After the Apache leader Geronimo’s escape in April 1886, rumors of his whereabouts floated around, but soon his band of Apaches raided the Peck family ranch in the Santa Cruz Valley in modern day Arizona, killing Mrs Peck and a child. The Apaches took Mr Peck and another child captive.

Company K of the 10th Cavalry (one of the famed Buffalo Soldier units, the other being the 9th Cavalry [Buffalo! , I’m a veteran of D/2/9]), led by Captain Thomas Lebo, followed in hot pursuit for 200 miles through the Sonoran desert. When the troopers found him, Geronimo took his band up into the rocky heights of the Pinito mountains. A fire-fight ensued where 2 Apaches were killed and 1 wounded. Private Hollis of the 10th was killed and Corporal Edward Scott was critically wounded in the legs. Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke braved the hail of bullets and pulled Corporal Scott to safety. Geronimo escaped again, but was continually harried by the 10th and then the 4th Cavalry who re-engaged in the same area on 15 May 1886.

Clarke was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. Clarke later wrote to his mother about the actions and said this of Corporal Scott “The wounded Corporal [Scott] has had to have his leg cut off, the ball that shattered it lodging in the other instep. This man rode seven miles without a groan, remarking to the Captin that he had seen forty men in one fight in a worse fix than he was. Such have I found the colored soldier.”

Ride Suggestion

Take a ride from Tucson, Arizona through the Santa Cruz Valley and then on to Tombstone, Arizona.


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