Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) Script

They'll fight a delaying action.

Twenty-five, thirty warriors, maybe.

Hundred women and children.

That's it.

The warriors will turn and fight.

No avoiding that. No.

It'll give the women and children time to take cover.

One thing for damn sure, they already know we're here.

Captain Ragsdale! Sir.

Troopers on the flat, form a line!


Mr. Ragsdale! Sir!

Advance carbines.

Company! Advance carbines!

Sound the march. Bugler!

The Chiricahua Apache from the American Southwest... were the last of the great tribes to defy the United States government... and its effort to impose the reservation system.

The Army, under the command of Brigadier General George Crook... was entrusted with the responsibility of breaking this resistance.

His campaign ended the Chiricahua strongholds below the Mexican border.

Brought to a conclusion the conflict... that had raged through the Southwest for nearly two decades.

Tell old Nan and the others we're not going to hurt them.

We're not going anywhere.

We don't want to fight.

We came here to bring you to our reservation.

Tell your men that.

Nantan Lupan only wants peace with the Chiricahua.

Live on the reservation.

Only one Chiricahua warrior and his band of renegades held out.

Then, even he sent word that he would give himself up in two months time.

He was called Goyakla.

But years before, the Mexicans had given him another name:


One month before my 22nd birthday...

I reported for duty in the Arizona territory.

It was my first post into garrison life.

In looking back, it is now clear to me that I was as much a stranger to myself... as I was to the great western desert.

My name is Britton Davis.

I was a participant in what the Army later called the Geronimo Campaign.

It is my wish to throw some light upon the extraordinary events that I witnessed... and on the men that lived them.

The beginning of my life as a frontier soldier was at hand... and no amount of military training could disguise the excitement I felt.

Howdy. Welcome. It's good to see an army fellow.


No, thank you, sir.

You don't have to 'sir' me, son.

I ain't no officer.

Looks like you are, though. Second Lieutenant Britton Davis.

At your service. Proud to know you.

Where you from, Lieutenant?

Born in Texas, near Brownsville.

Texas? Why, hell, son, I thought you was from back east!

Kind of got that manner about you.

Well, I been the last four years at West Point.

Senor. Yeah?

Soldados vienen.

My initial impression of First Lieutenant Charles Gatewood... remains distinct in my memory.

His brusqueness was entirely military, balanced by unfailing good manners.

In his most matter-of-fact way, he gave me my first order... as an officer of the United States Cavalry.

I was to accompany him south.

We were going to bring in Geronimo.

He's due in a few days.

We'll go on down to the border and escort him to San Carlos.

About 75 miles to the border from here, Mr. Davis.

Plenty of time to get acquainted with your new mount.

Sir? Yes?

Just you and me?

The General figured that if we had Geronimo we didn't need much protection.

Yes, sir.

A small detachment means we're not threatening the hostiles.

You wouldn't want to pose a threat to Geronimo, would you?

No, sir.

The Lieutenant was a man of confidence and experience in the Apache wars.

In time I came to realise he was much admired by his peers... much respected by his superiors.

That's the border, Mr. Davis.

How will he find us? Easy. We're the only ones out here.


Apache medicine man.

Probably on a pilgrimage.

The Apaches, they believe in that power. It's a kind of... spirit they carry inside them.

Sir, Geronimo's just going to come on in and give himself up?

That's what he promised.

Chiricahua doesn't give his word much, but when he does, he keeps it.

As long as you keep yours.

When the medicine man joined our camp, I was filled with curiosity.

By personal inclination, Lieutenant Gatewood kept his own counsel.

He met questions from an inexperienced officer with patience and courtesy.

What fascinated me most... was his sympathy and knowledge of all things pertaining to the Apache.

You don't talk to them much, do you?

To an Apache, stillness is a pleasure.

It's something they're taught while they're young.

Helps someone who may have to hide and wait.

What's he singing about?

Trying to locate Geronimo.

Says he'll be here tomorrow.

On a white horse.

Superstitious, aren't they?

$5 says he rides in here on a white horse.

Just because the medicine man says so?

You've got a bet, Lieutenant.


These scouts that we have with us, they're Apache.

Why would they work for the Army? Fight their own kind?

There are lots of different Apache tribes that don't much like each other.

Most of all, Apache go where the best fight is.

