Verde Heritage By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Monday, September 16, 2013
1881 RUMORS: "The Indian Scare," September, Part 2.
"Col. Benjamin, A. A. G., is at last in receipt of reliable news of the Cibicu fight, in the shape of an official dispatch from Gen. Carr, which was sent to Thomas by Lieut. Stanton and 30 men. Stanton arrived at Thomas on the 30th ult. Details are as follows:"
"Carr's command found the Medicine man and his followers on Cibicu Creek. He demanded the surrender. The Medicine man said he would accompany the troops as a prisoner. The Apache scouts, in the service of the Government, assured the General that the Medicine Chief meant what he said, that his followers did not want war, etc."
"Then, as the white soldiers were unsaddling and unpacking their animals, the treacherous Indian scouts opened the ball by shooting into the whites. Captain Hentig was shot by an Indian scout. A sharp fight ensued; Indians were driven off. Next day, August 31st, Capt. Carr buried the dead and started for Apache. Indians who had preceded him, on the trail, killed eight of his men."
"The Apaches next attacked Fort Apache during the afternoon of September 1st. As has before been stated, they were repulsed."
"The total loss, of whites, is given, by Gen. Carr, as follows:"
"Capt. Hentig, 10 soldiers and one citizen, besides the 8 men killed on road between Cibicu and Apache."
"Lieut. Gordon was wounded in the leg; one private and two soldiers were also wounded."
"While this news is bad enough, it is better than most people had expected, after the many 'total wreck' rumors they have read. We say, hurrah for Carr and his command, who appear to have got out of a very bad scrape in pretty good shape."
"And, now, let the watch word be; no reliance on the opinions of Indian agents; Death to every one of the 23 Apache scouts, who traitorously turned on their white comrades and benefactors."
(The Weekly Arizona Miner; Prescott; September 9, 1881; page 1.)
"CALLING FOR ARMS: Tucson, Sept. 7. --- Governor Gosper this morning received a dispatch from Acting Inspector General Arnold at Willcox, to the effect that the citizens of Green Valley want twenty stands of arms and ammunition. Two men reported killed in that vicinity. Gen. Willcox advises the immediate organization of minute men everywhere north of the Gila." (The Weekly Arizona Miner; Prescott; September 16, 1881; page 1.)
"PUBLIC DEFENSE MEETING."
"A large and interesting meeting of citizens of Prescott and Yavapai County was held on Friday evening, Sept. 9th, at the Court House. On motion of Hon. Murat Masterson, Hon. John H. Marion was called to take the chair, and Paul Tucker was appointed Secretary. Edward W. Wells being called on, stated the object of the meeting to be to consider the danger from Indian hostilities to the exposed and outlying settlements. Hon. C. C. Bean then assumed the chair at the request of the chairman, and Hon. John H. Marion spoke upon the matter of Indian atrocities. Marshal Dake being called upon to speak, excused himself. Hon. Mr. Masterson then proposed that a committee be appointed to draw resolutions." The committee was selected, then retired to consult and met at 10 a.m. Saturday, at Mr. Masterson's office.
"The following Resolution was then and there adopted."
"RESOLVED: That the Chairman appoint a committee of six citizens to ascertain through the Governor of the Territory, whether the General commanding the Department of Arizona can issue arms and ammunition to the citizens of Prescott, should such a measure be deemed necessary for the purpose of rendering aid to the more exposed settlements in the vicinity of the Indian outbreak."
(The Weekly Arizona Miner; Prescott; September 16, 1881; page 1.)
"UPPER VERDE, Sept. 14, 1881. ED. MINER: --- The citizens of Upper Verde are now 'forted' at the residence of Mr. Green Clemm in self-protection from the Indians. This morning they organized a volunteer company electing D. W. Strahan, Captain, W. W. Nichols, Lieutanant, and Mr. Green Clemm as 1st Sergeant. A requisition for arms and ammunition was sent to Camp Verde. Scouts were sent out, and all are endeavoring to be in readiness to meet the red skins at any moment. Z. L. Kay." (The Weekly Arizona Miner; September 16, 1881; page 3.)
The home of the Clemm family, as shown on an 1877 survey map, was across the river from the school. There was an old adobe building in that area, which many years later became part of Dead Horse Ranch State Park. The 1880 Census (p. 470) lists the family as; Greenwood Clem, Rebecca Clem, and Maude Clem.
The extended members of the Strahan family were probably also "forted" at the Clem place. The Strahan family homesteads were east of "the cottonwood grove" with the school on property they donated on the far east side (at the Cottonwood Cemetery). The 1880 Census (p. 430 lists 38 people) includes: Alex and Malinda Strahan (married 12-01-1842) with James, Annie and Mollie; David W. and Susan Strahan (married in 1870 and reported to be the first settlers at "the cottonwoods"); Alfred and Caldora (Goddard) Strahan with Charles, Arthur, Peter and William; Martin and Catherine (Strahan) Osborn with Charles, Lulu, Peter, Mary and Charles Grimes (possible son of Barthenia Strahan who maried James Grimes). Not mentioned in the 1881 newspaper are the Van Deren family (8), Hawkins family (4), Bennett family (3) and Scrivner family (2).
The 1880 Census (p. 469A lists 49 people) includes: William and Lewsanda Nichols with William N., Carrie V., Eva, Alice E., Jesse, John P and Arthur; the Hawkins family (14) and others.
The 1880 Census contains the names of other people living in the Upper Verde and the prospectors working on Mingus, so the number of people "forted" at Clem's would probably be at least 50, and could have been more. It is also possible that some people sought protection in other places, or that they went to Prescott.
The details of what is now called the "Battle at Cibecue Creek" or the "Cibicu Massacre" differ in the 1881 reports and newspaper articles, and these differ somewhat from recent material available in books and on the web.