Cedar Springs

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. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

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

The following story is from the book, Indian Wars, by Bill Yenne.

Geronimo and Naiche left San Carlos together, leading a group of about six dozen Chiricahua. On August 2, 1881, they paused near Cedar Springs to attack and loot a wagon train. In an almost cinematic moment, the cavalry arrived, specifically elements of three companies from the 1st and 6th Cavalry, led by departmental commander Willcox himself.

The Chiricahua withdrew quickly into defensive positions in nearby hills. Willcox eagerly followed, leading his cavalry into what turned out to be a snare, hastily and skillfully laid by Geronimo. The Chiricahua escaped at nightfall with no losses. Three soldiers and seven people at the wagon train had been killed.

Michno points out that the date was October 2, 1881 instead of the August date mentioned above. He also goes into further detail.

Meanwhile, near Cedar Springs, on the flank of the Pinaleno Mountains, 16 miles northwest of Fort Grand, the renegade Chiricahuas attacked a wagon train. A settler, Mrs. Mowlds, saw from her house the Apaches murder her husband and six other men and loot the train. They were enjoying the plunder when Willcox arrived. The soldiers pitched into the Indians, who withdrew into the rocks and invited the troopers to come after them. The soldiers lost three men killed and three wounded in the attempt.

At dusk, the Apaches charged down a bluff to allow their women, children, and livestock to get away to Mexico. The Indians had no casualties.

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