On This Day: In 1872 Lieutenant Colonel George Crook and the 5th Cavalry attacked the Yavapai and Apache stronghold of Skeleton Cave, located in Salt River Canyon, Arizona. The army took up a position around the mouth of Skeleton Cave. Surrounded, the warriors refused to surrender and the soldiers opened fire. About 75 Yavapai and Apache warriors were killed, including Chief Nanni-chaddi, while another 34 were captured. This event has come to be known as the Battle of Salt River Canyon or the Skeleton Cave Massacre. After the massacre, the cave was looted and many bones of the warriors were removed and have been lost. Source: http://tinyurl.com/k8zm457
In Skeleton Cave, the bones lay virtually undisturbed from December 28, 1872 until January 1908. A rancher named Jack Adams led a group of friends to the cave. They found it strewn with the skeletal remains of the fallen Indians. They had a photographer named Lubken with them who took photos of the remains of at least 8 individuals and broken baskets, pottery, metates, hand-stones, fragments of clothing, leather, and blankets within the cave. Source: http://tinyurl.com/mf4g6rq
For a more detailed account of what happened 140 years ago at the Skeleton Cave Massacre, click here.