Mon, Feb. 17

Verde Heritage 1866: CAMP LINCOLN; 2 Fishermen Killed and a Wedding May 1

During April of 1864, the War Department authorized Territorial Governor John N. Goodwin to raise a volunteer regiment for 1 year of federal duty in Arizona Territory. Recruiting began the following summer. The First Arizona Volunteer Infantry consisted of 5 companies with a total of just over 350 men enlisted mostly from the Mexican, Pima, and Maricopa population. Company A and Company E would eventually be assigned duty in the Verde Valley.

Dr. Edward Palmer, the post surgeon, who had arrived on the Verde during August of 1865, wrote during January of 1866, that Captain Hiram S. Washburn was the ranking officer at new Camp Lincoln. The troops were "a mixed command; a few white men, several of that variously tinted race called Mexican, and many Indians belonging to tribes in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. There were 3 Apaches among them; they had been taken prisoners by Mexicans when children and brought up away from their tribe and were as fierce to hunt Apaches as any. ... Now that they had command of a post Captain Washburn determined to prepare his men to take the field against the Apaches, and see if they could not conquer the Apaches." "Palmer"

Report of Captain Washburn: The command consisted of Company A, Lieutenant Cervantes, 35 men, and Company E, 88 men, and one Second Lieutenant.

The First Arizona Volunteer Infantry at Camp Lincoln consisted Captain Hiram S. Washburn in command, 123 enlisted men, 16 women, Post Surgeon Dr. Edward Palmer, and 2 officers who were:

Primitivo Cervantes, a Prescott miner, enlisted at Wickenburg on June 29, 1865. He was mustered into the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry as a Second Lieutenant at Fort Whipple on September 13, 1865. He was in charge of Company A, which left Fort Whipple to go to the Verde on October 22, 1865. Company A camped near the confluence of the Verde River and Clear Creek until January of 1866, when they moved about 6 miles up the river and established new Camp Lincoln near the confluence of the Verde River and Beaver Creek. Second Lieutenant Cervantes was discharged on May 15, 1866.

Manuel Gallegos was born in Mexico. He was 45 years old when he was mustered into the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry at Calabasas on November 3, 1865, and served as a Second Lieutenant in Company E. They arrived at new Camp Lincoln during January of 1866. Mrs. Gallegos accompanied them. Second Lieutenant Gallegos was mustered out at Fort Whipple on November 7, 1866.

Conditions at Camp Lincoln were very poor. Bvt. Gen. Mason had ordered that "no buildings of any kind will be erected at any of the Posts, other than such as may be necessary for the protection of supplies --- and for the sick. These will be of the most temporary kind; and no quarters other than shades or shelter for the troops will be made. The posts will habitually be left with but a sufficient guard for their protection. The balance of the troops will be kept constantly on the move after Indians --- returning to their posts only to refit and for supplies."

Dr. Palmer commented: "The provisions of the above paragraph will do for them, who lived in luxury and out of harms way, while the troops in the field had no tents, deficient clothing, and half rations. As was the case at Camp Lincoln where I was stationed, there were no buildings. As we were on scouts every two weeks --- and with very indifferent food and clothing --- it was found very hard and at the post there were no quarters. The men built their shelters of willow branches and poles with earth on the top. My quarters I had to hire built, using reeds for sides, roof, and doors, lining the inside with blankets, being allowed no better. This dark, dirty, miserable hovel was all I could get for dwelling and Dispensary while I was stationed at Camp Lincoln as Post Surgeon."

Roque Ramirez was born in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico. He had worked as a miner, and was 33 years old when he enlisted in the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry at Tubac, Arizona Territory, on August 3, 1865.

Report of Captain Washburn: "On the 26th, Private Roque Ramirez had permission to go hunting, and after his return at roll call, went out fishing, and the next morning was found dead in the river about one mile below the post. He was killed by Indians, and his arms, clothing, ammunition, all taken."

"Dr. Palmer, writing to the Arizona Governor from Camp Lincoln, February 25, says: 'As two of the Arizona Volunteers were fishing yesterday within sight of the camp, they separated, one returning to camp while the other remained. As the remaining man did not return, this morning a party went in search of him, and found his body stiff and cold, with three arrow wounds. His body was brought into camp. He leaves a wife, but no children.'" (Arizona Miner; Prescott; March 14, 1866; page 3.)

John Broderick was born in Galway, Ireland. He was 37 years old when he enlisted in the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry at Fort Whipple on June 24, 1865. He was killed on April 20, 1866.

"John Broderick, of the Arizona Volunteers, was lately killed while fishing not far from Camp Lincoln. He had been warned against going out alone, but took the risk, and was attacked by Indians. His body was found pierced by 8 arrows, the scalp taken, and the head nearly severed from the body. It will be remembered that Broderick, while placer mining on Lynx Creek last summer, killed his partner in an altercation regarding the work in which they were engaged." (Arizona Miner; Prescott; May 9, 1866; page 3.)


