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        The Apache Scouts: Traitors or Pragmatists?

        Learn about a controversial group of Apache warriors, known as the Apache Scouts, who helped the U.S. Army in the American Southwest during the late 1800’s, in this media gallery from Away Games. Elite hunters, warriors, and raiders, the Apache Scouts helped to track and defeat fellow Apache tribes who were resisting the U.S. Army during the so-called “Indian Wars” between 1866 and 1886. Collaborating with the U.S. Army, they played a decisive role in the European settlement of the American Southwest.

        Classroom Support Materials for this resource include Discussion Questions, an Activity, Connections, and a Background Essay. This resource is part of the Away Games collection.

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        "I cannot too strongly assert that there has never been any success in operations against these Indians unless Indian Scouts were used. [They] were of more value in hunting down and compelling the surrender of the renegades than all other troops….combined.” - U.S. Army Brigadier General George Crook

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        Indian Scouts were paid $13 dollars a month, the same as regular troops. They served in companies of 40 to 50 men, and were usually led by a top cavalry officer and accompanied by an Anglo civilian such as Al Sieber (pictured here), who knew their language and customs.

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        Alchesay, a White Mountain Chief and decorated U.S. Army Scout, was described as “a perfect Adonis in figure, a mass of muscle and sinew of wonderful courage and great sagacity, and faithful as an Irish hound.”- Lt. H.B. Wharfield.

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        In 1883, General George Crook led 193 Apache Scouts along with just 42 U.S. Army regulars into Mexico to capture Geronimo and other hostile Chiricahua Apache warriors. Crook enjoyed the respect of the scouts in his command, who called him “Nantan Lupan (Grey Wolf)."

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        After his surrender in 1886, Geronimo and his Chiricahua Apache warriors were sent as prisoners of war to Pensacola, Florida. The 65 Apache Scouts who had helped General Crook capture the warriors were imprisoned there as well, despite Crook’s adamant objections.

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        In 1878, there were as many as 600 Indian Scouts serving in the U.S. Army. By 1915, only 24 remained. The last four Apache scouts retired in 1947. One year later, Native Americans in Arizona earned the right to vote.

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        White Mountain Apache youth, on the 4WheelWarPony skate team, feel a strong kinship with the Apache Scouts and their legacy.

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        They Move Like the Wind

        Experience a lyrical tribute to the Apache Scouts, a controversial group of warriors who helped the U.S. Army pacify the American Southwest, in this video from Away Games.

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