The Southwest during the mid-1800s was a dangerous place to be, as the westward migration of American settlers met resistance from American Indian tribes led by famed chiefs, including Geronimo and Cochise.
As the clash between cultures intensified, isolated skirmishes escalated into full-blown battles. Many soldiers, settlers, and American Indians lost their lives in notable clashes, including the Bascom Affair and the Battle of Apache Pass.
For nearly 30 years, the U.S. military based at Fort Bowie staged operations against the Chiricahua Apaches, in what became known as the “Apache Wars.” The fighting subsided only after Geronimo surrendered in 1886, and the Apaches were forcibly relocated to Alabama and Florida.
Fort Bowie National Historic Site explores this tense and formative period, with educational exhibits and a walking tour of the fort’s remains. The tour includes the post cemetery, a replica Apache wickiup (wigwam), Apache Springs, and ruins of the Butterfield Stage Coach Station, which was a stopping point for U.S. mail on the route between Memphis and San Francisco.