Bosque Redondo
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A NAVAJO DIASPORA:

THE LONG WALK TO HWÉELDI

By

Neal W. Ackerly, Ph.D.

 

Dos Rios Consultants, Inc., P.O. Box 1247, Silver City, NM 88062

June 1998

8 Dos Rios Consultants, Inc. 1998 All Rights Reserved

 

The arrangement made by you for the custody of the captured Indians at the Reservation is in the highest degree proper and advantageous to the Government, and it is considered important that the Indians should remain under the direction of the Department commander, at all events, for a sufficient length of time to make a full and fair trial of the experiment set forth by you.

-Townsend to Carleton July 25, 1864

 

Introduction

    In 1863, the United States government inaugurated efforts toward the forcible removal of a large percentage of the Navajo Nation from their homeland on the Colorado Plateau to a reservation along the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico. This reservation, known as Ft. Sumner or Hwéeldi, was originally envisioned as a permanent home for the Navajo.

    This policy, and the events linked to it, is rooted in the tenor of the times. It reflects not only attitudes toward American Indians in general, and Navajos specifically, but was also part and parcel of what has come to be called "manifest destiny." In brief, manifest destiny was an Anglo-European attitude that lands occupied by American Indians could be put to more productive uses by white settlers. This however, required that Indian groups be pacified or physically removed from their homelands, thereby freeing up these lands for white settlement. The instigator of this policy, General James H. Carleton, was involved in a wide variety of non-military activities that presupposed removal of Indians from their homelands. In particular, he was a strong advocate of Eastern capitalists who were interested in establishing mining operations on Indian lands.

    In addition, throughout history there had been raids by Navajo on New Mexican settlements that were, in turn, reciprocated with a vengeance by settlers upon the Navajo Nation. This pattern of reciprocal raiding reached in crescendo in the mid-nineteenth century as Navajo found themselves subject to raids not only from New Mexican settlers, but Utes, Paiutes, Hopis, Comanches, and myriad other semi-nomadic tribes of the Southwest. In an effort to replenish their lost livestock and other goods, the Navajo turned with increasing frequency to raids on Rio Grande settlements. The result was formation of volunteer units by New Mexican authorities to "punish" the Navajo and calls for their subjugation, if not extermination.

    One could well ask, why the Navajo? In fact, the Mescalero Apache were the original focus of Carleton's policy of relocating American Indians to reservations (Thompson 1982:11). Indeed, Ft. Sumner initially was to be a reservation for the Mescalero Apache and only later was it selected as the site for the Navajo reservation. At its peak, Ft. Sumner contained both Apaches and Navajos.

    Instead, it seems that the Long Walk was the opening salvo of a more general policy to establish many different Indian reservations, preferably in areas containing few resources of interest to Anglo-Europeans. The Apache and Navajo were simply the most visible tribes upon which to try out this experiment (Thompson 1982:12-13).

    Second, Navajos were not equally affected by Carleton's policy calling for their removal to Ft. Sumner. It is readily apparent that Navajo in the eastern part of their homeland were more often targeted for removal, while those in the western part often escaped the Army's attention (Johnson 1973:xi). Holdouts were concentrated in the western portion of the reservation as far north as Blanding and Monticello, Utah, as well as in the fastness of Navajo Mountain and as far west as Lee's Ferry, Arizona. Later oral histories confirm this fact:

I was told by my late father that our ancestors of the Naaneesht'ézhi clan never went to Hwéeldi. They hid in the canyon of Tsékooh hah zhoozh near the land of the Beehai [Jicarilla Apache] people. My maternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather did not go to Hwéeldi (Annabelle Redhorse Benally, Oral Histories of the Long Walk [OHLW] 1989:29)

Many of the Navajos did not make the journey to Hwéeldi. They stayed in the area and hid in the mountains, canyons, and mesas. A man named Haadéézdíín hid on top of Tséyíígai [Chaco Canyon mesa] (Jim Beyale, OHLW, 1989:37).

Many of the Navajo people went to the Arizona mountains to hide. Some of the people are still living there. The Navajos who lived in the desert or valleys had no place to hide. They were either captured for slaves or killed. Some of the people who were captured were taken to Hwéeldi [Ft. Sumner] as captives (John Beyale, Sr., OHLW 1989:42)

Also, a large number of Navajos - I think maybe 1,000 or 2,000 or more - moved down below Naatsis'aan [Navajo Mountain]. While they were living there, the rest of the Navajos - around 8,000 - were herded to Fort Sumner where many lost their lives (Howard Gorman in Johnson 1973:41).

Of course the people who moved down into the rugged canyons, who included my ancestors, managed to survive down there, and they never experienced the tragic treatment by the white leaders as well as by other tribes. The soldiers went out as far as Navajo Mountain in the north, as far as Dz» ºijiin [Black Mountain] toward the west and to Tónaneesdizí [Tuba City] further west (Curley Tso in Johnson 1973:103)

    The maximum number of Navajo residing at Ft. Sumner was approximately 8,000 at its peak (Thompson 1976:51). Col. Christopher Carson originally estimated the total number of Navajo to be approximately 15,000. Accordingly, it appears that the events surrounding the Long Walk affected only about half of the Navajo Nation, most located in the eastern portion of their homeland adjacent to Rio Grande settlements.

Factors Contributing to Carleton's Navajo Policies

    One of the less-recognized factors contributing to policies culminating in the Long Walk was Anglo enthusiasm for and interest in potential mineral wealth. As will be shown, General James H. Carleton was involved in a series of questionable activities regarding mining, the cumulative effect of which appears to have contributed to his decision to remove Navajos from their homeland (Acrey 1994:38).

    This interest was prompted by gold discoveries such as the ones at Old and New Placers in the 1830s. In 1850, placer gold was discovered in the Jicarilla Mountains - certainly one of New Mexico's remoter corners (Christiansen 1974:30, 39). Finally, the first major lead and gold deposits were found in the southern part of New Mexico near Organ and Piños Altos in 1858 and 1859, respectively (Anderson 1957:5, Christiansen 1974:28-29). Yet, perhaps the biggest factor contributing to mining fever was the discovery, in 1863, of the first major silver lodes near Magdalena, New Mexico, followed in 1864 by the discovery of substantial high-grade silver deposits near Silver City, NM (Anderson 1957:5, Christiansen 1974:40). These ore discoveries, coinciding as they did with large influxes of Anglos in the years following 1848, further fanned mine fever.

    Indeed, General James H. Carleton's Indian policy of the 1860s, which included removing over 8,000 Navajos and a smaller number of Mescalero Apache to Bosque Redondo, may have been prompted, at least in part, by the lure of potential mineral riches. Carleton actively encouraged his soldiers to prospect for precious metals and send in reports of likely mineral areas. In 1854, for example, Kit Carson reported that "In regard to the new Silver Leads I am not sufficiently posted yet to say much about them but will advise you of the first favorable opportunity I hear of" (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Carson to Carleton 4/12/65). Similarly, one of Carleton's subordinates was notified by a trooper that: "There is a report here that gold has been found in large quantities on Little Red River. I hope that it is true. When the command returns I suppose that we shall learn all about it" (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Need to Cutler, 29 September 1863).

    This interest in mineral availability extended into what is today Arizona. For example, reporting from Ft. Defiance, Michael Steck reported to Carleton that:

It is thought that Col. Carson in his peregrinations through the Navajo country will make great Mineral Discoveries, as it is well known that Gold and Silver exists in large quantities between here and the Rio Mohave. In many places the soil is highly auriferous [gold-bearing] (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Steck to Carleton, 12 August 1863).

Carleton also lobbied in support of mining, advising representatives in Washington, D.C. that:

Amongst these letters will be found two or three relating to the wealth of this part of the country in precious metals. These are sent to you in order that the Committee may see the national importance of settling Indians on Reservations, so that the country now inhabited by many bands of them may be left open to the enterprize [sic] and skill of the miner. The Indians will not themselves work the mines; they should not be permitted to lie in wait to murder the prospector who comes with much toil and many privations to explore their country; and the question which comes up, is, shall the miners be protected and the country developed, or shall the Indians be suffered to kill them and the nation be deprived of its immense wealth? (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Carleton to Doolittle, 10/22/65).

    This, then, is the statement that most clearly links Carleton's Indian policies, and particularly his policies with respect to settling the Navajos on the Ft. Sumner reservation, with mining interests. If this were not sufficient, Carleton even went so far as to send a gold nugget to Salmon Chase, Treasury Secretary, with the request that it be forwarded to President Abraham Lincoln along with a plea that roads be constructed to suppress Indians and encourage further mine development (Carleton to Chase, 29 Sept. 1863, Senate Report #156, Condition of the Indian Tribes, pg. 140; see also Link 1971:6-7, Rickard 1932:271). What is less known is that Carleton personally filed mining claims in New Mexico:

I much hope that your mining shares will prove valuable as I have every reason to believe that the mines will prove to be very good. Your claims are located and recorded, and Mr. Solomon Beuthner would have sent them by this express but in fear that they might get wet or lost, he will bring them to you as soon as he visits Santa Fe (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Carson to Carleton 5/1/65).

    Moreover, Carleton contacted Eastern financiers in an effort to explore the possibility of obtaining capital to develop mines in the territory:

I am exceedingly obliged to you, for the information contained in your letter, respecting the Gold Mines, and take this opportunity to assure you Dear Genl. [sic] that I shall use every effort, to induce Men of Capital in this City [New York] to form Companies for the purpose of developing the vast resources of New Mexico, which I know is beyond the power of individuals to accomplish (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Beuthner to Carleton 11/27/63).

Long Walk Routes and Incidents of Removal

    The forced removal of Navajo groups did not follow a single route, but, as has been documented here, traveled along a number of alternate routes. This was due, in no small measure, to the fact that the U.S. Army found itself overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of Navajo surrendering at Ft. Canby and Ft. Wingate in the spring of 1864. To prevent even larger masses of Navajo humanity from congregating at these forts, officers were often instructed to simply move them to Bosque Redondo by the quickest means possible.

    As a consequence, while at least 53 separate episodes of removal can be documented from internal Army correspondence, escorting officers often failed to prepare reports about the escort. Further, officers that did prepare reports often failed to describe in detail the routes traversed. Despite these limitations, there are sufficient numbers of reports to identify at least four (4) alternate routes that were used by troops in escorting Navajo to Bosque Redondo. Previous scholars, notably McNitt, have termed these the Santa Fe, Mountain, Cañon Blanco, and Piedra Pintada routes - nomenclature that will be used here (Bailey 1988, Acrey 1994, McNitt 1973). Also, the Army did not blaze new trails specifically for purposes of moving Navajos to Ft. Sumner, instead following well-established wagon roads described in detail by earlier and later travelers to New Mexico. These narratives, while not specifically related to the Long Walk period, are included here since they amplify information regarding route segments used during the Long Walk.

    Finally, Long Walk routes frequently followed the same alignment over one or more segments. To remove redundancies, we have for purposes of this presentation divided the routes into the following distinct segments and subsegments:

a. Ft. Wingate to Los Piños/Albuquerque segment

b. Intermediate Segments East and North of Albuquerque

1. Santa Fe Segment

2. Mountain Segment

3. Cañon Blanco Segment

4. Piedra Pintada Segment

c. Ft. Union to Ft. Sumner Segment

Fort Wingate - Los Piños/Albuquerque Segment

    Documentary accounts indicate that a well-established wagon road was present between Old Ft. Wingate, near Zuni, and extended eastward toward the Rio Grande. At or near Sheep Springs, the road branched south to Los Piños and north to Albuquerque. The portion of the Long Walk route between Ft. Wingate and Albuquerque-Los Piños appears to have followed a road first described in 1853-1854 by Whipple, Aubrey, Beale, Simpson and others. Based on a succession of first-person descriptions discussed in more detail below, we believe that all the Navajo were transported along this wagon road between Ft. Wingate and Los Piños/Albuquerque.

    According to François Aubrey, an existing wagon road was so well established in September of 1853 that "I shall take no notes of the country from this town [Zuni] to Albuquerque on the Rio Grande, as a level and much traveled wagon road exists between the two places, and is familiar to the people of New Mexico" (Bieber 1938:373). In August of 1854, on his return trip, Aubrey noted that he had traveled eastward along the wagon road from Zuni to Albuquerque, but again provides no commentary (Bieber 1938:383). In 1853, James Carleton commented on a wagon road extending up the Rio Puerco, noting that the route passed through Laguna and Zuni (Rittenhouse 1965:21). Also in 1853, Lieut. Whipple described his traverse of the wagon road from Albuquerque to Laguna Pueblo in far more detail. Whipple noted that he passed through Atrisco along a road lying south of the village of Rio Puerco, then through Sheep Springs (El Alamo), Rito, Rancho Colorado, Laguna, Cubero, Hay Camp (near McCarty), Agua Fria, and El Moro to Zuni (Foreman 1941:119-122, 125, 127, 130, 132, 137). This route was variously described by Whipple as a "fine road" and a "smooth road" (Foreman 1941:125, 127), while Foreman characterized it as "an ancient road" (Foreman 1941:122, fn27).

    Slightly later, in 1857, May Stacey recorded in his journal for August 13 - 16 that his camel column, commanded by Lieut. Edward Beale, departed from Albuquerque heading westward for Ft. Defiance via Zuni Pueblo (Leslie 1929:80-82). Stacey mentions specifically that the road the column was traveling on passed through Laguna, Covero [Cubero], Ojo del Gallo, and El Moro to Zuni (Leslie 1929:80-87). Some of these towns - Covero, Ojo del Gallo, Zuni, and Agua Azure - are again mentioned in Beale's independent report of the expedition (Leslie 1929:178-181, 188). More importantly, Kelly (1970:140, fn 49) indicates that it was Beale's route that linked Ft. Wingate with Los Piños and Albuquerque. Beale's (1860) report indicates that the road passed through the towns of Albuquerque, Atrisco, Cubero, Hay Camp, Agua Frio, Inscription Rock, Ojo del Pescado, and Zuni.

    Two years later, in 1859, Major O.L. Shepard marched southeastward from the Chuska valley. In the vicinity of the Rio Gallo, along the northern flanks of Mt. Taylor [San Mateo] near the future site of Ft. Wingate, Shepard encountered a route which "thus far had the most numerous and heavily beaten trails I have ever seen in the Navajo country" (Bailey 1964:100). Shepard noted that this trail, some 60 miles long, passed through Cuvero and Laguna on the way to Albuquerque (Bailey 1964:100) and simply noted "this part of the route is too well known to require further notice" (Bailey 1964:105).

    Portions of the route taken between Ft. Wingate and either Albuquerque or Los Piños can be pieced together from Army reports of individual incidents of removal. For example, one report from December 1863 indicates that the route traveled was from Ft. Wingate through Cubero to Los Piños (Kelly 1970:103, fn38). During this same year, another report by Francisco Chavez regarding a traverse in December of 1863 provides considerable detail about the wagon road alignment. He indicates that the road passed, in order, from Albuquerque through Pajarito (7 miles) to Rio Puerco (18 miles) to Sheep Springs (12 miles) to El Rito (10 miles) to Laguna and then to Cubero (18 miles), arriving at Ft. Wingate (25 miles) on the sixth day after leaving Albuquerque (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Chavez to AAG, 1 June 1864)

    A report by Julius Shaw in early January of 1864 confirms this route and provides additional place names along the route:

With Lieut. Robert Postle, 1st Ca[valr]y, NM Vols who left this place this morning en route from Fort Canby to Los Piños, escorting Indians, I sent . . . 57 Indians. I gave Lt. Postle particular instructions about seizing every Navajoe [sic] man, woman, and child, in the towns of Cubero, Laguna, and El Rito, and taking them with the others to Los Piños (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Shaw to Cutler, 12 January 1864)

T    he March 6, 1864, route of one of the largest groups of Navajo, numbering more than 2500 men, women, and children in all, extended from Ft. Canby southeastward to Ft. Fauntleroy (later renamed Ft. Lyon). According to Thompson's escort report, the route then ran eastward along the Rio Puerco from (Old) Ft. Wingate to San José to Bear Springs and on to Los Piños (Kelly 1970:125). Upon his arrival at Ft. Sumner on 29 March 1864, Thompson reported:

I have the honor to report my arrival at this post, on the 13th inst[ant], with 2400 Navajo Indians. I left Ft. Canby N.M. on the 4th of March 1864, with 2170 Indians. Received at Bear Springs NM 97 more, and arrived at Los Piños N.M. on the 19th and left on the 21st of March. I received at Los Piños 360 but had to send them back from Baird's Ranch after being two days out for want of transportation. I received at San José one (1) and at Bernal Springs NM twenty four (24). I have lost since I left Canby 197 by deaths and gained on the trip 245, which gain was made on the road between Ft. Canby and Los Piños NM by Indians coming in from the mountains. The Indians have lost 50 head of horses and mules which were stolen by Mexican thieves. The Inf[antry] under my command captured six head of the stolen animals at San Antonita NM and for the want of mounted men to follow up the Robbers the balance were lost (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Thompson to Carleton, 29 March 1864)

    Similarly, Capt. Francis McCabe's report on the removal of 836 Navajos on March 20, 1864, noted that the route extended from Ft. Canby southeastward to Ft. Wingate, then east through Laguna to Los Piños (Kelly 1970:136, McNitt 1973:150):

On the 30th of March I left Fort Wingate and arrived at Los Piños on the 4th of April. In passing the pueblos of Acomac [sic] and Laguna I noticed a disposition among the indians of these villages to induce the Navajoes [sic] to remain amongst them.

In addition, Campbell's report of March 3, 1864, again confirms that the road passed through Cubero and Laguna (Kelly 1970:149).

    A report by 1st Lieut. John Tiernon of a trip made in the fall of 1865 again confirms these place names:

October 21st 1865. Marched on Fort Wingate road to the Rio Puerco, distance 18 miles, and camped. October 22nd. Travelled [sic] on the Fort Wingate road to the settlement of El Rito, distance 25 miles, and camped. October 23rd, travelled on Fort Wingate road to Laguna Pueblo and then returned by the same road to El Rito, distance 18 miles, camped. October 24th travelled east on Fort Wingate road to Albuquerque, N.M. distance 43 miles (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Tiernon to McCabe, 25 October 1865)

    Finally, in 1867, Bell indicated that the road passed through Isleta, Puerco Summit, mouth of the El Rito river, Sheep Springs, El Rito town, Laguna, Cuvero, Remances/Picket Post, and Ft. Wingate (1965:542). Again, there is a significant correspondence between place names in Bell's later narrative with those from earlier chronicles. Considered jointly, these narratives all point to the existence of two alternate wagon road connecting Fort Wingate with Los Piños (south) and Albuquerque (north). The northern road, which appears to have most frequently traveled, passed through the towns (east to west) of Sheep Springs (El Alamo), Rito, Rancho Colorado, Laguna, Cubero, Hay Camp (near McCarty), Ojo de Gallo, Agua Fria, and El Moro.

    Additional evidence from Wheeler's (1877) extensive mapping expedition confirms this route. Wheeler indicates a southern road passing from east to west from Los Piños to Luna, Los Lunas, Quelites, San José, Big Spring, El Rito, Mesa Negra, Laguna, and Cubero to Ft. Wingate. The northern road from Albuquerque extended from east to west through Atrisco, San Luis Rey, Sheep Spring, Mesa Negra, Laguna, and Cubero (see also Carleton map 1864).

    To summarize, the many independent observers cited above indicated that the route did indeed consist of a well-known and well-defined wagon road extending west from Albuquerque along the Rio Puerco to Zuni. Further, there is a profound correspondence in named localities between Army escort reports of the period 1863-1864 and both earlier and later reports of surveying expeditions.     Based on these documentary accounts, it seems reasonable to suggest that this single road segment was used for all of the individual incidents of travel by groups of Navajo between Ft. Wingate and either (a) Albuquerque or (b) Los Piños. The high degree of correspondence in named localities collected from many different narratives indicates that this route passed, in order from west to east, from Ft. Wingate/Ojo de Gallo to Remances to Hay Camp (McCarty's Ranch) to Cubero to Pueblo Laguna to Rancho Colorado to El Rito village to Sheep Springs (El Alamo), where the road forked. The northern branch extended from Sheep Springs along a route lying south of Rio Puerco village to Atrisco and terminated in Albuquerque. The southern branch extended from Sheep Springs through Isleta, terminating at Los Piños.

Intermediate Segments East and North of Albuquerque

    The intermediate portions of the routes taken by Navajos between Albuquerque and Ft. Union actually consisted of four sub-routes including the Santa Fe, Mountain, Cañon Blanco, and Piedra Pintada Canyon routes. Each sub-route is discussed below.

        1. The Albuquerque to Santa Fe segment of the "Santa Fe" route, appears to have followed an existing wagon road corresponding   roughly to the earlier Spanish Colonial "Camino Real" that connected Albuquerque with Santa Fe. According to Turner's 1846            narrative, this road extended south from Santa Fe through the Galisteo basin and on to San Felipe, Algodones, Sandia, and         Albuquerque proper (1966:75-78).

