megan kate nelson You are standing in an old wagon rut in Apache Pass, Arizona. The blue grama grasses undulate in the breeze and the grasshoppers whir around your feet. You are somewhat out of breath, as it is more than five thousand feet above sea level in the pass. The air is dry and the sky is a clear, vivid blue. You look around the broad valley, broken by gulches and ravines and surrounded by steep hillsides dotted with Arizona white oaks, mesquite trees, and chaparral. You are pretty sure you're the only person out here. The wagon rut is one of the last traces of the old Butterfield Overland Mail Route, a vital link between Arizona mines and ranches, and markets both east and west. Beside it are the ruins of the mail station, a 1858 stone structure that housed a stationmaster and a cook, and stored food and forage for the stage teams that came up and over the Pass twice a week. A short distance away, more ruins: Old Fort Bowie, built in 1862 by Union soldiers, and abandoned six years later for a more suitable site higher in the pass. Down the hill
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Nov 3, 2016
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