Where you go into the range

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Where you go into the range

Post by djui5 »

Joe put up this post, and I wanted to answer it on it's own thread to prevent derailing the Ruth thread:
Randy,

It's a good theory. If you believe it's true, what part of the Superstitions seems to have been lessened as a location? East of Parker Pass, West Boulder, Needle Canyon or even Peter's Mesa?

What if they were just trying to get out of the interior, and took that wide'assed valley out to the Massacre Grounds? There is no place in the interior that can be traveled to or from, without passing through ambush sites.

Let's say you were in Aylor's Caballo Camp. Remembering there were no real (maintained) trails back then. You want to get to Goldfield. How would you go to avoid not being packed into a bunch of tight spots? Same question, except now you start from Willow Spring.

Joe Ribaudo

Joe,
My reasoning behind my posts is that if you were coming in from the South, say from Mexico, and you wanted to get to Iron Mountain, it would not make sense to go in at Goldfield unless you had a reason to go to Goldfield first. It would make more sense to travel East across the southern end of the range and go in from there somewhere. So in my opinion, this takes away the majority of the South East part of the range (East of Miners Needle) from being the location of the LDM.

I've long thought about the massacre grounds murders, and have arrived at a couple conclusions as to why they ended up there. I remember reading they tried to get out of the mountains in one direction, were turned back and would up trying to get out at Massacre grounds where they were killed.

My thought is that they were headed out of the range by going past Weavers Needle, got trapped in a canyon by the Indians, and turned around. Their only other exit would be through the Massacre grounds area. Going East wouldn't make any sense. They were headed south past Weavers Needle because they were working directly North of there, and that was the quickest route out. When your running for your life, you don't think about the best way to do anything, you find the quickest way to get away from your pursuers.

Another thought I had was that the Indians approached them from the North, and forced them to travel towards Weavers Needle, then the Mexicans somehow managed to get around them, heading towards Massacre Grounds where the Indians were waiting, expecting the encounter there.

I find it highly un-likely they headed straight for Massacre Grounds.

Something else to keep in mind, that I don't think has been brought up, is that the Mexicans were caught coming off of Bluff Springs mountain, and headed South as going North would run them into the Indians, and South was the quicker route out of the mountains.

I'm no expert on any of this, just sharing some of my crazy thoughts :)
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Where?

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Randy,

You would be on the money, if we actually knew where they started their run from, assuming they ran at all.

Just how many Apache would it take, back then, to wipe out a well armed gorup of Mexican miners. Which Apache had control of the area? Did they actuall spend a lot of time there?

You might want to consider another possibility. What if the Mexicans were actually working very close to the massacre grounds? If they were north of the main mountain and somewhere in the area of Willow Spring or Old West Boulder and came under attack, which way would you choose to flee?

The fact that there is an old arrastra very close to the Massacre Grounds, it seems likely they were working somewhere close. Why pack the ore to that site, if the mine is at Bluff Spring Mountain, Peter's Mesa or just about anywhere else in the range. You can build an arrastra just about anywhere in those mountains.

It seems a good bet to guess that the Mexicans killed close to that arrastra were working a mine close by. That does not mean it was the LDM, but that is the area that Julia Thomas started into at first. Brownie Holmes also started his "big" search from.

The marked Spanish Trail goes up Hog Canyon. Ruth and Bicknell went close to that area and Harry LaFrance said that is the area he found his cave in. Now there are a lot more clues that indicate Mexican activity in that part of the mountains, but each person will have to decide if they are important, or just a cluster of coincidences. Gold ore has also been found in that portion of the range.

A careful reading of the events around the death of Adolph Ruth will indicate where his body was actually found and who, most likely, tried to lead people away from that spot.

Joe Ribaudo
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Post by Ronnie Kelso »

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Open Forum

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Mr. Kelso,

This is an open forum, available to anyone who wishes to speak. Despite efforts to silence those who have something to say, no one has the right to deny any of us our freedom of speach.

The likelyhood of the Apache being slaves, in this part of the Southwest (the Superstition Mountains) is next to impossible. That area was controlled by the Mohave-Apache and the Tonto's.

The Apache slaves, for the Spanish/Mexicans, were primarily women and children and were usually, if not always, sent into Mexico.

There is water that would run off the main mountain on both sides of the arrastra, in the rainy season.

