November 5, 1871
2007 - Grave of Frederick W. Loring at Wickenburg Massacre
Photo courtesy: Glenda Simmons
Legends of historical events will continue to have varying versions as time goes on. Fact being from the day the event occurred and was written about, there are likely several versions of the same occurrence depending on who was telling the story or who was interviewed.
Current research into Custer’s Last Stand has revealed it
wasn’t as the historians would have us believe for more than a decade. Actually
it turns out it was Custer’s
Another invalid point in history; Left Handed Billy the Kid, when someone discovered they processed the negative, it was reversed and Billy the Kid was in fact, right handed. Someone discovered the breach on the Winchester Billy was holding was on the left side of the gun in the picture, when in fact all breaches are on the right hand side.
Similar to three people seeing the same accident today, they tell three different versions of the same incident. Keeping in mind communication in those days relied on eye witness interpretation. As time goes by, evidence and memories are lost, reality becomes diluted from fact. Most accounts of historical events were pure speculation and Saloon gossip. You’ve heard the expression “Perception is Reality”.
There are recorded documents that can relive a situation, but exactly how accurate is this information?
Wickenburg Saddle Club at Massacre Site
In 1988 members of the Wickenburg Saddle Club placed a plaque at the Wickenburg Massacre Site in remembrance of the tragic event.
Pat Ryland beside three graves at Wickenburg Massacre.
Two graves are male, closest to the camera identified with 7 stones, is a female.
Photo courtesy: Glenda Simmons.
November 5, 1871 at 8:00 AM found a band of eight to ten
Apache Mohave Braves under the command of Chief Ochocama attacking the west
bound C & A Stage from Wickenburg to Ehrenburg on the
Such is the original Wickenburg Massacre site today. Graves of, Fredrick W. Loring (New England journalist), C.S. Adams, John Lanz, Fred W. Shoholm, W.G. Salmon, P.M. Hamel (found scalped).
Mr. Kruger and Mollie Sheppard, escaped the massacre but Mollie Sheppard suffered three gun shots, one dangerous and died of her wounds. Mr. Kruger received one gun shot wound through the right armpit, coming out on the shoulder and two shots in his back.
Mr. Loring, the stage driver and Mr. Adams were on the creek side of the coach and were killed on the first volley of shots by the Indians. A second volley of shots rang out from three directions, both sides of the stage and from the rear.
Grave of male passenger on stage that was ambushed West of Wickenburg.
Photo by: Glenda Simmons 2007
Six graves can be identified within a twenty foot radius of the main grave with a wooden cross in a stacking of rocks. Acknowledged to be the grave of Fredrick W. Loring.
L-R: Bonnie Helten, Pat Ryland, Jennel Breuer, Cindy Enos, Neal Du Shane
Grave of Fredrick W. Loring at Wickenburg Massacre
Photo courtesy: Glenda Simmons - 2007
Interestingly of the six graves there is one woman’s grave.
Could this lone female grave be Mollie Sheppard? Some believe this is the case,
others say she went on to
The graves are laid out in a manner that would suggest they were buried where they fell. There is no pattern to the graves.
We walked about seventy five feet east of the graves of the Massacre victims and found rocks laid out in a straight line. Upon researching this second area we identified the graves of seven more males, two of which are believed to be Indian’s. But where did these graves come from? Was there a community here, was there a stage station, were these grave’s ranch hands?
Area east of Wickenburg Massacre site. Believed to be the road coming from Wickenburg, the stage was traveling west, just before the massacre.
Photo courtesy: Glenda Simmons – Nov. 2007
The land is very flat and ideal for building a ranch home or stage stop in this area with the creek running to the north of this landmark. The creek is ideal for ambush especially when the stage coach was on the south bank.
Photo Courtesy: Glenda Simmons
On the trip to the Wickenburg Massacre site you travel through interesting history, that being an abandoned Ranch. On the first trip to Wickenburg Massacre I noticed what looked to be graves. When we returned going back home we verified 6 or 7 graves we believe were ranch related.
