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

Fort Bowie

National Historic Site

 
 
Fort Bowie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 3, 2010
1. Fort Bowie Marker
Inscription.
A Regional Legacy
Cochise. Geronimo. Though their reputations were fierce, the Chiricahua Apaches didn't stop explorers, prospectors, settlers, and merchants from Westward immigration. To establish a lifeline between the East and California, the Butterfield Overland Trail was built in 1858, directly through the heart of Apache Pass. But as the Apaches' land and lifestyle became threatened, they retaliated with attacks on traveling parties and raids on settlements.

The Bascom Affair, a military fiasco in early 1861, escalated hostilities on both sides. In 1862, a Union Army regiment from California marched through Apache Pass to counter the Confederate invasions of New Mexico. After being ambushed near Apache Spring, the army established Fort Bowie to protect the water supply and the major southern transportation route.

For the next 24 years, soldiers relentlessly pursued the elusive Apache. With Cochise's death (by natural causes) in 1874 any hope of peace was lost. Government promises were broken. Discontent rose among Apaches, causing violent uprisings and escapes from bleak reservations. It took two competent army commanders—General George Crook and Nelson Miles—and several thousand troops to obtain the final Chiricahuas Apache surrender in 1886. Geronimo and his dwindling
Old Fort Bowie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 3, 2010
2. Old Fort Bowie Marker
band of Chiricahuas marched in defeat to Fort Bowie, on their journey into permanent exile. The Apache Wars were over.

Fort Bowie was not abandoned until 1894. Today the weathered adobe and masonry walls are all that remain, the last vestige of an often romanticized but always precarious chapter in our country's history.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 32° 19.526′ N, 109° 29.062′ W. Marker is in Bowie, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker is at the intersection of South Apache Pass Road and Interstate 10 on South Apache Pass Road. Touch for map. 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. Old Fort Bowie (a few steps from this marker); Centennial of Chiricahua Apache/U.S. Cessation of Hostilities 1886 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Apache Pass - A Corridor Through Time (approx. 11.8 miles away); Mining Cabin (approx. 11.9 miles away); Apache Pass (approx. 12 miles away); Parke Camp Site (approx. 12.2 miles away); The Bascom Affair (approx. 12.3 miles away); Bascom-Cochise Meeting Site (approx. 12.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowie.
 
Regarding Fort Bowie. It's an approximate
Old Fort Bowie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo
3. Old Fort Bowie Marker
The kiosk displaying the marker is seen in the background. See Nearby Marker Old Fort Bowie for information regarding the marker seen in the foreground.
1 1/2 mile hike to the Fort Bowie and Butterfield Stage Station ruins.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Bowie National Historic Site. The National Park Service offers information on the area with links to history, photos of the ruins, and additional information. (Submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.) 

2. Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Fort Bowie was established in 1862 on a former station of the Overland Mail route. In 1861, the Overland Stage station at Apache Spring had been the site of the famous encounter between George Bascom and Cochise which has become "the most famous incident of the pre-Territorial period, though in wildly distorted versions." (Submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.) 

3. The Battle of Apache Pass. Captain Thomas L. Roberts, First Infantry California Volunteers, with 126 men, was ordered to march east from Tucson to San Simon (about 175 miles) to set up a supply depot for the Column from California. Captain John Cremony was in charge of the cavalry escort. The following is Cremony's description of the battle of Apache pass, as found in his 1868 book Life Among the Apaches. (Submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.) 

4. Military History Online. Details of the Bascom Affair. (Submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.)
Fort Bowie 1886 image. Click for full size.
4. Fort Bowie 1886
Photo displayed on marker.
 
 
Additional comments.
1. Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Located south of the Fort Bowie Marker on Apache Pass Road. There is ample parking at the trail head to Ft. Bowie. Visit the NPS web site for Ft. Bowie prior to visiting. There is important information regarding access to the site.
    — Submitted April 18, 2011, by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona.

 
Categories. Native AmericansWar, US CivilWars, US Indian
 
View of the Foundation Ruins of the First Ft. Bowie image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, March 14, 2011
5. View of the Foundation Ruins of the First Ft. Bowie
Fort Bowie Ruins image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, March 14, 2011
6. Fort Bowie Ruins
About Your Visit image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 3, 2010
7. About Your Visit
Information and site maps posted on the kiosk.
The Trail to Fort Bowie Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, March 14, 2011
8. The Trail to Fort Bowie Marker
The marker is located just below the parking area on Apache Pass Road. Fort Bowie is 1 1/2 miles from this point.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 10, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,310 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 9, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   3. submitted on April 10, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida.   4. submitted on November 9, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   5, 6. submitted on April 18, 2011, by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona.   7. submitted on November 9, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   8. submitted on April 18, 2011, by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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