As for the wife-beating claim, I searched for information about it. Here's a possible source for it--the only source I found:
General Crook and Counterinsurgency Warfare
Al Carroll responds
I asked correspondent Al Carroll what he thought of Thom Ross's wife-beating claim. Here's his response:
At best, that's a very distorted version of one of multiple reasons the band chose to escape their imprisonment. Here's a more accurate version, quoted from Thomas Sheridan's book History of the Southwest.
"Accusations of corruption kept surfacing with the agents at San Carlos. Accusations of corruption kept surfacing, and in May Crook prohibited alcohol on the reservation, outlawing the brewing of tizwin, a fermented corn liquor favored by the Apaches. Under the guise of preventing wife beating, the military also began to interfere in the personal affairs of Apache families themselves. On May 15 the Chiricahuas demonstrated their contempt by getting drunk on tizwin and flaunting their disobedience. Two days later, Geronimo, Naiche, Nana, and 131 other Chiricahuas deserted the reservation."
In small bands of sometimes as few as 30 or 40 people, where everyone depended so much on each other, adultery was a serious offense since it could so easily disrupt a tiny community. Adulterers were sometimes beaten, sometimes the tip of the nose cut off. That last part deeply offended some whites who had their notions of femininity tied up in female beauty.
I certainly don't defend violence against women, but the purpose of the punishment was not to "keep women in their place." Apache women have a very strong role, and strong women such as Lozen are very much admired. The strong punishment was designed to keep harmony within the band. And the punishment was far more severe for a male adulterer. He could be executed.
But this idea that Indian agents or the US Army being so deeply offended by violence against women? Please...how were white women treated at the time? Wife beating routinely happened in white American society, legally sanctioned up until the 1970s.
It was the entire pattern of interference in every aspect of Apache lives, including family lives, that Geronimo and others objected to. The wife beating claim was just the cynical Indian agent and US Army excuse for that interference.
For more on the subject, see Drunken Indians and Hercules vs. Coyote: Native and Euro-American Beliefs.