More than 5,000 troops were under General Miles’ command at that time, includingelements of the 4th, 6th and 10th Cavalry. He gave the principal pursuit mission to the 4thbecause it was headquartered at Fort Huachuca, the base of operations for the campaign. The Army had permission to go to Mexico in pursuit. Captain Henry Lawton, commanding officer of “B” Troop, 4th Cavalry, was anexperienced soldier who knew the ways of the Apaches. His tactics were to wear themdown by constant pursuit. Stationed at the fort at that time were many men who would later become wellknown in theArmy: Colonel W.
B. Royall, commanding officer of the fort and the 4th Cavalry, who wasresponsible for the logistical support of the Geronimo campaign; Leonard Wood, who wentalong on the expedition as contract surgeon; Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Forsyht; CaptainC.
A. P. Hatfield; Captain J. H. Dorst; and First Lieutenant Powhatan H.Order now
Clarke, who wasimmortalized by the artist, Remington, for saving a black trooper during the campaign. With the fort as advance base for the pursuit forces, the heliograph communicationsnetwork, which General Miles had established in Arizona and New Mexico, was usedeffectively for logistical purposes. However, the Indians and the Army were conductingtheir chase in Mexico where the system did not extend. So the most the heliograph coulddo in the campaign was relay messages brought by fast riders from the border. April 1, 1886 was the date that Captain Lawton led his troopers with two pack trains and30 Indian Scouts through the Huachuca Mountains to Nogales, Mexico, to pick upGeronimo’s trail.
Though various units would join the pursuit later and separate to followtrails left by the Indians back and forth across the border, there were few times that Armytroops and members of Geronimo’s band would come face to face. Four Months later, Captain Lawton and Leonard Wood were sent back to Fort Huachcua,worn down by the rough country and grueling campaign. More than 3,000 miles were covered by the Indians and the Army during the chase, whichtook a month longer than General Miles had planned. The men had walked and riddenthrough some of the most inaccessible desert land in North America, in heat sometimesabove 110 degrees.
After Geronimo’s surrender, “B” Troop of the 4th Cavalry was given the mission ofescorting the Apache’s to Florida. The chase of Geronimo caught the interest of the Nation and the World. In 1887 PresidentGrover Cleveland approved the transfer of “B” Troop, 4th Cavalry to Fort Myer, VA, nearWashington, D. C.
There, with Captain Lawton still commanding, the troop formed anhonor guard, and were reviewed by dignitaries, both foreign and national. Captain Lawton, who had won the Medal of Honor with the 30th Indiana Infantry in theCivil War, also fought in Cuba in 1898, and was killed in action in the Philippines in 1899as a Major General. Leonard Wood kept a complete account of the Geronimo campaign and later, when he wasassigned to Cuba, put to good use his experiences in the pursuit. In 1895 in Cuba heserved under General Samuel Whitside, who had founded Fort Huachuca in March 1877 asa Captain of “B” Company, 6th Cavalry. Leonard Wood later rose to the rank of Generaland became Chief of Staff of the U.
S. Army. Elements of the 4th were stationed at Fort Huachuca from 1884 to 1890. During WorldWar II the 4th was reorganized and redesignated the 4th Cavalry, Mechanized. Afternumerous reassignments and changes, it became the 4th Cavalry, Armored.
An Apache war chief, Geronimo, and a small band of warriors brokeout of a concentration camp. He fought a guerrilla campaign againsthundreds of United States cavalry and held out for months by raidingfrom the mountains which had been the Apache range until the white mencame. While the cavalry followed rumours and false trails from canyonto mesa, newspapers in the east quickly made the defiant Apache a folklegend, demonizing him and at the same time making him a symbol of thevanishing frontier. It was only with the help of other Apache scouts that the cavalryat last cornered Geronimo and negotiated his surrender. Geronimo, whohad left the army concentration camps twice before, returned to thefences and lived until he was old by learning to sign his name inEnglish and selling his autographs at ‘wild west’ shows.
Sufferingfrom tuberculosis and pneumonia, Geronimo died pathetically on a winternight, alone, after