It's a morality, once you understand it.

All right, I'll see your $2... and I'll raise you $1.

Lieutenant, just curious: Are you a family man?

I have a son and a daughter.

They and my wife are back in Virginia.

You must miss them. Every hour of every day.

Goyakla is coming.

Rides a white horse.

You owe me $5, Mr. Davis.

I heard you were wearing the blue coat.

I did not believe it.

Now I know your heart.

First Lieutenant Charles P. Gatewood.

It is good to see the great warrior.

You speak pretty good Apache.

Second Lieutenant Britton Davis, Sixth Cavalry.

You are now under the protection of the United States Army.

We will escort you to General Crook at San Carlos.

Nantan Lupan waits for you with an open heart.

They are something.

Chiricahua are special.

Even amongst the Apache.

The second night of our trek to San Carlos, we put up at the Overland way station... at the foot of the Dragoon Mountains.

The following morning I had my first opportunity to write home... being careful to include in the letter an offhand reference to my participation... in the capture of Geronimo.

Two men are coming. Man with white hat carries shotgun.

I'm looking for the officer in charge.

Lieutenant Charles Gatewood at your service.

Heard the Army was travelling through with hostiles.

Especially one hostile in particular.

City Marshal Joe Hawkins, Tombstone.

Apaches over yonder are under arrest.

I'm deputizing you to hold these criminals until we get back... with a posse and a warrant.

These Apache are in our custody.

The warrant's going to specify murder of white citizens...

horse thievery and hostile Indianism. Now, is that good enough for you?

We want to do what's right, which is hang them.

I have orders to turn these Apache in to General Crook.

The United States Army doesn't need your help.


Don't sass me, blue coat.

Great Geronimo.

I think you're nothing but a murdering red bastard.

I'd ride on if I were you, sir.

You seem to have provoked the hostiles.

And I don't think you want to get into a contest with the Sixth Cavalry.

Let me tell you something.

Even the Sixth Cavalry is subject to a Federal warrant.

Justice will be served... one way or the other.


Get the Apaches going, Mr. Davis.



We moved north with all possible speed... but our pack mules prevented us from making good progress.

Around 4:00 in the afternoon, we caught sight of the Tombstone Posse.

Faced with the potential enemy that possessed superior numbers...

Lieutenant Gatewood hit upon an unusual tactic.

He divided his forces.

He sent me ahead with the others, while he and Geronimo remained behind.

The lieutenant had two objectives.

First, to attempt a rear-guard protective action.

Second, and most important, never to lose sight of Geronimo.

Easy, steady!

What you seeing, Davy?

Looks like some of them split off.

Six or seven of them headed to San Carlos...

other two up yonder.

That's more of a lynch mob than a posse.

But if they serve those warrants, I'm going to have to give you up.

You have a good long glass, Gatewood.

If I scare them off... we trade.

I can't let you kill any of those men.

That was a great shot.

Not so great, I aimed for his head.

We best catch up to Mr. Davis and the others now.

This your name?



A gift from my troops.

They must think you're a fine chief.


Not a chief, just a soldier.

Your glass much better than mine.

Blue stone is valuable to Apache.

Well, thank you.

The following afternoon, we arrived at the military base... of operations at San Carlos.

This afforded me my first glimpse of General Crook... who the Apache called Nantan Lupan, Grey Wolf Chief.

Our arrival was laid out with great military ceremony.

The surrender of Geronimo was no small event.


My compliments, Lieutenant.

Nantan Lupan.

It does my heart good to see you, Geronimo.

I accept your surrender.

I accept the surrender of a great warrior.

Now, let's have a cup of coffee and smoke a cigar.

Got a lot to talk about.

It's old Geronimo.

Good to see you, ain't it?

You know my friend, Al Sieber.

Yeah. I was always hoping to catch up to you myself, but...

I guess I'll never get that chance now.

Mr. Sieber. Lieutenant.

I see you have your cigar and coffee.

Lieutenant Gatewood told me of your trip up from the border.

Sounds like quite a story.

I'm glad to see that Geronimo's a man of his word.

Washington's ordered me to detain you here for a short period... and then send you and your band of Chiricahua on to Turkey Creek.

We keep our rifles for hunting.

Yes, but only on the reservation.

I'll put one of my officers in charge there.


