Albumen print cabinet card, titled "No. 181Group of Hostiles," a group portrait of men, women, and children in Geronimo's camp, by Camillus S. Fly, 1886, Mexico, with "Copyright / 1886 / By C.S. Fly, / Tombstone, Ariz" inkstamp at lower left, imprint and printed caption on verso, some fading and light soiling.
The present photograph was taken in the days leading up to one of the most famous episodes in the decades-long guerrilla war waged by Geronimo against the U.S. Army. The printed caption on the verso of the card sums it up thus: "Scene in Geronimo's Camp, the Apache Outlaw and Murderer. Taken before the surrender to Gen. Crook, March 27, 1886, in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico, Escaped March 30, 1886." Geronimo had agreed to an unconditional surrender and two years imprisonment in the East, but on the way to Fort Bowie, he and 24 others escaped. General Nelson Miles ordered 5,000 troops into the field to capture the two dozen escapees, but were unable to do so until September. Tombstone photographer (and later Cochise County Sheriff) C.S. Fly accompanied General Crook to Mexico to photograph the negotiations with Geronimo. (See Waldman Biographical Dictionary of American Indian History to 1900 pp 142-43.)