CHAPTER XIII. INDIAN TROUBLES.
Attack on T. Lambertson—Killing of Henry Twaddle—Killing of Gonzales—Attack on Le Roy Jay and William Trehan—Fight With Frenchmen on Hassayampa—Attacks in and Around Wickenburg—Jackass Smith — Expedition of Lieut. Cradlebaugh Against Indians—Jackson McCracken's Plight—Killing of George Bowers—Experience of "Jeff" Davis—Orick Jackson Describes Conditions — Thomas Thompson Hunter's Description of Conditions—Hostilities at Fort Bowie—Killing of Commander of Post—Murder of Col. Stone and Escort—Duel Between Keeper of Station and One of Cochise's Band—Murder of Mail Carrier Fisher—Attack on W. A. Smith and Companions—Depredations Around Tucson — Camp Grant Massacre — Mrs. Stephens' Fight With Indians — "Miner" Editorial on Situation—W. M. Saxton Killed.
Harvey Twaddle, a pioneer prospector, was waylaid on a trail in Walnut Grove and shot in the heart, but drove off the Indians who attacked him. Assistance arriving shortly, he was carried home and lived eight days. A post-mortem examination showed the bullet imbedded in his heart a half an inch from its lower point. This is one of the most extraordinary instances of vitality on record.
In 1866 a marauding band of Tontos surprised a Mexican named Gonzales between the Agua Fria Valley and Prescott, killed and stripped him, set the body up with the knees, elbows and head resting on the ground, and then shot seventeen arrows into it, and left it in that position.
In 1867 two well known citizens, Le Roy Jay and William Trehan, while escorting a wagonload of provisions from Prescott to the Bully Bueno mining camp, fell into an ambush and were killed between Big Bug and Turkey Creek. The driver escaped, the Indians getting away with the provisions and animals. The B. B.
In 1867, two Frenchmen mining in Hassayampa Creek owned two burros and lived in a stone cabin with a log roof covered with earth. One afternoon they observed three Indians on a hill near the creek. Immediately they got the donkeys, took them into the cabin, and shut the heavy plank door. In five minutes there were twenty Indians around the house. At first they tried to break in the door by throwing heavy rocks against it, but as one of the attacking party advanced with a heavy boulder in his hands he was shot through the heart from a crack in the door and fell dead in front of it. That was the only shot the Frenchmen fired. The reds then went behind the house, which was built against a high rocky bank, and tried to break it down by throwing great rocks upon it from the bluff above and kept that game up well into the night, but the roof withstood all assaults. The inmates remained in the house until the middle of the next forenoon, when a mining neighbor named Wallace came along and found the dead Indian at the door. Seeing smoke rising from the chimney, he hailed the inmates and the badly scared Frenchmen opened the door. They stated that they had plenty of provisions and thought they would wait and let the Indians go away.
Many men were killed in those years in that neighborhood, and hundreds of animals stolen. In 1865 there were thirty-three arrastras in the town running on Vulture ore. In the summer, on moonlight nights, many of them were run all night. Bigelow & Smith were running three arrastras day and night, having six animals. One night in June, as Smith (known as 'Oregon Smith') was on duty, he saw a suspicious object moving in the tall grass near the arrastra. He aroused his partner, saying: ‘‘The Indians are here.’’ Both went out, Smith with a rifle, Bigelow with a shotgun. Smith said: ‘‘Lay low, Big, and you'll see the cuss raise up his head above the grass out there,’’ pointing where he had seen him. In less than two minutes a head raised, and Smith fired. A groan followed, and all was still. Smith reloaded and both cautiously approached the supposed dead Indian, and found a young donkey lying dead in the brush; it was shot in the throat and its neck broken. The slayer, after that, was known as 'Jackass Smith.'
