Military Wiki
Born 1854
Died 13 August 1934
Cause of death Model-T went off the road

Chato (1854 – 13 August 1934) was a Chiricahua Apache warrior who carried out several raids on settlers in Arizona in the 1870s. He was a protege of Cochise, and he surrendered with Cochise in 1872 going to live on the San Carlos Reservation in southern Arizona, where he became an Army scout.

After the arrest of Noch-del-klinne and the rebellion of the Apache scouts, Chato slipped away from the reservation with other Apache such as Juh, Naiche, and Geronimo, who feared for their lives.[1] Chato and others settled in Mexico where Chato built a ranchera. However General Crook and 250 men attacked his ranchera in June 1883, so Chato surrendered with Geronimo and others to General George Crook. Chato them served under General Crook as a scout, including the subsequent expedition into the Sierra Madre after Geronimo in 1886.[1]

Upon his return to Arizona, Chato led a peace delegation to Washington where he was presented with a silver medal by President Grover Cleveland. On his way back, at Fort Leavenworth he was arrested and deported to Fort Marion in Florida, then to Fort Pickens in Florida, then moved to Mount Vernon, Alabama.[1] [2]

It is not too much to say that the surrender of Natchez[sic:Naiche], Geronimo and their bands could not have been effected except for the assistance of Chato and his Chiricahua scouts. For their allegiance, they have been rewarded by captivity in a strange land.

—General Crook, U. S. Serial No. 2682, Doc. 35. p. 3

In 1894 Chato and his family were allowed to move to Fort Sill, in Oklahoma, and in 1913 Chato and his family opted to go out to the Mescalero Reservation in New Mexico.[2]

In 1934 Chato's Model-T went off the road outside of Whitetail, New Mexico, on the Mescalero Apache Reservation; he died at the scene.

Popular culture

James Arness as Matt Dillon (left) and Ricardo Montalbán as Chato.

In 1970, Ricardo Montalbán guest starred as a fictional Chato on the American television program Gunsmoke.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sheridan, Thomas E. (1995). Arizona: A History. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press. pp. 92–95. ISBN 978-0-8165-1515-8. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sheridan, Thomas E. (1998). A History of the Southwest: The Land and Its People. Tucson, Arizona: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-877856-76-1. 
  3. "Gunsmoke, season 16, episode 1, "Chato" (14 Sep. 1970)". IMDB. 

External links

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