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Thread: Bloody Tanks - Where was it?

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  1. #1
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    Bloody Tanks - Where was it?

    Where did the Bloody Tanks Massacre take place? Where is the soldier buried, etc? Has anyone looked "boots on the ground"?

    Ammi White's (of flour-mill/confederate prisoner fame) half-brother got killed on the expeditions.

    Attached is a summary of the 1864 Miner articles reporting on Woolsey's Expedition.

    Woolsey Expeditions 1864.pdf

  2. #2

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    Bloody Tanks took place at and near the current townsite of Miami.

  3. #3
    us
    Director of Research, Acquisitions, Archives and Library, Superstition Mountain Historical Society,and one of its founders, Member of Arizona First Families, Westerners, Arizona Historical Society, Central Arizona Museum Association and the Dons Club

    Oct 2013
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    Good evening Gentlemen: As I recall the Battle of Bloody Tanks took place along a mountain stream that approximately bisects the current town of Miami: It is said that after the battle the stream ran red with the blood those who were killed. The reference to the word "Tanks" would indicate to me that there were several deep depressions along the stream which would hold water for a long period of time but that's just a logical guess on my part. If you "google" Bloody Tanks Massacre and current location of Bloody Tanks, etc. you will find some very good references to the site and story. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis

  4. #4
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    Thank you gents, for your responses. I understand that many historians have placed the Bloody Tanks massacre there. One potential problem with that location is the timeline. Woolsey says on 22 JAN 1864, he was at the junction of the Salt and Verde. He followed the trail of the Indians up the Salt some 15 miles, then struck the trail again at the mouth of the "Big Cannon". They traveled all day on the 23rd in the "big canyon", then went over a big mountain on the south side of the river. On the morning of the 24th, they found the rancheria. These are King Woolsey's description of the events to Gen. Carleton.

    Does that sound like they were in or near Miami? It doesn't to me, so I wanted to hear some more opinions on it.

    I see Roy has stopped in...hope you had a good winter Roy!

    Take care, Jim
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  5. #5
    us
    Director of Research, Acquisitions, Archives and Library, Superstition Mountain Historical Society,and one of its founders, Member of Arizona First Families, Westerners, Arizona Historical Society, Central Arizona Museum Association and the Dons Club

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    Good evening all: Take a look at the following thread. The Bloody Tanks Location and battle are discussed in several posts. Start with this: "Lost Dutchman in the Superstitions?. What is wrong with this picture". Page 17, post by Oroblanco, Sep. 14, 2010. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis

  6. #6
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    Thanks Greg. For anyone reading that thread, I would say that Oroblanco (Roy) had it right.

    For all: There’s a lot of confusion and misleading history regarding the location of the Bloody Tanks Massacre, which is why I brought it up. Dave made a comment in the “Trails Along The Salt River” thread about the cliffs from Bagley Flat to Canyon Lake. It was those cliffs I was thinking of when I asked the question about the real location of the Bloody Tanks Massacre.

    Just because there is a place named “Bloody Tanks Wash” southwest of Miami doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the Bloody Tanks Massacre. I haven’t found one shred of historical evidence linking that wash near Miami, to the actual event.

    The bulk of the actual historical evidence points to another place, and that’s the beginning of the Salt River Canyon, somewhere under Saguaro Lake before Bagley Flat. That's one of many factual locations, very well described and easy to locate even today, of Woolsey’s first expedition in January of 1864.

    I’ve read Woolsey’s account and many others. They differ only in small details. Those accounts clearly state that the expedition camped near the junction of the Verde and Salt while a supply party was sent to the Pima Villages. While there, they constructed and named Fort Badger. The construction of Ft. Badger has been attributed to John D. Walker, but there’s no contemporary source for that. There is a contemporary account of Woolsey’s party building Ft. Badger on this expedition, in January of 1864. It’s possible that since Walker came there later, he repaired/improved it and operated out of that location, as well as regular Army troops.

