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Lieutenant John A. Rucker, was a professional cavalry officer serving with the United States Army in Arizona Territory during the Indian campaigns of the 1870's. He was stationed at Camp Supply in 1878 when a drowning incident occurred in White River Canyon. Lieutenant Rucker, along with a fellow officer, Lieutenant Austin Henely, were caught in a sudden July thunderstorm. They waited out the storm in a saloon along with two of their military supply contractors. They were also accompanied by their Apache Indian scout, John Rope. When the storm was over, the small party set off to return to Camp Supply. Their journey required crossing a now-raging torrent in order to reach their station. The scout and the local civilians were experienced with such crossings, and forged ahead with little trouble, each man swimming his horse across the flooded river at a good location. The officers then plunged in together, and made the mortal mistake of swimming their horses side-by-side. As the strong current knocked one horse against the other, the men fell off. The current was more than they could handle, and they drowned. Their bodies were recovered during the ensuing night by John Rope and his packers, working up to their armpits in water. The dead officers were buried at Fort Bowie, some fifty miles north of Camp Supply. On April 29, 1879, the name of Camp Supply was changed to Camp Rucker in honor of the dead lieutenant. The name Camp Supply was then used for a station on the other side of the mountain range, and it later became known as Camp Price.
Rucker/Tex Canyon Scenic Drive - 32 mi. north of Douglas
Douglas, AZ 85607
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