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General George Stoneman Takes Command—His Policy—The “Ring” Again—Contractors' Lust for Money Leads to War on Indians — Methods Employed by Apaches—Apache Outrages—Killing of Kennedy and Israel—Attack on Lent and Harpending Mining Party — Killing of Shirley—“Jeff” Davis's Experience With Indians—Attacks on Wagon Trains —A. P. K. Safford Appointed Governor of the Territory—His Interview With the “New York Herald”—Asks That Arizona be Allowed to Raise Volunteers — Government Furnishes Arms and Ammunition for Citizen Militia—How the Apaches Secured Arms and Ammunition — Activities of Military — Lieut.-Colonel Sanford's Expedition — —Lieutenant Cushing's Expedition — Lieutenant Graham's Expedition — Captain William Ory's Expedition.

About the middle of the year 1870, General George Stoneman was assigned to the command of Arizona, with headquarters at Fort Whipple, and assumed command in July of that year. General Stoneman was a general in the Civil War and, as a cavalry officer, left a distinguished record. The task assigned to him in Arizona was a difficult one. The people, as we have seen, were aroused to frenzy and demanded the


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immediate annihilation or capture of the Apaches, and because speedy relief did not follow his appointment, he was censured to even a greater degree than his predecessors had been. Arizonans were impatient and could not await any natural solution of the Apache war, but demanded that victory should come at once. Stoneman went about his work carefully. Arizona at that time was not fully explored. Fully one-third of the Territory was, and always had been in the hands of the Apaches, and, so far as the general public was concerned, was a terra incognita. Stoneman was accused of spending too much time in the details of establishing new posts, and the improvement of old ones, the building of roads, etc. Consequently, the “red tape” business of military circles received a liberal share of abuse. While this popular outcry against the General in command of Arizona was going on in the Territory, in the East a sympathetic feeling was gaining ground that demanded the use of pacific measures with the Indians, and Stoneman was censured for being too severe in attacking all Apaches for the offenses of the few. However, it must be said that much of his policy was good and finally led to a solution of the Indian problems, He believed by furnishing rations and blankets to a few friendly Indians, it would induce others to come in and so gradually lessen the work of subduing them. He believed also in placing them upon reservations, which was following Mason's idea, that putting them to work raising corn was better than keeping them on the warpath, raising scalps. He believed

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that they should be taught to earn their own living, but when this plan was attempted it was denounced by another class who cared not for blood or treasure. Contractors had much to say and pulled the wires to a great extent. If the Indians did work to maintain themselves, it lessened the contractors' chances of making an enormous amount of money out of their contracts, as many of them did. This element was strong and the “ring” was laboring to defraud the poor natives out of what the Government gave them. To be at the head of an Indian agency was a lucrative position, although the salary was small. The contractors' “ring” reached from Tucson to Washington, and included many men who held responsible positions. These men came to Arizona to make money in the quickest way possible, and that quickest way was to defraud the Government and the Indians. Says Fish: “Of all the contractors of early days it is hardly possible to find one who remained in the Territory. As soon as they made their money, they went East or to San Francisco to live. Not one of this patriotic fraternity eared a fig for Arizona. The people were taught to oppose agencies where the Apaches worked and were fed. They feared that it would reduce the military force for one thing, and that it would suspend campaigns and lead to an inactive state of war. What they wanted was a war of extermination. It was under this state of feeling that the Camp Grant massacre was perpetrated,” an account of which has been given in a previous volume.

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When the Indians encountered Americans and American troops they soon discovered that they had a different foe to deal with than the Mexicans. In tracing the adventures of different military bands and citizen militia who, aided by the friendly Indians, time and again undertook to dislodge the Apaches from their last fastnesses in the Santa Rita and northern ranges, one is compelled to award the Apaches the palm of bravery in defense of their homes and the treasures inherited from their fathers. Very few of the warlike tribes were at peace with the Americans at this time. It is stated that at Camp Reno Da-chay-ya's band of Tontos and some others were peaceable and doing some work, but often those who pretended to be friendly were harboring and feeding the hostiles. John T. Dennis, who lived near the site of the present waterworks of Phoenix, lost a large number of cattle and horses through a raid of the Yavapai Apaches, and these raiders were probably aided by some who pretended to be friendly.