No, I'm sorry, Lieutenant Gatewood is a company officer.

He has his responsibilities here.

Then we take Davis.

I like Davis.

I'm sure Mr. Davis will be a fine officer... but I had somebody more experienced in mind.

I like Davis.

What do you think, Lieutenant? I'm sure it will be his privilege... as well as his duty.

Mr. Davis, it is.

To be accompanied by a small detachment of soldiers.

The Apache will be under the protection of the United States Army.

Mr. Davis is young.

Young Apache, young White-Eye, the hope of the West.


You come visit me.

I would like that.

I hope the wars are over, my friend.

Nantan Lupan wants the Chiricahua to learn to be farmers.

It's their only chance.

They must change.

The old days are gone.

Nantan Lupan says there must be no leaving this reservation... even for a few hours without permission.

There must be no drinking of whiskey or Tizwin.

Any violations of these rules... will result in confinement in an Army prison stockade.

He want to know why these rules.

Why they be punished?

What you care if Apache drink? Soldier drink.

Nantan Lupan says if Apache drink, Apache fight.

Apache get into trouble.

It's bad for everyone.

It's bad for the Apache, it's bad for soldiers... bad for all the White-Eyes.

Say, why, if some Apache do bad things, all are punished?

That will not happen.

All Apache should not be punished for the mistakes of only a few.

We will determine who is responsible and only those few will be punished.

Six weeks after I took up residence at Turkey Creek, Lieutenant Gatewood... and AI Sieber came to visit.

Sieber, as Chief of Scouts, was in charge of recruiting Apache for the Army.

Hello there, Mangas. Just the fellow I want to see.

I want you to join the Army, all right?

Wolves with blue coats, scouts to help us fight the renegades.

You'll be a sergeant, wear a blue coat, stripes on your coat, with Army pay.

I don't know, Sieber.

Well, you are a warrior. You hunt men.

You'll make your woman, make your children proud of you.

Mexicans, they took my wife, my little boy.

Maybe the Army could help get them back.

I think maybe I stay here.

If I was asking you out on a raiding party, I expect you'd be a lot more willing.

Federal government had forced over 500 Chiricahua... to take up residence within Turkey Creek's narrow borders.

Corn was the main crop, but the land was not fertile enough to be self-sufficient.

The Chiricahua became dependent on government supplies for their well-being.

Gatewood. You come to visit me.

Makes my heart glad to see Geronimo.

How's the life of a farmer?

Some Apaches are good farmer.

Others miss the old way.

I'm not good farmer, Gatewood.

I have come here to visit my friend... but I have some questions I need to ask you.

There are rumours that a medicine man is speaking against the White-Eye.

That he is calling for a return to the war trail.

It was told by a medicine man... many more Apache would die fighting White-Eye.

And in the end... we will win because we will die free of them.

Is the only way for an Apache to be free... to die?

Well, which medicine man is this? I should talk to him.

Find out what he's saying.

There are many.

Some have the power.

Some just talk.

He's a warrior.

Every bit born in battle.

Fighting a lost cause.

I'm familiar with the type.

My two older brothers and my father fought for the Army of Northern Virginia.

My oldest brother was killed.

My father was wounded, crippled.

After the war, he took me aside and said, 'You'll carry the new flag.'

Sent me off to the Academy.

First of my family north of the Mason-Dixon line.

So, like our friend, I know what it's like to hate the blue coat.

Before the White-Eye came we had a good life.

Now we are forced to stay on this tiny piece of land.

The White-Eye do not understand the way of the Apache.

The medicine man at Cibecue is called the Dreamer.

He says the dead chiefs will rise.

He says the Apache are the true keepers of the land.

I will go to him.

I want to hear his words.

Today while Gatewood talked with me, I looked into my power.

I saw a white horse running.

I saw signs of war.

Nothing so concentrated the bureaucratic mind... in dealing with the Indians as rumours of a troublesome medicine man.

When a religious leader showed up among the tribes... preaching doctrines perceived to be dangerous, the government policy... was to have the Army deal with it immediately.

I am here by order of General Crook.

Nantan Lupan.

The dead chiefs will not rise if you are here.

The White-Eye must leave. I pray this will happen.

This dance is a demonstration hostile to the citizens of the United States.

And this demonstration is unlawfully assembled.

I order you to stop at this instant!

Stop that!