    The presence of an existing wagon road along this segment is independently confirmed and amplified slightly by the narratives of Lieut. James Simpson (McNitt 1964:6-7). Simpson noted that his artillery unit traveled from Santa Fe southward through Agua Fria and Cieneguilla to Santo Domingo before turning west toward Jemez, while a second column traveled along a parallel (eastern) route located two miles east of Cieneguilla, NM (McNitt 1964:6). In 1853, Whipple noted that the Camino Real wagon road extended from Cieneguilla southward through Peña Blanca, Santo Domingo, Covero, San Felipe, Algodones, Bernalillo, and Sandia Pueblo to Albuquerque (Foreman 1941:108-111).

    The "Santa Fe" route from Santa Fe east to Ft. Union parallelled the Santa Fe Trail. According to a report by Henry Lauer, the road connected, in order, Santa Fe with Pigeon's Ranch [Glorieta], San José, and Tecolote, turning southward from Tecolote to Anton Chico (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Lauer to Overshine, 22 November 1863). The "Santa Fe" was reconstructed by McNitt (1973:148) based on Wardwell's narratives of a July 1863 and November 1863 traverse of the route. Since McNitt's study was published, other reports by Wardwell from August of 1863, September of 1863 and December of 1863 have been located (NARA, RG 98, LR, No. 1462, File W286/1863, M1120, Roll 21, Frames 907-909, 1038-1044, 1220-1224). All of the place names mentioned in these reports, as well as their order of occurrence, are the same and are illustrated by Wardwell's December 8, 1863, report:

Nov. 22. Left Santa Fe as 12 o'clock M[idday] and encamped about eight miles from that place at sunset. Nov. 23. Left camp at sunrise, traveling through snow about eight inches deep which had fallen during the previous night, and encamped at Pigeon's Ranch [Glorieta]. Nov. 24. Left camp at sunrise, and encamped at sunset about seven miles from Kaslosky's [Koslowski's], on the road to San José. Nov 25. Left camp at sunrise, and encamped at sunset at San José. Nov. 26. Let San José at Sunrise and encamped at Sunset at Tucalote [Tecolote]. Nov. 27. I did not leave camp until Noon, as the cattle had strayed during the night - and encamped at sunset about six miles from Tucalote [Tecolote]. Nov 28. Left camp at sunrise and encamped at Las Vegas at 3 o'clk. Nov. 29th. Left Las Vegas at 9 o'clk A.M. and encamped at Cronig's [Kronig's] at 7 1/2 o'ck P.M. Nov. 30. Left camp at sunrise and arrived at Fort Union at noon - turned one hundred and eight-six (186) Indians over to Lt. Col. McMullen (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Wardwell to Cutler, 8 December 1863, M1120, Roll 21, Frames 1220-1224)

    Similarly, Hubbell's report of May 7, 1864 indicated that the Santa Fe route extended from Los Piños through the towns of Alameda (Albuquerque), Algodones, Pino's Ranch, Galisteo, Pigeon's Ranch, San José, Bernal Springs, Tecolote, and Apache Springs to Hatch's Ranch (NARA, RG 98, LR, M1120, Roll 24, Hubbell to Speed 5/7/64). A subsequent report by Hubbell about this same traverse was prepared on July 23, 1864. Hubbell reiterates that the route passed, from east to west, through Las Vegas, Tecolote, Bernal Springs, San José, Pigeon's Ranch, Pino's Ranch, Galisteo, and Algodones to Los Piños (NARA, RG 98, LR, Hubbell to Ft. Canby, 7/23/64, M1120, Roll 24).

    Considered jointly, these various accounts again suggest the route followed the earlier and well-established Santa Fe Trail. Specifically, it turned eastward and passed in succession through the towns/places of Kozlowski's Ranch, Pigeon's Ranch (Glorieta), Tecolote and Las Vegas to Kroenig's Ranch where it turned north toward Ft. Union. The trail from Ft. Union to Ft. Sumner followed an existing wagon road southward along the Rio Pecos. This route was used during the removals of August and November 1863, as well as a removal in January of 1864 (see additional discussion below). According to a report by Berney, the route intersected the towns of Tecolote [Locotiti] and Anton Chico (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Berney to Cutler, 14 March 1864).

    This general alignment is again confirmed by a 9 April 1864 report from Sgt. Felmore regarding Indians and livestock that had been stolen by local residents as Navajo trains passed by:

I left Santa Fe N.M. on March 29, 1864, and marched thence to Pigeon's Ranch [Glorieta] where I arrived at 4 o'clock PM and camped. On the 30th I left that place and marched to San José. . .I found one of the horses in the possession of Mr. Nelson at Tecalote [sic]. . .On the following morning April 1st 1864 I proceeded to Las Vegas. . .On the 2nd arrived at Ft. Union. . .On the 5th [after leaving Las Vegas] I proceeded to Vernale [sic-Bernal] Springs where I found Capt. Thompson. . .On the 6th I arrived in San José. On the 7th I proceeded to Kosklosky's [sic-Koslowski's]. . .On the 7th...I arrived at Santa Fe (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Felmor to DeForrest, 9 April 1864)

    Finally, the general alignment of the segment lying between Ft. Union and Santa Fe is independently confirmed by the private journal of Samuel Davis, a member of the Doolittle Commission writing under the pen name of "Burwell." In 1865, according to this chronicle, members of the Doolittle Commission traveled from Ft. Sumner to Santa Fe via Ft. Union, Bernal Springs, San José, Pigeon's Ranch, and Kozlowski's Ranch (White 1975:40-41).

    Assuming that, indeed, the route between Santa Fe and Ft. Union followed the Santa Fe Trail, the alignment of the Santa Fe route between Santa Fe and Ft. Union is amplified in even more detail from a study by Stocking of the Santa Fe Trail itself (1971:277, 304-305). Stocking indicates that an existing wagon road, running from west to east, connected the towns of Santa Fe, Cañoncito, Glorieta Pass, Glorieta, Kozlowski's Ranch, Rowe, Ilfeld, San José, Ojo de Bernal (Bernal), Tecolote, Romeroville, Vegas Gap, Las Vegas, Azul, Nava, Kroenig's Ranch, Barclay's Fort (Ranch) and Ft. Union.

    2. The so-called "Mountain" route extended east from Albuquerque through Tijeras Canyon turning north along the east slopes of the Sandias to Galisteo and then east toward Ft. Union. Correspondence discovered since McNitt's publication suggests that the Mountain route was to have been used almost exclusively after Postel's escort in January of 1864. Specifically, McMullen, the commander of the Los Piños depot, wrote "The General Commanding [Carleton], while here, gave me verbal orders to send all Navajo Indians who came here to Fort Union by way of Galisteo" (NARA, RG 98, LR, McMullen to Cutler, 20 January 1864). Whether Carleton's verbal orders were obeyed remains uncertain.

    One early report identifying the alignment of this route was submitted in August, 1863, by Samuel Ovenshine, who noted that he had pursued Navajos southward from Galisteo through Chilili, Manzano, and Abó Pass to La Joya (NARA, RG 98, LR, Ovenshine to Selden, 26 August 1863).

    The route was further clarified by McNitt from contemporary documents, primarily the narratives of Capt. Thompson (1973:151). On 29 March 1864, Thompson reported to Carleton as follows:

I left Los Piños N.M. on the 21st inst[ant] and marched about 8 miles to camp. . .I marched on the 23rd to the mouth of Albuquerque [Tijeras] Canyon 14 miles, where I laid over on the 24th to allow the train of Mr. Aguirre to join me, which it did. . .on the 25th marched to camp near San Antonio 6 miles, on the 26th to Camp near San Pedro 10 miles, on the 27th to this camp [near Real Francisco - Tureto] 11 miles, on the 28th I remained here expecting that Aguirre's train would come up, but as it did not, I was compelled to remain here to day [sic] and sent back Mr. Robisson's Govt. train to the other side of San Pedro to take Aguirre's freight and endeavor to bring his train up. . .I respectfully request that 8 wagons be furnished me in lieu of Aguirre's train (which is 10 wagons) which I will send back. . .the wagons can meet me at Kozloski's Ranch (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Thompson to Carleton, 29 March 1864; see also to AAG,2 May 1864).

    Another early report by Wardwell dated July 19, 1863, indicates that the route passed - from Ft. Union westward - the towns of Las Vegas, Bernal Springs, San José, Kozlowsky's Ranch, Pigeon's Ranch, Galisteo, San Antonito, Tijeras, and Peralta (NARA, RG 98, File W227/1863, Wardwell report dated 19 July 1863; M1120, Roll 21, Frames 696-697).

    A subsequent report by Francis McCabe in May of 1864 confirms that the Mountain Route passed eastward from Los Piños through Tijeras Canyon (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, McCabe to AAG, 12 May 1864), while the last escort in December of 1866 was instructed to travel via the Mountain Route passing through "Tijeras Canyon, Placer del Tuerto, Eaton's Ranch, to Kosloskys [Koslowski's] (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Carleton to Brotherton, 21 December 1866).

    A report by Pettis dated 20 February 1864 described the 242 mile route as passing from Los Piños through Tijeras Canyon (21 miles). From Tijeras Canyon the route passed, in succession, the towns of San Pedro (14 miles), Real de San Francisco (11 miles), Real de Delores (12 miles), Galiesto (18 miles), Kozlowski's Ranch (20 miles), San José (20 miles), Bernal-Tecolote-Ojo de Medio (23 miles), Ojo de las Apaches (6 miles), Ojita (19 miles), Rio Pecos (21 miles), Arroyo de Juan de Dios (20 miles), and Cañon de Carretas (24 miles), with Pettis arriving the following day at Ft. Sumner (NARA, RG 98, LR, Pettis to Wallen, 2/20/1864).

    Finally, Carleton's correspondence from 1866 reaffirms the general alignment of the route:

I am afraid that the parties of Navajos who come in, and are sent by you from Albuquerque via Cañon Blanco to the Bosque Redondo, will, at this season of the year, suffer for want of fuel and of shelter of bluffs and groves, in going by the routing, so I wish you to send all parties which come after receipt of this letter, via Tijeras Cañon, Placer del Fuerto [Tuerto], Eaton's Ranch, to Kosloskys [Kozlowski's]. This will afford shelter and fuel, and by travel, open up the best route from Fort Union to Albuquerque (NARA, RG 98, LR, Carleton to Brotherton, 12/21/1866)

    As with the Santa Fe Route, the Mountain Route conforms to a well-established wagon road that first appears on Emory's (1847) map of the central portion of New Mexico Territory and persists until Wheeler's maps were prepared in 1877. The Mountain Route extended eastward from Albuquerque through Tijeras Canyon. At the eastern entrance to Tijeras canyon the route turned north, passing along the eastern flanks of the Sandia Mountains (Cross 1949:34). Along the way, the road passed through a succession of towns including San Antonio, San Antonito, San Pedro, San Lorenzo, Real de San Francisco, Placer del Tureto (Golden), Eaton's Ranch, and Galisteo, joining the Santa Fe route at Kozlowski's Ranch situated 1 mile east of the church at Pecos (White 1975:43). The Mountain route then continued along the Santa Fe Trail/Santa Fe Route eastward through San José, Bernal Springs, and Tecolote to Romeroville (Carleton map 1864, Wheeler map 1877).

