Military Wiki
Born ?
Died ?
Place of birth Arizona Territory, United States
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service c. 1872–1875
Rank Private
Unit U.S. Army Indian Scouts
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Apache Wars
Awards Medal of Honor

Nantaje (fl. 1872 – 1875), also called Nantahe, was an Apache Indian scout in the U.S. Army who served under Lieutenant Colonel George Crook during the Apache Wars. He guided cavalry troopers against renegade Apaches in the Arizona Territory during Crook's winter campaign of 1872-73 and was one of ten scouts who later received the Medal of Honor for gallantry.


Born in the Arizona Territory, Nantaje (or Nantahe) was one of ten Apache Indian scout hired by the U.S. Army for Lieutenant Colonel George Crook's expedition against renegades in Arizona following the surrender of Cochise in late-1872. He guided cavalry troopers in the Tonto Basin, where the Western Apache and Yavapais raiding parties had successfully eluded U.S. troops for several years, and saw action against the Apache during Crook's winter campaign of 1872-73. In one of these engagements, Nantaje led a group of sharpshooters to the mouth of a cave to ambush a number of Yavapai hiding there.

During the battle, a Yavapai boy was caught in the crossfire. Nantaje ran from cover and carried the boy to safety. By the end of the day Nantaje and the other scouts had helped rout the Indians in the cave, seventy-six of whom were killed. The place was henceforth known as "Skull Cave."[1]

A total of 23 men were received the Medal of Honor. All 10 Indian scouts, including Nantaje, received the award[1][2][3] on April 12, 1875,[4][5] for "gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches".[6][7] The other scouts included William Alchesay, Blanquet, Chiquito, Elsatsoosu, Jim, Kelsay, Kosoha, Machol and Nannasaddie.[8][9][10][11][12]

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Indian Scouts. Place and date: 1872-73. Entered service at:------. Birth: Arizona. Date of issue: 12 April 1875.


Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.[13]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Manning, Robert, ed. Above and Beyond: A History of the Medal of Honor from the Civil War to Vietnam. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1985. (pg. 81) ISBN 0-939526-19-0
  2. Beyer, Walter F. and Oscar Frederick Keydel, ed. Deeds of Valor: From Records in the Archives of the United States Government; how American Heroes Won the Medal of Honor; History of Our Recent Wars and Explorations, from Personal Reminiscences and Records of Officers and Enlisted Men who Were Rewarded by Congress for Most Conspicuous Acts of Bravery on the Battle-field, on the High Seas and in Arctic Explorations. Vol. 2. Detroit: Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906. (pg. 552)
  3. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1978, 96th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979. (pg. 951)
  4. Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 396) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
  5. O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 28) ISBN 0-935269-07-X
  6. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for Nantaje". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  7. Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: Nantaje". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  8. Zedric, Lance Q. and Michael F. Dilley. Elite Warriors: 300 Years of America's Best Fighting Troops. Ventura, California: Pathfinder Publishing of California, 1996. (pg. 111) ISBN 0-934793-60-3
  9. Owens, Ron. Medal of Honor: Historical Facts & Figures. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 2004. (pg. 171, 192) ISBN 1-56311-995-1
  10. Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 148) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
  11. Perkins, E.J. (September 12, 2006). "Arizona and the Medal of Honor". Special Report. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  12. Robinson, Gary and Phil Lucas. From Warriors to Soldiers: A History of American Indian Service in the United States Military. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse, 2010. (pg. 96) ISBN 1-936236-00-1
  13. "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 

Further reading

  • Hirschfelder, Arlene B. and Martha Kreipe De Montaño. The Native American Almanac: A Portrait of Native America Today. New York: Prentice Hall, 1993. ISBN 0-671-85012-1
  • Konstantin, Phil. This Day in North American Indian History: Important Dates in the History of North America's Native Peoples for Every Calendar Day. New York: Da Capo Press, 2002. ISBN 0-306-81170-7

External links

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