Where They Fell

Chelsea Rose | Scottsdale

The following item appeared in the Arizoniques section of the May 1989 issue of Arizona Highways.

Memorial Day brings to mind solemn national cemeteries. But many of Arizona's territorial war dead still lie where they fell. We know some of their names and often how they died, but the exact locations of their final resting places are unknown.

Consider Maj. James F. Millar and three privates who died in an Apache ambush in March, 1866. They were buried at the site somewhere south of Florence. A young doctor, a member of the California Volunteers, escaped the ambush and fled, wounded, into the Arizona desert. His body was never found.

Two years later, two brothers and their sergeant were ambushed as their cavalry escort protected the U.S. mail. These three lie somewhere northeast of Scottsdale.

Some words spoken in the fifth century B.C. still have meaning for Arizona. "For heroes have the whole earth for their tomb," said Pericles, Athens' famous general. "There is enshrined in every breast a record unwritten with no tablet to preserve it, except that of the heart."

— Jim Schreier

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