1870 dawned with the usual optimism of a new year in Prescott, but underneath laid a sense of anxiety. The first edition of the 1870 Weekly Arizona Miner wrote: “Our inveterate foes—the Indians— have been on their good behavior for a number of weeks past, and have not recommenced hostilities, hereabouts. But judging from the fact that they have commenced swarming around many settlements, we fear that, ere long, they will commence anew their business of killing and plundering, and we advise our people to be on the lookout for them.”
The newspaper would have done well to tell its readers not to travel alone and double their herders. For it was the Indians' strategy to begin a campaign of ambushing lone travelers and lightly guarded stock.