CHAPTER IV. EXPEDITIONS INTO INDIAN COUNTRY (Continued.)
Captain Barry Ordered by Colonel Green to Massacre Indians—Captain Barry Disobeys Orders and is Placed Under Arrest—Big Dance of the Pinals—“Dodd's Dance”—Reception by the Tontos—Arrival at Camp Reno—Intercede With General Devin for Captain Barry—Captain Barry Released and Returned to Duty—Disbandment of Expedition— Description of C. E. Cooley, His Ranch and His Squaws.‘‘
“After the officers had returned to their camp and all the Indians were quietly sleeping in their several wickiups, the time being between one and two o'clock, Cooley said to me, ‘What do you suppose those soldiers are here for?’ ‘Well,’ I replied, ‘to see the Indians; locate the rancheria; note the topography of the country, and take a look around generally.’ ‘Not a bit of it,’ replied Cooley. ‘Captain Barry's orders were to secure you, then to kill every Indian in this camp, regardless of age or sex; that was Colonel Green's order for I heard it given. As for ourselves, we have been declared outlaws, subject to a drumhead courtmartial and summarily shot, unless we can clear ourselves of the charges.’ To me this was a most astounding revelation and my blood fairly boiled with horror and indignation. I was responsible for
“It will be remembered, as before stated, that the rancheria was located near the edge of a small mesa on the east side of, and overlooking the Carizo creek on the west. The narrow valley of the creek was thickly covered with wild cane (carizo) and on the west side of it was a steep mountain inaccessible to cavalry. It was the usual custom among the Apaches to have their camps on a mesa or point, with a mountain or rough country for a background. This was done as a precaution and for protection against any sudden raid by horsemen. Our rancheria was no exception to the rule, having a mountain adjoining both front and rear, and all our people had to do was to quietly slip off the mesa into the thick cane, then climb the precipitous mountain on the west side of the creek.
“‘Good God, don't do that,’ said Cooley, now thoroughly excited, ‘we are now outlawed and would be shot in the morning.’ I answered, ‘There's catching before hanging;’ that I was not under parole and would hike with the Apaches; they could say to Captain Barry in the morning that they had mentioned the matter to me, and that sometime in the night I had warned the Indians and all had silently stolen away. Before this I had suggested to Cooley and Dodd that both skin out as they were made prisoners under a white flag, and under such circumstances they had a perfect right to take advantage
“Cooley then proposed that Dodd and himself get up and go to the soldiers' camp, awaken the officers and have another talk. I promised to say nothing to the sleeping Indians until they returned; but I warned them that too much treachery had already been practiced, and on the slightest sign of any more I would alarm the people, and ‘I mean it, so help me God.’ Both went up to the soldiers' camp, and I walked around among the Indians' wickiups, but kept a watchful eye on the military encampment. This was nearly three o'clock in the morning and I could see, but dimly, the sentries over the picket line.
“You must first catch your fish before you can eat it. To one like myself, whose whole life has been spent on the frontiers of our common country, and who is as familiar with the mountains and plains as most people are with the streets of their native villages, it appeared to me the acme of absurdity to even suppose that lumbering cavalrymen could catch me in the open should I choose to evade them. Hence it was evident to me that if you eat any fish, you must first catch them.
“At the first sign of treachery I intended to give the sleeping Indians warning. Cooley and Dodd were absent about an hour, perhaps, so it seemed to me, but it may not have been half that time, when both returned to camp.
“Captain Barry decided to hold a ‘big talk’ and told the chief to send out runners and have all his people in the rancheria for a ‘big peace talk’ next day. ‘The Indians assembled, and I saw a few Pinals and White Mountain Apaches squatted among the bushes on the outskirts of
“On the 2nd of August the pow-wow took place. Captain Barry explained his orders from Colonel Green; that he had decided to disobey his orders to massacre them as a matter of humanity; that the consequences to himself for disobeying his superior's orders was a very serious matter and would cause him much trouble; that the Colonel received his orders from still higher authority which was above Colonel Green, and, said the Captain, ‘I want the principal men of this tribe to go with these Americans to Camp McDowell where you will see General Thomas E. Devin, who is the only person that has the right to make peace with you, and if the General makes terms with you, he will give you papers that will protect you hereafter.’
