In 1861, Lieutenant George Bascom confronted Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise demanding the return of the abducted boy, Felix Ward (aka Mickey Free). The epic 14-day affair, 70 soldiers surrounded by 500 Apaches rescued by the timely intervention of the cavalry, ended in blood with hostages slain on both sides. Congress recognized Dr. Bernard Irwin, who rode with 12 men to relieve the beleaguered soldiers, with the first Medal of Honor. Historians have come to credit Bascom with starting a war. This talk explores the circumstances that led to the confrontation and how blame came to rest on the lieutenant.
Doug Hocking is an independent scholar who has completed advanced studies in American history, ethnology, and historical archaeology. In 2015, he won the Philip A. Danielson Award for Best Presentation. Doug, who served in Military Intelligence and retired as an armored cavalry officer, grew up among the Jicarilla Apache and paisanos of the Rio Arriba. Doug writes both fiction and history. His work has appeared in True West, Wild West, Buckskin Bulletin, Roundup Magazine, and the Journal of Arizona History. Doug on the board of the Arizona Historical Society, Cochise County Historical Society, the Oregon-California Trails Association, and Westerners International.