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Rangers ambush Apaches at Hueco Tanks

January
29
1881

On this day in 1881, a company of Texas Rangers ambushed a group of fugitive Guadalupe Apaches at Hueco Tanks, thirty miles east of El Paso. Hueco, Spanish for "hollow," refers to the hollows in the rocks that collect rainwater, which has long been one of the chief attractions in this arid land; around 1860 the tanks were capable of holding a year's supply of water. Until about 1910 they furnished virtually the only water between the Pecos River and El Paso, and thus were a popular camping spot for Mescalero and Lipan Apache, Kiowa, Tigua, and various other Indians. An estimated 5,000 pictographs and a few petroglyphs are scattered in more than fifty sites throughout what is now Hueco Tanks State Historic Site.

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