    At Romeroville the road turned south and then forked. The western fork passed along the east (left) bank of the Tecolote River through Tecolotito and Anton Chico to join the Ft. Union - Ft. Sumner road at the Pecos east of Anton Chico. The eastern fork paralleled the eastern (left) bank of the Rio Gallinas, passing southward through the settlements of Chaparito and Hatch's Ranch. The western and eastern branches converged at a point where the Ft. Smith road crossed the Rio Pecos, well east of Anton Chico, NM (Carleton map 1864). Bell's contemporary 1867 narrative confirms the presence of a road through Tijeras Canyon (Carpenter=s Ranch) extending eastward toward the Rio Pecos and passing, in succession, through Aguaji Colorado, Monte Largo, Zuni Timber, Lagunas, Cañon Blanco, Capote Pass, Pecos River, Tecolote Crossing, Chupayanas Summit, Priest=s Gap, and Las Vegas to Ft. Union (1965:238-239). This road corresponded, at least in part, to the Mountain route.

    Considering all of these accounts jointly, the Mountain route between Albuquerque and the Rio Pecos is best approximated by a corridor connecting the towns, from south to northeast, of Albuquerque, Carpenter's Ranch, Tijeras, San Antonio, San Antonito, San Pedro, Real de San Francisco, Golden [Placer del Tureto], Eaton's Ranch, and Galisteo, joining the Santa Fe route at Kozlowski's Ranch. From Kozlowski's Ranch to its branching point, the Mountain Route appears to have passed through the towns of Rowe, Ilfeld, San José, Bernal Springs, Tecolote and Romeroville. The western branch extended from Romeroville through Tecolotito to Anton Chico. The eastern branch extended from Romeroville through Hatch's Ranch southeastward toward the Pecos. Both branches converged at the Pecos where the Ft. Smith-Albuquerque road crossed the Rio Pecos.

    3. The so-called "Cañon Blanco" route was one of the more direct routes between Albuquerque and Ft. Sumner, but does not appear to have been used extensively during the Long Walk period (McNitt 1973:153). From Albuquerque, the Cañon Blanco route followed the Mountain route through Tijeras Canyon. At the eastern entrance to the canyon, approximately near the town of Tijeras, it diverged from the Mountain route, extending slightly north of east toward to the now-abandoned town of Gutierrez, NM - almost due east of San Antonito, NM (Carleton map 1864, Wheeler map 1877). At this junction, the Cañon Blanco trail turned almost due east, passing through Lagunas (alt. Laguna Colorado) into Cañon Blanco and from there joining the Ft. Union to Ft. Sumner road at Anton Chico, NM (Carleton map 1864, Wheeler map 1877).

    A more detailed description of the Cañon Blanco route derives from Beale's 1857 traverse in search of a wagon road to connect Ft. Smith Arkansas with the Colorado River in Arizona. Traveling from east to west, Beale (1860:33-34) noted that he entered the mouth of Cañon Blanco, passing through Laguna Colorado and San Antonio Pass to Albuquerque. Beale's accompanying map indicates that his route paralleled the Cañon Blanco route as depicted on both Carleton's (1864) and Wheeler's (1877) maps.

    Other accounts, however, suggest the Cañon Blanco route was not suitable for wagons and this fact may have precluded the route=s use for removing Navajos to Bosque Redondo. Specifically, a report from a member of the 1865 Doolittle Commission found (White 1975:40-41):

It was the intention to go up to Santa Fe by way of Albuquerque [from Ft. Sumner], but learning that there was no wagon road direct to the Rio Grande, the party [Doolittle Commission] concluded to return to Bernal Springs and from thence go to the capital. They reached Pigeon's Ranche [sic], twenty-one miles from Santa Fe, the afternoon of the 1st of July [1865], where they remained until the next day.

    4. The "Piedra Pintada" route does not appear in any Army reports of Navajo removals to Ft. Sumner. Nevertheless, a quite usable route corresponding to parts of this alignment appear on Emory's (1847) map of central New Mexico, was noted by Carleton as early as 1853, and also appears on Wheeler's (1877) maps.

    This route is thought to have been used by Navajo escaping from Ft. Sumner in 1863 (NARA, RG 98, LR, McMullen to Cutler 12/29/63), as well as later escapes in 1865. Further, there is some evidence suggesting this route may have been used in 1868 by some Navajo returning to their reservation. At the same time, the earlier description of the traverse by the Doolittle Commission in 1865 (see above) suggests that the Piedra Pintada route - the most direct between Ft. Sumner and Albuquerque - was not amenable to wagons.

    Extending eastward from Albuquerque, the "Piedra Pintada" route could be accessed either from Albuquerque or, progressively south along the Rio Grande, from Los Piños or Casa Colorado. According to McNitt, the Albuquerque branch of the route paralleled the Mountain/Cañon Blanco routes eastward from Albuquerque through Tijeras Canyon, passing the settlement of Carpenter's Ranch. At the eastern entrance to the canyon, near Tijeras, the road turned southeast, extending through the Manzano Mountains and passing through the town of Chilili to Ojo de Cibolo. The route then turned eastward, extending through Antelope Springs, Cerro Pedernal and Piedra Pintada Cañon to terminate near Gidding's Ranch on the north side of Agua Negra Creek at its confluence with the Rio Pecos (Emory 1847, McNitt 1973:154, 1970:106, Bureau of Topographical Engineers 1867).

    Alternatively, the Piedra Pintada route could be accessed directly from Los Piños by traveling east to Ojo de Cibolo (Carleton map 1864). From Ojo de Cibolo, the Piedra Pintada route extended eastward through Antelope Springs, Cerro Pedernal, Piedra Pintada Cañon, and Gidding's Ranch to the mouth of Agua Negra Creek (Bureau of Topographical Engineers map 1867, Carleton map 1864; NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Fritz to DeForrest 29 August 1866).

    Contemporary reports confirm the orientation of this segment of the route. For example, a report from 1864 noted that the wagon road extended from Los Piños through Sawmill (Tijeras?) Cañon (18 miles), Indian Springs (12 miles), Antelope Springs (15 miles), Carezo Creek (42 miles), and Alemoso (40 miles) to the Rio Pecos (NARA, RG 98, LR, Briggs to Wallen 4/10/64, M1120, Roll 25). A later independent report noted that one mounted unit traveled from Ft. Sumner northward to Cedar Springs (26 miles), Gidding's Ranch on the Agua Negra (7 miles), through Pintada Canyon to Ojo Leon (42 miles), to the head of Pintada Canyon (9 miles) and then returned by the same route (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Tarleton to Howard, 8 June 1867).

    A third and final possible means of accessing the Piedra Pintada route appears on Emory's (1847) map. This route extended from Casa Colorado, near the modern town of Belen, eastward through Lomitas to Abó. From Abó, the route extended northward, passing through the towns of Agua de Juan Lujan, La Salada, Quarai, Manzana, Torreon, and Tajique (Rittenhouse 1965:20,25,27,29, 54), joining the Piedra Pintada route at Ojo de Cibolo (Wheeler map 1877). Carleton described the road through Los Puertos de Abó - oriented 20o south of east and 19 miles east of Casa Colorado - as ". . .by far the finest we had seen in New Mexico" (Rittenhouse 1965:19).

Ft. Union to Ft. Sumner Segment

    That portion of the road between Ft Union and Ft. Sumner lying south and east of Anton Chico appears to have been used, at least in part, by groups that took either the Santa Fe, Mountain, Cañon Blanco, or Piedra Pintada routes. According to Bailey (1964:102), the road from Las Vegas to Bosque Redondo was initially surveyed by Colonel John Monroe in 1850 and extended from Anton Chico southward along the east (left) bank of the Rio Pecos.

    What was to become the wagon road connecting Ft. Union and Ft. Sumner was surveyed in the following year (1852) by then-Major James Carleton. Named locales from Carleton's 1852 survey and a later 1867 War Department map include - in order from south of the Ft. Smith-Santa Fe wagon road near Ft. Butler and east of Anton Chico - the localities of Ft. Butler, Becke's Ranch, Alamo Gordo, San Juan de Dios, and Las Carretas to Bosque Redondo (Bailey 1964:104; Bureau of Topographical Engineers map 1867). A report by Latimer in late 1863 adds Sheep Ranch to the list of place names along this route (NARA, RG 98, LR, Latimer to Walsh, 3 December 1863).

    A report by Walsh in May 1864 (NARA, RG 98, LR, Walsh to AAG, 5/12/1864) also lists place names and distances along the road between Ft. Union and Ft. Sumner. The road extended to 7 miles from Ft. Union to Koenig's Ranch (Barclay's Fort), then to Las Vegas (18 mile), Middle Springs - 7 miles east of Tecolote (15 miles), Moore's Ranch (18 miles), Whittmore's Ranch (35 miles), Cedar Springs (25 miles), and Carreta (6 miles) to Ft. Sumner (12 miles). A second report from 1864 lists place names along the route exending north from Ft. Sumner as Carretas, Alamogordo, Arroyo de San Dios, Whittmore=s Ranch, Los Esteros, Gallinas Crossing, Hatch=s Ranch, and Anton Chico (NARA, M1120, Roll 22, Bloomfield to Enos 11 August 1864).

    Subsequent correspondence from the fall of 1865 confirms this general sequence of place names along the wagon route connecting Ft. Union with Ft. Sumner. Specifically, Carleton instructed Capt. Henderson that a troop of cavalry be sent from Ft. Union to Gidding's ranch, at the confluence of Agua Negra Creek with the Rio Pecos, via Big Hill, Hatch's Ranch, Whittmore's Ranch, and Labadio's (McNitt papers, RG 98, Letters Received, Carleton to Henderson, 9 November 1865).

