2nd USCT Infantry Regiment 1st USCT Infantry Regiment 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment 1861 Skirmishes 1862 Skirmishes 1863 Skirmishes 1864 Skirmishes 1865 Skirmishes Alternate Battle Names 3rd Regiment Alabama Infantry 1861-04-12 Battle of Fort Sumter 1861-04-15 Evacuation of Fort Sumter 1861-04-19 Riots in Baltimore 1861-05-07 Gloucester Point 1861-05-10 Camp Jackson 1861-05-10 Riots in St. Louis 1861-05-18 Sewell’s Point 1861-05-29 Aquia Creek 1861-06-01 Fairfax Court House I 1861-06-01 Arlington Mills 1861-06-03 Philippi 1861-06-05 Pig Point 1861-06-10 Big Bethel 1861-06-15 Hooe’s Ferry 1861-06-17 Vienna 1861-06-17 Boonville 1861-06-19 Cole Camp 1861-06-27 Mathias Point 1861-07-02 Hoke’s Run 1861-07-05 Carthage 1861-07-05 Neosho 1861-07-08 Laurel Hill 1861-07-11 Rich Mountain 1861-07-12 Barboursville 1861-07-13 Corrick’s Ford 1861-07-17 Scary Creek 1861-07-17 Bunker Hill 1861-07-18 Blackburn’s Ford 1861-07-21 Manassas I 1861-07-22 Forsyth 1861-07-25 Mesilla I 1861-07-27 Fort Fillmore 1861-07-28 Sinking of the Petrel 1861-08 Siege of Tubac 1861-08 Cooke’s Canyon 1861-08 Battle of the Florida Mountains 1861-08-02 Dug Springs 1861-08-03 Curran Post Office 1861-08-05 Athens 1861-08-07 Hampton 1861-08-10 Wilson’s Creek 1861-08-10 Potosi 1861-08-19 Charleston 1861-08-25 Mason’s Hill 1861-08-26 Kessler’s Cross Lanes 1861-08-28 Hatteras Inlet Batteries 1861-08-31 Munson’s Hill 1861-09-02 Dry Wood Creek 1861-09-02 Gallinas Massacre 1861-09-08 Placito 1861-09-10 Carnifex Ferry 1861-09-11 Lewinsville 1861-09-12 Cheat Mountain 1861-09-12 Lexington I 1861-09-17 Liberty 1861-09-19 Barbourville 1861-09-21 Fredericktown I 1861-09-24 Canada Alamosa 1861-09-27 Pinos Altos 1861-10-03 Greenbrier River 1861-10-05 Cockle Creek 1861-10-09 Santa Rosa Island 1861-10-12 Battle of the Head of Passes 1861-10-21 Ball’s Bluff 1861-10-21 Camp Wildcat 1861-10-21 Fredericktown II 1861-10-23 Big Sandy Expedition 1861-10-25 Springfield I 1861-11-03 Port Royal 1861-11-07 Belmont 1861-11-08 Ivy Mountain 1861-11-19 Round Mountain 1861-11-20 Skirmish at Brownsville 1861-11-20 Hunter’s Mills 1861-12-04 Bog Wallow Ambush 1861-12-09 Chusto-Talasah 1861-12-13 Camp Allegheny 1861-12-17 Rowlett’s Station 1861-12-19 Skirmish at Blackwater Creek 1861-12-20 Dranesville 1861-12-26 Chustenahlah 1861-12-28 Mount Zion Church 1861-12-28 Sacramento 1862-01-01 Crook’s 1862 Expedition 1862-01-03 Cockpit Point 1862-01-05 Hancock 1862-01-08 Roan’s Tan Yard 1862-01-10 Middle Creek 1862-01-11 Lucas Bend 1862-01-19 Mill Springs

Arizona

Start: 1861-08

Results:

Photo Gallery

Introduction

The Battle of Cookes Canyon was an engagement of the Apache Wars fought in the later part of August 1861, between settlers from Confederate Arizona, and Chiricahua Apaches. It occurred about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Mesilla, in Cookes Canyon. The exact date of the battle is unknown.

Background

In early August, a group of Arizonan refugees, from the Tubac area, abandoned their village due to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Fort Buchanan and the Siege of Tubac which left their homes burned. The bunch was known as the Ake Party, and their destination was the Rio Grande near Mesilla.

The wagon train consisted of six double wagons, two buggies, and one single wagon when it reached Tucson from the surrounding region. At Tucson, several other people joined the procession, which including Moses Carson, the half-brother of the famous scout and soldier, Kit Carson.

The party, now composed of twenty-four men, sixteen women, seven children, along with 400 head of cattle and 900 head of sheep, as well as horses and goats. The settlers, who were mostly miners and ranchers, left Tucson on or about August 15, 1861.

The large number of livestock would present an irresistible temptation to the Chiricahua Apache warriors under Cochise and Mangas Coloradas. The journey was uneventful until the party crossed the Mimbres River and made for the springs at Cooke’s Canyon within Traditional Arizona and the present day New Mexico.

Order of Battle

Battle

It is not known for sure whether or not Cochise and Mangas Coloradas were leading the Apache warriors. Most likely they were, being that they were the commanders of the combined Apache force which operated primarily in the present day southwestern New Mexico where Cooke’s Canyon is. When the last wagon had entered the canyon, the Apaches, estimated to number about 100, sprang their ambush by attacking and scattering the large group of livestock.

They then charged the wagons, and were stopped from getting into the wagons after a series of mounted counter charges by several men of the party. The wagons were maneuvered into a circle, and the settlers withstood a siege that lasted the remainder of the day. Eventually the Apaches took to the surrounding slopes, firing both arrows and bullets at long range.

The settlers responded as best they could from their wagon positions, killing several of the attackers which came in towards them on horseback and on foot. Finally, toward the end of the day the Apaches reatreated, taking their plunder of 400 cattle and 900 sheep with them. The settlers withdrew to the Mimbres. They had suffered a loss of four men killed and eight wounded.

The last wagon in the party, carrying most of the women and children, had turned about after the first shots were fired and fled back toward the Mimbres River. Unmolested by the Apaches, this wagon reached the settlement on the Mimbres safely and sent a plea for help to Pinos Altos, where the Arizona Guards were stationed. The Confederate troops responded to the report which led to the Battle of the Florida Mountains, two days later.

Aftermath

During the summer of 1861, the Apache warriors of Mangas Coloradas and Cochise massacred several other groups of settlers at Cookes Canyon. Apache warriors killed and mutilated a party of seven near the east end of the canyon. Near the same location, they massacred and mutilated nine Mexican herdsmen and stole their forty heads of cattle. Three whites of the same party were taken prisoner, tortured and killed later on. Fourteen American settlers were murdered on either July 25 or 26, 1861 and discovered by the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, soon after.

Again, near that same location they attempted to destroy the Ake Party. Over the months, Apache warriors left what one chronicler called “many bones, skulls, & graves” in Cookes Canyon. Eventually, the Apaches killed as many as 100 Americans and Mexicans in Cookes Canyon, making it the most feared passage on the trail from Mesilla to Tucson. According to historian Dan Thrapp, 150 whites were killed within sixty days during this period. Around the same time, the Mexican governor of Sonora estimated that 500 to 600 of his people were killed by the Apache on their side of the border.

Casualties

Total Killed Wounded Missing Captured
USA Battle Flag
CSA Battle Flag small
Combined Forces

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cookes_Canyon

2016 civilwartroops.org ©