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Date of Birth 2nd Apr 1865  
Date of Death 2nd Mar 1951  

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  • Michael Clancy’s Army experience (17 June 1885- 16 June 1890)

      Michael Clancy’s Army experience (17 June 1885- 16 June 1890)

      The story I was told by my father, James Joseph Clancy Jr., was that his grandfather Michael joined the Army Calvary unit and was stationed at Jefferson Barracks. After duty in Texas (Fort Sam Houston) he returned to St. Louis. Dad thought that he may have been a vet of Spanish American War and possibly a Roosevelt Rough Rider.

      I found a document titled “US Army register of enlistments”. Michael Clancy enlisted on June 17, 1885 in St. Louis, MO by Capt Ellis. This is my first document found that states Michael was born in Oughterard, Ireland. His occupation is listed as a laborer, blue eyes, and brown hair, fair complexion, 5'10”. He was assigned to the 3rd Calvary F Company. Remarks: discharged June 16/90 Exp? of serv at Ft Clark Tex a Pvt Char excel

      Original data: Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

      The 3d Cavalry Regiment dates back to 19 May 1846, when it was constituted in the Regular Army as the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, MO.

      With the Apache uprising in the spring of 1882, the Regiment was ordered to Arizona, and on July 17th, the 3d and 6th Cavalry Regiments defeated renegade Apaches in the Battle of Big Dry Wash. This battle quelled the last Apache uprising in Arizona and also marked the end of the Regiment’s participation in the Indian Wars.

      In 1885, the 3rd U.S. Cavalry was ordered back to Texas where it remained until 1893\. There it was assigned to protect the Texas frontier, and to render such aid as possible to the troops in Arizona operating against the Apache. Fort Clark is located in current Brackettville, Texas, about 140 miles due west of San Antonio and 36 miles due east of the Mexican border. It is most famous as the home for the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts. After twenty years of protecting Mexico's northern states from hostile Indians for the Mexican Army, they came to Fort Duncan in 1872 and to Fort Clark to serve the Army as scouts. The Indian Scouts served at Fort Clark from 1872 until 1914.

      Approximately one year after arriving from Ireland to America, Michael joined the US Army and was sent to Fort Clark, Texas. The Southwest was in the midst of the Apache wars. Geronimo was on the loose.

      From 1878 to 1886, Geronimo and his small band of Apaches escaped from captivity several times. In September 1881, on the run from the American military, Geronimo led a raiding party of seventy Chiricahua, along with their families, across the Rio Grande where they struck ranches throughout the state of Chihuahua. In November, the raiding party moved on to Sonora. He was captured soon after, but escaped American captivity again in 1884, when he led 144 of his followers to freedom. As a free man, Geronimo led raids on pack trains, stealing supplies, arms, and ammunition. On a few occasions, the Apaches also attacked stagecoaches, frequently killing the settlers.

      On May 17, 1885, after escaping one more time, Geronimo led 134 warriors back to his old haunts in Mexico's Sierra Madre. For the rest of the year his band raided on both sides of the border, dodging United States and Mexican troops. On March 27, 1886, General George Crook managed to arrange a two-day parley with Geronimo in Mexico's Cañon de los Embudos. Geronimo agreed to surrender. However, once across the American border, Geronimo and several of his followers escaped. 

      [Geronimo](http://www.legendsofamerica.com/picturepages/na-apache2-geronimo.html) in 1887, photo by Ben Wittick.

      Soon after, Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles replaced General Crook. Miles was ordered to destroy or capture the hostiles "making active and prominent use of the regular troops." To enable Miles to carry out the new order the number of troops in the Department of Arizona was increased from 3,000 to 5,000\. With 5,000 troops and 400 Apache scouts on his payroll, General Crook traveled 1,645 miles in five months in search of Geronimo.

      Miles divided his command into "districts of observation," each manned by a highly mobile force. He employed an important innovation, the heliograph, a wireless telegraph based on mirrors reflecting the sun's rays, manned by Signal Corps detachments placed upon the highest peaks and prominent lookouts to discover any movements of Indians and to transmit messages. However, in four months of vigorous campaigning his 5,000 soldiers, a quarter of all American military forces, failed to kill or capture a single Apache raider.

