The medicine man was now brought up and Cruse turned to lead him and his guards to the place he was to camp. Then, in the words of Cruse, “Hell broke loose.” A mounted Indian among those who were crossing the creek waved his Winchester and told the Indians to fire. Three or four nearest him raised their guns and shot; then there was a volley from a hundred rifles. “Dandy Jim,” one of the scouts, shot Captain Hentig in the back and killed him instantly. At the sound of the first rifle, McDonald shot the medicine man and almost at the same moment he himself fell with a bullet through his leg. Both General Carr and his officers and men showed magnificent self possession and courage. The Indians were constantly firing at the General from a distance of only fifty feet, at first, but he was as “(calm and unruffled as if in his own parlor,” Cruse writes. By his orders and the cool, steady firing of the officers, soldiers, and packers, the plateau where the troops had encamped was soon cleared, and the hostiles were pressed back across the ford.
The battle opened about five o’clock, and though the first bloody onslaught of the Indians was quickly repulsed, they kept up an almost incessant fusillade until nearly nightfall, from a distance of three or four hundred yards. By that time the number of Indians engaged was thought to be at least six hundred. As soon as possible the dead were buried and the wounded cared for. Then supper was prepared for the weary and hungry command. It was eaten in heaviness and sorrow. Carr next called his officers into consultation. As there was nothing to be gained by remaining where they were, and as they felt sure that the Indians, aware of the depleted condition of Fort Apache, would attack it next day, the decision was to retreat under cover of night, perilous as the march would be over the dim trail and through the rough, deep canyons. By ten o’clock the command was in perfect order to begin the return march. They determined to push through to Fort Apache without stopping. Cruse, with Mose, first sergeant of Indian scouts, who had remained faithful, led the van. It was a night of desperate danger and suffering. With rare good fortune they slipped by the Apaches who had been sent to ambush and annihilate them on their retreat. The three wounded men had to be carried on horseback. One was in a dying condition, and did die just at dawn, after the surgeon and Cruse had walked for many hours at the side of his horse, supporting him in his mortal agony.
The command reached Fort Apache at two-thirty, August 31. Runners had been sent by the Apaches to Fort Apache and San Carlos during the night to announce to their friends that Carr and nearly all his command had been wiped out, that the few who survived were to be killed the next day, and that Fort Apache was then to be attacked and destroyed. This word was covertly passed in to the post trader as early as two o’clock on the morning of the thirty-first, and the same report was brought to San Carlos twelve hours later. September 1 the papers throughout the country heralded the massacre of Carr’s entire force. There was great grief and anxiety at Fort Apache that morning, for added to the awful news of the disaster was the certainty that the Fort was to be attacked. Major Cochran who had been left in command and the officers and men to the number of about forty, who were all that remained to defend the post, took prompt measures for a desperate struggle.
While we were marching in,” Cruse writes, “occurred one of those deeds of heroic daring that appeal to the heart of every American. Stationed at the post at that time, was a young sergeant of the Signal Corps, Will C. Barnes. . . . As the morning of the 31st wore slowly along, the suspense regarding our fate became almost unbearable, and Major Cochran . . . became almost frantic. Barnes noticed this, and about eleven o’clock volunteered to cross the river and climb to the top of a steep mesa about a mile and a half away, that gave a view of the Cibicu trail for four or five miles. The commanding officer knew that the mesa and every foot between it and the post was under observation by hidden hostiles, so he demurred at first but . . . finally yielded to Barnes’ entreaties and let him go, armed with a good pair of field glasses and a small red signal flag and a revolver. . . . He finally gained the top of the mesa and nothing was seen or heard of him for in hour or so, and the Indians started a party up the other side to find out what he was doing and then kill him, when suddenly he appeared on the edge next to the post waving his signal flag frantically. The message read that we were on the trail, and seemingly all there, anyway he was sure the General was. . . . Later on Barnes was awarded the Medal of Honor, which he fully deserved.” 1This was the Congressional Medal of Honor. The author knows Barnes intimately and has heard him relate the details of the Incident. There is a vivid account of the Cicibu and Fort Apache fights in Barnes’ unpublished Autobiography.
During the night of the thirtieth scores, even hundreds, of the Apaches who had taken part in the engagement at Cibicu were scurrying back, in small bands and large, afoot and horseback, to their own encampments–some to escape the punishment they fmred, many to capture Fort Apache and continue the work of slaughter throughout the reservation. On that very morning of August thirty-first a party was killing and burning four Mormon travelers at the top of Seven Mile Hill, and the same party before night killed the sergeant and his repairmen who were out mending the telegraph line between Forts Apache and Thomas.