In the winter of 1870 and spring of 1871, the Apaches, probably by agreement, resorted to the tactics of making attacks simultaneously in different places at great distances apart, for the purpose of disconcerting their enemies, wearing them out and confusing them in their movements. They dared not meet the troops in battle, even where they had the advantage, but resorted to a Fabian policy. The Apaches, as we have seen, would often crawl up to the very edge of a fort, and kill a sentinel, a herder or a wagoner with a bow and arrow, which made no noise, and their

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presence would not be known until the body of their victim was discovered. This mode of warfare kept the soldiers and settlers in constant alarm, for they lost many of their numbers without even seeing or hearing the enemy. Murders were becoming frequent and the Indians left no trail for their enemy to pursue. Matters were approaching a state as discouraging as that cast over the Territory when the troops vacated it some ten years before at the outbreak of the Civil War.

From Bourke's “On the Border with Crook,” Hamilton's “Resources of Arizona,” and Hinton's “Handbook of Arizona,” I condense the following stories of Apache outrages, which show the condition of Arizona at this time:

In the spring of 1870 Kennedy and Israel owned a ranch about a mile below old Camp Grant on the San Pedro. They had gone into Tucson to obtain laborers to work on their ranch, and had hired a number of Mexicans. The party, consisting of about thirty, started for the ranch. Just after they left the Canyon del Oro they were attacked by about forty Apaches. Kennedy and Israel were both shot, Israel dying on the spot, but Kennedy, although badly wounded; succeeded in crawling a short distance from the camp. Most of the party succeeded in reaching some sheltering rocks and escaped from the Indians. The Indians plundered the wagons and set fire to them. One of the Mexicans, although badly wounded, succeeded in reaching Camp Grant where he gave the alarm, telling the story of the massacre. The troops were immediately sent out to the

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scene of the tragedy and reached the place a little before daylight. They found Kennedy, shot in the breast with an arrow, perfectly rational, but suffering terribly. He stated that at the time of the attack he jumped upon a mule and was making good his escape when he was shot by an Indian. The mule was also shot, but Kennedy got far enough from the camp to avoid the Indians, and then laid down. He had broken the arrow off trying to pull it out. He was taken to the camp but died shortly after reaching there. A company under the command of Lieut. Howard B. Cushing started upon the trail of the Indians who had a considerable start of the troops, something over a day. One thing occurred which materially aided the pursuers. Among the things taken by the Indians was a box of patent medicine. The Indians, thinking it was whiskey, drank quite freely of it. The pursuers soon discovered that the medicine had affected them as the trail showed where they had staggered along, running against trees, bushes and cacti. The troops followed for several days, and finally succeeded in overtaking and surprising them one morning before daylight. The soldiers raised a terrific yell and poured a volley into the Indians which laid several low. The Apaches made for some rocks, but were soon driven from their shelter, many of them being killed and many being taken prisoners. The soldiers had followed them to the northwest, the Apaches making for the Tonto country. Although taken by surprise many of the Indians managed to effect their escape, the prisoners taken being mostly squaws.

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In the summer of 1870 a party, from the Comstock mines of Nevada, fitted out by Lent & Harpending of San Francisco, was on its way to Fort Bowie for the purpose of examining the mines in that vicinity which had lately been discovered and were attracting considerable attention, as they were reported to be extremely rich. The party passed Maricopa Wells and all seemed to be going nicely. No signs of Indians had been seen, but, suddenly the party was surprised and attacked by the noted Cochise and his band. Many of the company made their escape in various conditions, but as the day was hot and most of them had little on but their underclothes, they arrived at Camp Grant in sad plight. Running through the brush and prickly pears had almost stripped them of what they originally wore, and some of them were badly wounded besides. It was the old story; they had seen no Indians and suspected no danger. Lieutenant Cushing, with a company, left Camp Grant in pursuit of the hostiles, whom they followed for several days, going over the ground where the city of Globe stands to-day. They overtook a part of the Indians and in trying to run down two of them, they had one man killed. They also lost an animal or two and killed one or perhaps two, Indians. The hardships of the trip over the mountains were such that both men and animals were about exhausted on their return to camp.

