In Which I Honor Alchesay …   Leave a comment

Alchesay – Apache Scout

Alchesay – was a Chief of the White Mountain Apaches during a critical time in their history.

He was also an Indian Scout in the United States Army who held the rank of … “Sergeant”.

And … he was a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery in the “Indian Wars”.

I first became “aquainted” with Alchesay while doing some research on Apache Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.  The Apaches were one of the last tribes to be “pacified” by the U.S. Government in the late 1800’s.  After Geronimo’s final surrender in the 1890’s – the entire Chiricahua Apache Tribe was packed up and shipped off to be Prisoner’s of War of the United States Government.  They remained prisoners for 27 years … men, women, and children.  The U.S. Government even imprisoned the Chiracahua Scouts who joined the army to hunt down Geronimo – and who fought for the U.S. Army for more than a year against Geronimo and his band.

I think that deserves repeating – after assisting the US Government in tracking down Geronimo – and after risking their lives fighting Geronimo’s warriors – and after assisting in convincing Geronimo to surrender to prevent further bloodshed …

The Chiracahua Scouts, and their families, were “rewarded” with 27 years of imprisonment.  You simply cannot make this stuff up.

This did not happen to Alchesay though – while his Chiricahua brothers who fought alongside him were sent to prison camps – Alchesay was, deservedly, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor along with several other “non-Chiracahua” Apaches.

Alchesay remained friends with Geronimo until the day he died.

What also caught my attention about Alchesay was the picture, which I’ve posted in this entry.  It’s a very humble picture – of a very significant man.  He looks completely relaxed – as if his destiny, and that of his people, are completely within his control when, in fact, it was anything but.  Yet – there he is … standing as a man looking back at the death of his Apache culture – yet looking forward, eyes alive and optimistic – to the future.

And this is why I chose to name this blog after Alchesay because, like him – to a very real extent we all find ourselves in very much the same predicament he and his people found themselves in.

The “Information Revolution” has produced a great deal of good for humanity – but the downside of it is that it has also made it possible for governments to infiltrate and monitor every aspect of our lives.  We’re no longer the “free” people we thought we were.  We all live on a “reservation” now, monitored by the government – and if you step off that reservation, they come and hunt you down.  Your internet activity is monitored.  Your movements are monitored by tapping into your cell phone.  You are captured on network video cameras going about your daily business – countless times throughout the day.  Police forces have grown so huge and out of touch with the people they serve – they refer to the rest of us as “civilians” without realizing they are civilians also.

For us, as for Alchesay – what comes next is unknown to us …

Though history tells me that people will not stand this kind of imprisonment very long.  If we don’t find a peaceful way to put sanity back into government – then violent unrest will eventually result.

I just hope that – whatever happens – we can walk through it with the confidence and fearlessness – and humbleness – displayed by Alchesay.

Posted July 10, 2011 by alchesay

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