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Big Dry Wash, AZ


Big Dry Wash

Coconino Co.

Scene of the last fight between U. S. troops and Apaches in Arizona.  Lieut. Col. A. W. Evans, 3rd Cavalry Commanding Officer, called it the "Battle of the Big Dry Wash," in his official report.  It was really on East Clear creek, in T. 13 N., R. 11 E.

"The fight was July 17, 1882, 3 to 6 p.m.  Lieut. Col. A. W. Evans commanding.  Indians were White Mountain Apaches under Na-ti-a-tish.  We found only twenty-two dead bodies.  I counted them myself the next day for the official record."  Letter General Thomas Cruse, May 18, 1929.

Forest officers have located the battlefield on East Clear creek west of where General Springs canyon enters that creek at northwest corner T. 13 N., R. 11 E. in Coconino N. F.  Named Big Dry wash is found on only one map, Eckhoff's of 1880, which was doubtless the army officer's source for the name.  Sitgreaves in 1851, called the present day Clear creek, "Big Dry Fork" q. v.

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