    A later report of Benjamin Fox indicates that the road extended northward from Ft. Sumner through Leandres Cañon, La Junto [probably Agua Negra], Anton Chico, Gallinas Springs [near Chaparito], and Hamilton's (formerly Hatch's) Ranch (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Fox to Post Adjutant, 31 March 1866). Other place names appearing on this route include Pigeon's (Glorieta) and Johnson's Ranch, although this appears to include the fork in the road between Glorieta and Tecolote on the Santa Fe-Ft. Union route (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, DeForrest to CO, 28 May 1866). A contemporary account, however, suggests that the distance from Ft. Union to Hatch's Ranch is only 42.3 miles (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Bloomfield to Enos, 3 August 1864), while the distance from Hatch's Ranch to Ft. Sumner is 75 miles (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Bloomfield to Enos, 11 August 1864). The aggregate distance between Ft. Union and Ft. Sumner according to these contemporary accounts is about 125 miles. A comparison of this route with a later 1884 map indicates that this road was abandoned sometime between 1877 and 1884.

Incidents of Removal

    Contrary to popular belief, the Long Walk actually consisted of multiple events whereby various groups of Navajo were forcibly removed to Bosque Redondo. There are, in fact, no less than 53 separate episodes of forcible removal between August 1863 and December of 1866 that can be documented from vintage sources. The first group of Navajo, numbering 51 individuals, were removed on August 27, 1863. The last group, numbering 417 Navajo, was removed to Bosque Redondo as late as December 13, 1866. Most of the other groups, ranging in size from as few as 23 to as many as 2400 individuals, were forced to make the trip to Bosque Redondo in the spring and summer of 1864.

    Individual episodes of forced removal - including dates, escorting officer, number of Navajo in the train, and route traversed - are summarized in detail in Table ?? below. This table also includes episodes of mass desertions by Navajos from Ft. Sumner. Most of these mass desertions occurred in the spring and summer of 1865. Finally, included in this table are episodes of returns by Navajo from Ft. Sumner to the newly-formed Navajo reservation in 1868 that were permitted by the U.S. Army. By May 31, 1864, Capt. Bristol reported that a total of 5,174 Navajo were at Ft. Sumner (NARA, M1120, R22). Of these, more than a third - 2098 - were children and infants. Within three months, the number of Navajo at Ft. Sumner had increased dramatically to more than 7,137 (Kelly 1970:161).

T    he Long Walk=s most notorious impact was to effect many deaths among those being removed. One of the most egregious occurrences involved the deaths of 100 Navajos between Ft. Wingate and Los Piños during McCabe's escort of March 1864:

I have unofficially learned that Capt. McCabe lost while en route one hundred Indians, headed by the son of the late chief "Juanico"; cause: want of a sufficiency to eat. I respectfully suggest to you the propriety and good policy of giving the Indians at Ft. Canby and Ft. Wingate, and while en route to Bosque Redondo, sufficiency to eat. (NARA, RG 98, LR, M1120, Roll 23, Carson to Carleton 4/10/1864)

Table 1

Chronology of Forcible Navajo Removals and Mass Desertions.

(Compiled from National Archives, RG 98, M1120; Senate/House Report

Condition of the Indian Tribes, and Local Newspapers)

 

Date

Escorting Officer

Number

Route

Source(s)

Aug 27, 1863

Holmes

51

Santa Fe

Link 1971:9; McNitt 1973:147; Acrey 1994:45; NARA, RG 98, LR (M1120, Roll 20, Frames 597-598), Shaw to Cutler, 8/27/1863; McMullen to Cutler, 9/8/1863;

NARA, RG 98, LR (M1120, Roll 20, Frame 608), Steck to Carleton 9/6/1863; NARA, RG 75, LR, Steck to Labadi, 9/15/1863; Carleton to Thomas 9/6/63; Cutler to Holmes 9/4/63; Eaton to Cutler 2/29/64; Rio Grande Press, 9/1/63; Santa Fe Weekly Gazette, 9/5/63

Oct 31, 1863

Latimer

21

Ft. Union-Ft. Sumner

NARA, RG 98, LR, Latimer to Walsh, 12/2/1863

Nov 3, 1863

Chacón

200

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 3/3/64, No. 1694, File 110-E-12/64

Nov 25, 1863

Laughlin

55

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 3/3/64, No. 1694, File 110-E-12/64; Shaw to Cutler, 1/6/64, M1120, Roll 25

Nov 22, 1863

Chacón-Wardwell-Calloway

188-200

Santa Fe

McNitt 1982:148; Trafzer 1982:170; Acrey 1994:45; Kelly 1970:71; NARA, RG 98, LR Wardwell to Cutler, 12/8/1863; Wallen to Cutler, 12/11/1863; Carleton to McMullen, 11/22/1863; McMullen to Carleton, 12/1/1863; Carleton to Thomas 11/22/63

Jan 11, 1864

Postle - Russell

116

Santa Fe or Mountain?

NARA RG 98, LR, Shaw to Cutler, 1/12/64; Eaton to Cutler, 3/3/64, No. 1694, File 110-E-12/64; McMullen to Cutler, 1/30/64

Jan 26, 1864

Carson (to Los Piños) -

Pettis (to Ft. Sumner on 8 Feb 8, 1864)

240-340

Santa Fe (Note: Santa Fe Weekly Gazette 2/20/1864, reported this group bypassed Santa Fe entirely in reaching Bosque Redondo)

Kelly 1970:109, 115; Link 1971:10; McNitt 1973:149; Trafzer 1982:170; NARA RG 98, LR, Pettis to Newbold 2/23/64; Wallen to Cutler 2/23/64; Cutler to Cmmdr at Los Piños, 2/2/64; McMullen to Cutler 2/8/64; Shaw to Cutler, 1/31/64; Santa Fe Weekly Gazette 2/6/64

Jan 31, 1864

Carey-Campbell

80-142

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Shaw to Cutler, 1/31/64; Eaton to Cutler, 2/29/64

Late January

(date uncertain

Latimer (to Los Piños)

760

Unknown

NARA. RG 98, LR, Campbell to Carleton, 2/21/64, M1120, Roll 23

Jan 31, 1864

Campbell

142

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 3/3/64, No. 1694, File 110-E-12/64; Santa Fe Gazette 2/15/64

Feb 4, 1864

Berney

175

Santa Fe

Kelly 1970:111-112; Trafzer 1982:172,173; Bailey 1964: 174,fn40; NARA, RG 98, LR, Carey to Cutler, 2/4/64; Berney to Cutler, 2/14/64

Feb 10, 1864

Holmes

453-700

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 3/3/64, No. 1694, File 110-E-12/64; Santa Fe Gazette 2/15/64

Feb 12, 1864

Campbell

750

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Stevens to Cutler 3/3/64; Carleton to Thomas 3/6/64; Eaton to Cutler, 2/29/64; Santa Fe Gazette, 2/15/64

Feb 16, 1864

Latimer

167

Santa Fe?

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 2/29/64, 3/3/64, No. 1694, File 110-E-12/64; Carey to Cutler, 2/21/64; Campbell to Carleton, 2/21/64; Wallen to Cutler, 2/23/64

Feb 21, 1864

Sanchez-Herrera (to Los Piños)

54-147

Santa Fe

Kelly 1970:113; McNitt 1973:155, RG 98, LR, Carey to Culter 2/21/64; Eaton to Cutler, 2/29/64; M1120, Roll 23

Feb 25, 1864

Berney (from Los Piños)

1473

Mountain

Kelly 1970:115-116; McNitt 1973:149; Trafzer 1982:175; Acrey 1994:47; Thompson 1976:27; Condition 1867:260

Feb 29, 1864

Holmes

126

Unknown

RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 2/29/64

Mar 6, 1864

Thompson

2400

Mountain

Kelly 1970:121-125; Link 1971:10; McNitt 1973:150; Trafzer 1982:177; Acrey 1994:47-48; Bailey 1964:167-168; NARA, RG 98, LR, Carey to Cutler, 3/4/64; Thompson to Cutler, 3/29/64; Thompson to Cutler, 4/15/64; Carleton to Thomas 4/20/64; M1120, Roll 23; Rio Abajo Weekly Press, 3/5/64

Mar 12, 1864

Thompson

11

to Los Piños

NARA, RG 98, LR, M1120, Roll 3, Eaton to Culter, 3/17/64

Mar 20, 1864

McCabe

720-982

Mountain

Kelly 1970:131-132, 151; Link 1971:10; McNitt 1973:150; Acrey 1994:48; NARA, RG 98, LR, Carey to AAG, 3/19/64; Carson to AAG, 3/20/64; Roberts to Cutler, 4/5/64, Roberts to Cutler 4/24/64, M1120, Roll 25; McCabe to AAG, 5/12/64; McCabe to Brotherton, 5/8/64; Carleton to Thomas 5/31/64, M1120, Roll 23; Condition 1867:260

Mar 27, 1864

Deus

86

to Los Piños

Condition 1867:260; RG 98, LR, M1120, Roll 23, Eaton to Cutler, 3/27/64; M1120, Roll 25, Roberts to Cutler 3/29/64

Apr 2, 1864

Berney

1445

Santa Fe

Kelly 1970:115; Bailey 1964:169

Apr 13, 1864

Edgar

191

Unknown

Carey to AAG 4/18/64; M1120, Roll 23; Roberts to Cutler 4/24/64, M1120, Roll 25

Apr 20, 1864

Deus-Edgar

13

to Los Piños

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 4/20/64

Late May 1864

Withers-Felmer

765

Mountain

Kelly 1970:160; Link 1971:11; NARA, RG 98, LR, Roberts to Cutler, 6/6/64; Withers to Carleton, 6/12/64; Felmer to AAG, 7/2/64; Roberts to Cutler, 6/4/64; Felmer affidavit, M1120, Roll 25, Frame 1169

May 1, 1864

FIRST DESERTION FROM FT. SUMNER

43

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Bristol to AAG, 5/1/64

Early June

Unknown

550

to Los Piños

Condition 1867:261

June 28, 1864

Need

12

to Los Piños

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to AAG, 6/21/64

July 12, 1864

Abeyta-Holmes-Edgar-Withers to Los Piños

1209

Santa Fe for some

Kelly 970:161; Link 1971:11; NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Abeyta to Shaw 8/6/64; Roberts to Cutler, 8/2/64; Abeytia to Post Adjutant, 8/6/64; Plympton to AAG, 7/12/64; Plympton to AAG, 7/20/64; Roberts to Cutler, 8/8/64; Carson to Carleton, 8/31/ 64; Carleton to Thomas 7/23/64; Carleton to Thomas 8/29/64; Carson to Carleton 8/16/64; Condition 1867:262

Late July 1864

Savage

Unknown

Santa Fe

NARA, RG 98, LR Roberts to Cutler, 8/8/64

Aug 3, 1864

Foster

13

to Los Piños

NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 8/3/64, M1120, Roll 23

Aug 12, 1864

Becker-Nelson

54-243

Mountain (Nelson's group) and Santa Fe

Link 1971:11; NARA, RG 98, LR, Becker to Cutler, 9/10/64; Chaves to DeForrest, 9/28/64; Eaton to Cutler, 8/19/64; Nelson to Cutler, 9/10/64; Shaw to Cutler, 8/10/64; Shaw to Cutler, 8/17/64; Becker to Cutler, 8/25/64; Chavez to DeForrest, 9/28/64; Carey to Cutler 8/31/64; Roberts to Cutler 8/25/64; Condition 1867:262

