The famous Apache leader Geronimo was born in June 1829 in No-Doyohn Canyon, Mexico. He belonged to the smallest band within the Chiricahua tribe, the Bedonkohe. Numbering a little more than 8,000, the Apaches were surrounded by enemies, including Mexicans, Navajos and Comanches. Raiding their neighbors was a part of the Apache life. Even at the early age of 17, Geronimo himself had already led four successful raiding operations. Eventually, Geronimo fell in love with a woman named Alope. The two married and had three children together. Yet tragedy struck. While out on a trading trip, Mexican soldiers attacked his camp. Word of the ransacking soon reached the Apache men. Quietly that night, Geronimo returned home, where he found his mother, wife and all three of his children dead. Many say this is when Geronimo changed forever. In the tradition of the Apache, he set fire to his family's belongings and then, in a show of grief, headed into the wilderness to bereave the deaths. There, it's said, alone and crying, a voice came to Geronimo that promised him: "No gun will ever kill you. I will take the bullets from the guns of the Mexicans … and I will guide your arrows." Backed by this sudden knowledge of this power, Geronimo rounded up a force of 200 men and hunted down the Mexican soldiers who killed his family. Geronimo proved to be as elusive as he was aggressive the rest of his life. Resisting reservation life, He and his men engaged in what proved to be the last of the Indian wars against the U.S. Perceptions of Geronimo were nearly as complex as the man himself. His followers viewed him as the last great defender of the Native American way of life. But others, including fellow Apaches, saw him as a stubborn holdout, violently driven by revenge and foolishly putting the lives of people in danger. Still, the seemingly mystical leader was transformed into a legend as newspapers closely followed the Army's pursuit of him. At one point nearly a quarter of the Army's forces—5,000 troops—were trying to hunt him down. Finally, in the summer of 1886, he surrendered, as the last Native Holdout of Old West.