In 1891, the War Department formed an Apache Indian Troop — Company I, Twelfth Infantry. 55 men enlisted, including Naiche, other resisters, and former scouts.
“An order has been recently promulgated ordering the enlistment of … Indians in the regular army.… I am now doing what I can under the law and appropriation to make them self-supporting…. We want to lead the Indian from the … idle life they are now pursuing and endeavor to civilize them.” (Redfield Proctor, Secretary of War, Mobile Register, March 21, 1891. Quoted in Skinner 1987:308.)
Apache soldiers were ordered to build houses for the POWs.
Geronimo was not a member of the Indian troop. He was Justice of the Peace and school disciplinarian.
When men from Company I finished their tour of duty, they were returned to POW status.
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