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Apache Pass: Tombstone Tips Issue #30
September 06, 2019

Insider Info Newsletter

September 2019


~ ~ Apache Pass

~ ~ July Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Historic Map - Shortly After Newly Created Cochise County
(Note the Error in the Spelling: Cachise!)
That error was often carried into news articles of the day.

From the Chicago Tribune - Sat., March 6, 1858 - Pg. 2

#1 - Prequel

~ ~ Apache bands roamed the area of Southeastern Arizona, plus Southern New Mexico (& other adjacent areas) in the 1800s. Their ways didn't promote permanent homesteads - but these areas were their home. Settlers from the Eastern U.S. began relocating to the area.

~ ~ The Apaches weren't happy with the situation. Inevitably, conflicts occurred. People on both sides of the line had aggressive, uncompromising attitudes.

Example of Chiricahua Apache Encampment
During Ranger Led Bowie National Historic Site Tour

#2 - The Bascom Affair

~ ~ In Jan. 1861 a Native American band entered a So. AZ ranch, kidnapping a young boy. Lt. George Bascom was assigned to scout it out & retrieve him. Bascom suspected the kidnapper was Cochise, the Chiricahua leader. Bascom sent word for Cochise to meet him to talk.

~ ~ Cochise arrived at Bascom's camp with his wife, 2 children & 2 men. He discovered he was accused of taking this boy. He denied it (he was innocent). But said he'd find out who it was & bring them in. Bascom said yes - arrange that, but he'd hold Cochise hostage until the culprits were detained.

Trail Up Through Apache Pass
A Group of Us Took a Ranger-Led Tour Thru Apache Pass
to Fort Bowie

~ ~ Cochise was angrily vexed by that idea - he knifed a hole in the tent & escaped! His family & the 2 warriors were retained. Bascom now felt an Apache attack was imminent. He saw signal fires on the hills adjacent to Apache Pass.

These Apache Pass Hills Were Scattered With Signal Fires

From the Chicago Tribune - Wed. July 20, 1859 - Pg. 4

#3 - Will Talks Help?

~ ~ Cochise returned with 3 Coyotero Apache warriors to negotiate. Bascom, 2 sergeants & the boy's father met him. More Apache warriors entered a dry gulch nearby. 2 Overland stage agents approached the gulch & a warrior grappled with one.

~ ~ Gunfire erupted, crisscrossing from the Army & the Apaches. That ended this Cochise-Bascom meeting. Next Cochise started stalking stagecoaches as a pressure tactic. In 1 attack, he took 3 men hostage. Meanwhile more & more Apache warriors arrived at Apache Pass.

~ ~ 3 Apache Chiefs were there: Cochise, Francisco & Mangas Coloradas. Talks for hostage exchange got nowhere with Bascom. So next the Chiefs attacked Bascom's troops. On escaping, the Apaches killed their hostages.

~ ~ That led to a relief Lieutenant hanging the Apache male hostages, but released the women & children.

View From Apache Pass Summit

~ ~ In 1862 continuous skirmishes occurred between Apache warriors & the military. Particularly notable in the battle here in Apache Pass, was the participation of the California Column. Capt. Thomas L. Roberts led his Union troops against the warriors of Cochise & Mangas Coloradas.

1862 California Column Route Takes Them Through Apache Pass

Photo/Map Credit: Starwars1977

The Ranger Leads Us to the Natural Spring

#4 - Give It & Take It Back

~ ~ Cochise began indicating he had peace treaty interest around 1867. It took 5 years to get it accomplished.

~ ~ In Dec. 1872 the Chiricahua Indian Reservation was created within the Chiricahua Apache territory. It reached from East of the Chiricahua Mountains to West of the Dragoon Mountains. Brought about through a treaty signed by Cochise. That encompassed Apache Pass.

~ ~ The area is desirable, because a natural spring eminates from a fault. Timber is available in elevations. But the U.S. dissolved the reservation 2 years later, requiring the Chiricahua Apaches to reside at San Carlos Reservation. This didn't suit many of them.

