CHAPTER XI. INDIAN TROUBLES.
KING WOOLSEY'S SECOND EXPEDITION—REPORT OF BY AUGUSTUS BRICHTA—RESOLUTION BY FIRST LEGISLATURE COMMENDING KING WOOLSEY AND COMPANIONS—KING WOOLSEY'S OPINION OF THE MILITARY—ACCOUNT OF FIGHT BY WILLIAM FOURR—OFFICIAL REPORTS OF FIGHTS WITS INTDIANS—REMARKS OF BEN C. CUTLER, ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL.
The official report of King Woolsey's next expedition was also printed in the “Arizona Miner” in 1864, but the only account I have been able to obtain of this expedition is one written by Augustus Brichta, an early settler. The manuscript I have bears no date and is as follows:‘‘
“We will now retrace our steps back to the Indian question, which perplexed us at that time 24 years ago, and which does anew somewhat to-day. The result of the meeting (a meeting attended by Governor Goodwin, Secretary McCormick, and others, to consider the Indian question) was that 100 men equipped to the best of their ability were to meet at King S. Woolsey's Agua Fria ranch at a certain day. We met there, and then we saw R. C. McCormick ready to assist us, which he always was, with flour, bacon, beans and the most essential ammunition, We then organized with King S. Woolsey, commander-in-chief of the party, and we divided into four squads of 25 men each, and each squad elected their own captain. The
“The whole command started together at night with their scouts and spies on each side and ahead. The party marched on foot, using the horses to pack supplies. In a few days afterwards, on arriving at a certain point we camped, and a guard was placed around the horses. At about daylight one of the most laughable circumstances occurred. Some of us were up and making coffee when in came one of the guards, bare-headed, hair standing on end, halloing: ‘Indians, I'm shot.’ The poor fellow did look piteously, and although a serious affair, we could not help laughing—he had an arrow shot through his neck—the point sticking out on one side and the feather on the other. His hair was standing on end and he did look very comical. Dr. Alsap soon relieved him by cutting off the feather and pulling the arrow through from the opposite side it went in on. With a little healing salve, in a few days he was ready for his regular ration.
“We got breakfast, packed up, detailed a rear guard and started. The Colonel detailed ten of our best shots to lay in ambush close to the camp we left, as the Indians were in the habit of coming to our abandoned camps to pick up what was thrown away. The main party marched on, and ascending a mesa land we halted to see the effect that our ten men would have. Shortly we saw some six or eight Indians creep into camp and our men fired on them. I do not think there was but one which escaped.
“One day at noon a halt was called and we rested a short time and started again. In a short time one of the men discovered that he had left his gun standing against a tree where we nooned. The Colonel detailed ten men to go back with him and get it—they overtook us soon, and that fellow for a long time wished he had never had a gun.
“We finally arrived at some beautiful little valley and camped. One afternoon the scouts came into camp and reported a large camp, as we afterwards found out, some sixty wickiups which contained some old bucks, a lot of squaws, and papooses—in all about fifty—who were making arrows and points for arrows of flint. The order was given that three of the squads were to take two days' rations, the other squad to stay with the horses. The scouts told where to find the rancheria, which was situated in a large fiat at the head of a deep canyon, and surrounded by small hills with passes between them. One squad each was ordered to two of the passes and my squad had to take up the canyon.
“Ed Peck was with me—one of the best shots I ever saw. We travelled all night and before daylight arrived close to the rancheria. We crawled up in sight of the place and as soon as it was light enough to draw a bead through our sights (Peck and I each had a good Hawkins), there stepped out in full sight a large buck Indian. Peck asked me if he should shoot. I said, ‘Do you think you can fetch him?’ He said, ‘Yes,’ and I replied, ‘All right, let's open.’ He fired and that Indian jumped about three
“We then marched to the top of a mesa on the Pinal Mrs., where we could look down into Tonto Basin, and camped, threw up breastworks and scouted around some time. We were expecting a pack train with provisions, which had been promised to be sent to us, but as it did not arrive we struck camp and went to High Mountain, where we could see the Agua Fria River. There it was arranged that the pack train should go by a route on ground they could travel, and our three squads each took a separate route for the Agua Fria. We each took our last meal, being all we had left and very scant, and all bid good-bye and started. The second day at night we got to the river—two days without water or food, and found the pack train from Walker Creek with some provisions.
