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Near Bowie in Cochise County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862

 
 
The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, January 8, 2017
1. The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862 Marker
Inscription. An advance guard of 96 California Volunteers, marching toward the San Simon River to establish a supply depot for the California Column, followed the Butterfield Road through Apache Pass. As they approached the abandoned stage station, Cochise and his ally, Mangas Coloradas, with a combined force of 140 – 160 warriors, ambushed the rear of the column. The Californians countermarched from the station, driving the Apaches into the hills, only to find they had taken up new positions around the spring. The Californians attacked again, and finally reached the water, after dispersing the Apaches from rock fortifications commanding both flanks of Apache Spring.

This battle led directly to the establishment of Fort Bowie. Sergeant Albert Fountain, chronicled the event:

“The situation was by no means an enviable one. Men and officers were...worn out with fatigue...but water we must have, and to obtain it we must force the enemy's almost impregnable position: garrisoned with...the bravest warriors of the combined Apache tribes.”

“Our line dashed forward, and advanced under a continuous and galling fire from both sides of the canon until we reached a point within fifty yards of the spring...Then from the rocks and willows above the spring came a sheet of flame.”

“I
The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, January 8, 2017
2. The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862 Marker
ordered the men to fix bayonets and make one dash for the summit...and the next moment we were over a rough stone wall and on the inside of a circular fortification some thirty feet in diameter: fifty or more Indians were going out and down the hill on the opposite side.”

“As we carried the hill a cheer came up from down below: as our comrades dashed to the spring with camp kettles and canteens, fire was opened upon them from the opposite hill, but we turned a plunging fire upon the enemy, and they were soon in full flight. The howitzers were...brought into action, and from our elevated position we could see hundreds of Indians scampering to the hills to escape the bursting shells.”

 
Location. 32° 8.779′ N, 109° 26.658′ W. Marker is near Bowie, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker can be reached from Fort Bowie Trail 1.1 miles from Apache Pass Road. Touch for map. Marker is located along the trail at the Fort Bowie National Historic Site. For most visitors access to the fort is via a 1.5 mile hiking trail of moderate difficulty. Marker is in this post office area: Bowie AZ 85605, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Apache Spring
The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, January 8, 2017
3. The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862 Marker
Apache Spring is just over the hill ahead.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Post Cemetery (approx. mile away); First Fort Bowie (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Butterfield Overland Mail (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Stage Station Ruin (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bascom-Cochise Meeting Site (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Bascom Affair (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowie.
 
Categories. War, US CivilWars, US Indian
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2017, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 187 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 14, 2017, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.
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