“There was consternation among the females when the Captain made known his murderous orders, and a distinct murmur went the rounds among them. The women appeared greatly frightened and looked furtively about, and they nervously clutched their little ones as if to flee from the presence of some hideous monster. The men, on the contrary, received the news in silence and stoical indifference. On the chief's face appeared the shadow of a smile and a baleful glitter in his one eye. And I can never forget the look of the sub-chief, Huero, when our eyes met as the captain stated his orders. However, when the people learned of my actions of the night before, they simply idolized me as if I had done something heroic, and the stand I took the previous night undoubtedly had all to do
“The following day, August 3rd, Captain Barry returned with his troop to Colonel Green's camp at the junction of the east and west forks of the White river. When Captain Barry reported to his Colonel the results of his trip to the Apache rancheria on the Carizo, Colonel Green became very angry and ordered Barry to consider himself under arrest. The Captain was relieved of his command, and his First Lieutenant was ordered to assume command of the troop.
“Soon afterwards the Colonel selected another site for Camp Ord, locating it on the mesa a little further eastward, where it is to-day, known as Fort Apache. This camp was strategically situated as it was in the center of the Apacheria. Having established a permanent military camp, with a part of his Command as a garrison, Colonel Green returned with the remainder of his force to Camp Goodwin south of the Gila. Soon after his arrival at Camp Goodwin the Colonel formulated a set of ‘charges and specifications’ against Captain Barry, in which he alleged ‘disobedience of orders’ and the violation of certain articles of war; all of which, summed up, was ‘conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.’ These charges, specifications, etc., were sent to General Devin, commanding the southern military district of Arizona, and whose headquarters were then at Camp McDowell.
“In pursuance with the agreement with Captain Barry, our three selves, the chief Es-cah-pah, the chief's brother, El Diablo, one middleaged woman, Miguel, the cautivo interpreter, and twenty-six picked warriors, about ten o'clock A. M., August 3rd, 1869, made another and second start westward. This time our objective point was Fort McDowell, and not, as in the first instance, a search for an El Dorado, with Sombrero Butte, Sierra Pintados, and the Stone Corral, the guiding landmarks by which we were to find a golconda. Arriving at the outskirts of the Pinal territory, our little party of thirty-three was met, as before, by a Pinal warrior, but this time without his warpaint. Notwithstanding the pow-wow on the Carizo was held only the day before, the Pinals and other distant tribes were aware of our coming, and all knew the object of our mission to Camp McDowell.
“The Pinal Warrior said he was sent by his chief, Bah-dah-clah-nah, to guide our party to a certain place where the Pinals would meet us and have a big dance as a welcome ceremony by the Pinals. This place was afterwards known, and is down on all the military maps, as Dodd's Dance. It was here we, or at least Cooley and Dodd, came very close to the end of our earthly careers. Our party reached the place designated, under guidance of the Pinal warrior, a little while before sunset, but not a single Apache was then in sight. About dark the Pinals made a Sudden appearance, and in half an hour more there were probably four hundred in sight. The Apache women made their individual
“The Pinal chief, Bah-dah-clah-nah, during the smoke and talk guaranteed protection, and his responsibility for the safety of our animals and other plunder. The chief's hair had recently been cut off close to the skull, a sign of mourning for the death of a brother killed by the troops a short while before. The chief didn't present a very prepossessing appearance, squatted on a blanket in front of we three Americans who were standing, Dodd on the left, Cooley next, and I on the right. Always possessed of a keen sense for the humorous or ridiculous, in whatsoever guise it might appear, I was forced to chuckle when the chief said he would be responsible for our property, and, nudging Charley, remarked, ‘Look at that Jack Sheppard head, it has a responsible look, don't it?’ Cooley, taking my remark seriously, said, ‘Great God, what else can we do, we are helpless and in their power.’ Cooley often said to me, ‘You would laugh at some fancied absurdity, no
“While sitting down amongst the bushes and small trees, having been there perhaps an hour or more, I suddenly heard a rustling noise over to my right. Looking quickly in that direction I could see a bunch of Apaches apparently struggling together. They were outside the firelight and I could see but dimly their outlines as they struggled amidst the brushwood. Once or twice I caught the faint glint of arms. All this took place in less time than it takes to tell it, and several shots were fired. Simultaneously with the shooting every infernal imp, big and little, male and female, as it seemed from the great uproar, began yelling and whooping as only the American Indian knows how to whoop. Pandemonium was sure in evidence at that particular moment. In less than a minute after the first shots were fired, not an Indian campfire could be seen along the line, and only the big dance-fire remained to lighten the impish-looking scene.
