Slike strani
PDF
ePub

almost within reaching distance of the party passing along the road. The chief ordered them to hurry back to the big wash. Taking stock of their arms they found that there were only three guns in the party, and these were old fashioned flintlock guns. It was arranged that the men having these guns were to fire first. By this time they could hear the sound of the horses' hoofs, and the soldiers and the wagons were right on top of them. The soldiers were riding by twos. The Indians having the guns, fired, and the others armed with bows and arrows commenced shooting at the horses, and also at the soldiers. Four of the soldiers dropped off their horses, and the others tried to escape, but several of them were shot with arrows in the back. The soldiers who were behind the wagons commenced shooting, but the Indians who were armed with the guns had reloaded and commenced firing at them.

The escaping soldiers were pursued for some distance over the desert, but, fearing that they would be met by a large body of soldiers, the Indians abandoned the pursuit and returned to the scene of the ambush, where they found four dead soldiers and two dead teamsters. One of the teamsters escaped with the rest of the soldiers. The Indians got all the mules that were hitched to the wagons, stripped the soldiers of everything they had on them, and got about twenty guns and some pistols. They threw away everything that was on the wagons; opened the sacks of flour, coffee, sugar and beans, and dumped them on the ground. The only things they took besides the clothing and guns were tobacco and empty sacks. They found two sound horses, and most of the mules were sound, so there were nearly enough animals for all to ride, riding double. They set fire to the wagons and returned to their camp, taking the road near what is called 'Gold Field, towards the Needle Rocks, to their camp. When they reached their camp there was great rejoicing there that the warriors had returned safely and had been victorious. Next day the two horses and nearly twenty mules were killed for meat, and all the things that the warriors had brought back with them were taken from them. It is customary upon the return of young men from the warpath, and especially if it is their first experience and they are victorious, not to keep anything they got off their dead enemies. It is not considered good policy by the Indians. The old folks wondered why they had not taken the scalps of the dead men, but the warriors said that there was no hair on their heads, so that it was not worth the trouble to cut the scalps off.

"They were told to be on the watch because the soldiers would be coming after them, and sure enough, about three days after their return, some runners came in and said that there was a lot of soldiers coming about twenty miles away. There was a tableland above the camp, and the old folks and children were taken up there so as to be out of the way if the camp was attacked by the soldiers. Most all of the Indians moved up there as there was a rough cliff projecting over the camp, and those who had guns and pistols were to stay and wait for the soldiers to get to the camp. There was a deep and rocky gulch with a creek running through it, and the

soldiers had to cross that before they could get to the camp, and the Indians were ready to fire on anybody they might see. The soldiers could not see the Indians, and while they were dismounting their horses and preparing to set fire to the camp, the Indian boys opened fire on them and the soldiers were scattered in all directions. Some fell dead, and some ran away, leaving their horses. The Indians kept firing on the soldiers, and the soldiers fired several volleys in the direction where the shots were coming from, but could not see any Indians to shoot. Further up on the bluffs, however, on the tops of the hills, could be seen groups of Indians waving red blankets at the soldiers and daring them to come up, but the soldiers only made haste to go back the way they came. The next day the Indians went back to the camp and found much blood and two dead horses. Some of the Indians said that they had seen two of the soldiers drop on the ground, and others tried to make them get up, but they had to leave them there because the Indians were shooting at them, but afterwards the dead must have been picked up and carried away.

“While some of the Indians were looking around the old camp to see what the soldiers had left, there was great rejoicing to find two guns and a pistol which the soldiers had left behind. I was only a small lad then but can remember that place and the happening. I was with the old men, the women, and the children, and we were told to go away up to another high hill, and we were up on the rim of the rocks like mountain sheep or an eagle, looking down over the rocks, and when the sounds of shots were heard, the old folks would tell us children to get back over the rocks because the bullets would go a long way and would kill people. But all the shots we heard were shots fired at the soldiers by our own people. The old folks, however, did not know who was doing this shooting.

“Shortly after this affair some Tonto Apaches visited us, and after a few days the whole camp was separated, one party going to the Salt River country, another going towards the Pinal Mountains, and another large party moved over to the upper range of the Superstition Mountains. This was done so that if the soldiers should come back in force there would be no Indians there.

“From that time on it was shown that the soldiers were not very good fighters; they could kill Indians when they came within gun reach and had no weapons to protect themselves. If the Indians were armed to the teeth like the soldiers were, with breech loading guns, pistols and sabres, with plenty of ammunition and a pack train, the soldiers would not stand up to them. But where the Indians only had bows and arrows, and if the bows were broken or the arrows all shot, they would be without weapons, the soldiers could probably have gotten the best of them. If the Indians had all had firearms when the hostilities broke out, it would have been a different proposition, and the settlements in this country would not have been made so fast, neither would the Indians have been taken prisoners of war and placed on reservations against their wishes and without making a fair deal with them. For several years afterwards, on the upper ranges of the country, beyond the Matazal Mountains, many Indians came together and agreed to keep up the war against the whites in the western country. They planned to go on

the south side of the Bradshaw mountains, passing the Hot Springs, just above the site of the town of Wickenburg. This was done by a party who saw four men in the creek, and they agreed to kill them when they returned to their camp, and to take their belongings. One of the Mohave-Apaches, named Waw-a-quattia, found a small sized Navajo blanket which he had left behind him at the time of the massacre some years before, which he was wearing when he went to the council with the soldiers and the Pimas and Maricopas. He was one of the party who escaped, but he had to leave his blanket in order that he might run fast. The next day other parties were out scouring the country and brought in some spoils too, and said that they had killed two Mexicans. They intended to go over to Date Creek to make a raid on the Indians who were camping around that post, and those Indians had given aid to the soldiers by leading them through the country, and they were especially aiding the Pimas and Maricopas. They all claimed, however, that they had never done any killing.

“Some of the party by this time were pretty hungry and ragged, some of them being almost barefoot, and it was decided to turn north and follow the Hassayampa until they struck the road going to Prescott. On this road they met six white men, mounted on horses. They attacked them and killed four of them, and the other two escaped toward Prescott. They found that two of the dead men were dressed in the buckskin suits and moccasins worn by the two Tonto-Apaches who had been killed in the massacre some years previous, and they then found that they had come across the very parties who

« PrejšnjaNaprej »