About three hundred of the most actively hostile had awaited the dawn of August 31, with full expectation that they would then complete the slaughter of Carr’s troops. How great was their surprise to find the encampment deserted! They hastened back toward Fort Apache, supposing that at Carizo Canyon, where an ambush had been prepared for any soldiers who might escape the attack of the morning as they retreated toward Fort Apache, they would find the troops. But here again they were disappointed. There was no evidence that the command had suffered disaster. Then they marched on hurriedly to the Fort. They were coming in all that afternoon and the following morning, making threatening demonstrations in parties of fifty or more, and firing a few shots from long range, for they did not dare to come out into the open. No reply was made to their scattered fire. About two o’clock, September 1, they opened from rather close range with several heavy volleys and kept up desultory firing from several points, winding up finally with a crashing fusillade from across the river. No one in the Fort was killed and only two or three wounded. The following morning no Indians were to be seen in any direction.
So prompt and overpowering had been the concentration of troops by General Willcox at or near Fort Apache that the Indians were overawed; and a great many, realizing that their punishment would be the greater the longer they held out, surrendered at Fort Apache and San Carlos. September 21 was fixed by the Indian agent as the date when all who had failed to surrender unconditionally to the military officers would be hunted down as hostiles. September 20 five of the leading mutineers among the scouts gave themselves up, and during the coming week sixty who had taken an active part in the uprising did likewise. Six of the scouts had been killed in battle, several had been arrested and brought in by the Indian police, and a few were still at large as irreconcilable outlaws. In November, 1881, the five scouts considered most guilty–“Dead Shot,” a sergeant, “Dandy Jim,” a corporal, “Skippy,” a private, and two other privates–were tried by court martial as regularly enlisted soldiers, charged with mutiny in the face of the enemy. “Dead Shot,” “Dandy Jim,” and “Skippy” were executed at Fort Grant, March 3, 1882. The other two were sentenced to dishonorable discharge and were given long sentences on Alcatraz Island.
September 30, just a month after the battle of Cibicu, seventy-four of the Chiricahuas, after killing Sterling, chief of Indian police, left the reservation and fled with all speed toward Mexico. These renegades belonged to the party under Juh and Geronimo that in January, 1880, had been persuaded by Captain Haskell and Jeffords, their former agent, to come in and settle down on the reservation. The leaders in the present outbreak were Juh and Nachez. Tiffany, the Indian agent at San Carlos, gives the following account of the circumstances that led up to the flight. About September 20 the Chiricahuas came to him to ask why there were so many troops about the Agency. He explained and told them to have no fear, that none of the Indians who had been peaceful would be harmed. They wanted to know whether the movements of the troops had anything to do with their former acts when on the warpath in Mexico. Tiffany assured them that it had not, and they went away, apparently happy and satisfied. But meantime an untoward incident occurred. After the Cibicu affair George and Benito, White Mountain subchiefs, had surrendered to General Willcox at Fort Thomas, and he had paroled and sent them back to the subagency. September 30 Colonel Biddle was sent to bring them and their bands back to Fort Thomas. It was the day that rations were being issued and there were many Indians at the subagency. George and Benito said they would go back with the troops as soon as they had received their issue of beef. Later in the day they sent word to Biddle that he need not wait for them, that they would follow with Hoag, the Agency clerk who was issuing the beef. Biddle replied that they must go at once and started toward their camp with his detachment. George and Benito “fled to the Chiricahuas and so alarmed them that during the night 74 Chiricahuas, including women and children, fled from the reserve.”
The reasons assigned by General Willcox for this sudden and violent outbreak were: first, “that the reservation authorities did not help them take out a water ditch,” and second, their fear of being disarmed. Very likely we shall have to go much deeper for a real explanation than any of the reasons here given. By reading the blistering indictment brought against Tiffany by the Federal Grand Jury of Arizona a year later, we shall probably get at the root of the matter. Passages from that report are here quoted:
“How any official possessing the slightest manhood could keep eleven men in confinement for fourteen months without charges or any attempt to accuse them, knowing them to be innocent, is a mystery which can only be solved by an Indian agent of the Tiffany stamp. The investigations of the Grand Jury have brought to light a course of procedure at the San Carlos Reservation, under the government of Agent Tiffany, which is a disgrace to the civilization of the age and a foul blot upon the national escutcheon. While many of the details connected with these matters are outside of our jurisdiction, we nevertheless feel it our duty, as honest American citizens, to express our bitter abhorrence of the conduct of Agent Tiffany. . . .