In the north the Indians were not idle. In the summer of 1870 a Lynx Creek miner, named Shirley, while hunting, went to a spring for a drink and was captured by the Indians. Being

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missed, his friends searched for him and found his trail to the spring and saw where he had been surrounded and taken prisoner. All traces of him from that spot were lost, but a few years afterwards, in the Black Hills, the skeleton of a man was found tied by withes to a tree, head down, and the remains of a fire which had been built under his head were still visible. It was reasonably certain that the bones were those of the unfortunate Shirley, who was so tortured to death.

C. Davis, better known as “Jeff” Davis, 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 would confiscate 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 whence the attack came, and ere they could recover themselves, two more bit the dust. The remainder fled panic stricken, “Jeff” shooting as long as one was in sight.

In 1870 Stephens, Weaver, and some others, were on their way to Salt River, and a Mr. Hanna was on his way north with a load of grain for Prescott. They camped on the Agua Fria, twenty miles north of Phoenix, and had not separated long when the Indians attacked Hanna

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and destroyed his train. It was the same band of Indians, no doubt, that massacred Major Sniveley and his party, and also captured a wagon and team out of Crete Bryan's train, besides committing numerous other depredations.

A. O. Noyes had a sawmill twelve miles from Prescott, where he cut a large quantity of lumber. It is stated that on his books were crosses against the names of over three hundred men with whom he had dealings, who had been killed by the Indians. During the years 1868, 1869, 1870 and 1871, Arizona and her people suffered the most.

General Stoneman, as has been stated, assumed command in Arizona about the middle of the year 1870, and was succeeded by General Crook in June, 1871. General Stoneman's tenure of office, like that of many of his predecessors, was of short duration, but he was very active. The expeditions which he organized, in some of which Governor Safford took part, explored the entire Apache country much of which, up to that time, had been unexplored by the whites. The combats of the Federal forces under his command, were discouraging to the hostiles. Through him a truce was declared between the Mohaves, the Wallapais, the Yavapais, and the Apache-Yumas, on the Colorado.

A. P. K. Safford, of Nevada, was appointed Governor of the Territory of Arizona by President Grant and took office in April, 1869.

After spending a short time in the Territory, and familiarizing himself with conditions, he left for the east. The “Miner,” under date of February 12th, 1870, has the following:

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“In an interview with the ‘New York Herald,’ Governor Safford said that on the first of January we had an army of fifteen hundred men, while the Apaches numbered over twenty thousand.” (If this is meant to be twenty thousand warriors it is evidently incorrect, for the entire population of the Apaches at that time did not number twenty thousand; probably two thousand warriors were all they could muster). “There are only fifteen or twenty military posts throughout the Territory. We need hardly add that the force is barely sufficient to carry on even a defensive warfare, while the property of the inhabitants is some distance from the posts and is constantly in immediate danger. The Apaches want no peace whatever. Time after time have we tried to teach them agricultural pursuits and change their mode of existence but scarcely had they been courteously received when some daring outrage would be committed, after which they would fly to their strongholds in the thickly wooded forests. Plunder is their ruling passion, and they follow it with a will, and it is almost impossible to get at them. In reply to a question as to what military force would be needed, Governor Safford said about three regiments of cavalry and one thousand infantry; that it was the opinion of military men that such a force would, within a year, eradicate the difficulty.

“‘Reporter: ‘Under the circumstances, what would you recommend as a proper course to be pursued?’

“‘Governor Safford: ‘As a matter of economy, to say nothing of humanity, I think the

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Government should expend a sufficient sum to secure a permanent peace. Such a course would induce immigration. Surely, if you cannot protect yourselves you cannot protect the country. I am firmly convinced that the policy which is now being pursued by the Government will never tend to develop the country.”

’’ ‘‘

“He goes on to say that he does not believe in extermination, for the Indians have their rights, but the inhabitants of the Territory have also their rights, among which is peace. There are some peaceable tribes, including the Pimas, Papagoes, Maricopas, Mohaves and Yumas, always on good terms with the inhabitants, and they prosecute their agricultural labors with earnestness and honesty, but it is easy to be seen that over a Territory, three times as large as the State of New York, some sufficient force is requisite in order to protect the peaceably disposed.”


