Let Curt tell you about this piece!
25½” x 16″ x 8¼”
Limited Edition of 9 Bronze
This piece is about one of the most interesting events of Arizona history, the founding of Fort Bowie, southeast of the town of Wilcox, Arizona. Fort Bowie was established in 1862 and was an active fort until 1894. It was established near Apache Pass, which was an important passage for people traveling across the southwest. You can visit the fort today, but you must trek nine miles of dirt road then hike one and one half miles to the fort. It is a U.S. Forest Service National Monument today. The focus of this piece is one of many events that led to the establishment of the fort.
The event took place in June of 1857. At that time, the fort was responsible for much of southern Arizona was Fort Buchanan. It was located about sixty miles west of Apache Pass near present day Sonoita. It was later renamed Camp Crittenden. The United States was seeking a southern route for mail delivery to California as well as a safe route for the emigrants to travel into all parts of the southwest. Apache Pass was the home of Apache Springs. This was the only reliable water source for many miles, so was vitally important to both the United States as well as the Apaches, who were led by Cochise. Up to this point, there had been periodic run in’s with the Apaches therefore the route dangerous.
This particular June, the Chiricahuas had attacked a train of emigrants traveling through Apache Pass and burned the wagons. This was the reason for the First Dragoons to travel the sixty miles to investigate. This sergeant has just arrived, and as you can see, a wagon wheel is still smoldering. He has pulled his horse up, whipped out his Colt dragoon revolver and is looking up into the hills to assess the situation.
This Dragoon is riding a Grimsley saddle and horse equipment, notice the pistol bags on each side of the saddle fork. His forage cap was issued in 1855 and had orange piping around the edge to distinguish it from Cavalry which was yellow. His lead is tied under the jaw of the horse and attached to his halter. A Grimsley horse equipment “S” bit is on the horse. The breast collar bears a number one representing the First Dragoons and the saddle valise and bridle have a “D” for D Troop. His rifle is a US Model 1842 muzzle loading musketoon. He also carries his sabre and canteen. The horse is branded “US” on his right shoulder and on his left shoulder is the “1D” for First Dragoons. On his left stifle is a “D” for the company letter.
I love the sense of urgency in this piece. The horse is alert, knowing danger could be near. The Dragoon is prepared for every eventuality. He is, at this pivotal moment, “Ready For Trouble”.