Indian Wars

Cibicu Creek

American Indians
Frontier Army
Newsletter and Events



Fighting at Cibicu Creek


Fort Apache, 8:30 PM, 2 September 1881

Adjutant-General, Whipple Barracks, Arizona:
Pursuant to orders from the commanding General, dated Aug. 13, to arrest the Indian doctor, Nockay-Delklinne, as soon as practicable, and formal request from agent, dated 14th, to arrest him when he came to hold his dances and incantations here, but he did not keep his appointment. I then sent an Indian scout with a message that I wanted to see him on Sunday, Aug. 28. I received an evasive answer from him, and next day marched with troops D and E, Sixth Cavalry, and Company A, Indian scouts, the command numbering 6 officers and 29 soldiers, and 23 Indian scouts. I reached his village on the 30th and arrested the medicine man. He professed entire willingness to come with me, said he would not try to escape, and there would be no attempt to escape, but as we were making camp our own scouts and many other Indians opened fire upon us, killed Capt. Hentig the first fire, and ran off the animals already turned out to graze. The medicine man was killed as soon as they commenced firing, and we drove them off after a severe fight, in which we lost Capt. Hentig, shot in the back by our Indian scouts as he turned to get his gun; four privates killed, one Sergeant and three privates wounded, two mortally. After burying the dead I returned as rapidly as practicable, arriving on Aug. 31. Some of the Indians had preceded me and had killed eight men on the road to Thomas. Next morning they made a demonstration against this post, attacked in the afternoon, but were repulsed. Our total loss is:
Killed.-Capt. E. C. Hentig, Sixth Cavalry; seven privates Troop D, Sixth Cavalry, and one private, Troop E, Sixth Cavalry; two privates Company D, Twelfth Infantry.
Wounded.-First Lieut. C. G. Gordon, Sixth Cavalry, in the leg; one Sergeant Troop E, and one private Troop D.
Also, 45 horses and 10 mules killed, wounded, and missing.
The command behaved with the utmost coolness and gallantry, and encountered danger, hardship, and fatigues with the greatest cheerfulness in spite of the sudden and most traitorous nature of the attack. In the midst of the camp officers and soldiers sprang to their arms and defeated the plan of massacre, and subsequently held this post, and are ready for further service. We require 59 horses and 10 pack-mules. The officers here are major Cochran, Twelfth Infantry; Capt. B. McGowan, commanding Company D, Twelfth Infantry; First Lieut. C. G. Gordon, Sixth Cavalry, Post Quartermaster, wounded; William Stanton, commanding Troop E, who moved forward with skirmishers and most handsomely cleared the savages out of the bushy bottom close to camp; W. H. Carter, Regimental Quartermaster, Sixth Cavalry, Adjutant, and commanding Troop D after Hentig's death; Second Lieut. Thomas Cruse, commanding Company A, Indian scouts, and afterward Troop D, Sixth Cavalry, on the march and battle here. Assistant Surgeon George McCreery, United States Army, who, besides skillfully performing his personal duties, used a carbine effectively. My young son, Clark M. Carr, accompanied the expedition, and deserves to have his name mentioned in the dispatches. There are 45 civilians here who are assisting in the defense of the fort, and I am rationing such as require it. I armed the four prisoners, two of whom belong to the Ninth Cavalry. They fought bravely, and I recommend that their offenses be pardoned. I received no dispatches from you later than Aug. 14 till after my return. Then came those of the 15th, which are the last now at hand. I am confident that the Indians have been preparing for this outbreak six months. Coobry, who is here, says so; also, Phipp, whose employe, Culled, was killed. There have been only a few Indians around the post to-day.

[General] CARR, Commanding.