Stop him! Arrest him!

Watch it!

You didn't have to shoot him, goddamn it! I can handle this myself!

What's he got there? He had a rock!

He has not done nothing!

We're not bothering no one!

You leave here!

You leave us alone!

Arrest him! Arrest Geronimo!

Where is your heart?

Arrest Geronimo! Arrest him!

David never really... General Crook. Telegram, sir.

Pardon me.

Get a staff officer to me immediately.

Captain Ragsdale. Now!


Geronimo's jumped Turkey Creek.

The Apache are out.

It all blew up at Cibecue.

Whole damn thing is a shambles.

Geronimo has taken half of the reservation with him.

Men, women and children.

Spread the word. All officers to their commands.

Yes, sir.

Geronimo had quickly divided his forces into small bands... each headed for Mexico.

By the day after Cibecue, Crook had five columns in the field.

The Geronimo Campaign had begun.

On the point!

Circle back!


Yes, I see them, Mr. Davis.

Steady in the rank.

Go slow.

Beg your pardon, sir.

Do we attack?

Hold the column.


Steady in the rank!


Sergeant. Column halt!

Whatever happens, the Apache will take off.

Don't let the column pursue at speed.

Whenever you can, you choose your ground to fight on.


What the hell is going on?

Raiding party, split off from Goyakla.

Apache challenge Gatewood to come out and fight.

Want to show off power to other Chiricahua.


Is there anything that should be done?

Geronimo's band had gone east into the copper mining country... of the low hills.

His tactics were re-supply at the expense of the civilians... who had settled on Chiricahua land.

This is Apache land.

This has always been Apache land!

We ain't never done nothing to you. I mean, it ain't right.

Stop crying, damn it!

He's going to kill you anyway.

We make things out of this country!

There was nothing here before us, there'd be nothing if we left it to you.

You are a fool... but at least you are brave.

Get off Apache land.

The next time, I will kill you.

Detail halt!

Troops, right, straight! Left, right, face.

'The Apache known as Dandy Jim and Skip-Hey...

'...have been found guilty by the Military Court, Department of Arizona...

'...of insurrection at Cibecue Creek.

'The Apache Dead Shot...

'...Sergeant, Military Scouts, Sixth Cavalry...

'...been found guilty of treason.

'The sentence of the court for the three prisoners...

' death by hanging.'

Do any of you have anything to say to me as Chaplain?

Are any of you Christians?

Nantan Lupan...

I give you my hat.

Maybe you think my wife, my baby.

Don't trust the White-Eye.

With them there is no right way.

I am not afraid of their preacher.

The One God will welcome me.

There's three of them.

The driver should be nearby.

They didn't have to kill them just to get their horses.

No, they didn't.

AI Sieber had had his wound from Cibecue cauterised with a hot poker... and was back in the saddle the following day.

All told, he had suffered 17 gunshot and arrow wounds... in his many years of fighting Apache.

The General wants to deploy me and Dutchy to your column.

How's that wound, Mr. Sieber?

Which one?

Down here, here, here, here?

Hell, I'm in real good. Ain't slowing me down none.

We came across an overland. Four dead, horses gone.

If they've burned two spreads off to the west... they've picked up horses, food, a lot of ammunition.

I figure I'll just keep tracking off to those hills there.

All right.

Mr. Davis, you and Sergeant Mulrey stick with Mr. Sieber.

Be sure that he gets back to the column by sundown.

Yes, sir.

That raiding party is real close.


I want you to ride for the column.

Bring them back to pick up this trail.

On the double, pronto, go on, get out of here!

You take him!

The hostile Apache that Dutchy and I had been pursuing had gotten away.

Needless to say, at the time, I was humiliated.

But much later I decided the incident had come out for the best.

I'm quite content to go to my grave knowing that I've never killed an Apache.

You all right, Mr. Sieber?

Caught up with three bucks and some stolen ponies.

Gave one of them to Mr. Davis. Seems he got away.

Sergeant Mulrey, check the area for a dead hostile!


Now, we crossing to Mexico tomorrow?

That's right.

We ought to send some of the scouts back.

I don't trust them south of the border.

Geronimo's got a few of them spooked. They're wondering... if they're on the wrong side.

I don't think so, Mr. Sieber.

Besides, we need every scout we have.

Yes, sir.

