Geronimo His Own Story
Part I: The Apaches
Part II: The Mexicans
Part III: The White Men
Part IV: The Old And The New
Part II: The Mexicans
About 1873 we were again attacked by Mexican troops in our settlement,
but we defeated them. Then we decided to make raids into Mexico.
We moved our whole camp, packing all our belonging on mules and
horses, went into Mexico and made camp in the mountains near Nacori.
In moving our camp in this way we wanted no one to spy on us, and
if we passed a Mexican's home we usually killed the inmates. However,
if they offered to surrender and made no resistance or trouble in
any way, we would take them prisoners.
Frequendy we would change our place of rendezvous; then we would
take with us our prisoners if they were willing to go, but if they
were unruly they might be killed. I remember one Mexican in the
Sierra Madre Mountains who saw us moving and delayed us for some
time. We took the trouble to get him, thinking the plunder of his
house would pay us for the delay, but after we had killed him we
found but nothing in his house worth having. We ranged in these
mountains for over a year, raiding the Mexican settlements for our
supplies, but not having any general engagement with Mexican troops;
then we returned to our homes in Arizona. After remaining in Arizona
about a year we returned to Mexico, and went into hiding in the
Sierra Madre Mountains. Our camp was near Nacori, and we had just
organized bands of warriors for raiding the country, when our scouts
discovered Mexican troops coming toward our camp to attack us.
The chief the Nedni Apaches, who, was with me and commanded one
division. The warriors were all marched toward the troops and met
them at a place about five miles from our camp. We showed ourselves
to the soldiers and they quickly rode to the top of a hill and dismounted,
placing their horses on the outside for breastworks. It was a round
hill, very steep and rocky and there was no timber on its sides.
There were two companies of Mexican cavalry, and we had about sixty
warriors. We crept up the hill behind the rocks, and they kept up
a constant fire, but we had cautioned our warriors not to expose
themselves to the Mexicans.
I knew that the troopers would waste their ammunition. Soon we
had killed all their horses, but the soldiers would lie behind these
and shoot at us. While we had killed several Mexicans, we had not
yet lost a man. However, it was impossible to get very close to
them in this way, and I deemed it best to lead a charge against
We had been fighting ever since about one o'clock, and about the
middle of the afternoon, seeing that we were making no further progress,
l gave the sign for the advance. The war-whoop sounded and we leaped
forward from every stone over the Mexicans' dead horses, fighting
hand to hand. The attack was so sudden that the Mexicans, running
first this way and then that, became so confused that in a few minutes
we had killed them all. Then we scalped the slain, carried away
our dead, and secured all the arms we needed. That night we moved
our camp eastward through the Sierra Madre Mountains into Chihuahua.
No troops molested us here and after about a year we returned to
Almost every year we would live a part of the time in Old Mexico.
There were at this time many settlements in Arizona; game was not
plentiful, and besides we liked to go down into Old Mexico. Besides,
the lands of the Nedni Apaches, our friends and kinsmen, extended
far into Mexico. Their Chief, Whoa, was as a brother to me, and
we spent much of our time in his territory.
About 1880 we were in camp in the mountains south of Casa Grande,
when a company of Mexican troops attacked us. There were twenty-four
Mexican soldiers and about forty Indians. The Mexicans surprised
us in camp and fired on us, killing two Indians the first volley.
I do not know how they were able to find our camp unless they had
excellent scouts and our guards were careless, but there they were
shooting at us before we knew they were near. We were in the timber,
and I gave the order to go forward and fight at close range. We
kept behind rocks and trees until we came within ten yards of their
line, then we stood up and both sides shot until all the Mexicans
were killed. We lost twelve warriors in this battle.
This place was called by the Indians "Sko-la-ta". When
we had buried our dead and secured what supplies the Mexicans had,
we went north-east. At this place near Nacori Mexican troops attacked
us. At this place, called by the Indians "Nokode," there
were about eighty warriors. Bedonkohe and Nedni Apaches. There were
three companies of Mexican troops. They attacked us in an open field,
and we scattered, firing as we ran. They followed us, but we dispered,
and soon were free from their pursuit; then we reassembled in the
Sierra Madre Mountains. Here a council was held, and as Mexican
troops were coming from many quarters, we disbanded.
In about four months we reassembled at Casa Grande to make a treaty
of peace. The chiefs of the town of Casa Grande, and all of the
men of Casa Grande, made a treaty with us. We shook hands and promised
to be brothers. Then we began to trade, and the Mexicans gave us
mescal. Soon nearly all the Indians were drunk. While they were
drunk two companies of Mexican troops, from another town, attacked
us, killed twenty Indians, and captured many more. We fled in all
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