SULLIVAN, JOHN - Navajo County, Arizona | JOHN SULLIVAN - Arizona Gravestone Photos

John SULLIVAN

Fort Apache Cemetery
Navajo County,
Arizona

d. Aug. 1881, Navajo Co. Az. Territory

Civil War Veteran
Co. D 6th U.S. Cavalry

Captain Edmund Clarence Hentig was transferred to Fort Apache in 1876. He was the Captain and commanded company D. In late August 1881 he and his cousin First Lieutenant Wm. Stanton were ordered out on a scout under Colonel Eugene A. Carr, directed to go to Cibecue Creek and arrest a medicine man, Noch-ay-del-klinne, who was suspected of inciting the Apaches to war against the whites. The command arrested the Indian then camped for the night on Cibecue Creek, despite the general excitement the operation had aroused among Apache followers of the medicine man.

Suddenly gunfire erupted, some of the Apache scouts mutinied, and Hentig and his orderly were shot down at first fire. They and other casualties were buried that night on the scene before the battered command withdrew to Fort Apache. Later the bodies were transferred to the National Cemetery at Santa Fe. The marker from that cemetery commemorating the incident now stands at Fort Apache. A short lived camp was named for Hentig located on Ash Creek on the present San Carlos Reservation in Arizona.

Hentig was shot in the back and the bullet passed through to his heart killing him instantly. He was the first killed. Pvt. John Sullivan was still mounted on his horse and was shot through the head, killing him instantly. He was the 6th man killed.

Apparently the medicine man they had arrested was still alive but injured. They didn't want him to get back with the Indians because they knew the Indians could doctor him and he would live, so the commanding officer told this private to kill him. They didn't want to shoot any bullets and make noise, so he was given a knife to do the job. The private was afraid the knife wouldn't do the trick, so he took an ax and axed him on the forehead. They dug a big trench that night and buried the men and then they left, walking because 1/2 of their horses had been taken by the Indians and they didn't want to make any noise. They were walking out of the canyon and they just felt the canyon was full of Apaches watching them. They later went back and got the bodies. This was called "The Battle on the Cibecue."

John Sullivan was buried at Fort Apache Post Cemetery on August 30, 1881. Seven others from company D were buried the same day. John was buried in Section 8 # 48.

On June 10, 1893, John and a few others were moved from there resting spots to another section in the same cemetery.

Sullivan's remains, along with all other soldiers and their family, were again reinterred and moved to the Santa Fe National Cemetery in 1922.

Contributed on 3/12/09 by goldwing.traveler
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Record #: 66376

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Submitted: 3/12/09 • Approved: 3/22/09 • Last Updated: 10/23/12 • R66376-G0

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