Hopefully the arrastra is still there and has not been torn apart by folks looking for a few "miniscule" flakes of gold. It would not surprise me in the least if it has been destroyed.

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Re: Where?

Post by djui5 »

Randy,

You would be on the money, if we actually knew where they started their run from, assuming they ran at all.
Exactly :) There's a lot to do with that range that will probably never be known for fact. There is really no way to definitly know, especially considering the amount of destruction involved with anything of importance in the area.
Just how many Apache would it take, back then, to wipe out a well armed gorup of Mexican miners.
Well that would depend on how they approached the situation. If they had the upper hand, trapping the Mexicans in a small box, and were great shots, it wouldn't take a lot. If they were battling like in a war, it would take more, as casualities could be pretty even handed. People can do amazing things when their life is in danger, especially in groups. Another thing to keep in mind is if the Apaches cornered them off by having groups at all exits. They would have had a large group (40 or so I guess) near Weavers Needle to intercept any exit to the South end of the range, they would have had another 40-60 up the North end of Le Barge Canyon, and another large pack near Massacre Grounds.

Another thought is they just found a way to corner the Mexicans with a couple smaller packs in a well executed plan. Say the Mexicans were headed out the South end of the range after packing up from Bluff Springs, ran into a couple packs of Apaches in a trap, turned around and headed North. Upon coming around the corner to head out of the range at First Water, they ran into another wall of Apaches, or the Apaches from the South followed them running up the main ranges ridgeline, then came down the North end of the mountain and cut off the Mexicans there with the aide of another smaller pack that was waiting out in the Goldfield area to trap them if they made it out.

So I feel that numbering the Apaches would greatly depend on how they executed their plan.

You might want to consider another possibility. What if the Mexicans were actually working very close to the massacre grounds? If they were north of the main mountain and somewhere in the area of Willow Spring or Old West Boulder and came under attack, which way would you choose to flee?

The fact that there is an old arrastra very close to the Massacre Grounds, it seems likely they were working somewhere close. Why pack the ore to that site, if the mine is at Bluff Spring Mountain, Peter's Mesa or just about anywhere else in the range. You can build an arrastra just about anywhere in those mountains.
This is the big puzzle, and brings up my biggest question. Why were they so close to the North end of the mountain? If I were being followed by packs of Apaches, and they were up high on a ridge following me, I'd head for open ground where I could get an advantage. Why didnt' they try to head out further north where it was more open? It's possible they were working close to Massacre Grounds, maybe just north of there, and the Indians attacked from the North. They then ran directly South for some reason, to the East of the main range, and were turned back by another pack of Apaches. Upon turning back, the only place they had to go was close to the range and try to get out to Goldfield area where they could fight back.
It seems a good bet to guess that the Mexicans killed close to that arrastra were working a mine close by.
See above. Also, another thought is that maybe these Mexicans WERE NOT the same Mexicans that had set up camp on Bluff Springs. Maybe they came up from Mexico, and set up camp near Massacre Grounds where working a mine was close by. They were ambushed there and killed trying to flee out of the range near Massacre Grounds.
The marked Spanish Trail goes up Hog Canyon. Ruth and Bicknell went close to that area and Harry LaFrance said that is the area he found his cave in. Now there are a lot more clues that indicate Mexican activity in that part of the mountains, but each person will have to decide if they are important, or just a cluster of coincidences. Gold ore has also been found in that portion of the range.
Joe Ribaudo

This is another possibility. I've been wanting to get up to Hog Canyon to see some things.

What if the miners killed at Massacre Grounds were near Hog Canyon working a mine, and were attacked by Apaches. This would explain their running close to the main range. They couldn't head South out of the range because the Apaches blocked them off, and headed North in a running fight. They stayed close to the range because that's where they started, and they were just running for their lives in the utmost fear a human being can have. Upon coming around the North end of the range, they were confronted by another pack of Apaches and killed there.

This would mean the arrasta would have belonged to someone else. Maybe this arrasta belonged to whoever was working the red paint mine? It's right in that area isn't it? Maybe that arrasta was from the earlier Mexicans, and not this bunch. Maybe this bunch were working a much richer mine than what was near Massacre Grounds, and it was just a coincidence they were killed there.

I, of course, can not prove any of this, it's just stuff I've considered when thinking about the murders.
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Post by djui5 »

Hello Randy, Mr Ribaudo, Forum,


I know I'm not part of this conversation but I was just curious about something.