“We have made diligent inquiry into the various charges presented in regard to Indian goods and the traffic at San Carlos and elsewhere, and have aquired a vast amount of information which we think will be of benefit. For several years the people of this Territory have been gradually arriving at the conclusion that the management of the Indian reservations in Arizona was a fraud upon the Government; that the constantly recurring outbreaks among the Indians and their consequent devastations were due to the criminal neglect or apathy of the Indian agent at San Carlos; but never until the present investigations of the Grand Jury have laid bare the infamy of Agent Tiffany could a proper idea be formed of the fraud and villainy which are constantly practised in open violation of law and in defiance of public justice. Fraud, peculation, conspiracy, larceny, plots and counterplots, seem to be the rule of action upon this reservation.
“With the immense power wielded by the Indian agent almost any crime is possible. There seems to be no check upon his conduct. In collusion with the chief clerk and storekeeper, rations can be issued ad libitum for which the Government must pay, while the proceeds pass into the capacious pockets of the agent. Indians are sent to work on the coal-fields, superintended by white men; all the workmen and superintendents are fed and frequently paid from the agency stores, and no return of the same is made. Government tools and wagons are used in transporting goods and working the coal-mines, in the interest of this close corporation and with the same result. All surplus supplies are used in the interest of the agent and no return made thereof. Government contractors, in collusion with Agent Tiffany, get receipts for large amounts of supplies never furnished, and the profit is divided mutually. . . . In the meantime, the Indians are neglected, half-fed, discontented, and turbulent, until at last, with the vigilant eye peculiar to the savage, the Indians observe the manner in which the Government, through its agent, complies with its sacred obligations.
“This was the united testimony of the Grand Jury, corroborated by white witnesses, and to these and kindred causes may be attributed the desolation and bloodshed which have dotted our plains with the graves of murdered victims.” 2Arizona Star, Tucson, October 24, 1882.
We must now return to the fleeing Chiricahuas. They took the shortest route to Mexico–right through their old reservation, to the west of Mount Graham, through the Sulphur Spring Valley, along the east side and south end of the Dragoon Mountains, and so across the border to their old familiar raiding ground and their haunts in the Sierra Madre. October 2, near Cedar Springs they attacked a wagon train; but troops were near at hand and immediately gave chase. There was a determined running fight that lasted until nine o’clock at night. Two troops of the First Cavalry, commanded by Captain Reuben F. Bernard, and Companies A and F of the Sixth Cavalry under Lieutenants G. E. Overton and J. N. Glass bore the brunt of the engagement. A sergeant was killed and three privates wounded. The Indians were forced back into the hills; but about eight o’clock at night they made a desperate attempt to drive the soldiers off–firing seven volleys and at times coming within ten feet of the men. The troops held their own until it grew too dark to carry on the battle. The object of this long and stubborn stand (contrary to the Apache custom) was to get the women and children and cattle well on the way. No further fight was made after this had been accomplished. They made their escape into Mexico, pursued, as usual, gallantly but ineffectually, all the way by the cavalry.
Loco, chief of the Warm Spring band, who with a good many of the Chiricahuas, had remained quietly on the reservation, was warned about the middle of January, 1882, by messengers from Juh and Nachez, that they were coming up on a raid in about forty days and would expect him and his people to join them and return with them to the Sierra Madres. They declared that they would kill all who refused to go with them. By February 15 this information was in the hands of General Willcox, and every precaution was taken by him to ward off the threatened incursion. Two troops of cavalry were sent to posts very near the border and all posts and commanding officers instructed to be more than ever on the alert. April 19, the hostiles, led by Nachez and Chatto, made their appearance near the subagency at Fort Goodwin and at the point of the rifle compelled Loco and his band and the remaining Chiricahuas on the reservation to take the war trail with them back to Mexico. After killing Sterling and one of his Indian policemen, they all broke from the reservation, going by way of Eagle Creek and the San Francisco River, and then down Stein’s Peak range, headed for Chihuahua or Sonora. There were about seventy-five warriors and three times that many women and children. Troop after troop of cavalry were immediately in the field attempting to halt the fleeing Indians. It was the usual story of hot but futile pursuit. There was, however, one real battle in which Loco suffered the loss of a good many men in killed and wounded, yet in the end came off best, for he was able to hold off for some hours four times his number of fighters and so achieve his main object–the escape of his women and children into Mexico. This engagement occurred at Horse Shoe Canyon in the Stein’s Peak Mountains. The Apaches were here brought to bay by the redoubtable Colonel Forsyth, of the Fourth Cavalry, who was in command at Fort Cummings, New Mexico. He attacked vigorously with four troops. Loco had chosen well his position when he saw that he must make a stand in order to give the noncombatants time to get away. The canyon is very steep and rocky. Loco stationed his warriors among the rocks in impregnable redoubts. As the hours wore on, the Indians were compelled to retire slowly up the canyon, and when night came they were beyond the reach of the troopers. Passing over the high range, Loco descended the western slope into the San Simon Valley and made for the Chiricahua Mountains to the westward. Cavalry was converging on him from every point, but doing their best, troopers and scouts were unable to catch him; so, stealing and murdering as they fled, the whole body crossed into Mexico, having suffered comparatively little loss.
