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Thread: Zwing hunt: Cochise county outlaw

  1. #1
    Sunrise's Avatar
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    Default Zwing hunt: Cochise county outlaw

    After a bit of deviltry, Mr.Hunt decided to recuperate from his grevious wounds in the beautiful Chiricahua Mountains of southern Arizona. Bad choice. The Chiricahua Apaches disputed his right to hide out in their motherland and now all that's left of his mortal remains are interred in a shallow grave.

    To find his grave one must traverse the Sulpher Springs Valley and all it's wonders.

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    These illegals are not making any attempt to conceal themselves. I'll bet they brought in a load and now they are hoping for that free bus ride home.

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    MAybe they left one of their party in the brush?

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    Here's a cowboy doing something or other...
    Last edited by Sunrise; 06-30-2010 at 07:53 PM.
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    Zwing got himself killed on what is now private property. I am in debt to the ranchers that allowed me access to their beautiful ranch.

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    Once I entered their property, I found this old building.

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    Here is a corral near the ranch house.

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    Thinks he's hidden.

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    A wood towered windmill - these ranchers get extra cool ranch credits for a windmill with a wood tower.
    “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/as4.gif Teilhard de Chardin quote

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    What a great place to live...or die

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    ZWING HUNT
    KILLED BY INDIANS
    MAY 31 1882

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    There is some debate, as always seems to be the case, whether this grave is that of Zwing or not. I do know that a certain young boy, filled with boundless curiosity, brought home some of the bones from this very grave and received a sound ***-whooping for his efforts...
    Last edited by Sunrise; 06-30-2010 at 08:07 PM.
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    I had a hard time getting a quality photo. White concrete against dark earth makes for diffucult shooting conditions.

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    The lettering is faded, I had to use the burn tool in photoshop to bring it out.

    NOTE: Johnny Ringo is buried a few miles from this site. Ringo was killed in July of '82.
    Last edited by Sunrise; 06-30-2010 at 08:05 PM.
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    A few hundred yards beyond the grave, I found this stone placed upon another. I am always on the look for placed rocks and this one is the second time I have seen this sort of thing. Note that the placed rock models the peak above it. I would not have noticed this if I had not seen one of these in another area along the east side of the Chiricahuas.

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    Here is the one found miles away

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    I superimposed them for a better comparison. Strange ain't it?
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    On the way back a zonetailed hawk mocked me for not having my telephoto lens mounted at the ready.
    Adios
    Last edited by Sunrise; 06-30-2010 at 08:27 PM.
    “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/as4.gif Teilhard de Chardin quote

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    Here's something interesting about Zwing: His grandparents are also grandparents to Lyndon Bains Johnson.



    Richard "Zwing" Hunt (1858-1882) - Born to Thomas W. and Mary Ann Elizabeth Hunt on March 29, 1858 in Burnett County, Texas, Zwing was the first of six children. In May, 1880, Zwing and his family learned that his older half-brother, who had began a freight hauling business between Tombstone, Arizona, and Hillsboro, New Mexico had been killed by Indians. He then traveled their to bring back the freighting equipment, but on his arrival, decided to take over the business instead. In short order, he also hooked up with a number of desperate characters including the Clanton Gang and a man named Billy Grounds. On March 25, 1882, he and Grounds attempted to rob the Tombstone Mining and Milling Company in Charleston, Arizona. After being challenged, they shot and killed a man before panicking and taking off without a dime. Within no time, U.S. Deputy Marshal William Breakenridge gathered a posse and began to track the two killers. Finding them at the Jack Chandler Ranch near Tombstone, a gunfight ensued. Though it lasted only seconds, when the smoke cleared, Breakenridge had killed Billy Grounds and Zwing Hunt had been wounded. Unfortunately, one of the deputized men, John Gillespie, was also dead. The other two posse members were wounded but would recover. Due to the seriousness of his wounds, Hunt was placed in a hospital unguarded. In the meantime, the family, concerned over his activities had sent his brother, Hugh, to bring him home. On April 28, 1882, Hugh helped Zwing to escape and the pair hid out in the nearby mountains. However, on May 31st, they were surprised by Apache Indians, who shot and killed Zwing. His brother was able to escape.