L-R: Pat Ryland, Jenell Breuer, Neal Du Shane, Cindy Enos, Kevin Hart
Photo courtesy: Glenda Simmons
Frederick W. Loring and his mule “Evil Merodach”. Expedition of 1871
Photographer T.H. O’Sullivan
Saturday, April 18, 1925, p8
Indian Massacre Mystery of Over Fifty Years Ago
Historic Frontier Murders That Developed Into Indian Feuds and Fights
The following story from the Journal Miner of Prescott of November 11, 1871, relates a bloody affair in which five men were murdered by a band of Indians (or Mexicans dressed as Apaches or whites dressed as Apaches) by ambushing the stage on the old road nine miles northwest of Wickenburg.
"At a point nine miles from Wickenburg, a party of mounted men, either Indians or Mexicans disguised after the fashion of Apache warriors, rushed down upon the stage and as it was passing through a canyon and fired a volley into the passengers killing all but two persons, and slightly wounding these.
"The wounded Mr. Krueger and Miss Sheppard, not being disabled, sprang from the stage and started together towards Culling's station, while one detachment of the blood-thirsty demons surrounded the stage and the other went in pursuit of the fugitives, and kept up a desultory fire, which, being all mounted, was unsteady, so that only a slight wound was received by Miss Sheppard, and neither sustained further injury than the wounds inflicted from the first fire.
"The pursuit was kept up for a distance of nearly half a mile, the pursuers being kept at bay by Krueger, who still retained his revolver and fired upon them when they came too near, causing them to scatter and retreat but only to rally again to the pursuit until finally they withdrew and joined their fellows.
"The fugitives continued on their way toward Culling's Well station, until they hailed the east bound mail a few miles from that station. Here they were picked up by the driver, who retraced his steps to the station, from which point information of the calamity was sent to Wickenburg via the Vulture mine, the bearer fearing to proceed by the direct route.
"The dispatch reached Wickenburg at about midnight when two parties of citizens started for the scene; one of them to bring in the dead bodies and the other under command of George Munroe, to take the trail of the murderers.
"Upon reaching the stage, the most horrible picture was presented to their sight. Five men, Messrs Fredrick W. Loring, C.S. Adams, John Lanz, Fred W. Shoholm, W.G. Salmon, P.M. Hamel.
Wickenburg Indian Massacre, page 2
the anticipation of soon again greeting friends after a prolonged absence lay side by side rigid in death and drenched in blood; the unavenged acts of a murder as dark and damnable as ever stained the hands of an assassin.
"The mystery which surrounds the identity of the murderers exists in the disposition of the mail and baggage. One mail sack was cut open and its contents scattered over the ground; the other was left untouched. The baggage of the passengers was broken open and while articles of little value were carried away, large sums of money and other valuables remained.
"All this would suggest the work of ignorant savages,
but as neither the ammunition nor the animals had been removed, some are of the
opinion that the outrage was perpetrated by a band of Mexican bandits from
"Mr. Krueger, who really had the best opportunity of deciding this question, states positively that they were Indians, but at all events, the next mail may bring reports which will place the guilt of this terrible crime where it properly belongs, when, we hope, it will not be left to the local authorities to redress the wrong or avenge an outrage.