In 1867 or 1868, Lieut. Cradlebaugh was sent out from Camp Verde with a detachment of men to the Black Hills, for the purpose of having a talk with a band of Indians who signified a willingness to make peace and come into the post. He camped the first night in a small flat below a high ledge of rocks, the horses being fastened to a picket rope in front of the camp. Towards morning the slumbering troopers were awakened by the most unearthly yells and showers of arrows and bullets. Every horse at the picket line was soon shot down. The troops
In 1868 George Bowers, one of the brightest young men of Prescott, was killed on the road coming from Camp Verde to Prescott. In 1869, a party of thirteen prospectors outfitted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and came into the eastern portion of Arizona looking for placer diggings. They were successful in finding gold, but the Indians attacked them while at work, killed four or five of the party and got possession of their camp, provisions and animals. The remainder made their way across the mountains to the Verde settlements, and coming down Clear Creek approached the camp of a detachment of soldiers who took them for Indians, and fired more than fifty shots at them before the ragged,
C. Davis, better known as 'Jeff' Davis, of Yavapai County, had a lively experience in those days. He lived on a lonely ranch near the head of the Hassayampa, and was engaged in farming and stock raising. The latter pursuit, however, was not a success, for whenever he had accumulated a few head of stock the Indians were sure to steal them. 'Jeff' was a great hunter, and on one of his expeditions he came upon a band of Indians in the heavy pine timber. Stepping behind a tree he waited until the foremost savage got within range when his trusty rifle rang out and the Indian fell to rise no more. The astonished redskins looked around to see from whence the attack came, and ere they could recover themselves two more bit the dust. The remainder fled panic stricken, while 'Jeff' pumped the lead after them while one remained in sight.’’
During the carnival of blood that extended from 1863 to 1873, over 600 white men were killed by the Indians in that zone lying north of the Gila and Salt Rivers. These fatalities were confined principally to 'picking off' travelers in parties of from two to five. Organized bodies were very seldom molested, excepting of course the military operations in a general fight. Many ranchers fell in the field while at work or in going from home to a neighbor. Invariably the white victim was scalped and horribly mutilated otherwise.’’
In the fall of 1867 I entered the Territory of Arizona with a herd of cattle gathered in Central Texas and driven across the plains, seeking a market at the Government Posts, the only beef supply available at the time for the different army posts. The trip was a dreary one from the start, accompanied with dangers and hardships innumerable. Every inch of the distance across was menaced with hostile Indians, who never lost an opportunity to attack our outfit. For weeks at a time we subsisted solely upon our herd, for beef straight was our only ration. Apache Pass was the first place reached in Arizona of any note. A small company of U. S. Infantry occupied the military post there, known as Fort Bowie. On the day of our arrival at Bowie, it looked pretty gloomy and lonesome for the few soldiers stationed there. The Indians were hooting and guying the soldiers from the cliffs and boulders on the mountain sides. They spoke mostly in Spanish, but several of their number could make themselves understood in our native tongue (English).