    From another source, regarding the 1882 apache breakout from San Carlos:

    In the same year Nana made one of his bloody raids across the line, and in September Juh and Nahche, with a party of Chiricahua, again fled from the reservation, and were forced by the troops into Mexico, where, in April,
    1882, they were joined by Geronimo and the rest of the hostile Chiricahua of SanCarlos, with Loco and his Ojo Caliente band.
    Last edited by Sunrise; 06-30-2010 at 08:23 PM.
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    March 29,1858 Happy Birthday Zwing Hunt
    Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:20pm
    67.183.132.139

    ZWING HUNT

    L.A.J.

    What could the 36th President of the United States and an Old West Rogue have in common? How about a shared set of grandparents? In 1817, Jesse Johnson and Lucy Barnett were married. Their union set into motion events which would ultimately give us two famous names in history, Zwing Hunt and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Two of the Johnson Children grew up and married; from Sam Early Johnson we get Sam Johnson Jr. who was the father of Lyndon Johnson. From Sam’s older sister Mary Ann Elizabeth (Betty) we get the Rogue that we are interested in, Zwing Hunt.
    On March 29, 1858, Zwing became the first born child of parents Betty and Thomas Hunt, who over the years, added five more children to the mix. These were in addition to the three children that Hunt had from a previous marriage. The family made their home in Burnett, Texas.
    Growing up on the Texas frontier during the end of the Civil War and through reconstruction were hard times. When you add to that the occasional Comanche raid and the horror of the Mason County ‘Hoo Doo” War, all happening in the family’s general area, you have the recipe for young men who grow up tough and fast. Zwing was a perfect example, renowned for his absolute fearlessness and his near perfect marksmanship with either Winchester or six-gun. Still, his parents made sure that their brood was also exposed to the school room. Zwing not only knew how to read and write, but could put together a very clever poem when he was moved to do so.
    Zwing’s half-brother, with financing and blessings of the family, had entered into the freight hauling business between Tombstone, Arizona, and Hillsboro, New Mexico. After he was killed by Apaches near Hillsboro on May 29, 1880, Zwing travelled west to bring back the freighting equipment. The family history states that after arriving in Hillsboro, Zwing liked the area so much that he decided to stay and take over the business. Perhaps this is where Zwing met a 17 year old young man who would have a profound influence on his life, Billy Grounds. Zwing, described as being “tall, slim, with sandy complexion, sandy mustache, badly freckled face, neck and hands and Billy “the Kid”, stocky with a round red face and shorter than Hunt were fast pards, ‘nearly joined at the hips’ by the end of 1880.
    For awhile the two worked for some local cattle companies, then teamed together hauling lumber for the mines in Tombstone. Although they made good money, they had to work hard for it. Like so many other young men, before and after, they found the lure of quick easy money and excitement irresistible. Soon the boy’s names were linked with such outlaw leading lights as Curly Bill Brocius, Milt Hicks and Jack McKenzie.
    In his book Helldorado, William Breckenridge, stated that the two were part of the “Stage Robbers, hold-up men, and other outlaws” who infested the Sulphur Spring Valley, Charleston and Galleyville. Breckenridge quoting “several of the old-timers” also contended that Zwing, Billy Grounds and Curly Bill were responsible for the theft of some Army mules. Allegedly, the three altered the brands from US to DS and sold them to a freighter “who hurried them back into the Chiricahua Mountains” After holding them there until the brands healed up and the manes grew out, the freighter “then got a military contract to haul supplies” with the Army’s own Mules!
    Zwing and Co. were also linked with a foray against some Mexican smugglers that is so shrouded in flights of the imagination that it is nearly impossible to discern the facts at this late date. The myth tells us that Zwing, Grounds and many others closed in on smuggler train in Skeleton Canyon. Without warning the Mexicans were fired upon, eleven falling dead to the canyon floor. Zwing himself took a bullet to the shoulder receiving a frightful wound. Grounds stayed back to attend to Zwing, while the other outlaws rounded up the pack animals, loaded with silver, gold and gems. The loot was divided up among the gang and soon spent in wild revelry. OR, after the massacre the mules had all run off. And not being able to take all of the treasure with them the men took what they could carry and hid the rest to retrieve later. Soon back in their favorite haunts the money was squandered on their favorite pastimes, gambling, whiskey and women. Zwing and Billy “the Kid” returned to the site with a Mexican freighter dug up the treasure and buried it in a different location. They then cold-bloodedly murdered the Mexican and his horses a short distance away. The wagon was burned over the treasure to further hide it. All of this happened near Davis Mountain and the two young outlaws never had an opportunity to retrieve the prize. What marvelous stories these are! Unfortunately, they are just that, stories. Although they are accepted so often as fact, they just don’t hold up.