“Whereas, Since the settlement of this country, the people have suffered in the loss of the lives of some of our most respected citizens; also in loss of stock and other property, and from constant apprehensions of attacks, owing to the frequent raids made by the hostile Indians; and
“Whereas, Lieutenant-Colonel King S. Woolsey has, with great perseverance and personal sacrifice, raised and led against the Apaches, during the present year, three several expeditions, composed of citizen volunteers, who, like their commander, have spent their time and means, and up to this time have been entirely unrecompensed therefor; and
“Whereas, These expeditions have been highly beneficial to the people, not only by taking the lives of numbers of Apaches, and destroying the property and crops in their country, but also by adding largely to the geographical, geological and mineralogical knowledge of the country; therefore,
King S, Woolsey, was, in all respects, a big man. He was a typical Westerner, bold, resolute and energetic. A natural leader of men, he was successful, not only in his Indian expeditions, but also in his business enterprises. His activities were known and felt in all parts of the Territory up to the time of his untimely death. Among the early pioneers of Arizona he stands out the most conspicuous figure of them all. He had but little respect for the military as is illustrated by the following account of a fight which he had with the Indians while with Major McClave, in command of a troop of soldiers, as related by William Fourr, one of his companions at that time:‘‘
“I was in the Harquahala and other fights with King Woolsey. The renegades would come down from the mountains and steal stock and attack the settlers. In 1866 some renegades came down from the mountains, and stole about two hundred head of my cattle. They had raided King Woolsey's ranch before this and had stolen some two or three thousand dollars' worth of stock, These Indians were Mohave-Apaches. I believe the Government put it that way, but the Indians who took my stock were from the Date Creek reservation. Mr. Buckingham, who was a stage man, had his mules stolen from him, and he afterwards saw one of them on a government team, and the soldiers told him that they had got it from the
“After they had taken my cattle, we sent word to the soldiers at Burke's Station, Oatman Flat, and got the soldiers to come down, myself and King Woolsey and old man Shepard, who was in the Mexican war. Col. McClave came down in command of twenty-five soldiers. The first night some of the soldiers, raw recruits, saw the smoke of the fires of the Indians on the Harquahala, and some of them took their horses and left. That night the Indians attacked us, and whipped us. The next night we made a rush to get to the Indians, but never reached their fires until after daylight when they had all left their camps, so we went in search of them. Woolsey and I were ahead of the cavalry, which was kind of giving out, having ridden all night, and we began firing at the bunch, and by the time Col. McClave and his soldiers got up to us, the fight was about over. McClave called Woolsey and me down for being ahead of the soldiers, and also said that we had done pretty darn well. It was the 5th of July and hot, and we were pretty dry and tired. We had used up practically all the water we had with us. We laid down and went to sleep, There was a small bluff or hill there
“That night we were attacked again by the Indians, who shot into the camp, but t e bullets went too high. Woolsey and McClave got together, and McClave said to Woolsey: ‘What are we going to do?’ Woolsey said: ‘It don't make a d—bit of difference to me what you and your men do, but this man Fourr here has lost two hundred head of cattle, and we are going to whip these Indians. I don't want you or any of your soldiers. You can take your d—soldiers and run them to h—. Give us five or six men to protect the pack animals, and we will go after the Indians.’ Woolsey and myself went up the canyon two or three miles, The canyon was pretty clear of boulders, and we could see the Indians and they could see us. They halloed to us to come on, and we made a charge on them, and of course they ran into the rocks. There were eight of us shooting at them. One Indian was on a rock, and I was firing at
“March 18.—Major Edward B. Willis, 1st Infantry California volunteers, with forty enlisted men and fourteen citizens, fell in with a party of Apaches near the San Francisco river, Arizona, killed five Indians and lost one man, Private Fisher, of company D, first cavalry, California volunteers.”
