“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bowie in Cochise County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)

The Bascom Affair / Bascom-Cochise Meeting Site

Bascom Affair Site image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, March 14, 2011
1. Bascom Affair Site
Photo displayed on the marker is of Lt. George M. Bascom. In the area reserved for a photo of Cochise it is written:

No known photograph or painting of Cochise exists.

"Cochise was as fine a looking Indian as one ever saw. He was about six feet tall and straight as an arrow, built from the ground up. Perfect as any man could be."
James Travis, Apache Pass stage station keeper.
The Bascom Affair
On February 4, 1861, 2nd Lt. George Bascom, and his detachment of 54 men encamped two hundred yards east of here. Bascom’s mission was to find Cochise, recover a kidnapped boy and return livestock assumed taken by the Chiricahua Apaches.

During the meeting with Cochise and members of his band, Bascom ordered Cochise held hostage until the boy and his livestock were returned. Knowing neither he, nor his people had committed the acts, the Apache chief was insulted and bolted from the tent.

In the ensuing confusion, the remaining Apaches were captured.

For sixteen days the mayhem of warfare bloodied the Apache Pass. Both Indians and soldiers captured hostages and executed them out of vengeance, creating bitterness and hatred that lasted eleven years. Terror reigned until 1872, when President U.S. Grant sent an emissary, General Oliver O. Howard, to join army scout Thomas Jeffords and Cochise in making peace.

Bascom-Cochise Meeting Site
After the events on the afternoon of February 4th, Bascom ordered the command to move toward, and fortify, the stage station. According to Sergeant Daniel Robinson:

“Our wagons were placed end to end, forming a semicircle, covering one side of the station, and the corral,
Bascom/Cochise Meeting Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, March 14, 2011
2. Bascom/Cochise Meeting Site Marker
Photo displayed on marker points out the locations of Helen's Dome, Butterfield Road, Bascom/Cochise Meeting Site and the Wallace capture site.
making a basis for outer breastworks. There was a deep ravine on this side, the head or nearest point of it about a hundred yards from the station. Empty grain sacks were filled with earth and placed on the inner side of the circle.”

On the morning of February 5th, “…the Apaches were assembling in force on a hill 800 yards off.” They soon dispersed leaving a white flag. Soon a warrior approached the stage station defended by Bascom and his force. The warrior stated that Cochise wished to have a “talk” with our chief. Sergeant Robinson continued:

“The ‘talk’ commenced by Cochise making a strong appeal for the release of the … captive Indians. He was told that they would not be released until the boy was given up or found … In this manner the talk continued for about an hour

[Butterfield employee James] Wallace approached the ravine at a point above us apparently unnoticed by anyone … A dash was made by a few Indians from the ravine. They seized and dragged him into it out of sight. This broke up the talk in quick time.”

A firefight ensued between soldiers defending the stage station and Apaches firing from the surrounding hills and ravines.

Three days later, in a final attempt to gain the release of Apache captives, Cochise and his warriors attacked soldiers both at the stage station and Apache Spring. These attacks met without success, compelling Cochise and his followers to abandon Apache Pass and move into the Chiricahua Mountains.
Location. 32° 8.993′ N, 109° 26.982′ W. Marker is near Bowie, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker can be reached from Apache Pass Road. Click for map. Markers are located along the trail at the Fort Bowie National Historic Site. From Bowie, Az. drive south from the intersection of I-10B and Apache Pass Rd to the trail head (approximately 8 miles) or from Willcox, AZ drive southeast for 20 miles on State Road #186 to the Fort Bowie turn off, then drive another eight miles on the unpaved road to the Fort Bowie Trailhead. Be prepared to walk the three miles round trip to the ruins and back. Marker is in this post office area: Bowie AZ 85605, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Post Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Fort Bowie (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers (approx. 10.4 miles away); Erickson Family Cemetery (approx. 10.4 miles away); Faraway Ranch (approx. 10.8 miles away); Fort Bowie (approx. 12.3 miles away); Old Fort Bowie (approx. 12.3 miles away); Centennial of Chiricahua Apache/U.S. Cessation of Hostilities 1886 (approx. 12.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bowie.
Also see . . .  The Bascom Affair, Apache Pass. Bascom's command, consisted of 54 men mounted on mules. Also accompanying Bascom was Mr. Ward and an interpreter called Antonio. Bascom and his command arrived at the west summit of Apache Pass February 3rd and proceeded over the road two and a half miles to the Overland Mail Station. (Submitted on April 26, 2011.) 
Categories. Native AmericansWars, US Indian
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona. This page has been viewed 965 times since then and 94 times this year. Last updated on , by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona. Photos:   1. submitted on , by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona.   2. submitted on , by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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