I guess you weren't there then, when Dead Shot and the others... turned on us at Cibecue.

If I had been at Cibecue, they wouldn't have turned.

Whole thing wouldn't have happened, Al.

I know you don't like me much and I don't really care.

I know I'm rough in some of my ways, I guess.

I ain't the gentleman type.

But, I think... compared to you, I am somewhat honest.

No offence intended, Lieutenant. Speaking off the record, sir.

I just figure you're a real sad case.

You don't love who you're fighting for... and you don't hate who you're fighting against.

Perhaps I could learn to hate with the proper vigour from you, Al.

Well, maybe you could, Lieutenant.

Though I never managed to become a close friend of AI Sieber... in the next few weeks of campaigning, I did learn to get along with him.

Only a fool would fail to profit from his vast experience.

In his own way, he was as taken by the Apache... as was Lieutenant Gatewood.

Well, sir... your Apache rides a horse to death and eats him and steals another.

I mean, the horse is just mobile food.

I've chased them when they made 50 miles a day on horse and foot.

Hell, they can live on cactus, go 48 hours without water.

I mean, one week of that would kill your average trooper.

I hear you can track as good as any Apache.

That's right, but there's only one of me and 1,000 square miles of Apache country.

General Crook figured that out, 'cause it takes an Apache to catch an Apache.

White-Eyes can't catch them alone, no sir.

If you ever fight an Apache and things go bad, save the last bullet for yourself.

You don't want to get taken alive, no sir.

They got lots of ways to kill you.

One of their favourites is to strip you, tie you upside down to a wagon wheel.

They pour pitch on you, light you on fire.

I know you are angry about this war.

The White-Eye...

gave me no choice.

I ask your blessing.

You ask my blessing after this thing is done.

What I did is right.

Now we are fighting Mexicans and White-Eye.

The reservation is bad, but at least we can stay alive.

We have fought the Mexicans for years...

and the White-Eye will never catch us.

Many Apache will die. I must send for Nantan Lupan.

We will talk with him. I ask that you do this.

General Crook and a small detachment of Apache scouts... came across the border into the Canyon de los Embudos.

Crook had agreed to negotiate terms, but he intended a hard bargain.

For the rest of his life, he never forgave Geronimo for jumping Turkey Creek.

Crook maintained his sympathy for the Apache... but between he and Geronimo all trust had vanished.

There is one God looking down on us all.

We are all children of one God.

I didn't come here to listen to religion.

You broke your word.

You left Turkey Creek.

You killed many White-Eye. You come back.

Washington wants you to go to Florida.

You do it or I'll come back with my army and fight.

Nantan Lupan does not understand.

The White-Eye try to change Apache way.

The Apache were doing fine farming corn.

The problem was Geronimo.

I knew Cochise, he was a king.

He was a wise ruler of his people.

I knew Vittorio, he was a proud leader.

And I know Geronimo.

He doesn't want to lead or rule or be wise.

He just wants to fight.

I didn't start this trouble.

The Army killed the Dreamer.

He was calling for war.

If the medicine man had come in peaceably, he'd be alive.

There's no excuse for taking up arms against the United States Army.

The Army's the best friend the Chiricahua ever had.

You know it and I know it.

With all this land, why is there no room for the Apache?

Why does the White-Eye want all land?

How long in Florida?

Maybe two years, with your families.

I think I can get that.

That's not a bad deal.

A lot of White-Eyes want to see Geronimo hanged for murder.

Not murder.


Many bad things happen in war.

How many White-Eye did you kill since you left Turkey Creek?

Maybe 50.

Maybe more. How many Apaches do you kill?

You killed women and children.

So did you.

We gain nothing by fighting.

We can live on the reservation.

I go there.

You, Nantan Lupan... are like a brother to me.

Many of my people want to surrender.

When I was young...

the White-Eye came and wanted the land of my people.

When their soldiers burnt our villages, we moved to the mountains.

When they took our food... we ate thorns.

When they killed our children... we had more.

We killed all White-Eye that we could.

We starved and we killed...

but in our hearts... we never surrendered.

C.S. Fly, a photographer from Tombstone... requested permission to accompany General Crook to Mexico... and record the negotiations.

Much to everyone's surprise, Crook agreed.

Even more surprising, Geronimo and the other Chiricahua also agreed.