What if the Apaches that attacked the Peralta's were their slaves in the mines rebelling against them to begin with?
Ronnie

You're always a part of any conversation Whether you choose to participate is up to you, and I welcome you here :)


Your theory is a very interesting one, and something I haden't thought of. It's possible of course, that they had slave workers, and they teamed up with the native Apaches to murder the Mexicans. Maybe the Apaches saw the slaves, became angered, and decided to kill the Mexicans. Maybe that's why this whole thing happened?

Then again, it could be as Joe said.
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Post by zentull »

I really don't believe that the Apaches would have made good slave workers..........if the Peraltas attempted that they committed genocide.

One point I didn't think was made was that the Massacre group may have split off and been looking to get out before the Apaches attacked. They may have just picked up the ore on hand and with a bit of fore warning tried to get out by a different route. They got caught before making open ground. The Apaches may have been waiting in that area for all we know.

Can't go by just where there is an arrastra. They can be found at a number of points of the compass. The Peraltas may have been familiar with the camp (possibly one of there own) in that area and that was the reason for attempting that escape route. The Massacre could have began there and followed back into the mountains for all we know or happened from different points. Scouts may have pinned them down until the main group caught up later.
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True......But......

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Zen,

What you say is true about the arrastras, but there is only one, as far as I know, where a massacre took place.

Perhaps the ore was being taken to the arrastra from the West Boulder area and the Mexicans were killed as they were going to the general area of the massacre grounds, and finished off at that spot.

The wide valley that flows eastward from the Massacre Grounds would be pretty easy sledding for the Peraltas, or whoever died at the site.

Just my opinion, don't mean to step on anyone's toes here.

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Post by djui5 »

This thread is all about opinions, as noone will ever know the truth I don't think :)

That's a good possibility zentull, that they were split up. Never thought of that.
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Post by zentull »

In bits and pieces of the Peralta tale it appears they may have had a little warning. I doubt they were taken by complete surprise. If that was the case they would not gotten far at all with the burros.

Knowing how leadership works in worst case scenarios, the Peraltas may have hoped to get what they wanted out and left behind a diversionary group. It could be logical that a dozen well placed riflemen could have held the Apaches back for a while. That group could melt away, being small in numbers after the other group made safe distance. If that was the plan it didn't work very well......

As you said Randy it is just opinion, but the biggest question I have had is why the Apaches waited so long ? It seems odd that they were allowed to operate as long as it is told. I don't buy the rape story at all.
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Slaves

Post by Knun »

I don't believe the idea of Apache slaves is something to consider. As was said, the mexicans primarily enslaved women and children and if the children grew up they were more peon than apache at that point. The idea of enslaving an apache warrior is not feasible.

As for the start of the battle, another thing to consider is the idea that the initial attack occurred just as the miners were preparing to leave the mountains. The animals would have been fully packed, heavy and easy to ambush.

There are many reasons as to why they attacked. Especially in those mountains. But I don't believe we'll ever know for sure.

Could be they were heading to the area where the 'raster is located. Maybe they sought help nearby.

Just some thoughts
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Good Thoughts

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Knun,

Actually those were some really good thoughts.

"I don't believe the idea of Apache slaves is something to consider. As was said, the mexicans primarily enslaved women and children and if the children grew up they were more peon than apache at that point. The idea of enslaving an apache warrior is not feasible."

"Could be they were heading to the area where the 'raster is located."

"Just some thoughts"

Glad to see you thought they needed repeating. Any chance you remember who "said" that? It's bad form not to name your source. :lol:

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Post by djui5 »

As you said Randy it is just opinion, but the biggest question I have had is why the Apaches waited so long ? It seems odd that they were allowed to operate as long as it is told. I don't buy the rape story at all.

That's a really big question. More important than what direction they were headed in.

I'm not sure about the rape story, those Mexicans are horny little boogers :lol:




**KIDDING!** (about the Mexican thing)
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topic

Post by Knun »

The Apache were patient warriors. Since their numbers were relatively small they took every precaution to ensure victory and minimal loss.

With that said if you waited until the entire group was ready to stirrup after harrasing them it could have been a good time to attack.

Apache would trail for long periods of time prior to attacking. Long periods of time. So patience was well known to their way of warfare.