But their heaviest punishment came to the renegades after they had crossed the border. Two days after they had entered Mexico, Colonel García in command of a body of Mexican Infantry, numbering about two hundred and fifty, while on the march changing from one post to another, saw a great cloud of dust approaching from the northward. He suspected at once that it was caused by Apache renegades returning from a raid in Arizona. Concealing his soldiers where the fleeing Apaches were sure to pass, he opened fire upon them with terrible effect before they knew what threatened them. However, García made a serious mistake in attacking the van of the column, which was made up of old men, women, and children, instead of waiting until the fighting men came up and ambushing them; for while many of the noncombatants were slain, the chiefs and warriors were warned in time. Loco, Chatto, and Nachez came swiftly to the scene of slaughter and with the fury of fiends fought their way past the ambuscade and, following the surviving women and children, who had scurried for cover among the rocks and in the brush, slowly retreated, firing as they went. It was a terrible blow for the Apaches. They lost seventyeight, mostly women and children. The Mexican loss was two officers and nineteen men killed and about as many wounded.
Rumors drifted into Fort Apache during the early summer of 1882 that the renegades who had gone into hiding after the Cibicu revolt–including some of the guilty scouts–had united under the leadership of Na-ti-o-tish, a Tonto. The band was supposed to number about seventy-five men. Attempts were being made by the Indian police to find them and bring them in. Early in July they were located some eight miles from the agency and the police went out to arrest them; but, having been forewarned by their friends, they lay in wait and killed Colvig, Indian Chief of Police, and seven of his men. Then, pursuing the surviving policemen back to the agency, they got together as much ammunition as they could and started for the Tonto Basin. On the way they attacked the mining camp at McMillenville. The first news of the outbreak came from the telegraph operator at Globe.
General Willcox immediately ordered a concentration of troops in the Tonto Basin: from Fort Thomas, Captain Drew with two troops of the Third Cavalry was ordered to strike McMillenville and follow the trail of the renegades from there; Colonel Evans, from Fort Apache, with four troops, two of the Third Cavalry and two of the Sixth, was to march down the north side of the Salt River for Cherry Creek I and Captain Adrian B. Chaffee with his white-horse Troop I of the Sixth Cavalry, from Fort McDowell, and Major Mason from Whipple Barracks, with a troop of the Third Cavalry, were instructed to come together on the Wild Rye branch of Tonto Creek. The movements of these scattered commands were perfectly coordinated. The Indians, after passing to the east of Globe, turned northwest and crossed the Salt River at the mouth of Tonto Creek, the present site of Roosevelt Dam. They stole some stock and killed ten citizens in all, but the various rapidly advancing commands forced them steadily northward and eastward. Evans left Fort Apache early on the morning of July 14, and a little before dark bivouacked on Cibicu Creek. Resuming his march early next morning, he reached the mouth of Tonto Creek that day. Here he found fresh signs of an Indian encampment. He halted for the night and sent out scouts to ascertain what route the renegades had taken.
It was found that their trail led toward the Navajo reservation. Next morning, July 16, as Evans was ascending the canyon wall, moving northward, he saw Drew’s column painfully descending the other side, after an all-night march.
The farther Evans advanced, the fresher grew the trail; so all day he proceeded with great caution. At dark scouts reported that a large detachment of cavalry had cut the trail, just ahead. Camp was made, with horses lariated and mules closely herded and an officer’s patrol was sent forward to find out the lay of the ground. They very soon came upon Chaffee and his troop. With him was a small company of Apache scouts under the famous Al Sieber. Like Evans, Chaffee had bivouacked beside the trail. Before long he came riding back to report to Evans that the hostiles were only a few miles ahead. Sieber said he thought they would make a stand at General’s Spring at the foot of a lofty cliff where the trail climbs up from the Tonto Basin and joins the Crook Military Road along the rim of the Mogollons.
