In December 1846 the Mormon Battalion followed the San Pedro River north from the U.S. border with Mexico in what is now Cochise County, Arizona. The change in the landscape provided water, firewood, and meat from numerous cattle roaming the area. On the 11th, the battalion had its only major “battle” of their journey when a number of wild bulls charged and a dusty, chaotic melee ensued. “The rampaging bulls charged on and on. There was great confusion and fear.” At least three men of the battalion were injured, three mules were gored to death and some of the wagons had been overturned. At least nine of the bulls were killed by members of the battalion.
Reports do not state the reason for the attack with certainty. Following the excitement, the group traveled along the San Pedro for a short while and camped for the night.