In some mysterious way, they seemed to understand these pictures... would make them immortal.

They are the only known photos ever taken of the American Indian... as an enemy in the field.

Old Nana and his people...

will return to Turkey Creek.

Many of his people are too old to fight.

Nantan Lupan will make all of you a prisoner.

We have to trust him.

There is no other way.

I called him my brother.

Go if you must. I have made my decision.

I will not surrender to the White-Eye.

I will stay with you and fight.

But now we will be very few.

'Thereby I tender my resignation as commander of this department.

'I have served you well in the past, but my judgment has been called into question.

'Without doubt, I made an error in trusting the word of Geronimo...

'...that he would surrender.

'Perhaps others will be more correct or more fortunate.

'The real tragedy I know you do not understand:

'That is, to the Apache people.

'They have lost in me a true friend...

'...and they have few.

'George Crook, Brigadier General, United States Army.'

I was forced to send this to Washington a day ago.

They've accepted my resignation... with regrets.

General Nelson Miles will replace me.

There's nothing to be done, General?


Graceful retirement for a general who could not catch Geronimo.

Settlers, prospectors, land speculators, they won't admit it... but the truth is they'd all like to see the Indian dead.

They see the Army as their weapon.

The Army that fight the Apache is the only hope of keeping the Apache alive.

Only the Army can protect them.

Yes, sir.

I fought them a long time, General... and I figure if I was one of them, I'd be standing next to Geronimo... shooting at the blue coats.

But God made me who I am and between them or us...

I figure it's us.

Well, damn it, Al. Is that the only way we could win?

Well, I can't answer that question. I'm just a hired hand.

I just want to say, I didn't always agree with you... but you had my respect.

And while you was in charge... the Army was a proper piece of work.


So, I'm going to quit this damn fool job. I'm going to go on down to Tucson and...

I'm going to get drunk.

Take it easy, Al.

Yes, sir.


General Miles brought with him an entirely new staff of line officers.

Lieutenant Gatewood, myself and many others... had to taste the humiliation of being dismissed from the field.

I'm honoured to be here with you men of the Sixth Cavalry.

Honoured to be here by the order of the President of the United States.

We are charged with bringing in the renegade Apache, Geronimo.

We will accomplish this task. We will succeed.

But we're abandoning certain practices of the past:

Over reliance on Apache scouts.

Men of divided loyalties.

I will keep troops in the field until the enemy is fully subjugated... fully pacified.

There will be no compromise with the honour of our nation.

There will be no compromise with the honour of the United States Army.


As he had promised, General Miles sent troops forward... without the Apache scouts.

For the next five months, they relentlessly searched... but the results were predictable.

Geronimo and his tiny band of Chiricahua... had vanished deep into the mountains of Mexico.

It seemed they were chasing a spirit more than a man.


I doubt if you're enjoying your current assignment.

Nothing personal, I understand you're a fine officer.

Do you know why I called you here, Gatewood?

No, sir.

Tomorrow a new policy change will be announced.

As punishment for Geronimo's resistance.

All Chiricahua living on reservation land are to be rounded up and sent to Florida.

They will stay there until Geronimo is captured or killed.

That's a harsh penalty that he's drawn on his own people.

I hear you and Geronimo were friendly.

Any relationship I've had has never compromised my effectiveness in the field.

I need you to speak freely with me.

Can you find Geronimo, talk to him?

I thought so once.

There's no way to be sure now.

The signs are that he's starving, or close to it.

Living on cactus and rabbits.

I know this because I've got observation points... and 5,000 troops stretched from here to Sonora... searching for...

Thirty-five Apache, sir.

That's what I believe he'll be down to in a month's time.

Thirty-five starving Apache.

Begging the General's pardon, sir, but why not leave him to the Mexicans?

He can't continue to keep raiding across the border.

He can't afford to lose any more warriors, can't replace them.

The present political situation demands results.

I want you to find Geronimo and make him this proposal.

I have the authority to hunt him all the way to South America if I have to... but I want this nonsense to end.

Now, I'm willing to give you all the scouts you need... hundred-man detail, regular cavalry, mule pack team.

A hundred men won't do.

How many do you want?


I'd like to pick them myself.

Whatever happens, Lieutenant... this conversation that you and I are having never took place.

