PARTICULARS OF THE SAMANIEGO MASSACRE
Graphic Account of the Fight by a Participant—How the Men Met their Fate While Charging the Hostiles.
A Star reporter yesterday called upon Mr. M. G. Samaniego, who has just returned from the front, and inquired of him concerning the particulars of the massacre of his brother and train men at Cedar Springs, as only a general account of the affair has heretofore been given to the public. The information, which we elicited was obtained by him from the herder who escaped the massacre, and from the wounded teamster, who came into Willcox from Camp Grant on Thursday last. The account is as follows:
The wagon train had arrived at a little rise of ground, over which all the wagons proceeded except the last one, with which was Mr. B. T. Samaniego. At that moment the
INDIANS WERE OBSERVED
about one mile distant, on the plains, and Mr. S. remarked, "I wonder if those Indians are hostile." The one man who was with him said, "No, they cannot be, as they would not have allowed the woman in the wagon to pass them." A woman with her family had just gone along, passing the Indians in safety. She stated that they motioned to her to take another route and not pass by the train.
After observing the Indians for a few minutes, Mr. S. said to his men, "Go on boys, I will help the hind team across the rise." As the wagon was started up a chain broke, which delayed it, and the wagons then became separated, the leading one gaining distance ahead. The drivers of the nearest teams remained to assist the hind wagon. After getting over the difficulty, Mr. S. got on the wagon and sat down with his gun on his lap. Presently the Indians were seen to take positions nearly
SURROUNDING THE WHOLE TRAIN,
when Mr. S. again said to the man with his team, "I wonder of those Indians are hostile?" and just then seeing them open fire on the forward wagon, he said, "Boys, I see they are firing on the front team. Leave your teams and let us go to assist them."
They then advanced on the run, and succeeded in getting safely to the front, and took a position beneath the wagon, the Indians firing at them meanwhile. They found one man already killed. Another was soon wounded, and as the herder was at a distant point, but three able men were then with Mr. S. The man who was wounded was at the time attempting to fire, when a shell stuck in the gun barrel and it missed fire. Mr. S. then got into the wagon and procured two handfulls of ammunitions and threw it to those underneath. The four then got into a little rut, almost beneath the wagon and successfully returned the fire if the Indians for
AN HOUR AND A HALF,
when Mr. S. finally said, "Boys, there is no use in lying here. We will be killed, anyway. Let us go out and fight them in the open prairie," intending to force the hostile line at a little rise of ground not far distant.
The teamsters replied, "Boss, if we do that we shall surely get killed."
Mr. S. replied, "We will get killed anyway; let us go out and fight them like men."
The teamsters then said they would follow him, when Mr. S. took the lead and they charged out toward the high ground mentioned.
As they advanced, one was killed after the other, Mr. S. falling first, they others in a row as they rushed along ahead of where he lay, except one man, the one who is now at Willcox, and who was shot in the leg and fell, feigning that he was killed. No one flinched in making the charge, and the heroic conduct of Mr. S. was marked and greatly encouraged the others.
The Indians by this time perceived the soldiers, who were advancing, and hastened to destroy the contents of the train, only stopping with the fallen men long enough to take their belts, and having no time to scalp them.
As they were around the wounded man who feigned death, an Indian took his belt, turning him over to do so, and struck hom a
HEAVY BLOW IN THE BACK
with the butt of his gun, and then rolled him over again to his first position.
They then turned their attention to the wagons, and destroyed 7,000 pounds of merchandise belonging to Rube Wood, of San Carlos. They killed the animals and cut the harness into many pieces. Portions of the cut harness were afterwards found scattered by them over the country for ten miles, and out of 80 sets, Mr. M. G. Samaniego has not been able to make one complete set.
Had the doomed party remained under the wagon for half an hour longer, they would probably have saved themselves, as the troops,
ALL UNKNOWN TO THEM,
were rapidly advancing to that point. Or had the herder, who was sent out in advance that morning to hunt for deer, and who came in contact with the hostiles, taken measures to advise them of their danger, they could have made a barricade of flour sacks and thus being prepared, saved their own.
The herder had been instructed to hunt along as far as Brewster's, and there await the train. He saw the Indians about two miles off to the east side of the station at Cedar Springs, but did not know they were hostiles, and proceeded on and was soon fired upon by them. He then put spurs to his horse and made for the station where
HE HASTILY DISMOUNTED
and ran around the house in which were a woman, man and boy, leaving his horse at the door. A shot followed him into the building, but hit no one. The Indians charged to the door and drove off his horse and killed it nearby, the herder concealing himself in rear of the house and escaping. It is supposed that the Indians did not know of the other parties being in the house, as they did not show themselves, and so they did not come to harm.