Near Elfrida in Cochise County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
How Camp Rucker received its Name
On July 11, 1878, a flash flood occurred in White River Canyon (now Rucker Canyon). Lieutenants John A. “Tony” Rucker and Austin Henely, with their Indian Scouts, had been camped along a river below Camp Supply. As they started to ride toward the Camp they were caught in a rainstorm and so stopped at a nearby tavern. The rain continued and the stream rose, thus endangering Army supplies on the opposite bank. Both officers rode their horses across the river to save the supplies. On one foray Henely's horse stumbled and Henely was swept away by the stream. Rucker followed in an attempt to save his friend and fellow officer.
Telegram, Camp Supply, Arizona Territory
“Lieut. Rucker was drowned about 7 o'clock yesterday afternoon in a desperately heroic but fruitlesss effort to rescue Lieut. Henely from death. Body recovered mile and half away after three hours indefatigable search by all troops and Indians. Resusitation was impossible though skilled and determined treatment through the
October 1, 1878. Tribute was paid to Lieutenant Rucker through this order:
“As a mark of respect to the late Lt. J.A. Rucker, 6th Cavalry who gave his life in a brave last heroic effort to save that of his brother officer and commander, Lt. Austin Henely, 6th Cavalry in the 11th day of July last, as well as to perpetuate a vivid recollection of his brilliant career as a young and gallant Soldier, the name of the present Camp, where he lost his life, will, with the approval of the Department Commander, be changed to and hereafter known as Camp J.A. Rucker.”
Both Rucker and Henely had attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, although only Henely graduated from there. Both men had been commissioned as 2nd lieutenants in 1872, and Henely was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1876. The two young men were often described as “popular.” “energetic,” and “brave.” They were buried at Fort Bowie. When the Fort closed in 1894 their bodies were moved to Presidio, San Francisco, California. Rucker's body was later reinterred in Arlington
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • Wars, US Indian. A significant historical date for this entry is July 11, 1878.
Location. 31° 45.247′ N, 109° 21.517′ W. Marker is near Elfrida, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker can be reached from North Tex Canyon Road, 0.8 miles east of East Rucker Canyon Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elfrida AZ 85610, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp John A. Rucker A Military Outpost (here, next to this marker); Camp Rucker and the Indian Scouts (a few steps from this marker); Old Camp Rucker Ranch (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Rucker Timeline (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Rucker Bakery and Commissary (within shouting distance of this marker); John Ringo (approx. 8˝ miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 8, 2020, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 215 times since then and 72 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 8, 2020, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.