SIGNAL PEAK

SIGNAL PEAK


Signal Peak is one of the most prominent peaks of the Pinal Mountains. On 5 June 1870 Lieutenant Howard Cushing led a cavalry troop down this side of the peak in the early morning to destroy an Apache camp at the base of the mountain. There were approximately 50 (?) Apaches killed, including women and children. John G. Bourke mentioned the incident in his book On the Border with Crook. I don't think he was ever very proud of what happened there.

During the Geronimo expeditions in the 1880s General Nelson Miles devised a system of "heliographs" (mirror signals from mountain peak to mountain peak) to try and coordinate efforts against Geronimo. The heliographs were an interesting, but never very useful experiment. One heliograph was placed at Fort Bowie, about 100 miles south of Signal Peak. Another heliograph was placed at Heliograph Peak in the Graham Mountains, near Safford. The Signal Peak heliograph could communicate with the Graham Mountain heliograph and the Aztec Peak heliograph in the Sierra Anchas, north of Globe. The Aztec Peak heliograph, by a series of other mountain peaks, could communicate all the way to Camp Verde, near what is now Sedona, Arizona. Anyway, the entire system could be used to communicate from El Paso, Texas, to Camp Verde, Arizona. Signal Peak was one of the primary links.


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