On this date in 1886 the last of the Indian Wars ended when the Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo surrendered to the United States Army in Arizona. For years Geronimo had fought Mexicans and Americans to preserve the Apache homeland and way of life. Geronimo and a small band of Apache men, women, and children fled the San Carlos Indian Reservation in 1884 and eluded the U.S Army for almost two years. After learning that most of his family had been sent to Florida Geronimo lost his will to fight and surrendered to General Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona. It would be the last time Geronimo would see his homeland. Geronimo, along with the Apaches that the army hired to track him, were loaded onto a train and sent to Fort Pickens, Florida. After a year the Apaches were sent to Mount Vernon Barracks, Alabama where they were imprisoned for seven years. In 1894 the Apaches were moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Geronimo died there in 1909. Below is a slide show of photos I made in 2011 while visiting Geronimo sites. The slideshow includes photos from the Chiricahua Mountains of Southern Arizona- the traditional Apache homeland, Fort Pickens, Fla., Mount Vernon, Ala., and Forest Park in St. Louis, Mo., where Geronimo was on display during the 1904 World’s Fair.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org