Just south of downtown Tucson Convention Center are three streets named in 1872 in honor of the men killed by the Apaches.
Lieutenant Howard B. Cushing was born to Dr. Milton B. Cushing Sr. and Mary (Smith) Cushing on August 22, 1838 in Milwaukee.
In 1862, Cushing enlisted in the 1st Illinois Light Artillery and participated in the Battle of Shiloh and the Siege of Vicksburg. After his younger brother, Alonzo, was killed at Gettysburg in 1863, he took his place in the US 4th Artillery and remained there for the duration of the war.
Cushing had two other brothers, Milton Jr. and William, who served in the United States Navy during the Civil War. William’s heroism during the war was documented in the book “Lincoln’s Commando” by Ralph J. Roske.
After the Civil War, Howard was stationed at Fort Washington, Maryland, where he drilled recruits. At the end of 1867, he was transferred to the 3rd Cavalry and within a few months became first lieutenant, commanding Troop F. At the end of 1869, he was in the Guadalupe Mountains of southwest Texas, where he attacked the Apaches Mescalero who stole cattle.
On March 2, 1870, the F troop left Fort Craig, territory of New Mexico, for the territory of Arizona, where Cushing continued his pursuit of the Indians. On May 26, 1870, a freight train traveling from Tucson to Camp Grant was attacked by Indians, killing many, including that of Hugh Kennedy, co-owner of a ranch and store on the San Pedro River. . After a long and difficult scouting mission, Cushing located the attackers and reported killing 30 of them.
On May 5, 1871, in the Whetstone Mountains of Cochise County, Cushing was ambushed by Apache warriors. He and his friend William H. Simpson, a mining engineer from San Francisco, were killed in the Battle of Bear Springs. The remainder of the command retreated to Fort Crittenden.
Cushing Street and Simpson Street both got their names in 1872, when SW Foreman surveyed the town site and named the streets after them.
Kennedy Street was probably named the same year in honor of Hugh Kennedy.
Special thanks to Donald Rollings and Doug Kluge of The Cushing Street Bar
Interview with Rusty Cushing
Dan L. Thrapp, “Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography”, Arthur H. Clark Co., 1988
Dan L. Thrapp, “The Conquest of Apacheria”, University of Oklahoma Press, 1975
Kenneth A. Randall, “Only the Echoes: The Life of Howard Bass Cushing”, Yucca Tree Press, 1996
“Cushing: Indian Fighter Without Peer”, Tucson Daily Citizen, August 19, 1975
Donald N. Bentz, “Sword of Revenge,” Golden West, vol. 1, no.6 (September 1965)
“Preserving Ancient Monuments,” Arizona Daily Star, December 29, 1910
JC Martin, “First it was Calle de la Guardia, then it was Cemetery (or Campo Santo) and now it’s called Alameda Street,” Arizona Daily Star, September 3, 1972
Notice to creditors in The Weekly Arizonan, July 30, 1870 (Estate of Hugh Kennedy)
If you have any streets to suggest or stories to share, contact writer David Leighton at [email protected]