    There was a very real ambush of Mexicans in late July 1881, reported by the Tucson Citizen. The Citizen reported that a group of Mexicans headed to Arizona to purchase goods had been ambushed by the Cow-Boys at Los Animas, Mexico. It was thought that four Mexicans had been killed and that the Cow-boys had made off with close to $4000.00. This version makes the most sense and fits in with the remarks that the money was soon gone. Was Zwing involved? It simply cannot be stated for sure but his name was linked with all of the other reports.
    Zwing came to light again on October 6, 1881 when he, Curly Bill and Billy “the Kid” Grounds ran into the Earp’s at the McLaury ranch. They all parted on good terms, but a man in the Earp party had a pair of spurs stolen from him by one of the three desperadoes. A few days later, Zwing and Billy Grounds were involved in the rustling of 35 head of cattle. Tombstone, Deputy Sherriff, Billy Breckenridge found the cattle in Charleston in the corral of a local butcher; Breckenridge also found a good mare that had been recently stolen by Hunt. Both Zwing and Grounds were indicted for grand larceny but could not be served as they had decided that a vacation in Mexico was in order.
    When they returned is not clear, but early in December they were sighted with Curly Bill, Lit Moore and Jim Hughes at the head of the Babocomari and a week later were rumored to be in Shakespeare, NM.
    On the evening of March 25, 1882, two men with rifles in their hands and handkerchiefs over their faces burst into the office of the Tombstone Mill and Mining Co.. The first man through the door fired his rifle instantly killing a man named Peel, the second outlaw fired at others in the office but no one else was struck. The two desperadoes turned and fled, no attempt at robbery was made and nothing was said. The shooting remains a mystery to this day. For some reason Hunt and Grounds were strong suspects. Within a few days the two of them showed up at the Chandler dairy ranch asking for $75.00 dollars that was owed to them. They said that they wanted the money so that they could leave the country. Notice was sent to Tombstone and Deputy Sheriff Breakenridge, and several others rode to the ranch. When called upon to surrender the young men fired upon the posse. When the gun smoke cleared a Deputy Gillespie was dead and Billy Grounds soon would be and Zwing was seriously hurt. It was his 24 birthday.
    Dr. George Goodfellow, took care of Zwing in the hospital. At one point while the Doctor was probing the wound on Zwing’s chest, the young desperado snarled, “**** you take your finger out of my heart”. The Tombstone Nugget reported that he “swore like a trooper when the attention or the food did not suit him”. Due to the severity of his wound he was left unguarded.
    This was ideal for his younger brother Hugh, on April 28, he helped Zwing escape. Still to badly wounded to travel much the brothers hid in the mountain canyons. On May 30 in Russels Canyon (now Hunts Canyon) the brothers spent the night in what became known as "Outlaw Cave”.
    The next morning, some Apache surprised the men while they were fixing their breakfast. Zwing was said to have drawn his gun and yelled “**** It! Go to Shooting” They were his last words. Hugh barely managed to escape and report the incident at Camp Price. He returned with some soldiers and they found Zwings body. He had been shot 4 times and the Indians’ had cut off the middle finger of his right hand.
    (probably flipped 'em off as a last act of defiance-Sunrise)

    Zwing was buried in the canyon, Z. Hunt, May 31, 1882 was carved in a nearby tree.
    ( I could not find it-sunrise)
    There were some who believed that Zwing did not die that day, but returned to Texas and dictated a map stating the location of the “missing treasure” before succumbing to his wounds. Except for fantasy there is nothing to support such a opinion.
    My belief is that when the Apache bullets struck home that morning, Zwing Hunt was a Texas Cowboy gone bad no more.
    Last edited by Sunrise; 07-01-2010 at 07:51 PM.
    “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/as4.gif Teilhard de Chardin quote

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    Nicely done, thanks! I don't remember ever seeing a wooden windmill tower.

    Great story, thanks for sharing.

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    Great post Sunrise, very informative and interesting! Thanks for braving the extreme heat to bring us such terrific photos.

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    Great post, thanks much....Speedy

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