A few days before our arrival at Fort Bowie happened a sad incident that impressed me very much. The Commander, a captain of the Post, could not believe that there existed such a thing as a hostile Indian. He had never been close to one. An alarm was given by some of the herders that they had been attacked by Indians. The captain indiscreetly mounted his
It was near Bowie a few years later that Col. Stone and his escort were murdered by Apaches. Old Fort Bowie, now abandoned, is a dreary, lonesome place, yet the Indian war is over, but it gives one the shivers to go through that pass and recall the horrible deeds that have been committed thereabouts. While there in 1867 I looked at the little old stone cabin built by Butterfield's men, and while I am relating dark tales of old Apache Pass, I'll just relate an incident that I never heard of in print. A friend of mine was stationed there about the time that Butterfield's lines were drawn off. A fine looking young man, known to the employees as 'John,' I think an Ohio boy, was the keeper of the station. The stages brought in what little grain was used by the stage company's horses from the Pima villages. At this time old Cochise's band was friendly with the whites, and at the time would camp in and around the station. On one occasion, John, the keeper, discovered one of the Cochise men stealing corn out of a little hole in one of the sacks. John, acting upon the impulse of the moment,
As we entered the Territory north of Stein's Pass, we crossed through Doubtful Canyon in the night time. At the divide where we turn down on the slope of the San Simon, we ran upon a gruesome scene. A number of dead men were scattered around. We passed along as rapidly as we could in order to reach the plains before daylight. At the very time that we were passing through Doubtful Canyon, the signal fires were burning on the mountain side (Apaches), telling each other of our movements. We passed on to Fort Bowie as fast as we could. In going up the mountain side entering Apache Pass, we saw where a battle royal had been fought. Just before we got there, the party who had contracted to deliver the U. S. mails was at the time very hard pressed. It was so discouraging, so many riders had been killed and stock lost, that the contractor would hire men for the trip to carry the mails from Bowie to Las Cruces and return. One hundred and fifty dollars would be paid for the trip. The boy who made this fight, whose name was Fisher, had agreed to make the trip to Las Cruces. He left Bowie one afternoon mounted upon an old condemned government mule, armed with two 45 six shooters. When about half way down the slope toward San Simon flats, the enemy attacked him, and if he had had a decent mount, I believe to this day that he would have won out. They forced him to zigzag along the side of the mountain, their numbers driving him to the hills, and preventing him from getting them in
We leave Apache Pass now and travel on toward Tucson, the next place of any note, except that I might mention Pantano, the historic place where W. A. Smith made one of the best fights on record. He and three companions were attacked early one morning by the Indians. He was the only one of the four men left to tell the tale. Is there any one person to-day in all of Arizona who can possibly realize or appreciate the position of this man, fighting for his
As we take the western trail from Tucson, we pass on to the Gila River, and enter the Pima and Maricopa Indian country. These Indians were found in a pitiful condition, poverty stricken in the extreme. They made their boast to us that they had never taken white blood. It was very easy to see why this was the case. They were being hard pressed by the Yumas, Apaches and other Indians. They were compelled to accept the whites as allies, otherwise they would have been exterminated root and branch in a few years more. We felt safe among them from the hostiles. The greatest trouble was their stealing propensities, which were thoroughly developed. Our stock was getting so poor and worried with travel that we camped some days in this section. Quite a number of immigrants fell in with us for protection from the Apaches, and while here at Maricopa a few pioneers came over from Salt River to tell us about the wonderful country over there, and induce the immigrants to settle with them.
News was brought to town last evening from the Point of Rocks, about four miles from Prescott and three miles from Fort Whipple, that about 20 Indians had made an attack upon Honorable Lewis A. Stephens' home with the evident intention of murdering the inmates and stealing the stock. At the time of the attack there were on the place but two persons, Mrs. Stephens and a hired man. The house is situated about a hundred yards from an immense pile of rocks, which contains numerous caves and little valleys. As luck would have it, Mrs. Stephens and the man saw the murderous villains as they emerged from the rocks, and ran for their guns, opening fire upon the thieves, who returned the fire for some time, trying at every turn to get possession of the horses, but the quick eyes and steady fire of Mrs. Stephens and the hired man, cowed the savages and they were forced to skulk back to their hiding places without accomplishing the object of their raid. Many a man placed in the same position as Mrs. Stephens would have taken to his heels and ran for dear life, but she stood her ground and fought them like the heroine that she is. Shortly after the Indians left, Mr. Johns, who lives on a neighboring ranch and heard the firing, started with some men for Stephens' and followed the Indians into the rocks, but failed to find them. He then started to town bringing the news, and a request from Mrs. Stephens to her husband, who is a
‘‘Everything connected with the Indian business of the country seems to be a failure, except massacres by Indians. They flourish 'like a green bay tree' and fill the land with their butcheries. The shrieks of unfortunate women and children while being tomahawked, scalped or disemboweled on the plains, nightly rend the air; yet nothing is done to put an end to the outrages.