Sugarloaf Mountain

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

Picture of Sugarloaf Mountain

16 June 1868, Fort McDowell, Arizona: Sgt. J. Lemon and four privates of Company E, 1st Cavalry, were assigned to carry mail from Camp Reno, in the Tonto Basin, to Camp McDowell, about 25 miles away. When they reached Sugarloaf Mountain, 12 miles east of their destination, one of the men, Pvt. Theeley, noticed Indians ahead and shouted out a warning. Lemon, in front, tried to spur his horse on, but a volley from nearly 100 Apache warriors crashed into them from three sides. All five men and all the horses were hit. Lemon managed to kill one warrior before being overwhelmed. One of the privates ran to a hill and held on for a time before being hacked in two. Only Theeley got away, making it back to an outpost of Camp Reno with 20 Apaches in pursuit.

The total losses were four soldiers killed and one wounded, and one Apache killed.

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