THE WICKENBURG MASSACRE
First Authentic Account from an Eye-Witness
From Our Own Correspondent
The relatives of the lamented Fred. W. Loring, the brilliant and promising young journalist, of whose murder, with five others, in the Indian country, last November, may conflicting reports have been printed, have receive a copy of a letter written by one of the two survivors of the party, giving the first connected account of the affair. According to this, the attacking party were certainly Indians, citizens having traced them to their reservation, and the robbery was sudden and frightful: and what is of graver importance at this time, a Untied States officer having control of the Indians charged wit the crime is made guilty for preventing all investigating, and of surprising inhumanity. I have obtained a copy of this letter for prompt publication:
Dec. 9, 1871
William G. Peckham, Esq.,
Dear Sir: In acknowledging the receipt of your letter of
Nov. 16, 1871. I am pleased to be able to give you an account of the death of
my friend Loring, who was well-known to me and whose untimely death is deeply
regretted by me. We left
For what a terrible spectacle it was to see the six dead bodies in plain sigh! Loring was lying right under my very eyes, not yet dead, but suffering, apparently, terribly. He was shot through the left temple, his right eye and his lungs. He suffer for about four minutes, but I was positive that he died before I made my escape. Knowing that it would be useless to attempt to escape until the Indians would come back to plunder the stage. I remained perfectly quiet, having the encaustic ascertained that Miss Shephard was yet alive, but badly wounded. She succeeded in getting a loaded revolver from one of the killed passengers, which she gave to me. I then told her to keep cool and to be ready to run as soon as I would give the signal. Well, in about six minutes a terrible suspense I saw the Indians slowly creeping toward the stage. I counted and saw plainly fifteen Indians all dressed in blue soldiers’ trousers. When they came within five yards of the stage I jumped up, yelled and fired at them. The woman, at the same time yelled also, and we succeeded adamantly in driving the off for the time being, and got back to leave. Before I left the stage I cried out as loud as I possibly could if any one was left alive, but only Mr. Adams answered; but he was mortally wounded and could not even move his hand or feet, I had to leave him to his fate. He was afterward found with his throat cut, and otherwise mutilate. The Indians afterward followed me for about five miles, and I had a running fight with them until I fell in with the “buck-board”. I had to carry the wounded woman for over two miles in my left arm. I myself received on shot through the right arm-pit, coming out on the shoulder, and two shots in my back. The woman also have three shots, one dangerous.
How I could escape with my live, and be able to save the live of Miss Shephard, is more than I can account for. That I left my mark with the Indians, there is no doubt, because two Indians died from gun-shot wounds at Camp Date Creek Reservation; but the commanding officer refused to have the thing investigated, for fear he would find sufficient evidence that they were his pets-that is, Camp Date Creek Indians. At all events, there is no doubt whatever that the outrage was committed by Indians and the by Camp Date Creek Indians, those so-called friendly Indians who Uncle Sam feeds.
After the news reached Wickenburg, we were brought to Wickenburg after sixteen hours of terrible suffering and agony. I stopped at the place of attack and closed the eyes of all my poor traveling companions. Loring, poor boy, was not mutilate, but looked calm and peaceful, excepting his fearful wound through the head. He wore “soldiers’ clothing.” His hat is in my possession now; if you wish it you can have it. Loring and four of his companions in fate were decently buried the next day, Monday, Nov. 8 1877, in nice coffins. I saw them buried. The other man who got scalped was buried on the road. Mr. Sexton, of the Vulture Mine, at Wickenburg, attended to the funeral. Rest assured that our friend Loring has a decent funeral. Peace be with his ashes. I forwarded everything belonging to Loring to Lieut. Wheeler, excepting his hat, which you can have should you desire it. There are four bullet-holes through the same. What Loring lost I don’t profess to know. I know I lost everything but my life. The Indians got, to my certain knowledge, about twenty-five thousand dollars – nine thousand dollars belonging to me and Miss Shephard.
not a particle of doubt in my mind that the attacking party were Indians. I
have known Indians since the last five years, and cannot be mistaken; besides,
all indications show that they were Indians. Every citizen here will swear to
it, because those citizens tracked the Indians from place of outrage to Camp
Date Creek. But the commanding officer, Capt. O’Beirne, Twenty-first Infantry,
not only allowed the Indians to go unpunished, but also refused me, Miss
Shephard, the two surviving cripples, shelter. Yes, Sir; he ordered us off his
reservation, and I wish to heaven you would publish this ace of inhumanity in
your New-Your papers. Please show this letter to Mr. Loring,
I am, Sir, very truly yours.
Chief Clerk to Capt. C.W. Foster, A.S.M.
