About Apache Tracker

Apache Tracker is a resource about survival, being a Physical and Spiritual warrior, and oneness with nature or "the spirit that moves in all things." I named this site in honor of the Apache. The Apache was the ultimate, survivor, warrior, guerrilla fighter, and lived in tune with his surroundings, on a spiritual and physical level. However you will find many other topics of interest on this site. Tracking is a mind set and awareness that goes beyond the physical to all levels, including the spiritual.

"THUNDER" (wakiya)

"THUNDER" (wakiya)

About the Author

"Wakiya" (Thunder)

About the Author
Roger Thunderhands Gilbert is an accomplished writer, musician, and artist. In his lifetime, he has done many things. These would include aviation, the martial arts, and a life long study of spiritual and tribal ritual. In the martial arts, his study has included three disciplines, Aikido, Kung Fu San Soo, and Tai Chi. He also worked with the Special Forces in a training capacity. In the field of aviation, he obtained his private, commercial, and instrument ratings as a pilot, with multi-engine, and flight instructor qualifications. He learned tracking as a boy and has worked with the sheriff’s search and rescue in that capacity. His spiritual knowledge includes in-depth study, and personal experience, with many shamanistic and esoteric practices. He is a practitioner of Kriya yoga, Kundalini yoga, Tantrika, and Chinese inner alchemy. In addition, he received his certificate in acupressure and uses several modalities for healing. He considers himself an authority on the Biblical teachings of Yeshua or Jesus, but considers himself spiritual, not religious. And last but not least, he has done an exhaustive study and been an activist of North American Native tribes and ritual. His own roots are of Métis descent, and his spirituality is universal.


Five Thousand Men against Thirty-Eight Chiricahua Part 2

During the march toward the border Miles himself was on the anxious seat. Much was expected of him. He had promised much. Yet for four months his army of five thousand men had been employed against these thirty-eight Chiricahuas. His troops had suffered serious fatalities and casualties, yet not a single renegade had been killed or captured. Now they were coming to surrender to him. Would they hold fast to their intention? And would they yield on terms that matched his promises to the public and that fulfilled the requirements laid upon him by the President and the commanding General of the Army?

To Gatewood, Lawton, and other officers who were bringing in the hostilities the uncertainty as to the outcome became agonizing, for Miles refused for several days to meet Gatewood, Lawton and the Indians for the conference that had been agreed upon. He ordered Lawton not to bring the Chiricahuas on American soil unless they delivered hostages into his hands. But Lawton had promised them safe conduct into Miles' presence. He was bound by the honor of an American officer! Miles would not stir. The Indians were growing very restive and suspicious. More than once they had urged Gatewood to run away with them through the mountains toward Fort Bowie so that they could get into direct contact with Miles; but knowing that Miles was not then at Fort Bowie and fearing that if he left them to go in search of the General, they might be attacked either by the Mexicans or by one of our own commands operating in that neighborhood, Gatewood refuse their pleas. Lawton at last, in desperation, said to Lieutenant Abiel Smith, next in command, that he saw no way out but to let them go, give them a start of twenty-four hours in accordance with a promise made to them, and then go after them again. Smith's soldierly honor did not irk him to the degree Crook's did, or Gatewood's, or Lawton's. He said with a grim and knowing smile:

"I haven't promised them anything. You stay here [at the San Bernardino Ranch] and communicate with Miles and I'll take command." Days went by and still Miles refused to come to meet the Indians. Lawton wrote to his wife, September 2: "I am too anxious and worried to write you much. I cannot get the General to come out and see them and they are very uneasy about it. What will occur, no one can tell."

Lawton being temporarily absent, there was talk of attacking the Indians and killing Geronimo. The renegades got wind of this, and mounting their horses, took the back trail. But Gatewood followed them at once and was able to restore their confidence. Abiel Smith was rather strong for direct action. Geronimo asked Gatewood what he would do if the soldiers fired upon his people. Gatewood said he would try to stop it, but that, if he could not do so, he would run away with them. Nachez then said: "Better stay right with us lest some of our men believe you treacherous and kill you." Gatewood was in a very difficult situation, indeed. He was so sensitive to any mention of attacking the Indians that he asked to be transferred to some other command; but Lawton gave him to understand that, if necessary, he would use force to compel him to remain with his command. At last, at Skeleton Canyon on September 3, Geronimo's brother having been sent to Miles as a hostage, the General met Gatewood and Lawton for the promised parley with the renegades.

September 4 Miles met Geronimo and Nachez and agreed upon the terms of surrender. There was tremendous commotion in officialdom following Miles' report that the hostiles had surrendered. It developed into a "battle above the clouds," and ended in a Senate investigation during which every order, report, telegram, and comment dealing with the event was introduced. The language of war is best adapted for the elucidation of the matter. It began with a machine-gun chatter of telegrams from such high officials as President Cleveland, Lieutenant-General Sheridan, the Secretary of War, and General O. O. Howard, Commander of the Division of the Pacific. This was replied to by a smoke screen of rhetoric on the part of General Miles: "their surrender as prisoners of war to the troops in the field," "the last hereditary chief of the hostile Apaches," "direct result of the intrepid zeal and indefatigable efforts of the troops in the field," "Skeleton Cañon, a favorite resort of the Indians in former years and well suited by name and tradition to witness the closing scenes of such an Indian war." Then came the camouflage that led the effete gentlemen of the East to suppose that Geronimo and his band had been captured or had surrendered without conditions; the disappearance of one telegram--"sunk without trace"--and the temporary suppression of another one at a very crucial moment by Miles' Adjutant-General--these are some of the colorful aspects of this battle of words.

Unfortunately, Cleveland, Sheridan, the Secretary of War, and Howard all interpreted Miles' account of the submission of the hostiles as meaning that they had been captured or had surrendered unconditionally. The news was immeasurably gratifying to Cleveland and Sheridan. As early as August 23 Cleveland had telegraphed to the War Department: "I hope nothing will be done with Geronimo which will prevent our treating him as a prisoner of war, if we cannot hang him, which I would much prefer." September 7 he telegraphed to the Secretary of War urging that "all the hostiles should be very safely kept as prisoners until they can be tried for their crimes or otherwise disposed of." The same day, September 7, Sheridan telegraphed Miles as follows: "As the disposition of Geronimo and his hostile band is yet to be decided by the President and as they are prisoners without conditions, you are hereby directed to hold them in close confinement at Fort Bowie until the decision of the President is communicated to you." This same day, September 7, Sheridan telegraphed Cleveland recommending "that Geronimo and all the adult males that have surrendered with him to General Miles be held as prisoners by the military at such point in the Department of Arizona as General Miles may determine, subject to such trial and punishment as may be awarded them by the civil authorities of the Territories of Arizona and New Mexico." In reply to the above telegram came one from Cleveland, September 8, saying: "I think Geronimo and the rest of the hostiles should be immediately sent to the nearest fort or prison where they can be securely confined. The most important thing now is to guard against all chances of escape."

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