    From Ft. Badger, Woolsey & Co. went upriver on the Salt to the “Big Canyon” (Edit: before Bagley Flat), and somewhere between 12 and 15 miles up the Salt River Canyon, veered off on a tributary and found the Indians who had stolen all the stock. This event was not the “Pinole Treaty”, which was a different event in the Bradshaws. The two events, the Bloody Tanks Massacre and The Pinole Treaty, are often confused even in “historical” documents.

    To me, the participant’s accounts sounded like they had gone up Tortilla Creek or possibly LaBarge Canyon. Some people think it was Fish Creek, but I don’t think they could have been that far in, based on travel times reported both going in, and coming back out.

    Cyrus Lennon, half-brother to Ammi White, was killed in the battle. Afterwards, the accounts state they brought him out of the Salt River Canyon, and buried him at the junction of the Salt and Verde, carving his name and the date into the trunk of a cottonwood tree. They built a fire over his grave hoping to conceal it from any Indians on their trail. At this point the party split up, the Maricopas left for the Gila, while the miners went back to the mines on the Hassayampa.

    Several “historical” accounts came years later, like Farish’s, which is inaccurate to say the least even though he had talked to Woolsey’s widow. Over time, and after the actual participants in the Bloody Tanks Massacre had passed on, the place near Miami named “Bloody Tanks Wash” was promoted as the location of the massacre.
    Last edited by PotBelly Jim; Apr 06, 2019 at 05:44 AM.
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  7. #7
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    There's a good story here, but I was getting too "windy" in the previous post. Here's another installment. Woolsey's first expedition in January of 1864 began when he was bringing supplies up from his ranch on Agua Caliente to the Weaver diggings. When he arrived in "Weaverville", as it was known at the time, he was asked to go after the Indians that had stolen many stock animals, including some from A. H. Peeples.

    After rounding up about 33 men, they set out after the Indians. Upon reaching the confluence of the Verde and Salt, Woolsey sent 5 men to the Pima Villages to get supplies and enlist Maricopa and Pima warriors to help. One of those men was John K. Simmons. When Simmons departed the villages to return to Woolsey, it was at this point that Cyrus Lennon (the brother of Ammi White of White's Mill) joined the party. Lennon and another anglo brought a group of Maricopas. The party now consisted of 72 men.

    Attached are two letters John Simmons wrote about the events. The first one he wrote on 18 January 1864 while at the Pima Villages. The second he wrote on 10 February 1864, after the expedition was over. He gives a pretty detailed account of what happened:

    1st Woolsey Expedition account.pdf


    PS - Almost forgot...for those that make it reading through both letters, at the end is possibly the very first, ever, mention of a "lost gold" story about the Superstition Mountains. Earliest one I've seen, anyway!
    Last edited by PotBelly Jim; Apr 06, 2019 at 09:36 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Jim

    I believe was at Frog Tanks.
    Last edited by markmar; Apr 06, 2019 at 12:59 PM.
    Marius

    If your true to your heart,you will never go wrong.The truth is the truth,no matter how you look at it,and in every treasure story and legend there is a grain of truth . It's up to your spirit and heart to know the difference. NP





  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PotBelly Jim View Post
    Where did the Bloody Tanks Massacre take place? Where is the soldier buried, etc? Has anyone looked "boots on the ground"?

    Ammi White's (of flour-mill/confederate prisoner fame) half-brother got killed on the expeditions.

    Attached is a summary of the 1864 Miner articles reporting on Woolsey's Expedition.

    Woolsey Expeditions 1864.pdf

    Potbelly Jim.

    The battle of Bloody tanks location is well known and documented.

    It occurred where Pinal Creek flowed through where todays Claypool Arizona stands.
    The wash at the town of Claypool is named Bloody Tanks wash and there is/was a historical marker there.
    The Pinal Apache also recognize the location as the place of the Woolsey battle.

    Fort Badger was in place prior to Fort McDowell, I have an old military map that shows Fort Badger, the only known map with this reference.

