CHATO

 

Mescalero (Apache) Chief

 

Chato was one of Cochise's twelve captains who met General Howard at the Treaty of Dragoon Springs.

After the treaty was broken by the politicians, Chato joined the U.S. Army as a scout.

He helped to bring his own people to subjugation, always believing the promise that they would be accorded the same rights and treatment as other Americans.

Because of his valor he was called to Washington to receive a medal from the President.

It was he, Chato, that whirlwind of destructiveness and ferocity, commanding 200 Apache scouts under General Crook who brought the rapacious career of Geronimo to an end.

Of the surrender of Geronimo, General Crook said, "The surrender of Geronimo could not have been effected except for the assistance of Chato and his scouts. For their allegiance, they have been rewarded by captivity in a strange land."

Of the medal given him by President Grover Cleveland, Chato said, "Why was I given a medal to wear in the guardhouse?" And that is where Chato spent the next twenty-seven years of his life, for on his return from Washington by train, he was arrested along with all Chiricahuas, by the Army.

He remained a prisoner of the U.S. Army for longer than any prisoner in U.S. Army history.

Political policy had changed suddenly in Washington and the bemedaled hero became a prisoner.

Coming home one dark, cold night from the town of White Tail, New Mexico, Chato's ran off the steep mountain road.

The eighty year old warrior died in an icy stream.

He was mourned throughout Otero County, New Mexico and in the Mescalero Reservation.