Slike strani
PDF
ePub

them. So they left their bows and arrows behind, but some of them had knives and spears. They were led by their chief, who had a written note which was given to him by a man by the name of Weaver, who used to live up on the headwaters of the Hassayampa. He was the first white man who went among the Indians and he never was troubled by the Indians and he never troubled them. When a party of Indians wanted to travel through parts of the country where there were white people, Weaver would write out a note and give it to the Indians to take along with them, and he always advised them to be sure and hold out the paper towards the parties they were approaching so that the white people would know that the Indians had a paper to show to them; that the paper would assure the whites that the Indians were peaceable and that it was written by a white man who was a friend of the Indians.

“When the different parties of Indians saw a camp of white men, they all came together and it was agreed by the chiefs that they should go down to the camp. This was the season when the acorns and the walnuts were ripe, and many Indians came there, near to those small springs and valleys, only a few miles from or west of the present town of Prescott and Iron Springs. There were men and women in the bands of Indians, and they decided to go down to the soldiers' camp where they expected that some presents would be given to them. Some of them were suspicious, however, and would not go down, saying that they would wait this time and find out from those who did go if the white soldiers received them peaceably and gave them presents, and if the soldiers were really out in the country to make peace with the Indians, they would all go down. Many Indians, men, women and children, were seated on the high hills, pretty close to where the Mineral Spring is now, what is called the 'Iron Spring,' but some women and children went along to the soldiers' camp, too. The chief, whose name was E-cha-waw-cha-comma, which means 'Hitting an Enemy,' talked to all the Indians gathered there, and told them that he had a written paper which he was told to have with him wherever he might go, and should he happen to meet strangers, white men, parties of soldiers, and so on, he must show this writing to them as it would tell them that he was friendly and that he and his party must not be molested by white men or soldiers as he and his party were not on the warpath, but were just out hunting or travelling over the country. A portion of

the Indians, led by this chief, went down to the soldiers' camp. When they got to within a few yards of the first tent, which they supposed was occupied by the commanding officer, the chief pulled out the paper and held it towards a man who was standing near the tent, who turned and went into the tent. The officer came out of the tent, and the chief saw that he had a gun, and the officer called out some words of command to his soldiers, and they all came out of their tents carrying their guns. The officer, instead of taking the paper which the chief was holding out to him, pushed his hat back on his head so as to have a clear view, and aimed his gun at the chief. Even at that the chief did not halt or retreat but continued holding out the paper to the officer, when the officer shot him, and the shot was at such close range that the burning powder set the chief's clothing on fire. At the same time the soldiers shot at all the Indians in sight and almost all of the Indians were shot down. A few ran right in front of the soldiers, hoping by running fast to escape the bullets. Many, however, rushed on the soldiers hoping to be able to take the guns and pistols away from the soldiers and defend themselves. The soldiers kept on firing and must have killed some of their own men by shooting at the Indians who were among them. Many of the Indians escaped alive, although many of them were wounded. One of the most surprising things about this affair was the escape of the chief. All the Indians had seen him fall with his clothing on fire, but two days afterwards he came into camp almost dead. The bullet went through his shoulder and he fell over as if dead and later escaped. Many of the Indians tried to escape by hiding under wagons, and while the other Indians were fighting with the soldiers they got out and ran away. Two of this party who escaped this way got slight flesh wounds on the legs. One soldier was sitting down shooting with his rifle, and had a long revolver hanging in a holster from his belt. One of the Indians crept up behind him and got the revolver from behind and shot the soldier through the head and then made his escape to the hills.

“This massacre of the Yavapais was entirely without provocation, as they had never taken anything from the white men, nor had they killed or molested any white man. The beginning of it was that there was a party of soldiers camped near there. Three Indians were out on a hunt and happened to come across the soldiers' camp. Never thinking that the soldiers would do them any harm, they agreed to go with the soldiers to the main camp. When they were nearly to the main camp, other soldiers came out to meet them, but the three Indians kept on going to the camp. The soldiers shot the two last ones, but took the first one prisoner. Some time after that an Indian party saw a camp of soldiers in the valley, and some of them went into the camp and saw this Indian who had been taken prisoner, and he told them that the soldiers wanted all the Indians to come in and have a talk with them. So the Indians went back into the mountains and went to where many Indians were camped and told them what they had heard, and also told them that they had seen one of the three men who were missing, and that he was with the soldiers, and that he was the party who told them that the soldiers wanted the Indians to come in and make a treaty, and that presents would be given them. So, many were anxious to go, especially to see if they could find relatives who had disappeared.

“Of the forty or fifty who rushed upon the soldiers with their bare hands, none came out alive to tell the story. The only ones who escaped were those who ran away in the beginning or who hid under the wagons and then ran away. When they looked over the valley they could see many dead bodies for a long distance. The soldiers have never told or written an account of that massacre. Many Indians were killed who had never seen a white man before. They never knew what kind of a human being a white man was, and, therefore, could not have molested them.

A few years afterwards the Tallaka-pai-ya, or the Yuma-Apaches, those who lived in the vicinity of Camp Date Creek, where there were about three troops of cavalry stationed, often came into the post, or, at least, their young men did, to work around the kitchens of the soldiers, or to chop wood for the soldiers' fires, for which services they used to receive food, clothing, etc., and in that way they learned the English language from the soldiers.

“About five or six miles down the creek there was a cabin kept by two men, who lived by themselves, who sold whisky to the soldiers. Some of the soldiers would be absent from the post for two or three days from time to time, and the officers threatened to kill those Indians who were working around the post, thinking that the soldiers had been killed by the Indians. The soldiers, however, finally showed up, having simply strayed away on account of being too drunk to know the way home.

“Some of the Indians had seen some other Indians in the mountains dressed somewhat differently from the Indians around Camp Date Creek. The officer in command of the post told the Indians that they should head them off and bring them in, but the Indians were too foxy, they got away in the mountains before they could be headed off. The Yuma Indians, however, surrounded a small band of the raiding Apaches, killed four and brought their clothing to the post, but even then the soldiers did not believe that they had killed any of the Apaches, and the officer in command threatened to round up those Indians who had been coming in to the post every day and put chains on them and lock them

« PrejšnjaNaprej »