Any negotiations with Geronimo are to be strictly confidential.

Is that understood?

Two years in Florida.

Two years in Florida, with their families.

And when they return to reservation land here in Arizona territory... every warrior gets 40 acres of land... two mules.

I don't think you or the government intend to keep this promise.

You just offer it. None of the rest is your concern.

Do you know your scripture, sir?

'What does it profit a man to gain the whole world...

'...and lose his soul?'


You have your orders.

Lieutenant Gatewood chose the Apache scout, Chato, to accompany him... as well as myself and AI Sieber, who became bored with his retirement.

After four weeks of tracking Geronimo through the mountains of Sonora... we came across a burning Indian village.

What we found there was unspeakable.

There's two dead women there.

Two little kids.

Scalped them all, all four of them.

Bounty hunters.

Government down here pays 200 pesos a head for the men.

100 for the women... and 50 for those kids.

Kill any Indian, then claim they're Apache.

I don't see how any man can sink that low.

Must be Texans, lowest form of white man there is.

Who are these people?

They are Yaqui, not Apache.

The dying Yaqui told me five White-Eye and a Comanche...

They attacked before dawn.

Most of the men got away.

They go up into the hills... and come back one day, maybe two.

And come back for their families.

And build big fire and burn the bodies.

And they go join up with other Yaqui tribe... maybe find new wives.

They go off that way into the hills.

After they hunt Yaqui men they go to Soyapos... get their money.

You and Sieber, I want you to track the bounty hunters that did this.

Geronimo is here.

You want me to ride? I'm ready...

You need more rest...

The women have gathered medicine.

Do we leave at dawn?

Don't worry.

We will not fight tomorrow.


I have just seen my power. An iron horse comes over the desert.

I have seen a vision. An iron horse for the Apache.

Been down here... almost 20 years.

I was in the war.

Confederate officer.

After the hostilities ended...

I went to Texas.

Got into a little scrape with the law.

Come down here, got a new name.

New start.



But in my heart...

well, hell...

I'm still a Tennessee man.

My wife and her sisters... they trade with Apache women.

They come down from the mountains.

They've done it for years.

Few days back, some Chiricahua showed up near here.


Straight up Montana Avarripe.

I didn't expect to see many Americans down here.

Where you fellows from? Texas.

I keep a house in Brewster county.

Awful far from home, ain't you?

Well, we just came down here to try to make ourselves a living.

And what about you, friend?

It seems like you've got a real curious nature.

You the law? Me? Hell, no.

I'm just hunting that son of a bitch Geronimo.

Thought you might've come across something to help me out.

I'm sorry, amigo.

We ain't seen nothing.


Why don't you sit down there, while we have us a drink.

We'll take real good care of you.

Cover my back.

Anything happens, fire.

And keep firing.


That Apache is with us.

Don't look like it to me.

He's a Sergeant of Scouts... in the United States Army.

Who the hell are you?

Charles Gatewood.

Lieutenant, Sixth Cavalry.

You boys are out of uniform.

Maybe he ought to wear one.

Somebody down here take that scalp of his... make themselves a little money.

Ten days ago, we came across a Yaqui village.

All the Indians slaughtered.

We come across the same type of thing a while back.

I tell you, this is a crazy country.


buys that scalp back.

Nice doing business with you, Mr. Gatewood.


I changed my mind.

You rotten son of a bitch.


Move it, Dixie boy.


I never thought I'd get killed trying to help save an Apache.

We got them, Mr. Sieber.

We got them all.

I've been gun-shot, arrow-shot 17 times.

Twenty years chasing old Geronimo.

I'd love nothing better than being there to... finish.

You don't have to account yourself to me, Al.

You're a brave man.

I never did have no kind of luck.

Never did.

I'm going to catch me a little sleep here for...

a minute or two.

Rotten sons of bitches.


No more burro!

Can't go higher!

Chato and l... are going on here alone.

You stay with the supplies.


Are you giving me a choice?

That's an order, Lieutenant.

I know it's hard to come this far then stop, and I'm sorry.

But somebody's got to go back and tell the truth.

Britton... you're a fine officer.

Stay noble.

We're trying to make a country here.

It's hard.

Why did you bring him?

He is an enemy to his people!

He thinks you are.

He is a brave man to come here. Enough Chiricahua are dead.

