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


Start: 1865-02-17

Results: Apache victory, Fort Buchanan destroyed

Photo Gallery


The Battle of Fort Buchanan, was an 1865 Apache attack on the United States Army post of Old Fort Buchanan in southern Arizona. Though a skirmish, it ended with a significant Apache victory when they forced the small garrison of California Volunteers to retreat to the Santa Rita Mountains. Fort Buchanan was the only American military post conquered during the war against the Chiricahua.


Due to the major civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865 and numerous conflicts involving the various native American tribes, the Union Army was stretched thin on the frontier. The southern half of New Mexico Territory and the newly created Arizona Territory joined the Confederacy in 1861 so troops in California were raised to occupy the region. After Lieutenant George Bascom’s 1860 confrontation with Chief Cochise, sometimes called the Bascom Affair, the Apache began attacking Union and Confederate troops across Arizona. By early 1865, the Chiricahua War was still being waged. According to reports at the time of attack, only nine American cavalrymen manned the fort which did not have walls and was just a collection of military buildings including a vedette station. Corporal Michael Buckley from Company L of the 1st California Cavalry commanded and with the eight others, he occupied the vedette station that was very similar to a small house.

Order of Battle


The battle began on the morning of February 17 twelve miles away from the fort when two surveyors of the General Land Office and a young Mexican boy were attacked. William Wrightson and Gilbert W. Hopkins were traveling from a ranch in the Santa Ritas towards the fort, presently three miles west of Sonoita. Suddenly dozens of Apache warriors opened fire with both rifles and bows. All were mounted and so a chase ensued in the direction of Fort Buchanan. The three had nearly made it there when they were overwhelmed and killed. The United States Army reported that the three did not attempt to defend themselves, no gunshots were heard and Corporal Buckley later said that he did not know that Wrightson and Hopkins were in the area. Mount Wrightson and Mount Hopkins, the two highest peaks of the Santa Ritas, were later named after the men.

Afterward, the Apache moved on to the nearby vedette station where Corporal Buckley was sitting on the porch while five other privates rested inside. The corporal did not know he was under attack and had beforehand sent two men to cut hay in a field nearby and one man to go hunting. The Apache achieved a surprise approach and commenced the attack by sniping the corporal. Buckley was still sitting on the porch when a warrior snuck up close to him and opened fire, a bullet lodged into Buckley’s thigh and he then raised his revolver and killed the warrior who fired the shot. Buckley then crawled inside the station as a swarm of warriors quickly surrounded the building. A private at this time opened fire while covering Buckley and killed a second native. The Americans took up defensive positions against an enemy estimated by Buckley to be around seventy-five men. They fired their rifles through the port holes and fought off a first attack at close range. From then on, the natives skirmished with the Americans at a further range.

Eventually, the Apache set fire to the building and several minutes later as the roof was caving in Buckley ordered his men to retreat. To do this they would have to charge through the enemy and into the surrounding hills. When the soldiers made their retreat, they fired wildly and were chased until reaching the hills where the Apaches gave up. Corporal Buckley and his men marched on foot to the mines in the Santa Ritas and reached safety. Private George English, the soldier that had been sent hunting before the attack, was never seen or heard from again. He was first recorded as missing until being presumed dead. The two soldiers that were cutting hay heard the sound of shooting and headed back to the fort, when they arrived they found it surrounded by warriors who were emptying the buildings of goods and burning them; they also retreated to the Santa Ritas and later rejoined their troop.


Two Apaches were confirmed to have been killed by Buckley who also said that because of the smoke from their rifles and the burning station, he could not tell if there were other casualties. Six horses were captured along with 250 rounds of ammunition, 200 rations, two carbine rifles and six United States Cavalry uniforms. On the following day, Captain John L. Miriam received news of the attack and proceeded to the fort with twenty-five men. Just outside the post, the bodies of Wrightson, Hopkins and the boy were discovered and buried. After examining the condition of Fort Buchanan, Captain Miriam ordered it abandoned and returned to Fort Tubac to the west where the rest of Company L was. Fort Crittenden was later built a half mile east of Fort Buchanan in 1867.


Total Killed Wounded Missing Captured
USA Battle Flag 1 fort destroyed 1 1
CSA Battle Flag small ~2
Combined Forces

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

2016 civilwartroops.org ©