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Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Apacheria


Bass Canyon | Bavispe Mountains | Casas Grandes | Dead Man's Hole | Delaware Creek | Eagle Springs | Guadalupe Canyon | Guzman Mountains | Horsehead

August 1868; Van Horn, Texas: Former Texas Ranger "Bigfoot" Wallace and eight companions were driving the mail stage between El Paso and Fort Davis when they saw dust rising in the distance. They hurried to a defensive position at Van Horn's Well as the Indians (probably Apache) became visible. The Indians charged then withdrew a short distance. Wallace killed a few horses for breastworks and waited behind them. The night passed without incident, but in the morning the Indians, thirsty, tried to get to the well. They hid among their horses as they turned the animals loose to go to the water. The ruse failed, costing them several mounts as Wallace and his men blasted away. The Indians then rode in circles around the barricade, showering the defenders with arrows and bullets, wounding three of them. That afternoon, a great thunderstorm struck, blunting the Indians' ardor for attack. They soon departed.

Three of Wallace's men were wounded; the estimated they hit 11 Indians.

Hill | Mays's Fight | Ojo Caliente | Pecos Falls | Rattlesnake Springs | Rio Bavispe | Salt Lake | Sierra Diablo | Sierra Enmedio | Teres Mountains | Van Horn's Well

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