We all know the famous "Victorio" photograph. It's one of the first you get to know as soon as you start to delve into Apache history and culture. But is it really the great Chihenne chief?
Doubts have arose, or have always been there.
I first saw the second image in James L. Haley's very fine book "Apaches - A History and Culture Portrait". It was identified as a "recently discovered photograph of Victorio". And yes, it looks like the man on the first picture. At Siris it's labelled "Portrait of Scout n.d.". So photographer and date are unknown.
When we look at the third image, it becomes clear that it shows the same man as on the second image. But if the man on the second image is indeed Victorio (and not a scout), does the third image make the impression of a Warms Springs Chiricahua chief? To me he looks like a Western Apache or a Yavapai, not like a Chiricahua. More important is that Victorio died in the Tres Castillos fight in 1880. The third photo was taken by Baker & Johnston in 1881, at the same occasion when Dutchy and Alchesay also posed for their image.
The conclusion is that the third man can't be Victorio. So if it's the same man as on the first photograph, the famous "Victorio" photo doesn't show the prominent chief...
I have first seen the "other Victorio portrait"(the scond one) in the Arizona Highways issue of July 1977, in which it was published by courtesy of the arizona Historical Society. Ever since, I have had doubts whether this and the better known image (the first one) actually show one and the same man, although I admit they do resemble, especially the eyes. So if we can somehow establish it is one and the same man, then we have conclusive evidence it is not Victorio. One point to remember I'd like to repeat here is that the Siris image (first one) is a copy, adapted from the original which shows the man with his checkered shirt to his waist, implying that the identification of the Siris picture was added later.
For what it is worth, from reading Gatewood's papers, and also from Sladen's account, one gets the impression that Victorio looked old and worn, and this is not the idea one gets from looking at the photos of the man supposed to be him... Unless proven otherwise, I agree with Kayitah it is not Victorio...
"Pherhaps, However, First Lt. Joseph Alton Sladen (Fourteenth U.S. Infantry), who as aide-de-camp, accopanied Brig. Gen.Oliver O. Howard into the Dragon Mountains, Arizona Territory, to negotiate peace with Cochise in 1872, wrote in his journal: "Victorio, even then (in 1872), appeared like an old man. Hardship and exposure, disease and lack of food makes wild Indians grow rapidly old in appearance. He was, then, a leader among his people, and his treachery, cunning and cruelty seemed stamped upon his face." Sladen's words describe Victorio six years before Gatewood reported for duty in the Southwest.
I assume that this is part is the same or quite similar "Jeroen" knows from the other book.
Post by magendavid on Jul 10, 2011 15:31:48 GMT -5
Hi to all. Apologies for putting it here, even thou the subject doesn't really fit. On various books it is repeatedly claimed that the winning move of the army dealing with the Victorio war, was the shut down of the channels of Victorio to the Mescalero reservation. I always felt that this answer gives only a partial picture, and wanted to hear your thoughts about it. I also wanted to ask about your opinions why Geronimo's Bedonkoes who were staying at the time in San Carlos reservation, and were in close relations with the Chihennes, didn't came to their support. If I recall correctly, there was even an attempt made by one of Victorio's forces after the defeat at the Palomas to reach San Carlos, with no results. Many sources point the severe casualties taken by Victorio on the Palomas, May 1880, as another significant turning point. according to Thrapp the formal number 30 came from Parker himself, and Cruse thought the real number should be around 10-12. It is mentioned that among the dead were some of Victorio's best, who were irreplaceable. any ideas about their identification ?
Sweeney in his book states that some 35 Chihenne and Bedonkohe warriors died with Victorio during the war of 1879-80, including three of victorio's sons, Turivio, two sons of Mangas Coloradas, Horache, Vicente ( a brother of Geronimo), Fransisco, Miguel Tuerto, Raton,Sathin and Ponce. So there were obviously Bedonkohes with Victorio, Geronimo was more closely associated with Juh and the Nednhis at that time, they did join in several raids with Victorio's people in late 1879, but sought peace at the reservation due to Mexican pressure in early 1880.
Thank you so very much Jeroen. That explains the dissapearance of Ponce and Fransisco, who were rather dominant during the events of 1876-1878, from the records afterwards. According to Daklugie, Ponce was son of Mangas Coloradas, and was the segundo of Jue, who thought highly at him. It seemed to me rather confusing, but Jue did the same afterwards (maybe after the loss of Ponce) with Geronimo. taking again somebody who is not Nednhi.
Ponce seemed to be a nephew of Cochise. He was certainly the son of Chief Ponce who was killed by a drunken chihenne warrior in 1855. This chief was a chihenne leader and was pacific as Loco. I think he was married with a sister of haft-sister of Cochise. The man Ponce who died with Victorio was also a grandson of the great Chokonen Chief : Pizago Cabezon.
thank you coeurrouge. Ponce is one in this very long line of fascinating indian figures on which we know so little. Regarding sweeny, to me it seems that his numbers are the only one who are complete and make no gaps. Victorio started with 60 chiricahua warriors in 1879, and lost 35, it means that 25 were still there after tres castillos. this number fits perfectly with 10 warriors under Nana, forming the rear guard on the eve of the fight- as Kaywakla states - , and the 15 warriors under Blanco in the party searching for ammunition.
sorry for the break, but let's continue. while the numbers about the chiricahuas seems right, the mescalero's figures are more elusive. most sources agree that 50-60 mescalero warriors joined Victorio. we also know that about 8-9 of them were lost at tres castillos and we may estimate that about 15-20 survived it (a hunting party and another group who left just the night before the battle started. seems that muchacho negro and san juan were with this groups). the problem is that I couldn't find in the sources any information regarding the number of mescaleros that have returned to the reservation after the hembrillo canyon battle. assuming the number range between 10-20, we're getting about 30 mescalero warriors killed at the victorio war, and a total of 65 apache warriors. can anybody relate with his thoughts and estimates ?