Another thing to remember is that Apache means one thing to you and another to natives. You actually have to understand the difference to understand who was probably in the Sup's at any given time from 1850 on.

Let's all stay on topic please and share information and ideas. He said she said is counterproductive to the exchange.
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When?

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Knun,

Few of us really know much about the Apache, but wouldn't we want to know which ones were in the Superstitions before 1850, rather than after?
I know who was in there, but would be interested in who you think was there, and why you feel it's important "from 1850 on".

"Let's all stay on topic please and share information and ideas. He said she said is counterproductive to the exchange."

Since you made this comment part of the "topic", did someone appoint you the new hall monitor? :lol:

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1850

Post by Knun »

Joe,

Thats a good point about who was there.

I don't know who was there prior to 1850. But I would like to know.

Would you be willing to share that information with the forum?
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Apache.

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LDM
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Apache?

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Knun,

Did you get permission to speak directly to me? :lol:

I will do my best to answer your question, but Matthew and Peter could probably do a better job, and you wouldn't have to go far to ask them.

In truth, I believe the Apache presence in the Superstition Mountains is mostly myth, at least for the mid-1800s.

At that time, the area was under the control of the Yavapais, had been for generations, specificly the Kewevikopaya, who were the "Southeastern Yavapai", and the Iiwillkamepa of that group.

Combined, the Western Apache and the Chiricahua Apache only numbered a little over 5,000 people. Around 1,000 of that number were Chiricahua. Considering the number of women, children and old people, you can imagine there were not really that many warriors.

The Apache who might have been in the Superstitions, would have been the Tonto. The Northern Tonto intermaried with the Yavapais to the tune of around 50%. Even with that, they probably numbered less than 800 people.

Were there Apache in the Superstitions, sure. They pretty much went where they wanted. The Apache were mostly hunter/gatherers, mixed with raiding everyone. They followed the seasons. If they were there, it was just passing through or hiding, IMHO.

Others will have another opinion, but that will probably be based on the stories passed down through the generations. Thay may have the true story, but I am limited in my sources. Here, I have used the works of Grenville Goodwin, Dr. Gordon C. Baldwin, Dan L. Thrapp, Michael Melody and Timothy Braatz, as well as a few sources who will not be named. The only person, I believe, who may understand that on this site, is Matthew.

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Superstition Indian Battles

Post by Roger »

Would offer two thoughts on this topic:

1. From what I have read, the Mexican expeditions into the Supers consisted of a few Peraltas/Gonzales plus a larger number of peons. I would suspect that the leaders were well armed and skilled fighters, but the peons (read farmers) may or may not have been armed and even if armed, were probably not great shots. Waltz's story relates that this is why Don Miguel Peralta wanted he and Weiser to go with him to the Supers from Mexico. The Apaches may not have been facing that formidable of an adversary.

2. Helen Corbin includes in "The Bible on the LDM" on pages 276 to 285 excerpts from Wm. Edwards diary. He details how he returned to the Massacre Site and then back tracked the battle to Marsh Valley, finding signs of the battle back along the trail. He also found evidence of mining/milling on top of Peters Mesa. This would indicate that the battle started in La Barge and then went up toward First Water and out onto the Massacre Grounds for the last stand. The Peraltas would have known that this is the most open route to the desert where they could escape on horses/mules - suspect the Indians were afoot.

Roger
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"Afoot"?

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Roger,

"suspect the Indians were afoot."

Just wondered why you think the Indians would have been "afoot"?

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Yavapai ?

Post by Knun »

Joe,
I thought you were referring to specific people not bands or tribes. Oh, well.

Yes, the Kewevikopaya were predominant at that time in our area of interest. As far as subgroups there are two, the Walkamepa band and the Wikedjasapa band. Both of which were located nearby.

To pick out the Iiwilkamepa as the primary clan is correct but misleading. They were not the only clan nearby. Not even of the Walkamepa (with whom they belonged). The Ilihasitumapa, the Hakayopa, Hichapulvapa and possibly the Matkawatapa roamed close enough to be considered as well.

The Yavapai numbered around 1,000 in 1873 when they were removed to the Verde River Agency. So it can be assumed that their numbers were similar 25 years earlier.

With that said, the Yavapai were comprised of three distinct groups. The Kewevikopaya (southeastern), Yavepe (Northeastern) of the Verde Valley, and the Tolkepaya (Western) located around Wickenburg.

