Friday, 15 November 2013

Wild West Photo Friday: Apache Scouts

The Apache gave the U.S. government no end of headaches with their raids and defiance of American expansion. Some Apache, however, joined forces with the government to fight against their own and other tribes.

The Apache scouts were some of the most valuable Native American scouts in the U.S. Army. The first all-Apache units were formed in 1871 by Lt-Col George Crook. He mostly recruited Apache who had peacefully settled on the reservation, but would also accept captured "renegades". As he put it, "the wilder the Apache was, the more he was likely to know the wiles and stratagems of those still out in the mountains."

The scouts soon proved their mettle, and in his annual report for 1876, Crook's successor, Col Augustus Kautz wrote,

"These scouts, supported by a small force of cavalry, are exceedingly efficient, and have succeeded, with one or two exceptions, in finding every party of Indians they have gone in pursuit of. They are a great terror to the runaways from the Reservations, and for such work are much more efficient than double the number of soldiers."

Jump the cut to see a closeup of these guys.

This image was originally a stereoscopic view and comes courtesy the Library of Congress.

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