    Best,

    Matthew

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Thanks Matthew. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on the actual location. Just one man's opinion. The thing that gives me pause is how the story changes decades after the battle, and there's also a lot of other information in those stories that doesn't appear right, other than the location.

    Marius, Frog tanks is a good option IMO. Can I ask what led you there?

    Thanks guys, Jim
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  11. #11
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    All,

    There is an excellent compilation of Apache and Yavapai battles from 1821 - 1937 by a gentleman named Berndt Kuhn. I am attaching 3 images from his book that refer to the so called "Bloody Tanks" battle. He lists a number of resources and references that can be further checked for more information. It's interesting to note that he differentiates between the Bloody Tanks Wash battle near Miami (April 2, 1874) and the Bloody Tanks "Woolsey" battle (January 4, 1864).

    It would be worth digging into his references to confirm, but it appears that the two battles are unrelated and the Woolsey battle likely took place much closer to the Salt River. I recall reading somewhere that it was believed to be somewhere between Tortilla Flat and the Salt River but I can't locate where I read that source or how they came to that conclusion.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Cubfan64; Apr 06, 2019 at 07:47 PM.
    "There is no getting away from a treasure that once fastens upon your mind" - Joseph Conrad (Nostromo)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubfan64 View Post
    All,

    There is an excellent compilation of Apache and Yavapai battles from 1821 - 1937 by a gentleman named Berndt Kuhn. I am attaching 3 images from his book that refer to the so called "Bloody Tanks" battle. He lists a number of resources and references that can be further checked for more information. It's interesting to note that he differentiates between the Bloody Tanks Wash battle near Miami (April 2, 1874) and the Bloody Tanks "Woolsey" battle (January 4, 1864).

    It would be worth digging into his references to confirm, but it appears that the two battles are unrelated and the Woolsey battle likely took place much closer to the Salt River. I recall reading somewhere that it was believed to be somewhere between Tortilla Flat and the Salt River but I can't locate where I read that source or how they came to that conclusion.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chronicles of War by Berndt Kuhn p 104.JPG 
Views:	51 
Size:	64.3 KB 
ID:	1700017Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chronicles of War by Berndt Kuhn p 105.JPG 
Views:	47 
Size:	67.8 KB 
ID:	1700019Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chronicles of War by Berndt Kuhn p 198.JPG 
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ID:	1700021
    Very, very good source...I will see if I can find a copy! Thanks, Jim
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  13. #13
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    Paul,

    The earlier 1864 bloody tanks battle could not have occurred west of Fish Creek canyon because that canyon wasn't named until after 1900. Unless the author guesses the correct canyon was Fish Creek ?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PotBelly Jim View Post
    Thanks Matthew. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on the actual location. Just one man's opinion. The thing that gives me pause is how the story changes decades after the battle, and there's also a lot of other information in those stories that doesn't appear right, other than the location.

    Marius, Frog tanks is a good option IMO. Can I ask what led you there?

    Thanks guys, Jim
    Jim

    I have " read " the clues given by Woolsey expedition. The description of the Rancheria and its location fits the the Yavapai-Apache Garden Valley's rancheria.
    Last edited by markmar; Apr 08, 2019 at 09:29 AM.
    Marius

    If your true to your heart,you will never go wrong.The truth is the truth,no matter how you look at it,and in every treasure story and legend there is a grain of truth . It's up to your spirit and heart to know the difference. NP





  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Roberts View Post
    Paul,

    The earlier 1864 bloody tanks battle could not have occurred west of Fish Creek canyon because that canyon wasn't named until after 1900. Unless the author guesses the correct canyon was Fish Creek ?
    Just passing along some information I had. I've never looked into any of it myself but thought if folks had time to check out all the references he listed they might come to the same conclusion he did or find reasons he was incorrect. I would assume as you did that the Fish Creek reference was the author's comment based on the references and not related to when any of the landmarks were named.

    Just thought it was interesting and could further the discussion.
    "There is no getting away from a treasure that once fastens upon your mind" - Joseph Conrad (Nostromo)

 

 
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