|Tchihendeh Apache leader|
|Preceded by||Mangas Coloradas|
New Mexico, First Mexican Republic
|Died||October 14, 1880
Tres Castillos, Mexico
|Cause of death||Killed by Mexican soldiers during the Tres Castillos Massacre|
|Resting place||Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States|
Victorio (Bidu-ya, Beduiat; ca. 1825–October 14, 1880) was a warrior and chief of the Warm Springs band of the Tchihendeh (or Chihenne, usually called Mimbreño) division of the central Apaches in what is now the American states of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua.
Victorio grew up in the Chihenne band. There is speculation that he or his band had Navajo kinship ties and was known among the Navajo as "he who checks his horse". Victorio's sister was the famous woman warrior Lozen, or the "Dextrous Horse Thief".
In 1853 he was considered a chief or sub chief by the United States Army and signed a document. In his twenties, he rode with Mangas Coloradas, leader of the Coppermine band of the Tchihendeh people and principal leader of the whole Tchihendeh Apache division (who seized him as his son-in-law), of and Cuchillo Negro, leader of the Warm Springs band of the Tchihendeh people and second principal leader of the whole Tchihendeh Apache division, as well as did Nana, Delgadito, Cochise, Juh, Geronimo and other Apache leaders. As was the custom, he became the leader of a large mixed band of Mimbreños and Mescaleros (led by his friend – and probably brother-in-law as husband of another daughter of Mangas Coloradas, as well the same Cochise – Caballero) and fought against the United States Army.
From 1870 to 1880, Victorio and his band were moved to and left at least three different reservations, some more than once, despite his band's request to live on traditional lands. Victorio and his band were moved to San Carlos Reservation in Arizona Territory in 1877. He and his followers left the reservation twice before but came back only to leave permanently in late August 1879 which started Victorio's War. Victorio was successful at raiding and evading capture by the military, he won a significant engagement at Las Animas Canyon on September 18, 1879.
In April, 1880, Victorio was credited with leading the Alma Massacre – a raid on United States settlers' homes around Alma, New Mexico. During this event, several settlers were killed. Victorio's warriors were finally driven off with the arrival of American soldiers from Fort Bayard. However, Victorio continued his campaign with the attack on Fort Tularosa.
On August 9, 1880 Victorio and his band attacked a stagecoach and mortally wounded retired Major General James J. Byrne.
In October 1880, while moving along the Rio Grande in northern Mexico, Victorio and his band were surrounded and killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army under Colonel Joaquin Terrazas in the Tres Castillos Mountains ( ), in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Some women and children escaped but were sent with Geronimo to Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.
An 1886 appendix for Papers Relating to the Foreign Nations of the United States states that, contemporaneously, the Mexican soldier credited with killing Victorio in 1880 was Maj. Mauricio Corredor.
Victorio in popular culture
- Buffalo Soldiers (1997) is a movie about Victorio's War.
- (nd) Alma Massacre. Retrieved 6/11/07.
- Gillett, James B. (1921). Six Years with the Texas Rangers, 1875 to 1881 (1 ed.). Austin, Tex: von Boeckmann-Jones Company. p. 253. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
- Index Mundi: Mexico. Cerro Tres Castillos.
- Gillett, p. 236.
- Gott, Kendall D. (2004). In Search of an Elusive Enemy: The Victorio Campaign (PDF). Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute Press. pp. 41–42. ISBN 1428910344.
- Papers Relating to the Foreign Nations of the United States, pages 602-603
- Thrapp, Dan L. (1974). Victorio and the Mimbres Apaches. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-1076-7.
- Leckie, William H. (1967). The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. LCCN 67-15571.
- Kaywaykla, James (1972). Eva Ball, ed. In the Days of Victorio: Recollections of a Warm Springs Apache. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press. LCCN 73-101103.
- Franciscan Fathers (1968) . An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navaho Language. St. Michaels, Arizona, USA: St. Michael's Press. page 127