Mescalero Agency

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

Story 1

16 April 1880; Mescalero, New Mexico: On 16 April, Cols. Benjamin Grierson and Edward Hatch assembled about 700 men of the 6th, 9th, and 10th Cavalries at the Mescalero Agency near Tularosa, New Mexico, to oversee the surrender of 309 Apaches. Hatch wanted to disarm them, but agent Samuel A. Russell warned him that if the Indians had known that their weapons would be taken, they would not have come in at all.

About 10 a.m., Army scouts killed two Indians who appeared to be raiding stock. Russell was irate, insisting he had authorized them to drive in some strays. At 2 p.m., Capt. Charles Steelhammer and Company G of the 15th Infantry attempted to disarm the Mescaleros. A fight broke out as the Indians ran. The soldiers killed 14 warriors. Grierson rounded up most of the escapees, but 30 got away, heading south toward the Guadalupe Mountains.

Story 2

23 June 1882; Mescalero, New Mexico: In the winter of 1882, the Mescalero Give-Me-a-Horse escaped from confinement at Fort Union and took refuge at the Mescalero Agency near Fort Stanton. After stealing six horses in the Penasco Valley, he was captured by the Indian police, but they released him when he agreed to return the horses.

After this incident, Give-Me-a-Horse took up with some other renegades in Nautzile's camp. Indian agent W.H.H. Llewellyn and some Indian police tried to arrest the renegades. In the resulting battle, Give-Me-a-Horse and two other Indians were killed, and Llewellyn was wounded. He credited the police with saving his life. The rest of the band, about eight warriors, fled the reservation.

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