Dr. Edward Palmer wrote: "The harassing manner of going over the country fighting the Apaches afoot, with those so near like himself, using his kind of warfare, woke him up, for he patrolled around as near the camp as he felt safe, and killed any unfortunate straggler from camp. Two were killed but a short time apart having gone down the river and not out of sight of the camp, to fish. There was great excitement in camp; vengeance was uttered."

"No lumber being allowed the post, hence no coffin could be made, so the dead were wrapped in their blankets, placed on poles, taken to a hill near by and the whole command as mourners, following. A soldier acted the part of priest and the females of the soldiers (Mexican and Indian) acting or assisting the men in the burial ceremonies by singing the rites of the Catholic Church. At the grave a salute was fired and rocks piled over to keep out wild animals. These two were the first buried on the Rio Verde."

"One of the men left a lawfully wedded wife, who was soon beset with would be husbands. She applied to the commanding officer for his opinion of the best man and it was given and the parties formed their plans accordingly, and the command was appealed to not only for permission to go and get married but for advice as to method to be pursued before the Justice." [Insert] "The woman had lost a good partner in the service of the U.S. and to find her another and to prove to them there was a way to be married just as legal and binding as that performed by their church ... was new business for me."

"There being no other available man and as I was going to Fort Whipple for supplies, I was requested by the commander to see them legally married. On arrival at Ft. Whipple, found a Justice of the Peace, but he could not talk Spanish, so procured an interpreter. Several gentlemen from Prescott were invited to be present as well as the officers of Fort Whipple. The ceremony was to be performed at the trader's house. The bride and groom with their friends were arranged on one side of the room and on the other the visitors; in the middle the Justice and interpreter. They soon made them man and wife."

"The congratulations over, cigars were handed around (all the females smoked) while the Justice drew up the certificate. It was signed by the bride and groom by mark, and then by the Justice and interpreter, then by the commanding officer at Fort Whipple, then by myself as surgeon of the post to which the groom belonged, then by several other officers and citizens with rank and etc. The Justice affixed his official seal and the governor (Mr. McCormick) attached the Seal of the Territory to this, the best marriage certificate ever possessed by any citizen of Mexico, and a prouder pair were hardly to be found. their new document was the admiration of their countrymen."

"I returned to Camp Lincoln feeling that I had fulfilled my promise. The cost was my special privilege, some $28, to make them happy was cheap." "Palmer"

"A MARRIAGE. --- When Dr. Palmer came here from Verde, a few days since, he had in his escort a soldier of Captain Washburn's company, and a female attache of that company, a widow, who came to town to be married. Justice [Samuel E.] Blair (our most popular person) tied the conjugal knot, at the sutler's store, on Tuesday, 1st inst. Most of the officers of the fort were present, and contributed wine liberally, so that the occasion was made one of great jollity. The Mexicans, being fond of form, were given a Certificate of Marriage signed by the Justice and all in attendance, and afterwards the Acting Governor certified in due form, with the great seal, that Blair was duly authorized to marry. The parties to the happy union were Senor Loreto Hernandez and Dona Maria Antonia Rosetto. Having 'been there before,' we presume the fair bride was not so much afraid of the shock of matrimony as to have to take chloroform, as in the good story elsewhere copied from a California paper. She probably 'felt no fear,' and we wish her and her Apache-killing husband untold tortillas and frijoles, and a long line of fandango loving heirs. The tender pair, and Dr. Palmer, all apparently very happy, left, with 2 wagon loads of rations, for Camp Lincoln on Friday morning." (Arizona Miner; Prescott; May 9, 1866; page 3.)

Loreto Hernandez was born in Ures, Sonora, Mexico. He was 35 years old when he enlisted in the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry at Tubac, Arizona Territory, on August 21, 1865. He was mustered out at Fort Whipple on September 13, 1866.


Manuscript pages from the "Edward D. Palmer Collection" at the University of Arizona Library at Tucson, courtesy of Bill Cowan.

"A History of the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry, 1865-1866;" by Lonnie E. Underhill; published by the Roan Horse Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1983; and "Dr. Edward Palmer's Experiences with the Arizona Volunteers, 1865-1866;" edited by Lonnie E. Underhill; Arizona and the West.

"History of Arizona;" by Thomas Edwin Farish; published by Filmer Brothers Electrotype Company, Phoenix, Arizona; 1916; "Report of Captain H. S. Washburn;" September 20, 1866.


The Verde Independent: "1865 SETTLEMENT: Military Detachment Arrives August 27;" August 27, 2012; and "1865: CAMP LINCOLN NAMED; December 20;" December21, 2012; and "1866: NEW CAMP LINCOLN, January;" January 6, 2016; and "1866; Company E, First Infantry, Arizona Volunteers, Ordered to go to Camp Lincoln;" January 8, 2016.

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