Na-ti-o-tish had other plans. Early in the afternoon he had spotted Chaffee’s troop, had counted the men, and had watched their progress until dark. He did not know that there were two white-horse troops; indeed he had not seen Evans’ troops at all. Confident in his knowledge that he outnumbered Chaffee, he decided to ambush him and cut his troop to pieces the following day. Next morning his scouts brought back word that the whitehorse troop was unsupported. At dawn Chaffee ascended to the rim of the plateau without opposition. Evans had instructed him to proceed independently, adding that he would move his command at daybreak and that Converse, with white-horse Troop I of the Third Cavalry, would lead the column. The two white-horse troops could thus easily unite in case the Indians stopped to make a fight, and Evans would dispose of the rest of his force to the best advantage as circumstances might indicate.
As Evans and his men moved out cautiously at sun-up, July 17, Chaffee was seen slowly climbing the trail toward the rim of the plateau. At General’s Spring there was every evidence that the hostiles had camped there the previous night. Evans had marched only about a mile beyond the Spring when a courier from Chaffee rode up; and then off galloped Converse with his troop. The word was that the renegades had taken their stand about three miles ahead on the north side of Chevelon’s Fork (Big Dry Wash), an appalling crack in the earth’s surface. Directly above the trail, just under the brink of the canyon, behind improvised redoubts, they waited invitingly for Chaffee to enter their parlor. But the sharp eyes of Sieber and his scouts soon saw them there, and as Evans trotted rapidly to the front, he could hear the opening shots of the battle. Chaffee’s men had dismounted and a few had been sent forward to the edge of the canyon. The renegades at once opened fire on them. By this time Converse had galloped up, probably unseen by the Indians in their ambuscade. He dismounted his men, sent the horses to the rear, and advanced in skirmish line along the edge of the chasm, as if intending to descend the trail and cross to the other side. Cruse etches the setting of the battle with masterly effect:
“The scene of the action was in a heavy pine forest, thickly set with large pine trees, parklike, with no underbrush or shrubbery whatever; on a high mesa at the summit of the Mogollon Range. Across this mesa from east to west ran a gigantic slash in the face of the earth, a volcanic crack, some seven hundred yards across and about one thousand feet deep, with almost perpendicular walls for miles on either side of the very steep trail which led to the Navajo country, and this crossing point was held by the hostiles and their fire covered every foot of the trail, descending and ascending.”
When Evans came up with his three additional troops, Chaffee reported to him, briefly explained the situation, and out lined a plan of battle; Evans, though Chaffee’s senior and the ranking officer in the field, magnanimously told him to make such disposition of the troops as he thought best. He said to Chaffee, “You have located the Indians and it is your fight.” Captain Kramer and Lieutenant Cruse with Troop E, Sixth Cavalry, and Chaffee’s own Troop I led by West, with some of the Indian scouts under Sieber, were ordered to proceed with great caution about a mile to the east, cross the canyon there, and then form for attack and press westward toward the central position of the renegades. Troop K of the Sixth Cavalry, led by Captain Abbot, and a troop of the Third Cavalry, together with the rest of the scouts under Lieutenant Morgan, were instructed to cross the canyon in like manner to the west of the trail and then push eastward to complete the enveloping maneuver. Meantime, Converse was to keep up a heavy fire across the gorge. These coordinated movements started about three o’clock. As the men looked up from the bottom of the canyon, though the sun was shining in full splendor, above them they saw the sky studded with stars.