One of the first acts of Governor Safford was the writing of a letter to General Thomas, then in command of the Department, asking that Arizona be allowed to raise volunteer troops for service against the Indians, which had, as we have seen, been recommended by both General Halleck and General McDowell. The manner in which this communication was received by the military authorities is shown in the following proclamation by the Governor:


“To All Whom It May Concern:

“Whereas, the constant depredations and uniform successes of the Apache Indians in murder and pillage, require courage and sacrifices by all our citizens, or the Territory will

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continue to be overrun, our fair fields desolated, and our people driven out or exterminated; our lives and property, and the safety of our homes and firesides depend, to a great extent, upon our own exertions. If we help ourselves, the Government will be stimulated to more effectually help us. I know we have already lost many of our bravest and best; I also know that our people have been impoverished by constant robbery, and that few can even ill-afford to make additional sacrifices, but, on the other hand, if we continue to struggle and fight on in common, we may hope to soon witness the complete subjugation of our relentless foe, and thereafter possess in peace a Territory unsurpassed in leading resources and salubrity of climate; and

“Whereas, moved by these positive: convictions, on the 31st day of August, 1869, I addressed a communication to Major-General George H. Thomas, then commanding the Military. Division of the Pacific, requesting rations, arms and ammunition for three companies of citizen volunteers, which communication was referred to the General of the United States Army at Washington, and in reply the following circular was issued:



“‘San Francisco, November 3, 1869.

“‘CIRCULAR No. 20.

“‘In answer to application to the General Commanding the Army for authority to furnish arms, ammunition and rations to three companies

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of volunteers, serving against the Indians in Arizona, the following reply is received:

* * * * * * * *


“‘Whenever the commanding officer of an organized body of troops in Arizona is moving against hostile Indians, there is no objection to his taking along such citizens as obey his orders and assist him with their arms. This is the best way for the people to aid the military.

“‘Very respectfully your obedient servant,


“‘Adjutant General.’”

’’ ‘‘

“‘Whenever armed citizens choose to join a command moving against hostile Indians, they will be furnished with rations, and, if necessary, with ammunition, but nothing more.

“By Order of Major-General THOMAS,


“‘Asst. Adjutant General.

“‘Headquarters Military Division of the Pacific,

“‘San Francisco, Nov. 1, 1869.

“‘By Command of Brevt. Maj.-Genl. ORD,


“‘Asst. Adjutant General.


“‘E. W. STONE,

“‘Brevt. Lieut.-Col. U. S. Army, A. A. A. G.’ and,

“Whereas, the military force within the Territory is inadequate to carry on an aggressively destructive war against the Apaches, or to insure protection to life and property, even in the most populous settlements:

“NOW, THEREFORE, the Government of the United States having furnished for the

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use of our citizens 744 improved breach loading guns, with ample ammunition, I. A. P. K. Safford, Governor of the Territory of Arizona, and Commander-in-Chief of the militia thereof, call upon every able-bodied man, subject to military duty, to immediately aid in organizing the militia in accordance with law and with the recommendations of my proclamation of October 18th, 1869, in order that the arms may be distributed, and the militia force prepared for active service in the field, and for co-operation with the regular troops.

“Given under my hand and the seal of the Territory, at Tucson, this second day of May, A. D. 1870.


“By the Governor:


“Secretary of the Territory.

“(Seal) “By THOS. E. McCAFFREY,

“Assistant Secretary.”

’’ ’’

From the foregoing it will be seen that although the General Government refused the Governor's request for authority to raise volunteer troops, it was in favor of establishing a Territorial Militia, and furnished arms for that purpose.

In the “Miner,” under date of March 26th, 1870, I find the following:


“Governor Safford, according to a dispatch to the ‘San Francisco Chronicle,’ obtained the consent of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, to recommend the raising of two volunteer regiments in Arizona for service against the Indians.”


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It is unnecessary to say that authority was never given to raise these volunteer regiments.

It was a mystery at that time as to where the Apaches. got their ammunition and guns. Of course they captured a great many guns, but not sufficient to account for the number of which they were possessed during this trying period. Many supposed that they were supplied by the Moqui Indians, as they were known to be constantly trading with the hostiles. The following official communication bearing upon this subject, was published in the “Miner” of July 23rd, 1870:


“Fort Wingate, New Mexico,

“July 2, 1870.

