There is one BIG error in this statement from the Fort Apache handout:
Fort Apache was never under attack by any hostel force, never ever, as U.S. Army records will confirm! The only battle fought in that area since the arrival of the U.S. troops was on the mesa across the river where two Apache clans fought a deadly battle over a reason no one remembers.
Further research will prove to you that the Tucson Citizen, and other Tucson newspapers printed the story of the attack on Fort Apache before Nock-eye-dei-klinne was assassinated, because they expected the assassination would result in an Apache uprising. In fact, the assassination had the opposite effect, with every noteworthy Apache immediately taking cover, some (including Geronimo) fleeing the Reservation, because of the fear of being hung.
U.S. Army records will confirm that (a) The Tucson Ring were wholly responsible for the assassination (Nock-eye-dei-klinne was a peaceful medicine man who, as the whole world knew, received the Medal of Peace in person from President Grant), but in order to incite an uprising to keep the military (and military contracts) in Arizona, the Tucson Ring petitioned Congress and other influential people that Nock-eye-dei-klinne was attracting other Indians not for peace, but doing a "ghost dance" (something an Apache medicine man would not do!). The Army records also show that (although the term was not in use at that time) a contract was put out on Nock-eye-dei-klinne's head, that the Army insisted he was a peaceful medicine man and not worth the trouble of going to Cibecue to fetch him (that he would go to Fort Apache, if asked), but the influence of the Tucson ring and Indian Agent (noted for skimming on the contracts) resulted in the local Commander's authority being usurped, and a troop dispatched to arrest Nock-eye-del-klinne. The U.S. Army account of the incident confirms Nock-eye-del-klinne surrendered peacefully and all went well until they decided to set up camp for the night at which time an Army sergeant under contract with the Tucson Ring attempted to decapitate Nock-eye-del-klinne. When Nock-eye-del-klinne's wife went to his rescue, she was shot and killed, as was his son. Nock-eye-del-klinne and the sergeant were put under bonds for the night, but at some time during the night, Nock-eye-del-klinne - after miraculously surviving several attempts at decapitation, mysteriously died and was decapitated. His silver peace medal suddenly appeared in Tucson, and it is still on display at the Arizona Archaeological & Historical Museum in Tucson.
Although the U.S. Army made it clear that the only Apache involvement was in attempting to stop the assassination by disarming the Sergeant and others trying to assist the sergeant. Despite the evidence and the support of the local military personnel, the Tucson citizenry demanded Apaches be hung as scapegoats for the crimes of the Tucson Ring, and as former Chairman Ronnie Lupe won't hesitate to tell you, that was the second most dishonorable thing the U.S. Government ever did to Apaches (the first was to offer peace with the ulterior motive of "exterminating" Apaches, as you can see from Secretary Colyer's 1871 Annual Report to the President.
Hence the "careful" wording of Captain Hentic's gravestone at Fort Apache
Anyone who visits Fort Apache, should be well aware that if any Apache band - no matter how small - attacked Fort Apache, there would be no question at all that Apaches would have won the battle! It would be impossible in those days for anyone to arrive or leave the camp without being ambushed from one of the thousands of protected hiding places which surround the Fort. As historical records show, Apaches would never camp there because the site offered no protection (Apache camps were across the river on the mesa where their ancestors camped 1,000 years ago).
I just think the truth deserves to be published.
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