Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Thinking About The Murder Of Mangas Colorado

This morning I was reading the chapter of Chronicles of the Indian Wars where Mangas Colorado gets murdered by a misguided army miscreant.

Mangas Colorado was an Apache. Even though he was not an Indian local to my current location, reading about the trials and tribulations of Mangas Colorado, and his murder, made me feel like driving to Village Creek Natural Historical Area for a visit with the Indian Ghosts who haunt this location.

That and I needed to go to ALDI to get butter and other good stuff.

That is not litter clogged up behind the Village Creek Dam Bridge you are looking at above. Those are leaves, a huge raft of leaves, not unlike the Great Red River Raft of long ago. Fallen leaves also made a pleasant crunching sound as I walked along the paved trail.

Back to Mangas Colorado.

If you are not familiar with the story of this famous Native American, below is the blurb from the Wikipedia Mangas Colorado article which pertains to his murder...

In the summer of 1862, after recovering from a bullet wound in the chest, Mangas Coloradas met with an intermediary to call for peace. In January 1863, he decided to meet with U.S. military leaders at Fort McLane, in southwestern New Mexico. Mangas arrived under a flag of truce to meet with Brigadier General Joseph Rodman West, an officer of the California militia and a future Reconstruction senator from Louisiana. Armed soldiers took Mangas into custody. West gave an execution order to the sentries.

"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.”

That night Mangas was tortured, shot and killed "trying to escape." While tied on the ground, Mangas was provoked with red hot bayonets until he moved to simulate his attempt to escape.

The following day, U.S. soldiers cut off his head, boiled it and sent the skull to Orson Squire Fowler, a phrenologist in New York City. Phrenological analysis of the skull and two sketchs of it appear in Fowler's book. Daklugie, one of informants in Eve Ball's book, said the skull went to the Smithsonian Institution.

So, U.S. soldiers beheaded Mangas Colorado, post-mortem. Sort of an ISIS army on the 1800s.

History ain't pretty sometimes.....

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