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Third Thursday Food for Thought Presentation: “The Perils of Dyhydrogen Monoxide – Challenging Hembrillo Canyon 1880 Myths of the Apache Wars”

January 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

On Thursday, January 18, 2024, join Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s  “Third Thursday Food for Thought” presentation with historian Robert N. Watt, PhD, who will discuss “The Perils of Dyhydrogen Monoxide – Challenging Hembrillo Canyon 1880 Myths of the Apache Wars.” This free Zoom online presentation will be held from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (ARIZONA/Mountain Standard Time).

This month’s Third Thursday presenter Dr. Robert N. Watt, University of Birmingham, UK, completed his trilogy on the Victorio Campaign of 1877-1881 in 2019 after almost 20 years of research. His presentation will challenge several myths concerning the two engagements between the US Army Ninth Cavalry and Apaches led by Victorio in southern New Mexico’s Hembrillo Canyon and Basin between April 5 and 7, 1880. Historic records tell of the drinking of tainted water and overnight siege of Captain Henry Carroll’s two Ninth Cavalry companies in Hembrillo Basin on April 6-7, 1880, and include Lt. John Conline’s detailed report of a skirmish between Company A, Ninth Cavalry, and Victorio’s warriors on April 5 of that year. Archaeologist Karl Laumbach’s archaeological and archive research has shown that these accounts are inaccurate. Historian Robert Watt’s archive research supports Laumbach’s conclusions and challenges additional myths that the US Army knew the location of Victorio’s camp and that the operation to trap Victorio was undermined by Captain Carroll attacking too early.

Following up on Laumbach’s work, Bob Watt has found that the US Army’s letters and telegrams sent and received prior to this operation also tell a very different story than that which was entered into the official record after the event. He has published articles on this conflict in Small Wars and Insurgencies (2002), The New Mexico Historical Review (2011 and 2022), War in History (two articles in 2011), The Southwestern Historical Quarterly (2015), and in an article in The Journal of Military History (2016) that was awarded the Moncado Prize.

To register for the Zoom webinar go to https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6SsyU2ahQjiGYtBUfQG18g. For more information contact Old Pueblo at info@oldpueblo.org or 520-798-1201.

Flyer: 20240118(v1)ThirdThursday_RobertWatt_ThePerilsOfDyhydrogenMonoxide_ChallengingHembrilloCanyon1880Myths

Caption: Bob Watt in one of Tenth Cavalry Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson’s emplacements at Tinaja de Las Palmas, Texas, 2018


January 18
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Allen Dart



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