Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beheadings American Style

September 27, 2014
   Another day, another beheading in the news. While we all recoil in horror at the brutality of the ISIS mode of attention getting, I have to cringe a bit when I think about our own usage of this barbaric tactic.

   In the early 1860s, Apache chief Mangas Coloradas, who had come in under a flag of truce, was subsequently tortured and killed by U.S. troops. Then, he was beheaded, and his skull sent back east "for study."

Daily Whipout: "The Bloody Head of Mangas Coloradas" (30 X 8 inches), gouache

Impressive Mangas
   Mr. Coloradas supposedly stood six feet four, which means he towered over everyone in the Southwest (Geronimo and Billy the Kid were both 5' 7") with the possible exception of Sheriff Bob Paul and Pat Garret (both also stood 6' 4").

   Mangas' daughter married Cochise. An amazing guy and a formidable fighter. Here is the order given to the soldiers at the fort where Mangas went under a flag of truce:

"Men, that old murderer has got away from every soldier command and has left a trail of blood for 500 miles on the old stage line. I want him dead tomorrow morning. Do you understand? I want him dead."
—Brigadier General Joseph Rodman West

   In the early 1870s, soldiers under General Crook, battling Apaches who would not stay on the reservation, instituted a bounty on Apache heads. Paul Andrew Hutton, who is still working on his epic Apache book which should be out next year, will write a cover story for us on, what he calls, "The Severed Heads Campaign." The moral here is that ISIS still has a ways to go to catch up to our own brutality.

"Heads will roll."
—Old Vaquero Saying