So of the antagonists, five clans of ten, of the Kewevikopaya (itself one of three) were probably living nearby in 1845-1850.

Using basic logic that would mean less than 175 Yavapai’ were in the area of the mountains. Of those, probably less than 50 were warriors within an area roughly thirty miles round.

So what does this all mean?

I would think the call to battle originated from a group of less than fifty. A number small, yet formidable. Fifty Yavapai with bows, clubs, and spears against fifty miners with muskets and some rifles in the mountains is a lopsided fight. Trying to put it in a little perspective could you imagine you and five friends traveling from Marsh Valley towards first water with five Yavapai doing a hit and run on your group as you go? Kinda like the “hills have eyes” on steriods I would imagine.

Drawing upon the resources of the tribe from the North, West, and the rest of the South this number of warriors possibly swelled to somewhere near two hundred in and about the mountains. This is only the Yavapai. It doesn’t include the Tontos or anyone else.

As LDM pointed out this could have occurred over a long period of time. Possibly multiple seasons in fact.

If one was to believe the stories of asking for help, and other tribes responding, reason would place a large force of warriors in these mountains.

I wonder how many miners were in those mountains?

What a sight it must have been.
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Indians Afoot

Post by Roger »

Joe,

I have read a couple of good articles on John D. Walker and his serving as commander of the Arizona Volunteers against the Yavapai-Apache starting in 1865. They had rancherias located at Garden Valley, Morman Flat, Mesquite Flat, and the Revis Ranch with smaller camps in upper La Barge Canyon, at First Water, Weaver's Needle, and Tortilla Creek. In the Indian War of 1865-1869 (Rancheria Campaign), the Superstition Mountain Campaign began in May of 1867 as troops left Ft. McDowell including the 14th, 23rd, and 32nd Infantries and Walker's Pima Scouts. There were 101 soldiers in this group.

Tom Kollenborn wrote a short article on this campaign in the SMHS Volume 12 (1992) titled "The Superstition Indian Wars" which included the following:

"When we think of Indian War Campaigns in Arizona, we often visualize mounted cavalry. The 14th, 23rd, and 32nd Infantries were all foot soldiers and these brave men pursued the Apache on foot in the rugged Superstition Mountain range."

If horses could have been used in the Supers, I'm sure the Army would have done it. And I certainly wouldn't think the Indians were mounted in those mountains either. This was in 1867.

Wm. Edwards was with the 1st Arizona Volunteers in 1866 when they discovered the skeletons at the Massacre Grounds. He estimated they had died two years earlier which would be about 1864. This would place the massacre just before the beginning of the Indian Wars by the Army. My conclusion would be that the Indians would have been afoot in the battle with the Peraltas. Could be wrong.

Roger

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Yavapai

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Mounted or Not

Post by Knun »

Great points Roger.

I would have to agree with you. Apache, at least, were known to prefer to fight on foot.

And how long would unshod horses last in the Sup's?

The Rancherias you discuss were probably composed of the clans in my post and by that time they had retreated to places of safety, so they thought.

Kind of makes you think about the miners going into that area during the Civil War.

Like poking a stick into a Hornet's nest.
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Apache On Horseback

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Roger,

I don't doubt any part of your post could be true. Horses have and can be ridden through most of the Superstition Range.

The period we were talking about, really had to do with 1850 and earlier.
The main reason after that period for an Indian presence in any numbers in the Supe's, had to do with pressure from the Army and the difficulty of a large troop approaching with any degree of stealth.

Retreat was a major concern for any group making a camp. By horse, or by foot, following them was never easy. In fact, with the Apache, the only way that could be done was by other Apache.

The writings of those who were there, show that the Apache and the Army both had horses in the Superstitions. Many a horse was destroyed in trying to keep up with the Apache. Foot soldiers had no chance at all.

Tom Kollenborn is a man who has ridden throughout the Superstitions and I would guess he has ridden a horse into "impossible" places. A few years back, we followed the tracks of a rider leading a packhorse over a number of miles.........No trail. You might say, off road. In places he had to cut brush to continue. I am talking 1" diameter branches. 8O

Not to say there was no infantry, there was, but the bulk of the campaigns were done by Calvalry.

Good sources, those who were there, are important in getting an accurate picture of what happened in the 1800s. That is a personal opinion, and I am not trying to step on anyone's toes here.

Joe Ribaudo
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