Siege of Tubac

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Siege of Tubac
Part of the American Civil War
Apache Wars
Fort Tubac in 1869.gif
Tubac in 1869, as a U.S. Army fort.
Date Four days in early August, 1861
Location Tubac, Arizona Territory;
now in Santa Cruz County, Arizona
Result Apache strategic victory, Confederate tactical victory
Belligerents
Confederate States of America Confederate States Apache
Commanders and leaders
Confederate States of America Granville Henderson Oury unknown
Strength
~25 militia
1 fort
~200 warriors

The Siege of Tubac was a siege of the Apache Wars, between settlers and militia of Confederate Arizona and Chiricahua Apaches. The battle took place at Tubac in the present day southern Arizona. The actual dates of this engagement have been lost to time.

Background[edit]

Apache warriors, over 200 strong, attacked Tubac sometime in early August 1861 and initiated a siege on one side of the presidio. Mexican bandits occupied the other side but stayed out of the major fighting. The towns people fought the Apaches for three days until sending a despatch rider to Tucson, requesting reinforcements.

A force of twenty-five militiamen, carrying a Confederate Flag and commanded by a Granville Henderson Oury, arrived at the town and fought off the final assault. The Apaches withdrew out of close range but continued to lay siege by stopping the ability of the militia to escape. Eventually, food and ammunition became short and the garrison, women and children chose to flee to avoid being completely massacred by the overwhelming Apache army.

The Arizonans escaped successfully after another skirmish on the last night, leaving Tubac to be burned by the native army and plundered by the Mexican bandits. The Americans headed back to Tucson, to the north, having completed their objective of rescuing the besieged Tubacans.

Aftermath[edit]

The Tubacans, with their town virtually gone, left Tucson at about August 15, 1861. Their destination was the Rio Grande, east of Mesilla. Before completing their journey, the Arizonans would be attacked again by Apaches, this engagement is known as the Battle of Cookes Canyon. The battle in Cookes Canyon resulted in the Battle of the Florida Mountains.

Charles D. Poston was one of the men who left Tubac as result of the siege, Poston, a Republican, supported the creation of an Arizona Territory separate from New Mexico Territory, which he discussed with President Abraham Lincoln after leaving Tubac.

After the Civil War Tubac was briefly home to a command of United States troops but no population existed. The town was abandoned into the 1880s. By 1908, Tubac was being rebuilt but still had a very small population of less than 200. As of today, 149 years later, only about 1000 people reside in the town. The casualties of the engagement are unknown.

An early map of Tubac and surroundings.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Cochise, Ciyé "The First Hundred Years of Nino Cochise" New York: Pyramid Books 1972
  • Kaywaykla, James (edited Eve Ball) "In the Days of Victorio: Recollections of a Warm Springs Apache" Tucson: University of Arizona Press 1970
  • Limerick, Patricia Nelson. The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West. N.Y.: W.W. Norton, 1987.
  • Thrapp, Dan L. (1979). The Conquest of Apacheria. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-1286-7. 

Coordinates: 31°37′32″N 111°3′7″W / 31.62556°N 111.05194°W / 31.62556; -111.05194