WSMR Museum holds Hembrillo tour

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (June 13, 2024) White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) museum staff held a tour through the Tularosa Basin and Hembrillo Canyon. The tour takes visitors through the historic 1880 battle between the Warm Springs Apache and several companies of Buffalo Soldiers.

WSMR Museum Curator Darren Court, and WSMR Museum Specialist Jenn Jett, led the group through the 40-mile journey to the battle site. Court and Jett stopped along the way to methodically tell the guests about how people survived on the range in the late 1800s and the journeys of those involved in the battle.

Court illustrated the challenges that Chief Victorio and his followers, along with Colonel Hatch's 9th Cavalry of Buffalo Soldiers, which were African American troops, faced leading up to the engagement. The discovery of gun cartridges used by the Apache’s and soldiers uncovered by archeologists left a trail of play-by-play events for historians to document, adding to the detail and richness of the stories told throughout the tour.

The tour ended at Carroll’s Ridge, where an interpretive sign with maps and photos is installed on the same ledge that Apache warriors fought on behind stone breastworks, which still stand today.