Spurned on by atrocities of racial cleansing, Mangas retaliated and became a very feared man. (*4) January, 1863 would find Mangas in the same area as a group of gold seekers known as the Walker Party. (Who would eventually become the first white settlers in the Prescott area.) (*1) Mangas was known to kill such bands of whites on sight. So on January 17, 1863 Walker Party members laid a trap for Mangas saying that they wanted to talk peace. Many accounts relate that Mangas knew it was a trap, but went in alone anyway.
Daniel E. Conner, "last surviving member" of the Walker Party wrote about the incident later in life: "Captain Walker laid plans to capture the notorious old chief Mangas Colorado...and a squad of us succeeded in his capture without firing a shot and brought (him) up to camp..." (*1)
Soon, a General Joseph R. West took charge of the prisoner and things quickly deteriorated. (*1)
According to West's report of the incident, Mangas was captured in battle and killed trying to escape from six guards. However, Daniel Conner, who compiled a 1000 page journal during the Walker expedition was keen to get the truth out. (*1)
The story of a group of Mexican volunteers fighting proudly during the Indian Conflicts in Yavapai county, Arizona.
For the Indians, the idea of a leader being murdered under a flag of truce to talk peace was entirely outrageous and unacceptable, but how his body was treated afterward was worse. First, he was scalped and buried in a waste ditch. At some point his head was cut-off and the flesh boiled-off so that the skull could be shipped back east for study. A scientist examining Mangas' brain cavity declared that it was bigger than Daniel Webster's. (*2)
Story of how Skull Valley, Arizona earned its name as a killing field.
These atrocities caused the Apache warriors to start another campaign against the whites; sure that they could not be trusted. (*4)
However, it wasn't just the Apaches who were outraged. Two years prior to his death, Mangas allied (by giving his daughter in marriage) to Cochise of the Chiricahua people. (*4) The Chiricahuas were so infuriated, that they kept up the fight against the whites for another 23 years! (*4)
So deep was this scar, that a survey of Chiricahua Apaches over a century later, in the 1970s. showed that while few remembered Pearl Harbor, many still could recall the murder of Mangas Colorado. (*3)
The great Geronimo once described the torture, murder and desecration of Mangus Colorado as "perhaps the greatest wrong ever done to the Indians." (*2)
Although it's a long way from Prescott, the Chiricahua National Monument (in southeastern Arizona) is worth the visit!CLICK HERE for information on the Chiricahua National Monument
SOURCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY:
*1 Prescott Journal Miner March 26,1915 page 3, cols. 2 & 3
For a short biography of Mangas (Mangus) Colorado, the author suggests: