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«Item type text; Electronic Dissertation Authors DeJong, David Henry Publisher The University of Arizona. Rights Copyright © is held by the author. ...»

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good many implements for farming and fine lands to enclose and increase their farming operations.”203 While the San Xavier Papago and local Mexican settlers near Tucson selected a “water Alcalde” to oversee the division of the water from the Santa Cruz River, this pertained to the Santa Cruz Valley, not the Gila Valley. Nonetheless, Mowry and Walker focused government attention on protecting Pima water rights, as “any extensive cultivation” above the villages would create challenges for Pima water users. Charles Poston, appointed Arizona Territory’s first Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1863, foresaw “discontent and disturbance” if settlers established farms and towns above the Pima villages.204 The beginning of the American Civil War illustrated two important themes. First, Pima wheat and corn was critical to the war effort, both for the invading Confederacy and the occupying Union forces. Neither could adequately control the territory without access to the Pima wheat market. Secondly, the Pima villages and presence were critical to the war effort. The Indians protected the communication lines, served as an auxiliary force during post occupation of the territory and, because of their hospitality and friendship, aided the United States, only to be repaid by the expropriation of their land and resources

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after the war. When the war ended in 1865, the Pima were at the zenith of their agrarian economy. By 1870, their sovereignty was diminished and they were no longer in control of their own destiny.

The 1860 decennial census for the first time included the Pima and Maricopa, estimating 7,291 acres of land in cultivation within the villages. David Miller, the census enumerator for “Arizona County,” arrived in the villages in November and placed the population at 3,714, of whom 3,320 were Pima. Seven hundred thirty-six farmers cultivated an average of 9.9 acres each. More than 194,000 bushels of wheat, 252,000 bushels of corn and 8,000 bushels of beans were grown, as shown in table 1.

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Assuming Miller’s enumeration included all cultivated land, the extent of agriculture in the villages was fifty percent lower than St. John’s estimate of 15,000 acres in 1859. Miller’s tabulation, however, was made in just ten days and he did not account

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15,120,000 pounds of corn in 1860. In addition, they harvested 480,000 pounds of beans, 9,200 pounds of cotton, 4,978 pounds of tobacco, 1,950 gallons of saguaro preserves and had more than 700 cows, oxen and cattle. Walker reported that same summer the Pima had “extended their planting operations far beyond any previous year,” suggesting Miller may have underestimated his count.205 The Pima sold a minimum of 400,000 pounds of grain to the Overland Mail Company and at least 40,000 pounds to Ammi White, a resident trader and miller who arrived in the villages in the spring of 1860.206 With the election of Abraham Lincoln as President, in November 1860, the Pima villages and their crops of wheat and corn found themselves squarely in the sights of both the Confederacy and the Union. Walker left the territory in December, his political sentiments strongly allied with the South. Collins then detailed Lorenzo Labadie to Arizona as Indian agent for the “Gadsden Purchase Indians,” but he never made it to Tucson, being met by Southern sympathizers near Las Cruces and forced to return to Santa Fe.207 By the spring of 1861, Southern sympathizers and Apaches closed the Overland Mail route. In July, all three federal military posts in Arizona County—Ft.

McLane, Ft. Breckinridge and Ft. Buchanan—were abandoned.208 White and his business partner Ebenezer Noyes continued to operate their mill and store at Casa Blanca. Assured of his allegiance, Union Captain George Andrews 205 “Walker to Collins,” dated June 8, 1860.

206 Daily Alta California, dated December 14, 1860, p. 1. Ross J. Browne, Adventures in Apache Country (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1974, reprint of the 1950 edition), pp. 110-111.

207 “Superintendent James L. Collins to William P. Dole, Commissioner of Indian Affairs,” dated Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 25, 1861, in RG 75, M23, Roll 550. “James A. Lucas to Dr. Lorenzo Labadi,” dated Mesilla, 14 de Junio de 1861, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume IV, (Washington, DC: GPO, 1882), p. 39 (hereafter War of the Rebellion).

208 Constance Wynn Altshuler, Military Administration in Arizona, 1854-1865, Journal of Arizona History (10:4), Winter 1969, p.


119 solicited White’s involvement to report any seditious activity.209 Nonetheless, with federal troops withdrawn from the territory, The Mesilla Times hinted at the possibility of the Confederacy arming the Pima and Maricopa to protect Tucson from hostile Apaches.210 In the meantime, the Pima planted their crops in the winter of 1862 expecting a robust market in the spring.211 White purchased Pima wheat and corn on behalf of the California Column, Union volunteers marching east from California under the command of Colonel James H.

Carleton. When Confederate troops invaded New Mexico and Arizona, Union Major General George McClellan ordered the volunteers into Arizona to repel the Confederate invasion. The only settled source of food and forage throughout southern Arizona were the Pima villages and Tucson. Assured of his loyalty, Carleton directed White “to purchase all [available] wheat” from the Pima and Maricopa.212 Over the winter of 1862, the column assembled at Fort Yuma and began laying up supplies for the advance across Arizona.213 Major Edwin Rigg, in command of Fort Yuma with the advance troops, reported to Carleton that “a large number of men” under Confederate Captain Sherod Hunter were in the territory aware the Pima had a “large quantity of wheat … and they [are] in want of it.” Rigg was concerned about the wheat at 209 “Captain George Andrews, Fort Yuma, to Ebenezer Noyes and Ammi White,” dated August 9, 1861, in RG 109, M323, Roll 182.

“A.M. White to Lieutenant Colonel George Andrews,” dated Pima Villages, August 23, 1861, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, (Washington, DC: GPO, 1897), p. 588.

210 The Mesilla Times, August 24, 1861, p. 2.

211 “Ammi White to General James Carleton,” dated Pima Villages, January 16, 1862, RG 393, Entry 3662, Miscellaneous Records of the Column from California, 1862.

212 “Report of Surgeon James M. McNulty, U.S. Army, Acting Medical Inspector,” dated October 1863, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part 1, p. 139.


War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part 1, pp. 136-137. Ray C. Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories (Norman:

University of Oklahoma Press, 1959), p. 101.

120 White’s mill, fearing it would fall into the hands of the Confederacy.214 Antonio Azul requested permission to travel to Fort Yuma and discuss matters with Rigg.215 To alleviate Pima concerns and to secure food and forage for federal purposes, Brigadier General George Wright proposed garrisoning a sub-depot at the Pima villages, to be guarded by one company of cavalry and one company of infantry. Wright believed fresh meat and flour could be secured at the villages “at fair prices.”216 White continued purchasing Pima wheat, reportedly taking in “from 140 to 180 sacks per day,” producing 200 pounds per hour.217 Concern over the Pima wheat supply resulted from the Confederate invasion of New Mexico Territory in July of 1861. The Confederacy eyed the mineral potential of the Southwest as a means of financing the war effort in the east. While the gold fields of California were the primary focus, there were deposits of precious metals in Arizona, New Mexico and Sonora.218 On its own merit, Arizona was not a major goal of the Confederacy, although it was an essential corridor through which the Confederacy would have to pass to reach California. While sympathies in southern Arizona lay with the Confederacy, an adequate supply of food and forage crops was essential to any penetration across the territory. Outside of California, only the Pima villages had the requisite supply of food for such an undertaking. Pima and Maricopa crops, therefore, were vital to both the Confederate and Union armies.

214 “Edwin A. Rigg to Colonel J.H. Carleton,” dated Fort Yuma, January 17, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part 1, p. 809. “Edwin A. Rigg to Colonel James H. Carleton,” dated Fort Yuma, January 19, 1862, ibid, p. 825.

215 “Rigg to Carleton,” dated February 14, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part 1, p. 866.

216 “Brigadier General George Wright, Headquarters District of Southern California, to Major R.C. Drum, Assistant Adjutant General, San Francisco,” dated Los Angeles, California, February 18, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part 1, p. 873.

