"They're to pay him a hundred dollars a head for scalps and a thousand for Gómez's head. "
San Juan, a Mescalero Apache chief (c. late 19th century)
Public DomainSan Juan, a Mescalero Apache chief (c. late 19th century) - Credit: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Gómez was the chief of a southern band of Mescalero Apache during the mid 19th century.

He was one of the most powerful Mescalero war leaders of the Southwest, with some four hundred warriors under his command. Their territory ranged from the Guadalupe Mountains to El Paso, and they were particularly active looting the wagon trains between El Paso and Chihuahua City, earning Gómez the nickname ‘the terror of Chihuahua’.

Gómez and his band were, though, friendly to Anglos, until Glanton’s scalphunters attacked them. When Trías offered 1000 pesos for Gómez’s scalp, the chief responded by offering an equal amount for the scalp of any American or Mexican.

The last record of Gómez reports the chief and his Mescalero band roaming the Davis Mountains in the years preceding the American Civil War.