“May 3.—Lieutenant Henry H. Stevens, 5th infantry California volunteers, with a command of fifty-four men, California volunteers, while on the march from Fort Cummings to Fort Bowie, Arizona, was attacked in Doubtful Canyon, near Steen's Peak, by about one hundred Apache Indians. The fight lasted for nearly two hours, and resulted in the killing of ten Apaches, who were left on the ground, and wounding about twenty. The troops lost in this affair one man missing and five wounded—one mortally; one horse killed and one wounded.”
“May 25.—Lieutenant Colonel Nelson H. Davis, assistant inspector-general United States army, With Captain T. T. Tidball, fifth infantry California volunteers, two commissioned officers and one hundred and two enlisted men, cavalry and infantry, started from Fort Bowie on a scout after Indians. On the 25th instant surprised a rancheria, and killed one Indian; later the same day, killed one Indian and captured one.”
“May 29.—On the 29th instant the command surprised a rancheria, and killed thirty-six, wounded four, and took two prisoners; captured six hundred and sixty-six dollars in gold coin, one Sharp's carbine, one Colt's revolver, one shotgun, one saddle, one thousand pounds of mescal, and a lot of horse equipments, powder, powder-horns, &c. Sergeant Charles Brown, of company K, fifth infantry California volunteers, is mentioned in Captain Tidball's report for his zeal and energy in this scout.”
“June 20.—Major Edward B. Willis, 1st infantry California volunteers, reports that a detachment under his command attacked a party of Apache Indians near the Salinas river, Arizona, and killed four of them.”
“June—.—Captain Henry M. Benson, 1st infantry California volunteers, left Fort Whipple, Arizona Territory, with his company F, first California infantry, on a scout after Indians. Five Indians were killed and two wounded by this command, and large quantities of corn and beans destroyed.”
“June—.—Captain Albert H. Pfeiffer, 1st cavalry New Mexico volunteers, with one lieutenant and sixty-four enlisted men, attacked a band of Indians near the Colorado Chiquito, Arizona, and in a running fight of eight miles killed five and wounded seven of them. After the fight was over two Indians came into camp with signs of peace, but in a moment fired their guns, severely wounding Captain Pfeiffer and Private Pedro Rael. The Indians were instantly killed. When the shots were fired a large party of Indians came running towards the camp. A volley was fired into them, when they scattered in all directions. This volley wounded several.”
“August 1.—Captain T. T. Tidball, 5th infantry California volunteers, returned from a scout of twenty-three days. He reports that he saw but few Indians, and killed but onean Apache chief called ‘Old Plume.’”
“August 7.—Sergeant B. F. Ferguson, of company E, 5th infantry California volunteers, with a party of men, attacked fifteen Apaches who were seen approaching the camp on the Rio Carlos, and killed five of them.”
“December 15.—Captain Allen L. Anderson, 5th United States infantry, with a small party of men, attacked an Indian rancheria near the Weaver Mines, Arizona, killed three and wounded three Apache Indians.”
The foregoing, which are contained in a report signed by Ben C. Cutler, Assistant Adjurant-General, practically covers the operations of the military in Arizona during the year 1864. In concluding his report Mr. Cutler says:‘‘
“Not only have the troops thus followed and punished the indians, but they have opened new roads, repaired others which had become destroyed by floods, have built posts, guarded trains through the interior of Arizona and New Mexico, and conducted the thousands of Captive Indians from the old Navajo country to the reservation, and not only guarded them there, but have directed their labors in opening up what will be one of the most magnificent farms in the United States.
“The general commanding the department takes great pleasure in being able to congratulate the troops on such a record. The increased security of life and property throughout this widely extended department, attests the beneficial results which spring from these efforts. The prosperity of New Mexico and Arizona will be sure to follow. So it must ever be a source of gratification and pride to every officer and soldier engaged in this great labor to know that the people for whom he has toiled are getting to be more secure in their lives, and to be better off in their worldly condition.
“All this has been done quietly and without ostentation on the part of the troops. In the great events which have marked the struggle of our country to preserve intact the union of all the States, it was not expected that such labors would receive the attention of the general government; but the fact that two great States will yet date their rise, progress, and the commencement of their prosperity from this subjugation of hostile Indians, will always be most gratifying to remember by those who so nobly did the work.”’’