217 “Edwin Rigg to Lieutenant B.C. Cutler,” dated Fort Yuma, March 1, 1862, enclosure No. 1 (Statement of Walker) and enclosure No. 3 (letter of Ammi Wheat), in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part 1, pp. 898-900.

218 “John R. Baylor to General Earl Van Dorn, Commanding Department of Texas,” dated Fort Bliss, August 14, 1861, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume IV, p. 23.

121 Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor of the Texas Mounted Rifles mapped out an offensive into western Arizona, selecting Captain Sherod Hunter to lead it and “secure (the) aid and goodwill” of the Pima. It was of “utmost importance” to “make a treaty” with the Pima in order to acquire their flour, wheat, corn and hay.219 In February 1862, Hunter took possession of Arizona, occupying Tucson unopposed on February 28.220 While the Santa Cruz Valley provided Hunter and his eighty mounted troops with ample supplies, he was aware that wheat and corn at the Pima villages would enable the California Column to continue its eastward march against the Confederacy. Carleton, too, was aware of the importance of Pima and Maricopa wheat and the likelihood of its capture.221 Capturing or controlling the Pima wheat market was critical to the Confederacy, both for its hope of holding the territory and for preventing the Union advance from securing the grain.222 Hunter marched to the Pima villages on March 3 to capture the wheat supply, catching the Pima and White by surprise. White was arrested and captured for “purchasing wheat &c., for the Northern troops.” Hunter then established an amiable relationship with the Pima and urged General Henry Sibley to appoint a Confederate Indian agent for the two tribes to cultivate a political relationship and facilitate the purchase of Indian wheat. For unexplained reasons, Hunter did not negotiate a treaty as 219 “Report of John R. Baylor,” dated Fort Bliss, September 24, 1861, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume IV, p. 109. Boyd Finch, Sherod Hunter and the Confederates in Arizona, Journal of Arizona History (10:3) Autumn 1969, p. 202. “Letter from Thomas Robinson,” in “George Wright to Brigadier General Lorenzo Thomas,” dated San Francisco, January 29, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume IX, p. 628.

220 When Union troops withdrew from Tucson the previous July, they burned William Grant’s flour mill and grain fields to prevent them from falling into Confederate hands. See Finch, p. 146. Charles Poston noted “The smoke of burning wheat fields could be seen up and down the Santa Cruz Valley, where troops were in retreat, destroying everything before and behind them.” Charles Poston, Building a State in Apache Land, (Tempe, Arizona: Aztec Press, 1963), p. 104.

221 “Rigg to Carleton,” dated January 17, 1862, p. 809.

222 “Statement of Walker,” in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, pp. 898-900.

122 Baylor had expected, even though he acknowledged Pima sovereignty over their lands and villages.223 In the process of capturing the mill and wheat supply, Hunter controlled 1,500 sacks of wheat (150,000 pounds) that White purchased for the Union advance. Lacking the means to transport the wheat to Tucson and not wanting to destroy it for fear of alienating the Pima, Hunter returned the grain to the Indians, hoping to effect a policy of goodwill. He then occupied White’s house and awaited the arrival of the rumored train of fifty federal wagons en route to collect the wheat and transport it downstream. The train never arrived, but Union Captain William McCleave did. Riding with ten federal cavalry in front of the main body of troops, McCleave rode into a trap. Entering Maricopa Wells ten miles west of Casa Blanca, the captain stopped and left seven men behind before proceeding with a small detachment to White’s mill, where he arrived early in the morning on March 18. Appearing at the entrance to White’s residence, McCleave expected to be greeted by the trader, whom he had never met. Unsuspectingly, the captain entered the house unarmed and was captured.224 Carleton, hoping to catch McCleave and White before they were sent as prisoners of war to Mesilla, ordered a Union offensive on April 6, sending Captain William Calloway and 272 men up the Gila to take possession of the Pima villages. Low on grain, the Union troops took empty grain sacks along for the purpose of purchasing wheat from the Pima. Ten thousand yards of manta (and old army uniforms) were transported to the villages to purchase wheat and other supplies. To ensure cooperation, Calloway was

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