Monday, June 13, 2011

Captain Emmett Crawford's Tragic Death

June 13, 2011

Worked all weekend on a scene of Emmett Crawford's tragic death. After a brilliant, extraordinary stealth attack, complete with night marches, fording the Aros River time and again, climbing over boulder strewn canyons, in the dark, inches at a time, the 81 Apache scouts got the drop on Geronimo's secret stronghold high on the Devil's Backbone. Towards dawn they almost had the village surrounded, when donkeys and mules began braying, sensing the approaching troops, giving the alarm. Geronimo, Naiche and most the Apaches escaped in the twilight darkness, but Crawford and crew captured all of their provisions and stolen stock (some 300 horses). Later that day, Geronimo sent word that he wanted to surrender and would come in the next day. Crawford was on the verge of victory, but he made a fatal mistake: everyone in his command was exhausted and bone tired and he allowed everyone to sleep in, and he didn't post sentrys.

Unfortunately, a large group of Mexican soldiers (128), bringing along their own In-din scouts, the Tarahumara, mortal enemies of the Apaches, had the very same idea and attacked, what they thought was an Apache camp, which it was 12 hours earlier (and full of stolen stock). The officers, Crawford and Lt. Shipp and Lt. Maus ran out with chief of scouts Tom Horn to try and identify themselves and stop the attack. Crawford jumped up on a boulder and waved a white handkerchief.

A Mexican sniper shot him in the forehead. One of the Apache scouts, Dutchy, instantly revenged Crawford's killing, shooting the sniper.

Ironically, a Tombstone sheriff had traveled 200 miles into Mexico to arrest Dutchy on the charge of murder. Dutchy was accused of killing a miner in Arizona. Crawford talked him out of it out of fear the scouts wouldn't allow it and kill him. The sheriff went home empty-handed.

Double-irony: Dutchy was sent to Florida with Geronimo when the latter finally surrendered months later at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona. Paul Hutton just told me Dutchy was killed in Alabama when Geronimo's group was transferred to Mobile.

"Thanks for nothing. Oh, and nothing is stranger than actual history."
—Dutchy, being channeled by BBB

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