Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/322

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

he precipitates another costly conflict. Until this pernicious system be utterly swept away, and the management of Indian affairs confided to intelligent and educated men appointed for life, or during good behavior, from the ranks of our meritorious retired officers, we may hope in vain for any better condition of our relations with the tribes.

In the foregoing pages the attentive reader will have found some food for reflection. He will have perceived that the Apaches are not fools and idiots. He will have learned that they reflect, and argue with a great deal of logical acumen. He will have understood that there is much about them which can be studied with good results. He will have comprehended the impossibility of making a durable treaty with a tribe, each individual of which is sovereign in his own right, and disavows the authority of any one to treat for him. There can be but one policy pursued toward these Indians with any chance of satisfactory result. They must be subdued by force of arms, and after submission, they must be removed from their country. It will cost much to effect these objects, but the expense will be a mere "drop in the bucket," compared with that which must be disbursed to maintain the miserable little guerrilla warfare heretofore pursued, and which has only imbued them with contempt for our much vaunted power. It will require a force of seven or eight thousand men to effectually subdue the Apache race in Arizona and New Mexico; but with such a force, properly officered and appointed, the work can be done in less than one year.

Let it be understood, however, that the troops will be required for constant, active and arduous service in the field, and not to build forts, which are abandoned a year or so after construction; nor to till the earth, nor culti-