We went out to Fort Bowie for the Centennial of the U.S. Park Service. B Troop was there and we hiked in and around the fort. Fort Bowie was founded in 1862 by the California Column and name for one of their officers. Old Fort Bowie is on a hilltop above Apache Spring and was there to guard this important water source where the Battle of Apache Pass was fought for possession.
Nicholas Rogers was killed in April 1876 by Apaches. This incident led to the closing of the Chiricahua Reservation and the movement of Cochise’s Apaches to San Carlos. From the cross I learned that Rogers was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and fought for the Union in the Civil War. He partnered with Tom Jeffords on the mining claim known as the Brunckow, which is known as Arizona’s Murder House on Charleston Rd. He ran the Sulphur Springs Stage Station which was a ‘sporting’ venue for soldiers from Fort Bowie. He made the mistake of selling whiskey to Apaches and then refusing to sell them more and paid for it with his life.
Colonel John Finckle Stone with four infantrymen and a driver was killed in September 1869 when Cochise ambushed a stage, actually a buckboard carrying mail, near Dragoon Springs Station. Stone Ave. in Tucson is named for him. He was in his 20s. He had a mining operation near Fort Bowie. His murder led to a month long pursuit of Cochise that ended in the Battle of Turtle Mountain where so many MOH were awarded. Of this action, Cochise said: “I’ll never raid the mail again. It just ain’t worth it.” Or words to that effect.