Thursday, November 22, 2007
Victorio was chosen by Mangas Coloradas as his follower as Chief of the Warm Springs Apache band. Victorio was a terrific strategist and horrendous opponent. Victorio and his people lived under terrible conditions in the reservation in San Carlos, Arizona. After numerous appeals to the government that they should be returned to their homeland (Ojo Caliente in the Black Range, NM) was turned down, they escaped in 1879 and wreaked havoc throughout the southwest on their way to Mexico. Colonel Grierson and the 10th Cavalry attempted to prevent Victorio's return to the U.S., and particularly his reaching New Mexico where he could cause additional problems with the Apaches still on the reservations. The soldiers outpaced Victorio to the water holes in Rattlesnake Springs (Sierra Diablo Mountains), and after two unsuccessful attempts to reach water, the indians had to retreat into Mexico. At a waterhole at Tres Castillos on Oct. 14th 1880 Victorio and his people were surprised by Mexican troops and during the fight many of the Apaches were killed. When Victorio and a handful of his men realized that escape was not possible they decided to take their own life. After Victorio's death his uncle, the 80 year old Nana, took charge of the group.