Aug 17, 1864

Unknown

30

to Los Piños

NARA, RG 98, LR, Shaw to Cutler 8/17/64

Sept 10, 1864

Nelson

250

Unknown - from Los Piños

NARA, RG 98, LR, Roberts to Cutler, 9/10/64; Nelson to Cutler, 9/11/64

Sept. 1864

Montoya

23

Santa Fe

McNitt 1973:152

Oct 8, 1864

Speed (to Los Piños) -Hubbell (to Ft. Sumner)

454-931

Unknown

Kelly 1970:162, Acrey 1994:49; NARA, RG 98, LR, M1120, Roll 23, Hubbell to Butler 10/19/64; Eaton to Cutler, 10/6/64; Butler to Cutler, 10/12/64; Speed to Post Adjutant, 10/27/64; Shaw to DeForrest 10/11/64; Butler to Cutler, 10/15/64

Oct 21, 1864

Baldwin (481 to Los Piños) - Hubbell (to Ft Union)

1039-1073 (1020 in Hubbell's escort)

Unknown

Kelly 1970:163; McNitt 1973:162-163; Acrey 1994:49; NARA, RG 98, LR, Eaton to Cutler, 10/21/64; Hubbell to Butler 10/19/64; Butler to Cutler, 10/19/64; Eaton to Cutler, 10/21/64; Butler to Cutler, 10/29/64; Crocker to Carleton, 12/2/64; Santa Fe New Mexican, 10/28/64; Condition 1867:264

Mar 27, 1865

McCabe

700

Unknown

Link 1971:12; NARA, RG 98, Shaw to Cutler 15 August 1865

April 11, 1865

Unknown

20

Santa Fe?

NARA, RG 98, LR, Shaw to Cutler 4/11/1865; Thomasson to Cutler, 5/15/1865; Santa Fe Gazette, 4/15/1865

April 30, 1865

DESERTION

900

Unknown

Bailey 1988:214; NARA, RG 98, LR, Bristol to Taylor, 5/9/1865

May 25, 1865

Smith

37

Unknown

NARA. RG 98, LR, Thomasson to Cutler, 5/29/1865

Jan 9, 1866

Unknown

4

Santa Fe

NARA, RG 98, LR, McCabe to AAG, 1/22/1866

June 14,1865

DESERTION

1000?

Piedra Pintada

Acrey 1994:52; Bailey 1988:214; NARA, RG 98, LR, McCleave to AAG, 6/15/1865; Carleton to Lewis, 6/19/1865

July 15, 1865

DESERTION

Unknown

Unknown

Kelly 1970:167; NARA, RG 98, LR, Carleton to AAG, 7/20/1865

Aug 13, 1866

Crouch

59

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 8/13/1866

Aug 28, 1865

Unknown

9

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, McCleave receipt, 9/29/1865

Aug 28, 1866

Gorham-Day

73

Santa Fe

McNitt 1973:154; NARA, RG 98, LR, Fritz to DeForrest, 8/29/1866; Butler to DeForrest, 8/26/1866

Sep 9, 1866

Montoya

34

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 9/2/1866; Butler to DeForrest, 9/9/1866

Nov 4, 1866

Unknown

64

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 11/4/1866

Nov 23, 1865

APACHE DESERTION

355

Unknown

Link 1971:12; NARA, RG 98, LR, McCleave to Cutler, 11/6/1865; Carleton to McCleave, 11/10/1865

Dec 28, 1866

Wood-Brotherton-Doherty-Brenett

417-430

Mountain via Rock Corral and Pino's Ranch

McNitt 1973:153; Acrey 1994:52; NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Butler to DeForrest, 12/15/1866; Carleton to Brotherton, 12/21/1866; Brotherton to DeForrest, 12/28/1866

May 1866

PERMITTED RETURN

Unknown

Santa Fe

McNitt 1973:149

July 24, 1866

Unknown

27

Unknown

Link 1971:13; NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 7/28/1866

Aug 13, 1866

Unknown

59

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 8/13/1866

Aug 24, 1866

Gorham

70

Unknown

Link 1971:13; NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 8/26/1866; Fritz to DeForrest, 8/29/1866

Aug 1866

RETURN?

Unknown

Santa Fe

McNitt 1973:149

Oct 6, 1866

Unknown

140

Unknown

NARA, RG 98, LR, Vroom to DeForrest, 10/7/1866

Nov 15, 1866

Unknown

90

Mountain (Barboncito's band)

NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 11/11/1866, 11/17/1866; NARA, RG 48, Treaties File, Navajo Series 5, #372, 5/29/1868

Dec 1, 1866

Unknown

124

Mountain

NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 12/1/1866; Special Orders #114, 12/6/1866

Dec 13, 1866

Wood-Doherty-Brenett

417-430

Mountain

NARA, RG 98, LR, Butler to DeForrest, 12/15/1866; Butler to Brotherton, 12/13/1866; Brotherton to DeForrest, 12/28/1866; Sykes to DeForrest, 1/19/1867

July 31, 1867

DESERTION

201

Unknown

Captive Returns, 7/31/1867

Oct 2, 1867

DESERTION

300-350

Unknown

NARA. RG 98, LR, Whiting to Hunter, 10/5/1867; Tarleton to Porter, 10/8/1867

Sep 27, 1867

DESERTION

200-300

Unknown

NARA. RG 98, LR, Whiting to Hunter, 9/28/1867

June 1868

RETURN ACCORDING TO TREATY

ca. 7300

Mountain

McNitt 1973:153-154; NARA, RG 98, LR, Getty to Bradley, 4/31/1866; Getty to Sherman, 6/7/1868

 

    Yet, this does not mean that Navajo were treated badly by all Army personnel. For example, Capt. Wardwell noted in his escort report of December 1863 that "The weather was very cold during the whole time going, but I had fires built whenever an opportunity offered and had the Indians made as comfortable as possible" (NARA, M1120, Roll 21, Frame 1222).

    More surprising, however, is evidence to suggest that not all Navajos treated each other well in the course of their journey to Bosque Redondo. Indeed, there are some accounts suggesting that the Navajo utterly failed to help each other during this difficult traverse:

November 26th - Left San Jose at sunrise and encamped at sunset at Tecolote. This day one of the Indians was an idiot insisted upon remaining behind the remainder, and upon knowing the fact, I endeavored to have three of the Indians return for him, offering them an escort, but they refused to do so saying "It is better for us to be rid of him, and we all hope he may be frozen to death or killed, as he is a fool and always has troubled us." Soon after this I learned he had been picked up as was being brought forward in a citizen's wagon. The wagon passed, however, without leaving the Indian, but I was informed on my return at Las Vegas that he had rejoined the Indians as they were on their way to Fort Sumner (NARA, M1120, Roll 21, Frame 1121, Wardwell report December 1863).

Oral Histories of Long Walk Events

    While efforts have been made to collect oral histories of events surrounding the Long Walk period, detailed accounts from a Navajo perspective are notoriously scarce. This may be due, in part, to an attitude voiced by Mary Pioche (Hwéeldi Baa Hané 1989:99):

When men and women talk about Hwéeldi, they say it is something you cannot really talk about, or they say that they would rather not talk about it. Every time their thoughts go back to Hwéeldi, they remember their relatives, families, and friends who were killed by the enemies. They watched them die, and they suffered with them, so they break into tears and start crying. That is why we only know segments of stories, pieces here and there. Nobody really knows the whole story about Hwéeldi. . .This story was not to be retold, because if you repeat the story, it will happen again to the Navajos.

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    In addition, many Navajo were unfamiliar with the geography of much of the region traversed during their removal. For example, Chahadineli Benally recalled one of his ancestor's stories that, once they passed east of the Rio Grande (Tooh), they had no place names for any locality they encountered (Johnson 1973:60-61). As a consequence, many Navajo did not, in fact, know where they were going or how they got there. Thus, it is not surprising that there are so few stories of the geographical location of incidents that occurred during the Long Walk period.

    The oral history fragments of Long Walk events revolve around three major themes: the death of those who were forcibly removed, the travails of those that survived the removal, and the forcible servitude of those that were captured and sold along the way.

Those Who Died

    There is considerable evidence that many Navajo died during these forced removals, although the true number likely will never to be known. Indeed, one period report observed "It is a well known fact that very many infant captives died on the road while being escorted to Bosque Redondo" (Santa Fe New Mexican, 3 March 1867). McNitt estimated that no less than 336 men, women, and children died during these various trips to Ft. Sumner. Perhaps the worst loss of life occurred during Thompson's March 1864 escort when at least 197 Navajo were reported to have died enroute.

    While many died of exposure, particularly during forced marches in the midst of winter, others met a far different fate. The Santa Fe New Mexican (14 May 1864) reported a court martial ". . .to try Lieut. Philip A. J. Russell, of the California volunteers, upon charges, the principal of which was the shooting of an Indian boy, while under charge of the guard of Russell's detachment, with whom he was marching, and then leaving the body by the roadside, unburied." Russell was found guilty of the shooting, but absolved of responsibility for causing the boy's death and dishonorably discharged.

    Among the places where Navajo were known to have died were at Tse Bonito (Tsétah) near Window Rock, AZ (Jeff King testimony, 1951, pg. 31) and near Pescado, five miles southwest of Ramah, NM (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Hodt to Strong, 29 August 1865; Julyan 1996:265). In addition, there were deaths reported at Cubero, eight miles northwest of Laguna Pueblo. Finally, numerous deaths appear to have occurred along the Mountain Route, particularly in Tijeras Canyon, during Thompson's escort in March of 1864 and McCabe's escort of May 1864.

    Other named places where Navajo deaths occurred and burials took place include Tijeras Canyon, Ojo de los Apaches, and Arroyo de Juan de Dios (Pettis escort; NARA, RG 98, LR, Pettis to Newbold, 2/23/1864), as well as near Pecos Church (Hubbell escort; 15 deaths near Pecos church described as: "Near the Pecos Church, the bodies of some 15 Navajos were observed a week or since, exposed to the view of the traveller and the instincts of the wolf. The Superintendent of Indian Affairs, we are happy to learn, has made arrangements for their burial" (Santa Fe New Mexican, 23 December 1864; but see NARA, RG 98, LR, M1120, Roll 24, Kozlowski affidavit to Cutler dated 12/30/1864 indicating only one body was found and McDonald to Howard 12/18/1864 indicating that no bodies were found)). At the same time, reports of Navajo deaths were almost certainly underestimated (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Bristol to Taylor, 9 May 1865, Bristol to McCleave, 24 November 1865).

