Geronimo

In 1894 Geronimo and 341 other Chiricahua Apache prisoners of war were brought to Fort Sill where they lived in 12 villages scattered around the post.

A few years later, Geronimo was permitted to join the Indian contingent at several annual World Expositions and Indian Expositions in the 1890s and early 1900s. Geronimo and other Indian leaders rode in the inaugural parade of President Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. and met the president himself during that trip.

Though they were prisoners of war, Geronimo and the other Apache prisoners had free range of Fort Sill. He served in the Army as a member of Fort Sill's Native Scouts. Geronimo did make at least one documented attempt to escape the fort, though not in the dramatic fashion of jumping off the steep Medicine Bluffs on his horse in a hail of bullets as popularized in the 1939 movie, Geronimo (which was the inspiration for parachutists of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment to yell his name when they jump out of aircraft). Once, after visiting the off-post home of Chief Quanah Parker, Geronimo decided to escape to his homeland in Arizona rather than return to Fort Sill. He was recaptured the next day.

He died of pneumonia in 1909 and is buried at Fort Sill.

The rest of the Apaches remained on Fort Sill until 1913. The Chiricahua had been promised the lands surrounding the fort by the US government; however local non-Indians resisted their settlement. In 1914 two-thirds of the tribe moved onto the Mescalero Apache Reservation (what is known as "the Parting") and the remaining third settled on allotments around Fletcher and Apache, Okla. They became what is known today as the Fort Sill Apache Tribe.

Want to know more about this famous warrior? Visit our special Geronimo Website, based on his autobiography.