San Carlos Reservation Police - 1880

~ ~ Cochise didn't need to endure that dissolution. He died before it happened. His people buried him in an unknown location in Cochise Stronghold, part of Coronado National Forest. This is a place you can visit today.

San Carlos Indians on Work Detail - 1886

~ ~ You can hike the Trail Through Apache Pass on your own - or ask for a Ranger-guided hike. It's an easy day trip from Tombstone Arizona.

~ ~ Some controversies remain about the entire "Bascom Affair" - but that's another issue for another day here.

Trail Head - Waiting for the Ranger Guide

~ ~ There are often historical remembrance events that make one want to know the true facts for people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What was their true story? And what happened to them - do we even know?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, seeing areas where they spent time - back in the 1800s.

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - & how to credit you.)



~ ~ The major event in August now is "Doc Holli-Days." Always the 2nd weekend of the month. Visitors to town weren't an overwhelming number - but there were quite a few people here!

It's Doc Holli-Days in Tombstone!

~ ~ The Oriental Saloon - now reopened (if you hadn't yet noticed!) as Wyatt Earp's Oriental Saloon & Theatre. There has been good crowds in there - checking out that fantastic dance floor, the shows, the old west ambiance, etc. Highly recommend you stop in. A perfect souvenir shop is next door, too!

~ ~ The last day of the month is the 1st day of "Showdown in Tombstone" - which goes over the Labor Day weekend. Look for it next month.

~ ~ BUT - for a specially sponsored event for Doc Holli-Days, there was a bus trip on Fri., Aug. 9th to go to Johnny Ringo's Gravesite. But not only that - accompany the actor who played Ringo in the Tombstone Movie! More Below > > > >

Some Cow-Boys Roaming Allen Street

on Doc Holli-Days


~ ~ Friends went along on this bus trip, Rodney & Cindi Leist - sponsors of the "Tombstone is Home" Facebook Group. Rodney consented to reviewing their trip, & letting us use some of their pics! Here's Rodney's Guest Review:

~ ~ 1ST - The Bus Tour Details

~ ~ The Friday bus tour to Turkey Creek in the Chiricahua Mountains included a visit to Johnny Ringo’s grave site & a Meet & Greet with Michael Biehn who portrayed Johnny Ringo in the 1993 movie Tombstone. The tour was part of The Annual Doc Holl-idays event in Tombstone. Gene Kurz, from Sedona, provided history & entertainment the entire trip.

Gene Walked Around Town as Ringo
Adding Atmosphere for the Event

~ ~ 2ND - On the Bus

~ ~ Gene dressed in character complete with the wild rag (scarf) worn by Michael Biehn during filming of the 1993 movie Tombstone. Doc Holliday & Big Nose Kate hitched a ride on the bus to help set the mood for the trip.

Rodney with Michael at Ringo's Grave

~ ~ 3RD - At the Gravesite

~ ~ Michael Biehn joined us at the grave. Michael spoke of his role as Johnny Ringo, personal thoughts of Johnny Ringo’s reputation in the Tombstone Territory, & theories about how Ringo died. His presentation kept the attention of everyone there. An emotional connection to Johnny Ringo was evident in Michael’s face, eyes, & words.

~ ~ It was an intense but enjoyable experience, to say the least. Everyone received a red sash that Michael autographed. Before leaving we shared a traditional parting toast to the legend in the grave with a shot of Old Overholt, Johnny Ringo’s favorite whiskey.

Cindi With Michael

~ ~ 4TH - Kudos

~ ~ Cindi & I enjoyed sharing this special experience with everyone there, & of course getting to meet & talk to Michael Biehn in a very historic & personal setting. Thanks to the Rudds for organizing this fun trip to Johnny Ringo’s grave site & the 2019 Annual Doc Holli-Days event.

~ ~ Rodney Leist

Location of John Ringo's Grave - South of Willcox


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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