“To realize and to fully comprehend that awful hubbub and scene, it must be seen, as words cannot describe it. Just imagine all the women screaming at their little ones at the top of their voices as they scattered like so many quail into the brush, and the screaming of the women more than supplemented with the whoops and yells of two or three hundred demoniacal, hideously painted savages, all yelling or whooping for the
“Shortly after the pandemonium had broken loose, a half dozen young Apaches came to where I was sitting in the brush and said to me, ‘Yucooshe, Apache donjudah, Apache mata,’ which translated, was, ‘Go away, the Apaches are bad and will kill.’ I went with them, keeping outside the range of firelight, and the young Apaches forming a line behind and between me and the howling and shooting mob. We made a circuit and arriving at our camp, the young fellows pointed in a certain direction and told me to go, and to-morrow make ‘the smoke’ on the top of a high hill and they would come to it. The young men then returned to their people. I secured my rifle and canteen and my buckskin sack of pinole, previously described, yet I could not go and leave the other two, if yet alive. I decided to make a sneak on the howling bunch, and try to ascertain if Cooley and Dodd were alive. I made the sneak all right without being observed or recognized by the Apaches. As a precaution I took off my hat, and, holding my red blanket well up about my head, the sneak was comparatively easy. All this was a risky piece of business, or piece of foolhardiness, seeing that the young Apaches had assisted me, and pointed out the way for my escape. But I had made up my mind that there were not enough Apaches in
“The Apaches possess a grim sense of humor and it is often displayed in an unique manner, and had not the Apaches warned me of their intention to kill us, I should have concluded that the whole thing was done to test the courage of the ‘white skins.’ It seems, however, that quite a large number of the tribe had lost a number of relatives in fights with the troops and others, and they wished to have revenge by killing us, and it was thus the rumpus started.
“That night it was decided among us to ‘sleep with one eye open.’ Cooley and Dodd lay down near the packs, but I lay down a short distance away among some thick brush. I kept awake as long as I could, listening to the incessant
“Of course we were very thankful to see the rising sun, and Cooley said, ‘I didn't expect to see sunrise again.’ About eight o'clock the chief, Bah-dah-clah-nah, came down to our camp to talk and laugh over the pleasant (?) scenes and events of the past night. However pleasant and entertaining they may have been to the chief and his people, we held very radical views to the contrary, and at once requested the chief to have our animals brought in as we wished to push on at once to Camp McDowell. The chief demurred to our great haste, urging us very
“The chief appeared to be satisfied with Cooley's (truthful) statements and at once ordered our animals to be brought in, and we saddled and packed and were on the move by ten o'clock. To protect us while passing through his territory, and until we reached the confines of the Tontos, the chief sent along with us a considerable number of his best warriors under a sub-chief. Our Pinal escort travelled with us to the camp of a large body of Tonto warriors under the famous chief Da-chay-ya. As before, however, we were met by a Tonto warrior who led us to the camp of the Tontos, but in this camp there were no women and children, and
“In the earlier days, before the advent of white settlers, and with no common enemy, the white skins, to fight, the various tribes scrapped one with another, as much to keep up the war spirit, and the practice of their art of war, as for any other purpose. At this time, August, 1869, the whites had been only a few years in the country north of the Gila river. Prescott, then but a little more than five years old, Wickenburg, Yuma, and Tucson, were about all the towns in Arizona. True, Phoenix had been surveyed and platted at this time, but where the city now stands was covered with sagebrush and greasewood. Therefore, the feuds between the Apache tribes had not yet died out, hence the apparent coolness between Pinal and Tonto.