    Further, the Army did not make any effort to identify those that were removed, other than "chiefs" or "subchiefs" responsible for distributing rations. In all of our research, we have never found an index of named individuals removed from the Navajo homeland. Indeed, we went so far as to locate the original Ft. Sumner hospital log at the National Archives and Records Administration hoping to identify at least some specific individuals that had been removed to Bosque Redondo. This log contained a column for recording names, but every physician at Ft. Sumner simply noted "man," "woman," or "child;" not a single name appears on these records.

Those Who Survived

    One of the more prominent Navajo to have survived the removal to Bosque Redondo was Peshlakai Etsed (photograpg below)i. In a lengthy interview published in 1937, he recalled the events of his removal to Bosque Redondo in October of 1867 (Etsedi 1937:59-60):

 

 

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The day after that we came to Toseto [Old Fort Wingate]; there were many soldiers here. That was the first time I had seen a wagon. They gave us flour but we didn't know how to cook it and we could not use it. We stayed there two days and the soldiers came back from Zuni. The third day the soldiers put the old women and children in five wagons pulled by mules and we traveled to Tsch Kish To Hee [near Cubero, NM]. The next day I did not ride in the wagon; they went too slowly, so I walked. The mules could not keep up with the big Navajo sheep and goats. We came near to To Thlanee [Laguna Pueblo]. The next night we stayed near Nah Se Se Tee Yay [unknown] at a spring. There my mother's uncle died; he was a very old man. The soldiers buried him and we traveled all that day and all the next night. At sunrise we came to a town by the side of a river [Atricso or Isleta?]; the river was wide with many trees along it; but there was no water then. We called it Nokai Bi To [Rio Grande]. We ate at this town by the river, then we went up the river on the west side. When the sun was straight up in the sky we crossed the river and were in a large town. We went to a big corral made of mud blocks near the river; in the corral were two bells hanging from posts; we called this place Bay Il Deel Da Si Neel [Albuquerque]. We camped inside the corral; it was full of Navajos. The Mexicans gave us corn and the soldiers gave us hard pieces of bread and some meat in skins; a few of our people had brought their metates so we ground the bread and corn on them and made a mush with the meat in it. We stayed there two days and while we were here Hosteen Deel died. When we left this place we went up the river until we were north of the mountains; then we went a little more east and came to a village with people like Hopis living there. We spent a night there, then crossed some hills and came to a village which the soldiers called "Walla" [unknown]; we camped near there. In the morning we went about five miles and came to a place where the roads came together. We called it Na Ah Dinay [unknown]. After we left Na Ah Dinay we went southeast and went that way for three days until we came to Bosque Redondo.

    Similarly, Tezbah Mitchell recalled his family's removal to Ft. Sumner: ASoon that long journey began for my ancestors. A wagon was provided to haul some of our personal belongings, including dry corn, beans, and some oak grain [acorns] which was something like horse feed. Included in the group were a lot of children, young and old men and women" (Mitchell in Johnson 1973:249-250).

Those Missing: Capture, Servitude, and Adoption

    One of the less recognized impacts of the Long Walk was the capture and/or sale of members of the Navajo Nation by non-Indians, primarily Mexicans, along the routes they traveled. Yet, slavery was a long-standing practice across New Mexico, causing one observer to comment:

I agree with him [Samuel Tappan] also as to the bad influence the traffic in Navajo children has had upon that tribe, and that no permanent peace can be had with them as long as this evil is permitted. The Navajos are a powerful tribe, and are noted for their ingenuity and industry. . .They will not, however, be controlled while their children are stolen, bought, and sold by our people. . .There is no law of the Territory that legalizes the sale of Indians, yet it is done almost daily, without an effort to stop it (NARA, RG 75, LR, File S-234/1864, Steck to Dole, 13 Jan 1864).

Kirby Benedict, Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court, noted in his deposition to the Doolittle Commission (1865) that:

There are in the Territory a large number of Indians, principally females, (women and children) who have been taken by force, or stealth, or purchased, who have been among the various wild tribes of New Mexico or those adjoining. Of these a large proportion are Navajoes [sic]. It is notorious that natives of this country have sometimes made captives of Navajo women and children when opportunities presented themselves; the custom has long existed here of buying Indian persons, especially women and children; the tribes themselves have carried on this kind of traffic. Destitute orphans are sometimes sold by their remote relations; poor parents also make traffic of their children. The Indian persons obtained in any of the modes mentioned are treated by those who claim to own them as their servants or slaves. They are bought and sold by and between the inhabitants at a price as much as is a horse or ox. . .The prices have lately ranged very high. A likely girl of not more than eight years old, healthy and intelligent, would be held at a value of four hundred dollars, or more (Condition of the Indian Tribes 1867:326).

    Although Carleton was specifically instructed to "afford all the assistance in your power in the furtherance of any measures adopted by the Interior Department for the eradication of the [slavery] evil" (NARA, RG 98, LR, Canby to Carleton, 31 March 1864), the troop's efforts were at best haphazard.

At La Junta I found 2 women, at Cañada la Aguila 2 men, 2 women and one child, at Taylor's Ranch one woman, and at Hamilton's Ranch one woman. Mr. Taylor claimed that he had verbal permission from Gen'l. Carleton to keep the woman I found at his ranch, but my instructions being to bring in all Indians absent from the reservation without written authority, I brought her with me. The woman at Hamilton's Ranch was living in the family of one Keithly, formerly Indian agents for the Utes; he says this woman was a prisoner with the Utes and he bought her for $200. She has never been on the reservation, and he desires that she be returned to him if he can obtain permission to retain her (NARA, RG 98, LR, Fox to Post Adjutant, 31 March 1866).

    Continuing resistance to efforts to abolish the trade in Indian captives, some involving even former U.S. Indian agents, caused Carleton to comment:

I feel constrained to say that much of the hostility manifested by many of the people of New Mexico against the reservation system grows out of the fact that when this system goes into successful operation there will be no more tribes from which they can capture servants. . .(Congressional testimony, James H. Carleton, 3 July 1865).

    Ironically, despite his orders to the contrary, Carleton himself was accused of retaining Navajo captives:

Everybody is aware and knows that no one is allowed to have a Navajoe [sic] Indian in his possession, but I have lately learned that General Carleton presented a little Navajoe girl to a sutler, 3 or 4 months ago. . .I've not the slightest ill-feeling towards the sutler (who is a gentleman), but I could merely call the attention of the people of New Mexico to the fact that while many of them have been compelled to give up the Indians whom they had for many years, and who were perfectly contented with their situation, General Carleton, as a matter of economy, keeps them on hand for presents and gifts (Santa Fe New Mexican, 9 December 1864).

    Whatever the causes leading to their capture, there are innumerable incidents where Navajo women and children were forcibly removed from escorts enroute to Ft. Sumner:

One of the Indians here informed me that there were 2 Navajos (a man and a woman) at Isleta, whereupon I send a Sergeant and two privates with my informant, to bring them here, which they did. (NARA, RG 98, LR, McMullen to Cutler, 30 January 1864)

". . .there were 3 Indians stolen from me, one at Tecolote and 2 at Anton Chico" (NARA, RG 98, LR, Berney to Cutler, 14 March 1864)

"I lost 15 Indians on the road, principally boys, 3 of which were stolen by the inhabitants of the towns through which I passed, 2 strayed from my camp on the Pecos, and 10 died from the effects of cold" (NARA, RG 98, LR, Berney to Cutler, 7 April 1864).

Yesterday about noon while they were travelling along the road opposite to San Antonito, 6 Mexicans came out from the town, and took 13 of them prisoners, 8 women and 5 children, and took them back into town; they also robbed them of their provisions, and on the chief's presenting the safe Guard which Capt. McCabe had left with them, tore it up (NARA, RG 98, LR, Brotherton to AAG, 2 May 1864).

Around the time of the Long Walk, I was taken by the Mexicans as a slave. I usually chopped wood for them (Mary Juan, OHLW 1989:81)

Some Navajos were captured as slaves, and some married into Mexican families. These people were left behind at Hwéeldi (John Sandoval, OHLW 1989:105)

    Some appear to have willingly remained with those that had captured them, resisting efforts to reunite them with their natal families.

At that time a Lieutenant passed by on the way to Bosque Redondo with a party of Navajos and then went away. I did not have any other recourse [than to buy the girl] because it is very well that there can not be slavery, but now I find her asking to come to live with me, I make this petition to you and I promise that if she should come with me, she will not [illegible - be treated?] as a slave, but as a daughter (NARA, RG 98, LR, de la Cruz Gutiérrez to Carleton, 25 May 1864).

There are a great many cases where Indian women and children who have been taken captive and by purchase, or otherwise, come into the possession of families, become so much attached to the families that they cannot be induced except by force to go to their own people (NARA, RG 98, LR, Bristol to AAG, 3 June 1864).

I have had several conversations with a number of women who have been captives among the Mexicans & they all express a desire to remain here among their people. One of these women is one who lived with Mr. Otero at Peralta. She says she would not return for any consideration (NARA, RG 98, LR, Bristol to Cutler, 30 June 1864).

On or about the 10th of March 1864 I found a Navajoe [sic] Girl about 13 years of age in a starving condition. Her feet were blistered and she could not walk more than 40 to 50 yards without resting. She [Mrs. Taylor] has been instructing, clothing and feeding her. She can now talk quite well in the Spanish language and has become very much attached to the Family & she now openly declares that she is an orphan& that she is not willing to go and live with the tribe and that if she is forced to do that she will run away (NARA, RG 98, LR, Taylor to Carleton, 10 July 1864).

    Others, either on their way to Fort Sumner or more commonly after being released from Ft. Sumner in 1868, simply settled at various localities along the way:

Some people were not able to find any kind of transportation, and, after getting out of Ft. Sumner and walking for days, they couldn't go any farther; so they settled along the way and there the descendants still live (Akinabh Burbank in Johnson 1973:134)

A lot of people couldn't make it all the way back to Tséhootsooí (Ft. Defiance) because of various reasons. Some people were traveling with small children; others were sick, and some old people couldn't walk any farther; so with these various problems involved, they stayed behind and began living there outside the Reservation boundary line. . .Some still reside there now (Herbert Zahne in Johnson 1973:233-234)

On the way back, the People stopped at T'iistsoh [Alamo] and then and Tóhajiileehé [Cañoncito]. Some of the Navajos decided to stay at these places (John Beyale, Sr. in Oral History Stories of the Long Walk 1989:42)

    The common and seemingly pervasive practice of kidnapping Navajos into slavery is perhaps best summarized by Mary Pioche, who commented "Today, many Mexicans live in Albuquerque. Their ancestors were probably our ancestors once" (Hwéeldi Baa Hané 1989:102).