“To Brevet Major General George F. Wheaton,

“Commanding the Northern District of


“Fort Whipple, Arizona.


“Your communication of the 10th of May, 1870, is at hand and I found it at Fort Defiance, Arizona, on my return from the Moqui Villages, where I took station on the 9th day of May last. The Moqui Indians have been in the habit of visiting Prescott and Fort Whipple, Arizona, from Oraibi, one of the Moqui villages under my charge. No doubt exists in my mind that the Oraibi trade more or less with different bands of the Apaches, as do several of the other villages, but not to so great an extent. During my stay I talked to them of the bad policy they were pursuing and its probable effects if not discontinued, but as they are situated in a remote land and as they are but Indians, I doubt if any remonstrance

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I could make would have any effect. However, I made all the villages promise to treat hostile Apaches as their enemies, as well as ours, threatening a discontinuance of Governmental assistance, and the arrest and trial of the chief who allowed any further trading with any of the Apaches. I expect soon to make another visit to the Moqui villages for the purpose of vaccinating all their inhabitants and relating the contents of your letter to them. It would be impracticable to get any Moquis to act as scouts as they are lazy, cowardly, and have their growing crops to attend to. I will mention the matter to the chiefs and send an Indian to Prescott with such information in regard to the matter as I can collect.

“Very respectfully your obedient servant,


“Captain U. S. A.

“Special Agent for Moqui Indians,

“Arizona Territory.”


The following is General Order No. 9, showing the activities of the military at that time:


“Headquarters Department of Arizona,

“August 2, 1870.


“Following summary of successful operations against the Indians in this Department during the past three months is published for general information. Other scouts have been made creditable alike to officers and men engaged, but not having encountered Indians, no result other than scouting and acquiring a topographical

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knowledge of the country, although special mention of these are not made.

“Lieutenant-Colonel G. B. Sanford left Camp McDowell in the latter part of April, with an expedition consisting of Troop E, First Cavalry, Lieutenant Sherman; Troop B, 3d Cavalry, Captain Meinhold and Lieutenant Smith; Company A, 21st Infantry, Brevet-Major Collins, five officers and eighty men, and moved to Pinal creek where he established a scouting camp. The expedition remained out over seventy days, and marched over five hundred miles. The following is a brief summary of the principal events:

“The command moved down Tonto Creek and up the Salt River and across to the Pinal Creek, where a large field of wheat was discovered and destroyed. On the 30th of April, Brevet-Major Collins was detached with a portion of the command, consisting of Lieut. Smith, 3rd Cavalry, and twenty-five men from E Troop, 1st Cavalry; twenty-five men from B Troop, 3rd Cavalry; three men of Company A, 21st Infantry, with citizen Murphy as a guide. Moving in an easterly direction and striking a trail, he followed it for eight miles and came upon a rancheria where a large quantity of mescal seeds was found and destroyed, the Indians having abandoned it but a few hours before its discovery. Pushing on eight miles further, he charged and succeeded in killing nine and capturing four, and destroying large quantities of mescal, blankets; seeds, etc. On returning to where he struck the first rancheria he discovered three Indians, and succeeded, in killing two. He then returned to camp upon Pinal Creek, having

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been out twenty-four hours, marching forty-five miles, and succeeding in killing eleven Indians and capturing four, besides destroying a large amount of property of great value to the Indians.

“The horses of B Troop, 3rd Cavalry, being in bad condition and the infantry having been constantly on the march, Colonel Smith replaced B Troop with E Troop, 3rd Cavalry, Captain Sutorius; and Co. A, with Co. G, of the 21st Infantry, Lieutenant J. M. Poss, one hundred and ten men in all, including E Troop, 1st Cavalry, which was not relieved. On the 21st, near Canyon Creek, for the purpose of moving with great rapidity, the pack train was placed in a secure position and left in charge of Lieutenant Poss with a guard of fifty men.