“Early on the following morning the two Indian parties broke camp, the Pinals returning eastward and the Tontos, under Chief Da-chay-ya, as our escort, continuing westward. Here I wish to remark, by way of parenthesis, that during our previous days' marches, after leaving the Pinal camp, known thereafter as ‘Dodd's Dance,’ that our friend Dodd had seriously proposed that we kill any Indian who
“During our travels with the Tontos nothing worthy of note occurred until we reached the western rim of the Sierra Anchas, a wide range of mountains. At this point we had a magnificent view, the whole valley of Tonto creek lay spread out at our feet, with the Mazatzal range of mountains bordering the valley on the west, in which are the celebrated Four Peaks. At the southern end of the Mazatzals, near the southeastern base of the Four Peaks, and a short distance below the junction of Tonto Creek and the Salt River, is now located that most wonderful structure, the great Roosevelt Dam and Reservoir.
“We made a halt at the rim while the chief made his ‘peace smokes’ to notify other Tontos who might be in the intermediate section between us and Camp Reno that our party was not to be molested. Away off to the westward beyond the valley of Tonto creek, and close up to the eastern base of the Mazatzal range, could be dimly seen a small brown or bare spot, which the chief pointed out and said, ‘There are the soldiers, there your people.’ It was Camp Reno. ‘You are my friends and can go there in peace,’ said the chief. ‘I cannot go for I and my people are even now at war with those white skins, but my warriors over there now will not molest you. I have signalled to them that you are friends, and when you reach your people do not forget your true friend, Da-chay-ya.’ He also said, ‘I have desired to live in amity with the
“Bidding good-by to Da-chay-ya and his people, we began the descent of the precipitous side of the Sierra Anchas. In the miles of travel from the rim to Camp Reno, we saw no Indians, although plenty of the freshest sign was seen en route.
“Camp Reno, (long since abandoned) was located two or three miles west of Tonto creek, upon an open mesa that gently sloped down toward the Tonto from the eastern base of the Mazatzals. Upon either side of the camp were two deep brushy ravines containing water. These ravines run parallel to and perhaps two hundred yards distant from the military camp, and they afforded an excellent screen for an enemy approaching the camp.
“After we had ascended from Tonto Creek to the top of the mesa, the military camp was plainly in view, probably three thousand yards away. Our party of thirty-three, all on foot, excepting the cautivo and us three Americans, marched along in plain view of the camp, and while we could see soldiers walking about, not one of them perceived our approach until we had arrived within perhaps three or four hundred yards of the camp. Suddenly an alarm was raised and we could see the troops rushing hither and thither and falling into line under arms; a skirmish line thrown out composed of the commanding officer, the first sergeant, the citizen blacksmith, and the post trader. Observing the excitement in the camp, we halted, and told the Indians to remain where they were
“At the time the alarm was first given, the tables had just been laid for dinner, and this probably accounts for the bad lookout; and, furthermore, the cattle herd had been attacked only the day before, in which attack one herder had been killed and a soldier wounded; this, too, no doubt, had to do with the great excitement manifested at our approach.
“Major Collins invited us to his tent for dinner. All used tents, there being only one small adobe hut which was used for ammunition. We sat at the table, but the Major, being sick, took to bed again. Soon after we sat down at the table, we were a little surprised to see a lady enter, having a baby in her arms, who laughingly remarked: ‘This is a pretty country for
“We lay over here three days, and two of my party had a strenuous bout with their old-time enemy, John Barleycorn, and, as usual in all such scraps, they were badly worsted in the encounter. Our Apaches refused to go any further, but would not give any reason for not caring to go on to Camp McDowell, which was only forty-five or fifty miles from Reno. The interpreter for the camp had told them that McDowell was full of Pimas and Coco-Maricopas, the hereditary enemies of all Apaches.
