A Fateful Game of Cards

Lt. George Bascom

A strange card game decided the fate of six Apache warriors, captured by U.S. troops in southwest Arizona in 1861.

Lt. Isaiah Moore and Asst. Surgeon Bernard John Dowling Irwin wanted to hang the captives. Lt. George Bascom favored sparing them.  They played a game of seven-up to resolve things—and Moore won.  The Apache were hanged, the execution viewed by Dos-Teh-Seh, the wife of Cochise, and her son Naiche.  They were later released. Bascom and Irwin received official commendations for their actions.

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