This sculpture represents and honors the men who valiantly served in the United States Cavalry during the 1880’s. During this era the ‘Indian Wars’ were in full swing. The troopers played an influential part in settling the Southwest.
The Apache, famed for their fierceness in battle and resourcefulness in evading capture, dwelt among the Sierra Madre Mountains in southeastern Arizona. To combat the threat of Indian attack and maintain government control, military forts were established throughout Arizona In describing the military’s efforts to apprehend the Apache warriors, one soldier said, “We chase the wind and shoot at shadows”. Led by chief Niech, and medicine man, Geronimo, the Chiricahua were one of the last Indian tribes to lay down their weapons of war. On September 4, 1887 the Chiricahua Apache surrendered to General Nelson A. Miles.
The government issue equipment and clothing are accurate to the time period. The rifle is a 45-70 breech loading carbine. The leather strap (worn over the shoulder of the trooper) along with the metal clip, fasten the rifle securely to the soldier at all times. A silk scarf is worn inside the soldier’s collar – preventing chaffing by his army issued wool shirt. The sidearm (pistol) and trenching knife are U.S. military issue.