“Our Apaches were encamped in the ravine on the north side of the military, camp, and on the night of our second day at Reno, the chief asked me to go to his camp. He then told me of his intention to start on the following morning for their rancheria on the Carizo, and tried to persuade me to return with them, saying: ‘The people on this side are no good; all the Apaches like you as a brother; let them, (Cooley and Dodd) go on, we don't want them any more, but you go with us to our home.’ Finding I was determined to go on to McDowell, the chief said: ‘When you come back, go to the top of mountain east of rancheria,and make signal smoke, and I will come or send others to you, but be sure to come alone and stay by the smoke until I come to you.’ Had I been anything but the young. fool that I was, having no business at McDowell, or anywhere else, I would have returned with the Apaches, and in due time, have gone with them for the ‘white metal’ and, even if ignorant of its true character at the time, I would have
“Our Apaches positively refused to go on to Camp McDowell and, on the morning of our third day at Camp Reno, they took the trail back to their rancheria on the Carizo. In order to anticipate Colonel Green and to help Captain Barry out of his difficulty, we deemed it necessary to proceed to McDowell. Taking advantage of an escort of cavalry, under Colonel Elger, that were going over to McDowell, we accompanied the escort for protection, and, without incident worthy of notice, we reached headquarters of the southern Military District of Arizona in safety.
“The day after our arrival at Camp McDowell we called upon General Thos. E. Devin and explained the situation at Carizo, and the action of Captain Barry, with an earnest request that the Captain be as leniently dealt with as the case would permit. The General gave us to understand that at the proper time due consideration would be given to our statements and all extenuating circumstances bearing upon the matter. Suffice it to say, soon afterwards Colonel Green's charges, specifications, etc., were received at headquarters, but were promptly returned ‘disapproved,’ and Barry ordered to be returned to duty.
“We remained at McDowell ten or twelve days, and then proceeded to the Salt River, stopping at the ranch of Captain Jack Swilling. Here we separated, Cooley and Dodd going up to Prescott, whilst I remained with Jack, whom I had known some years before.”’’
The C. E. Cooley mentioned above, afterwards became one of General Crook's most reliable scouts. He married, according to the Indian custom, two Apache girls, sisters, of the Coyotero, or White Mountain tribe, and, through his influence that tribe to a great extent, became allies of the whites.
“Towards night we made camp at Cooley's ranch, and slept inside, on the floor. Cooley was interpreter and scout, and, although he was a white man, he had married a young Indian girl, the daughter of one of the chiefs, and was known as a squaw man. There seemed to be two Indian girls at his ranch; they were both tidy and good looking, and they prepared us a most appetizing supper.
“The ranches had spaces for windows, covered with thin unbleached muslin (or manta as it is always called out there), glass windows being then too great a luxury in that remote place. There were some partitions inside the ranch, but no doors; and, of course, no floors except adobe. Several half-breed children, nearly naked, stood and gazed at us as we prepared for rest. This was interesting and picturesque from many standpoints perhaps, but it did not tend to make me sleepy. I lay gazing into the fire which was smouldering in the corner, and finally I said in a whisper, ‘Jack, which girl do you think is Cooley's wife?’
“Now, this was too awful, but I knew he did not intend for me to ask any more questions. I had a difficult time, in those days, reconciling what I saw with what I had been taught was right, and I had to sort over my ideas and deep-rooted prejudices a good many times.
This remained Cooley's home until the time of his death. Jim Bark, well known in Phoenix, and now a resident of Mayer, Arizona, made a visit to Cooley a few years ago, and from him I derive the following:
The house was well built and quite well furnished. The ranch had a fine orchard of deciduous fruits, and besides cattle and horses, Cooley had raised grain and other products, which found a ready market at Fort Apache at good prices. As far as material wealth was concerned, he was well fixed; his children were well educated and well cared for. His two wives ran the house, and, it is said, to a great extent, ran him. Bark relates the following episode which occurred during his visit there:
“They had some quarrel with Cooley, and to escape their vengeance he climbed upon the roof of the building. One of the squaws threw rocks at him for a while. Coming down after the storm had ceased, he gave me quite a dissertation upon the advantages and disadvantages of polygamy.”’’
Bark states that he, Cooley, had grown fleshy, and during his Visit Cooley received a letter from a New York firm and read it. It amused him to such an extent that, sitting in his chair in the shade of a tree in front of his house, he became so convulsed with laughter that he fell out of the chair and rolled over on the ground, squirming with hilarity. The reason was that the firm, from whom he had ordered a suit of clothes, giving his measurements, replied that they made clothes for men and not for horses. Cooley measured somewhere about sixty inches around the waist. He died on his ranch in the summer of 1917.