“Colonel Sanford started on the 25th with part of his command, and moved in an easterly direction towards the Black Mesa. About daylight on crossing the Aurora Colorado, evidence was discovered of the Apaches being present in large numbers, also corn fields, etc. Just before sunrise the command entered a large fertile valley bordering a beautiful stream of water, and almost immediately discovered a rancheria. The command was at once deployed and ordered to charge, which they did with a will. Other rancherias were found in various directions, and the men scattered in pursuit. About 10 A. M., the command was reunited, when about twenty-one Indians were found to have been killed, and twelve prisoners taken, also three horses and three mules captured. Large quantities of articles valuable to Indians

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were destroyed. The valleys for miles were planted with corn. The command then returned, scouting through Turkey Valley, across Sombrero Butte, Salt River, Rio Pinto, and Tonto Creek, the result of the expedition being as follows:

“Apaches killed, 33. Captured 16 animals, horses 3, mules 3, besides having destroyed large fields of wheat and corn, and numerous other things of value to the Indians. In the rancherias on the Chevelon the scalp of a white man was found, and numerous articles which had been taken from citizens and volunteers.

* * * * * * * *

“On the 29th of May, Lieutenant Cushing, 3d Cavalry, with Lieutenant Smith, 3rd Cavalry, fourteen men of B, and twenty of F, troops, 3d Cavalry, and thirty men of K Troop, 1st Cavalry, started in pursuit of a band of Indians who had attacked and captured a wagon train and killed some citizens near Canyon del Oro, on the road between Tucson and Camp Grant. Having discovered the trail, it was followed for a distance of about a hundred and seventy miles, when, in the afternoon of the 4th of June, having reached the top of the Apache mountains, discovered signs of being in their vicinity. The command was withdrawn down the eastern slope of the mountains into camp without having been discovered. At midnight the command moved towards the point where the campfires were seen, crossing the summit and moving down the western slope within about three miles of the rancherias, where the command was divided, Lieutenant

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Cushing leading the direct attack, and Lieutenant Smith moving on the flank. At daylight on the morning of the 5th, the attack was made. In thirty minutes the rancherias were struck by Lieutenant Cushing's party, and the Indians, taken by surprise, ran down a canyon, where they were met by Lieutenant Smith and his party, and many killed. The Indians scattered in every direction, thirty being wounded in the immediate vicinity. Many hostiles were reported as killed by the men and two guides. The rugged nature of the ground where the rancherias were situated made it more than probable that many Indians were killed which were not seen by the commanding officers. Large quantities of prepared mescal and property, taken from the captured Indians, were destroyed, also two mules recaptured, the others having been killed.

“Lieutenant Cushing reports that the men behaved throughout in a manner worthy of the highest commendation, particularly recommending to the attention of the Department Commander Sergeants Warfield of the 3d Cavalry, and Whooten of the 1st Cavalry, and guides Manuel and Oscar Hutton.

“These expeditions were made pursuant to instructions from Colonel Cogswell, commanding the subdistrict of Southern Arizona; and he reports them as having been in every way satisfactory.

“On the 3rd of June Lieutenant Graham, with fourteen men of M Troop, 3rd Cavalry, started in pursuit of a band of Indians who had driven off a herd of cattle from the immediate

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vicinity of Fort Whipple. Lieutenant Graham started without waiting to saddle, and pushed them to such an extent that they abandoned the herd, except three which they had killed, which he recovered, and killed two Indians.

“Expedition under the command of Captain William Ory, 3rd Cavalry, consisting of Lieutenant Cradlebaugh, 3rd Cavalry, acting as assistant sergeant, and thirty-five enlisted men of Troops A, C, L, and M, 3rd Cavalry, left Camp Verde on the 27th of May, 1870, with instructions to locate a practicable wagon road from Camp Verde to the new post in the White Mountains, and to the mouth of Cottonwood Fork on the Colorado Chiquito. Captain Ory returned on the 27th of June, having been successful in finding a practicable road to both points indicated. In one of the several engagements with the Indians, the command killed one and captured seven, having one sergeant and two privates wounded in the attack. The commanding officers convey their thanks to the officers and men engaged in the above operation for the energy and perseverance displayed. By such exertions they not only reflect credit on themselves but on the regiments to which they belong.

“By command of Brevet Major General Stoneman,


“B. L. COLLINS, U. S. A.,

“Acting Assistant Adjutant General.”

’’ ’’


© Arizona Board of Regents