November 5, 2008
November 5, 2008
Research Project - Update
Research Project - Update
A vast amount of
research has been underway for the past two years by various
coordinators within APCRP, in an attempt to clarify history. Evidence has
come to light that the actual victims of the massacre were never
loaded on wagons and returned to Wickenburg nor were they ever buried in
Wickenburg. APCRP has identified all six victims graves of the persons
interred in the individual graves at the massacre site. Buried where
they apparently died as there is no formal alignment of the graves rather a
random configuration. It is becoming apparent in the old days it was a
custom to bury people exactly where they died. Expedience was the primary
research has been underway for the past two years by various coordinators within APCRP, in an attempt to clarify history. Evidence has come to light that the actual victims of the massacre were never loaded on wagons and returned to Wickenburg nor were they ever buried in Wickenburg. APCRP has identified all six victims graves of the persons interred in the individual graves at the massacre site. Buried where they apparently died as there is no formal alignment of the graves rather a random configuration. It is becoming apparent in the old days it was a custom to bury people exactly where they died. Expedience was the primary consideration.
Now for a new twist in the Massacre. It is well known Mollie Shepard
and William Kruger escaped with their lives that fateful day. Although
wounded, they were interviewed in San Francisco some time later. How is it
that Mollie Shepard's grave is here making the grave victims now number
seven? History often creates more questions than it answers. Many theories
abound as to the way the massacre happened, who performed the massacre
ranging from Indians, whites/mexican's dressed as Indians, it was a set up
by Kruger and Shepard. Between them it is arguably stated they carried
$20,000 to $30,000 a considerable wealth in those days. No mention of the
money has ever been mentioned other that a few dollars were trying to be
exchanged by some Indians at a date following the massacre. Very likely
these dollars were the money the victims had on their person when they were
massacred and the Indians cleaned out their pockets.
Now for a new twist in the Massacre. It is well known Mollie Shepard and William Kruger escaped with their lives that fateful day. Although wounded, they were interviewed in San Francisco some time later. How is it that Mollie Shepard's grave is here making the grave victims now number seven? History often creates more questions than it answers. Many theories abound as to the way the massacre happened, who performed the massacre ranging from Indians, whites/mexican's dressed as Indians, it was a set up by Kruger and Shepard. Between them it is arguably stated they carried $20,000 to $30,000 a considerable wealth in those days. No mention of the money has ever been mentioned other that a few dollars were trying to be exchanged by some Indians at a date following the massacre. Very likely these dollars were the money the victims had on their person when they were massacred and the Indians cleaned out their pockets.
After APCRP extensive research it is our belief that in
an attempt to avoid being killed themselves, Kruger and Shepard dispatched
the valuables they were carrying to lighten their load. Possibly under a
tree root, rock or brush along the creek as they headed west toward
Culling's Well in their escape route. It has been arguably stated that
Kruger was carrying military funds and the massacre may have been a cover-up
to make off with the funds. We are not here to stand in judgment of who had
what, rather they hid the valuables as they were escaping simply to lighten
their loads. Reasoning you would not take time to bury this treasure with
people chasing you, trying to kill you .
That said, and given they had time to gain their strength
after the massacre . Kruger and Shepard traveled on horseback back to
the massacre site avoiding main roads. Once they were in the vicinity of the
Massacre Site and they recovered their treasure, a dispute occurred between
Kruger and Shepard and she was stabbed, died and was buried at the site. It
is also believed others were involved that knew Mollie and they killed her
. Kruger and Shepard traveled on horseback back to the massacre site avoiding main roads. Once they were in the vicinity of the Massacre Site and they recovered their treasure, a dispute occurred between Kruger and Shepard and she was stabbed, died and was buried at the site. It is also believed others were involved that knew Mollie and they killed her not Kruger.
Attached is the actual graves of the victims, we believe at the
Wickenburg Massacre Site.
Attached is the actual graves of the victims, we believe at the Wickenburg Massacre Site.
WebMaster: Neal Du Shane
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