They are dead because the White-Eye killed them.

Have they taught you to lie, Gatewood?

I don't lie.

But the truth is, General Miles will hunt you for 50 years.

He's already sent your families to Florida, which is far, far away.

Look around.

See how few warriors you have left.

If I kill White-Eyes forever...

I am still Geronimo, an Apache.

Who are you, Gatewood?

Just a man like you.

And I want to go home.

I want to see my family.

My God...

My God is a God of peace.

A God of life, not death.

What does your God say?

Yosin is not here with us on the mountain.

Tell me, what is in your heart?

The war is over.

I offer this... because it has power for me.

Our fight must end here.

When I was young, I took a wife.

We lived in these mountains.

We have our family.

The Mexican soldiers came and they killed her.

They killed her and my two little girls.

They killed them because we are Apache.

I remember when I found their bodies.

I stood until much time had passed, not knowing what to do.

I had no weapon... but I did not want to fight.

I did not pray.

I did not do anything.

I had no purpose left.

After a year had passed...

my power showed me how to get revenge.

And always, since then, I get revenge.

But no matter how many I kill...

I could not bring back my family.

Yosin... the Apache God, is a God of peace.

I gave you the blue stone.

You give me this.

It will be peace.

On September 4, 1886...

Geronimo and 34 Chiricahua men, women and children... surrendered to General Nelson Miles.

As he handed over his weapons, Geronimo simply said:

'Once I moved about like the wind. Now I surrender and that is all. '

He refused any further conversation with the General.

After arranging Geronimo's final surrender...

Lieutenant Gatewood was transferred to a remote garrison in Northern Wyoming.

His continued presence would have been an embarrassing reminder... that the United States Army had failed to defeat a band of 35 Apache.

Instead of being rewarded with a medal for his heroic efforts...

Lieutenant Charles Gatewood was sentenced to obscurity.

Sir, formation is ready.


Prepare to mount! Present arms!


Detail, arms, halt!

'By order of the office of the President of the United States...

'...all Chiricahua scouts are under arrest...

'...and will be transported to Fort Marion Prison...

'...Saint Augustine, Florida...

'...with the outlaw Apaches, led by Goyakla, known as Geronimo!

'The Apache scouts from the White Mountain...

'...Coyotero and Mescalero tribes are to return at once...

' their reservations.

'They will remain within these boundaries unless given express permission to travel.

'Their duties for the United States Army are at an end.

'We thank them for their services.'


Collect arms!

I'm a good Apache, it's not right.

I'm Sergeant Chato, a scout.

Later that afternoon, Geronimo, his band of renegades... and all the Chiricahua that had served the Army so faithfully... were loaded into wagons and transported to the railhead at Holbrook.

There, they were to begin their journey to Florida and imprisonment.


Morning report, sir.

Mr. Glenville, I'd like to see the General.

On what business?

It's about Mr. Gatewood.


I thought the US Army kept its word.

I thought maybe we were the only ones left who did.

What's going on out there is a disgrace.


You're more worried about keeping your word to a savage... than you are fulfilling your duties to the citizens of this country.

We won. That's what matters.

It's over, Lieutenant.

Geronimo, the Apache, the whole history of the West, except being a farmer.

Mr. Gatewood wouldn't want me to be a part of any of this.

I hate an idealist.

There's always something messy about them.

I'm ashamed.

And you have my resignation.

To the disappointment of family and friends...

I had ended my military career.

Over the years, the events surrounding the Geronimo Campaign... have continued to haunt me.

I carry the memory of those days... days of bravery and cruelty... of heroism and deceit.

And I am still faced with an undeniable truth:

A way of life that endured a thousand years was gone.

This desert... this land that we look out on... would never be the same.

You were right to fight the White-Eye.

Everything they said to me was a lie.

You helped them...

I will hate you forever.

There are so few of us left...

We should not hate each other.

She has the coughing sickness.

She will die soon.

Maybe the baby, too.

No one knows why the One God let the White-Eye take our land.

Why did there have to be so many of them?

Why did they have so many guns, so many horses?

For many years, the One God made me a warrior.

No gun, no bullets, could ever kill me.

That was my power...

Now my time is over.

Now, maybe, the time of our people is over.

Geronimo lived for another 22 years... as a prisoner of war.

Despite its promise... the federal government never let him return home.