patagonia Canon by the San Antonio Pass; and, flushed with success, and seeing a small party approaching along the road, again lay in ambush, and made this new attack. It is supposed by some that there were Mexicans among them from Santa Cruz and that they were in collusion with the escort; but of this I could find no proof, nor is it sustained by subsequent developments. The same band of Indians next day attacked a party of Mexicans on the Tubutama road, and killed four of the number, putting the rest to flight.

“Butterworth was entirely unacquainted with the country, and in attempting to reach Santa Cruz lost his way. Janin and a small Yaqui boy, who had escaped during the fight, reached Santa Cruz without difficulty. Here a relief party was immediately gotten up by Senor Commodoran. Janin was apprehensive that his comrade might have been killed, but still had hopes of his safety, and sent a note by Commodoran announcing his own safe arrival.

“Not very far above the Calabasas Ranch we reached the spot where Mr. Butterworth had camped after two days and nights of exposure and extreme suffering from cold, and where he was first seen by Commodoran. The nights were intensely sharp. He had no blankets and deemed it imprudent to light a fire, until he found it impossible to bear with the cold any longer. What his sufferings were in this wild region, surrounded by lurking foes, without food, without blankets, and beyond the reach, as he supposed, of all human aid, no man who has not travelled in Arizona can conceive. Two days and nights of such suffering as would have caused most men to despair had left their marks upon him. His throat was wrapped with straw, and he was evidently in a very bad condition. Up to this time he could not have wandered much less than fifty miles up and down the valley of the Santa Cruz. On the approach of Commodoran, supposing him to be a Sonoranian marauder, he raised his gun and was about to kill him, when the frightened Mexican cried out, ‘No tira! No tira! Yo Amigo! Amigo P Still Butterworth kept his gun pointed at him. ‘Vamos! ‘ was all he could say in Spanish. Commodoran, with great sagacity, jerked up his horse’s head so as to keep it between him and the muzzle of the gun, and slowly approaching, held out Janin’s note, shouting, ‘No tira! Yo Amigo! Patagonia! Patagonia! ‘ The last was a lucky hit. The word ‘Patagonia’ was familiar and partially solved the mystery. Janin’s note did the rest, and the most cordial greeting followed the inhospitable reception.

“The return of Mr. Butterworth to Santa Cruz, where he procured a new outfit, the recovery of his ambulance and wagon, meeting with his friends, Kustel and Higgins at Tubac, visit to the Cerro Colorado, and subsequent adventures on the road to Guaymas; safe arrival at San Francisco; return to New York; continuance in the presidency, with entire control as resident manager of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mines, as well as of the Arizona Silver Mines, at Cerro Colorado, would furnish in detail an interesting sequel to his adventure with the Apaches.”

Notes About Book:

Source: History Of Arizona Volume 2, By Thomas Edwin Farish, 1915, Printed and Published by Direction of the Second Legislature of the State of Arizona, A. D.

Notes about Online Publication: This manuscript has been ocr’d and heavily edited. Many of the Native American words have been reproduced as clearly as online publication will allow us, but not all are exactly the way they were in the original work. The structure of this manuscript has been changed to allow better online presentation.

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