The descent into the canyon and the climb out of it were made by Kramer, Cruse, Sieber, and West with great difficulty. As they began to move in toward the hostiles, they heard volleys from the westward and knew that those who had crossed there were already in action. Almost immediately Sieber and West ran into the pony herd of the Indians. The guard was quickly routed and the ponies sent to the rear. Meantime, Abbot and his scouts, before they emerged from the gorge, suddenly met a party of the enemy coming from a side canyon for the purpose of getting in the rear of Converse and his men who had kept up a steady fire from the south rim. These Indians were hurrying forward incautiously, in entire ignorance of the fact that they were both confronted and surrounded by a large force. Abbot opened fire, to their utter astonishment. Several of them were killed or wounded and the rest beat a speedy retreat and ran into their fleeing companions who had been driven or dislodged from their concealed positions under the brink of the canyon by the advance of West and Kramer. None of them could figure out what was wrong. From their main position some of the Apaches came running through the pines toward the troops, advancing from the east. Cruse and Sieber thought at first that they were making an attack in order to recapture their pony herd. The fact is they knew nothing about soldiers approaching from that direction until they were met point-blank by a volley from them. By this time West had crossed the trail to their rear, cutting off their only line of retreat. Cruse and Sieber now closed in on their main camp and forced them up to the edge of the canyon. In command of the left flank of Troop E, at the end of the line nearest the canyon, Cruse about five o’clock, with Al Sieber at his side, found himself within two hundred yards of what had been the camp of the renegades, now marked only by a clutter of blankets, skillets, buckets, and kettles. As the line pressed in closer and closer, the Indians in desperation poured a furious volley into the troopers, several of whom fell dead or wounded. As Cruse and Sieber advanced, Cruse saw the scout, within a few minutes, shoot three Indians who were creeping toward the edge of the canyon. Not until they were shot and plunged forward into the canyon was Cruse able to see them. “There he goes,” Sieber would say. Then crack went his rifle and the poor wretch would plunge headfirst into the chasm.
At five-thirty the evening shadows were growing deep in the forest. About two hundred feet ahead of Cruse, separating him from the Indians’ camp, was a ravine about seven feet deep. He knew that, unless the surviving Indians were captured soon, they would make their escape in the darkness. He said to Sieber:
“I am going over there.”
“Don’t you do it, Lieutenant, don’t you do it! There are lots of Indians over there and they will get you sure,” Sieber protested.
Cruse replied, “Why, Al, you have killed everyone of them,” and with that, he ordered his men to rush forward to the ravine, take cover there, and when the word came to advance, to run toward the camp with guns loaded and extra cartridges in their hands. Thanks to the fact that Captain Kramer’s troopers and Al Sieber kept the Indians blanketed by a well-directed fire, this was done without casualties. Sieber was right: lots of Indians were there, and Cruse and his men had their hands full. Everything was going all right, though, as he had with him eight or ten seasoned Army men, when all at once, only six feet away, an Apache rose up and confronted him with rifle aimed pointblank at him. Cruse braced himself for the impact of the bullet, raising his own gun at the same time. A little nervous, the Indian pulled the trigger with a jerk, barely missing Cruse, but hitting McClellan, just behind him on his left. Cruse shot and threw himself upon the ground. Sieber and Kramer thought Cruse had been hit. But, when there was a brief cessation in the firing, Cruse got to his feet and dragged the unconscious McClellan back to the protecting slope of the ravine, and after a little rest, with the help of Sergeant Horan, to the bottom. As darkness fell, Kramer’s men rushed into the camp, and all was over. McClellan died within an hour. He was the only soldier killed, though a good many were wounded–some of them seriously. Among the wounded were Lieutenants George L. Converse and George H. Morgan.
Twenty-two Indians were found dead within a quarter of a mile of their main camp, and many others were known to have perished. There were, perhaps, seventy-five warriors in the band. Not more than fifteen of them were known to have escaped. The dead bodies of Na-ti-o-tish and two of Cruse’s former scouts were picked up on the field. None of the survivors of this rebellious crew were ever again known to be in arms against the Government. 3In the above account, I have followed closely the autobiographic manuscript of Thomas Cruse. It is the only full and accurate account of the battle written by one who participated in it. In the hands of a Cochise or a Victorio, this band probably would have cut a wide swath of death in the white settlements of Arizona and have ravaged the country for months. Their disaster was due as much to inefficient leadership as it was to the masterly strategy of General Willcox and Captain Chaffee, and the extraordinary dash and bravery in action of Evans, Kramer, Converse, Cruse, West, Abbot, Sieber, and their companions in arms, both rank and file. There has been no finer coordination and concentration of troops from widely separated posts for a given end in the long war against the Apaches. Cruse was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the gallant part he bore in this engagement.
Footnotes: [ + ]
|1.||↩||This was the Congressional Medal of Honor. The author knows Barnes intimately and has heard him relate the details of the Incident. There is a vivid account of the Cicibu and Fort Apache fights in Barnes’ unpublished Autobiography.|
|2.||↩||Arizona Star, Tucson, October 24, 1882.|
|3.||↩||In the above account, I have followed closely the autobiographic manuscript of Thomas Cruse. It is the only full and accurate account of the battle written by one who participated in it.|