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Extra info for Apache Tactics 1830-86
When the Hillsboro men arrived at Jaralosa they were outraged by what they found there. One William Bates, interviewed in 1940, recalled that the bodies showed evidence of extremely cruel deaths; even today, some descendants of people who lived in the area at the time recall this as an atrocity even by Apache standards. Almost before this ghastly spectacle had sunk in, the posse heard gunfire from the direction of McEvers Ranch, some 2 miles to the southeast of Jaralosa. The haphazard pursuit was continued in that direction, and the Hillsboro men ran piecemeal into an ambush in which between ten and 18 of them were reported as being killed.
At the end of April 1880, Victorio’s warriors struck the mining and ranching communities along the southern edge of the Mogollon Mts of New Mexico. It was reported that when the Apaches attacked some families who had “forted up” on one ranch near present-day Alma: The Indians were able to keep up a constant fire as fifteen warriors would drive up and fire then drop back to reload their guns and another fifteen would take their place thereby keep up [sic] a constant fire as they were always moving in a circle.
First, they did not panic, and formed a horseshoe-shaped defense; this faced the Apaches with the prospect of having to move in closer, at the cost of taking too many casualties themselves. Secondly, the approach of nightfall probably convinced the Apaches that the risks were too great and, being reluctant to fight at night, they used the darkness to withdraw. A direct attack such as that made on Conline was a rarity, but it does show what Apaches were capable of doing if they had superior numbers, modern weapons with plentiful ammunition, favorable terrain, and excellent leadership.