    The capture, sale, or adoption Navajos, while widespread across northern New Mexico, appears to have been concentrated in specific towns along major trails, some of which were used during the Long Walk period. Baptismal records from the Catholic Church between 1863 and 1866 emphasize Taos, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, and Abiquiu as towns where Navajos were captured (Table 9 below).

                                                Table 9

                                Navajo Baptisms by Locality and Year.

Location

1861

1862

1863

1864

1865

1866

1867

1868

Total

Abiquiu

0

9

9

11

12

2

2

8

53

Santa Cruz

7

1

9

7

8

1

2

8

43

Taos

38

21

27

11

6

5

1

1

110

Bernalillo*

0

2

15

12

6

13

7

3

58

Mora

6

4

16

1

6

4

0

4

41

Picuris

2

3

8

4

5

5

0

0

27

Arroyo Hondo

10

4

14

1

2

4

1

1

37

San Miguel del Vado

0

0

2

2

3

2

0

2

11

Las Vegas*

1

0

2

2

1

0

0

6

12

Belen*

13

18

3

4

1

1

2

3

45

Isleta*

0

2

7

10

2

0

0

0

21

Jemez*

4

1

4

0

1

0

0

1

11

San Juan

15

11

16

5

1

0

0

0

48

Albuquerque*

10

8

17

2

0

4

4

31

76

Santa Fe*

4

1

5

1

0

2

0

2

15

Laguna*

3

4

4

3

0

0

0

1

15

Anton Chico*

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

Total

113

89

159

77

54

43

19

71

625

* - towns along major Long Walk routes

    Even less recognized is the fact that American troops apparently tried to adopt - either formally or informally - some of the Navajos they were supposed to guard. The issue of adoption of Navajos by American troops may come as a surprise both to Navajos and Americans. Although direct evidence for adoptions is scarce to non-existent, formal inquiries by James Carleton prompted a policy decision from Washington, D.C. prohibiting such adoptions:

In reply to your communication of December 6, 1863, I am directed by the Secretary of War to say, that the adoption of Indian children by persons connected with the military service cannot be sanctioned by the War Department (NARA, RG 98, Letters Received, Townsend to Carleton, 1/9/1864, see also NARA, M1120, Roll 22, Canby to Carleton 3/31/1864)

What remains unsaid in this decision is whether unsanctioned adoptions were countenanced by Carleton or his subordinates. There is no documentary evidence regarding this matter and this, then, remains to be clarified.

Closing the Chapter of Hwéeldi

    By late 1864, Carleton's campaign against the Navajo began to unravel. There was resistance from New Mexico officials against his Navajo policies, particularly as it became evident that numerous hostile Navajo remained in the region that Carleton's troops supposedly had pacified (Bailey 1988:189, 194-197). As well, by the spring of 1865, it was equally evident that large numbers of Navajo were slipping away from Ft. Sumner to return to their homeland (Bailey 1988:215-216).

    Second, Carleton's policy of concentrating the Navajo at Ft. Sumner was under attack by Federal officials, notably the Indian Agent for New Mexico Territory, Dr. Michael Steck:

The [Navajo] tribe is not subdued, a vast majority of warriors are still in their own country, and those at Bosque Redondo are principally the poor who have willingly given themselves up under promises that they should be fed. The rich and powerful portion of them are still in their own country, as I am informed by authority that cannot be doubted. . .It may be urged that it would be an unnecessary expense to send back 4500 paupers now at Ft. Sumner to their own country. But, Sir, if it does cost a few thousand dollars, it will cost ten times the amount to catch and remove the wealthy portion of the tribe to the Bosque (NARA, RG 75, LR, Steck to Dolan 28 May 1864)

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Bosque Redondo locale proved utterly incapable of providing supplies sufficient to support the Indians that were already there (Bailey 1988:179-184). By November 26, 1864, the number of Navajo at Bosque Redondo had risen to 8,354 (Acrey 1994:51, Kelly 1970:163). As a consequence, in late 1864, Carleton instructed his officers not to collect or send any more Navajo captives to Bosque Redondo; the Army was simply incapable of feeding them (Acrey 1994:51). By March of 1865, more than 9,000 Mescalero and Navajo were draing rations at Ft. Sumner (Bailey 1988:213).

    As a result such problems, Carleton's support in Washington, as well as in New Mexico, began to wane as it became progressively more apparent that he had drastically underestimated the size of the Navajo Nation (Bailey 1988:184-188, Thompson 1976:31). As the Santa Fe New Mexican editorialized (27 October 1866):

On the 19th of September [1866] an order was issued by the Secretary of War directing the Commander of this Department to relieve Lieutenant Colonel James H. Carleton, of the 4th Cavalry, from duty in New Mexico, and ordering him to join his regiment in the Department of the Gulf. It thus appears that our territory will be relieved from the presence of this man Carleton, who has so long lorded it amongst us. . .The community at large will rejoice at his removal, and well they may.

    In the spring of 1868, as government resolve to settle the Navajo at Bosque Redondo began to evaporate, groups of Navajos began to quietly slip away from Bosque Redondo. As early as April, the Semi-Weekly Review derisively noted:

NAVAJO EXODUS. We learn that Don José Maria Agayo, who arrived from Fort Stanton last week, states that, on his way hither, he saw a great number of Navajos - say 1,000 more or less - with large numbers of stolen livestock journeying from the direction of the Bosque Redondo Reservation toward their old homes. The military are engaged in gardening.

In May of 1868, recognizing the failure of Fair Carletonia, the United States government representative, Lieut. General William T. Sherman, negotiated the terms and conditions by which the Navajo held at Bosque Redondo would be allowed to return to their homelands. On June 1st, a treaty was concluded permitting the Navajo to return to their homeland. Within a matter of days, plans were laid to remove the Navajo from Bosque Redondo.

According to the terms of their release, the Navajo initially were to be returned to their homeland via the "Santa Fe Route" (NARA, RG 98, Post Returns, 22 July 1868). This appears to have been partly in response to Barboncito=s (see photograph below) specific request that they be allowed to return the way that his group came--through Tecolote, Bernal, and Tijeras Canyon to Peralta (NARA, RG 48, Treaties File, Treaty #372, 29 May 1868). However, local military commanders chose instead a shorter route from Ft. Sumner to Anton Chico, then westward through Cañon Blanco to Tijeras Canyon and thence to Albuquerque (NARA, RG 98, LR, Whiting to Bradley, 31 May 1868; see below).

    On June 18, more than 7,300 Navajos supported by a train of 56 mule-drawn wagons and accompanying troop escort decamped Bosque Redondo, never to return. Newspaper reports of their return provide some indication of the circumstances of their journey home (Semi-Weekly Review, 7 July 1868):

Up to the arrival of the main body at Tijera [Tijeras], last Sunday, but one complaint of depredation by these Indians on the route of travel had been made to the commander, whereupon the head-chief compeled [sic] restitution of the property stolen, and punished the two offenders by tying them to a wagon and compeling [sic] them to travel behind it afoot. These Indians are between seven and eight thousand in number and have some four or five thousand head of livestock, making a procession of about 10 miles in length. . .Yesterday preparations were made for ferrying the expedition over the [Rio Grande] river, under the supervision of Mr. Ritter, of the Quartermaster Department. The street running north and south in front of the REVIEW office was used temporarily as a ropewalk, in which three cables were twisted into a hawser 21 inches thick and some six hundred feet long, for swinging the boats across the river.

Thirty-five days after leaving Bosque Redondo, and with a seven day delay crossing the Rio Grande, thousands of Navajos arrived at New Fort Wingate (NARA, RG 98, LR, 24 July 1868).

    Although this would appear to close this chapter in Navajo history, conditions among the Navajo remained difficult for many years thereafter. In the year following their return, many had to remain near Ft. Defiance so that they could receive rations (see photograph below showing last distribution of rations, having arrived far too late in the summer to plant any crops. Further delays in receiving livestock originally promised by their treaty with the U.S. government caused many to remain in virtual penury in subsequent years. Indeed, rations continued to be distributed at Ft. Defiance until 1879 in an effort to prevent the Navajo from resuming the raiding that originally prompted their removal to Ft. Sumner.

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Summary

    Navajo prophecy may well have foretold the events leading up to what we have come to know as the Long Walk. In particular, a succession of comets that came raining down on the Earth in the year 1833 were interpreted by many Navajo as a sign of bad times to come. This event was followed by an increasing crescendo of warfare among the Navajo's neighbors - a period known as Naahoondzood ["Time of Fear"]:

Before that there was peace. I have heard the story of the Year of Falling Stars (1833) and it is said that it happened before the Naahoondzood and was a sign that the Navajos would be attacked and almost wiped out. A little after that red snow fell on the ground and that was some kind of a sign also. I figure it started around 1830 because my maternal great uncle, Hastiin Keyahai, saw the beginning of it. It began with war with the Utes. First, the Utes killed a Navajo woman. Then Ashkii T»izhinii ["Black Boy"] killed a Ute woman in retaliation. Then the Utes attached the Navajos during the last night of a Yei'ibichei [Night Way] ceremony at the Carizzo Mountains. Hastiin Keyahai was present at that ceremony. The Utes wanted to get the Navajo girls, sheep, and land. The Hopis and the Mexicans joined with the Utes in this war against the Navajos. Before this time the Hopis and Navajos were friends and intermarried (Manson Yazzie, Correll Collection, File 52, Docket 229, 1951).

    It is not particularly surprising that, after New Mexico was acquired under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848), Anglo-Americans became involved in this recurring pattern of warfare. It is also not particularly surprising that the Army decided to remove the Navajo to Ft. Sumner. The practice of removing Native Americans from lands desired by Anglos had its antecedents in the eighteenth century and was presaged by the removal of Indians in the eastern U.S. to Indian "territories" west of the Mississippi. Indeed, the trauma experienced by the Navajo is perhaps exceeded only by the large-scale removal of the Cherokee Indians in 1838.

 

 

 

 

 

References Cited

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Beale, Edward F.

1860 Wagon Road from Ft. Smith to the Colorado River. 36th Congress, 1st Session, House of Representatives, Executive Document No. 42, Washington, D.C.

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Foreman, Grant

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Kelly, Lawrence

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Leslie, Lewis B.

1929 Uncle Sam's Camels: The Journal of May Humphreys Stacey Supplemented by the Report of Edward Fitzgerald Beale, 1857-1858. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

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1970 Fort Sumner: A Study in Origins. New Mexico Historical Review xlv(2):101-117.

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Thompson, Gerald

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