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Lebo Fight

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

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

Before the end of April 1886, Geronimo and Naiche were back across the border on another raiding spree. After some settlers were killed, Captain Thomas Lebo led Company K of the 10th Cavalry in pursuit, chasing the Chiricahua for 200 miles into the Sierra Pinito of Sonora. On May 3, Geronimo decided to stand and fight. Two of the African-American Buffalo Soldiers fell, one dead and one wounded.

We have a similar but a more detailed version from the book, Encyclopedia of Indian Wars, by Gregory F. Michno.

3 May, 1886: In April 1886, Apache chiefs Geronimo an Naiche led one of their many raids north of the border. In the Santa Cruz Valley, they attacked the Peck ranch, killing Mrs. Peck and one of her children and taking Mr. Peck and another child captive. When Peck went insane, they released him.

Capt. Thomas C. Lebo with Company K, 10th Cavalry, tracked the raiders for 200 miles, finally going 30 miles below the border into the Pinito Mountains. As they rode, the soldiers counted 30 horses the fleeing Apaches had ridden to death. Lebo found the apaches on a rocky slope and started up. The Indians fired. The first volley killed a Pvt. Hollis and wounded a Cpl. Scott. L. Powhatan Clark dragged Scott to safety, an action for which he received a Medal of Honor. After several hours, Geronimo pulled away.

Two Apaches were killed and one was wounded.

15 May, 1886: After Thomas C. Lebo's fight with Geronimo (see previous entry), Capt. Charles A.P. Hatfield, with Company D, 4th Cavalry, picked up the Apache's trail. He struck a bank of hostiles in the little range between the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers and captured their horses and camp equipment. As the soldiers made their way out of the hills, the Apaches ambushed them. The blacksmith and cook were killed, and two sergeants were wounded. The Apaches recovered their ponies, plus some ammunition, with no loss to themselves.

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