      Finally, on August 23, 1886, Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood, leading 25 men and two Apache scouts through the Sierra Madre, located Geronimo and his band. The Apache leader agreed to talk to General Miles and joined Gatewood on the journey north. The formal surrender was made to General Miles at Skeleton Canyon, near present day Douglas, Arizona on September 3, 1886\. This would be Geronimo's final surrender, after almost 30 years of fighting.

      Geronimo had been at his peak strength when Miles began his campaign; his band contained thirty-five warriors and 109 women and children, including six half-grown boys. During his long wanderings his followers came and went as they pleased, and when he finally surrendered, his band had dwindled to twenty-four men and fourteen women and children, although only six men and four women and children had been killed. From the time he left San Carlos Agency until his surrender to Miles, his band is credited with killing 2 officers, 8 enlisted men, 12 Indian scouts, 75 American citizens and 100 Mexicans.

      Geronimo and his followers began their years of captivity as prisoners in a strange land. The Indian Wars of the Southwest came to an end with their departure. On the morning of September 8, 1886, General Miles sent the Apaches east on a train under heavy guard to Florida. They were detained for a year at Fort Pickens and their families at Fort Marion. The warriors were reunited with their families the following year at Mount Vernon, Alabama. The entire group was moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1894, still classified as "prisoners of war".

      In old age, Geronimo became, according to many tales, a "celebrity" of sorts. He appeared at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

      Geronimo died near Fort Sill on February 17, 1909, after he lay in the middle of a road all night, drunk, in a freezing rain at the age of 85.

      C Troop 3rd Cavalry, Fort Davis circa 1886.  

      Michael Clancy was in F Troop, 3rd Cavalry, Fort Clark 1885-1890

      **S** – site of Geronimo’s surrender at Skeleton Canyon, near present day Douglas, Arizona on Sept 3, 1886.

      **Sept 8, 1886** - Geronimo and the remainder of the Chiricahuas were assembled at Fort Bowie, just east of Tucson, and taken to the waiting trains where they would begin their journey eastward.

      **Sept 9, 1886**, Geronimo and a small group of his warriors passed through El Paso on a Southern Pacific train on their way to Florida.

      The Southern Pacific Sunset train route runs nearby Fort Clark (X) west of San Antonio. Michael Clancy may have seen Geronimo on this day enroute to San Antonio, perhaps even as the following photo was taken.

      Band of [Apache](http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-apache.html) [Indian](http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-nativeamericans.html) prisoners at rest stop beside Southern Pacific Railway, near Nueces River, Texas, September 10, 1886\. Among those on their way to exile in Florida are Natchez (center front) and, to the right, [Geronimo](http://www.legendsofamerica.com/picturepages/na-apache2-geronimo.html) and his son. Photo courtesy National Archives.

      **Sept 10, 1886****,** the Quadrangle of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio had perhaps its most famous visitor, Geronimo. The chief and thirty other Apaches were escorted by Captain H. M. Lawton on a special train from Bowie, Arizona to San Antonio. The braves remained in San Antonio until October 22, when they were taken to Fort Pickens, Florida.

      **Oct. 25, 1886** —Geronimo and 13 other warriors arrive at Fort Pickens, Fla., as prisoners of war. They are separated from their families, who are held captive at Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama.

      **May 13, 1888** — Geronimo and other Fort Pickens prisoners of war are reunited with their families at Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama.

      Though the Indian Wars of the Southwest were over, the Plains Indians continued their battles.

      **November 1889-1890**- The Indians, anticipating their God's arrival with ghosts of their ancestors, enact a ghost dance to recall the buffalo and spirits of the deceased Indians.

      **June 16, 1890** **–** Michael Clancy is honorably discharged from the US Army and returns to St. Louis, Missouri.

      **December 15th 1890** - Chief Sitting Bull is killed by Indian policemen. The remaining Sioux flee and follow Chief Big Foot. The U.S. Cavalry begins immediate pursuit.

      **December 28th 1890** - The Cavalry captures Big Foot and his braves, moving them to Wounded Knee Creek. The next day, December 29th 1890, all are killed at the Battle of Wounded Knee.

      James Clancy

      Thursday 17th December 2020, 10:13PM

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