In 1863 Fort McRae was established about ten miles east of present-day Truth or Consequences to provide protection for travelers over the Camino Real through the Jornada del Muerto. Captain Albert Pfeiffer was recovering from arrow wounds he had received during a recent encounter with Apaches. Familiar with the hot springs to the west, he believed the waters would have a salubrious effect upon his wounds. On the morning of June 20, 1863, Captain Pfeiffer, his wife, two servant girls, and a small escort of volunteer soldiers rode to the hot springs. While Pfeiffer was bathing, a band of Apaches drove off the escort, killing two of the soldiers. They killed the women, then turned their bows on Pfeiffer. He swam away with arrows bristling from his body. After the Apaches left, Pfeiffer managed to make it back to Fort McRae by crawling and walking the ten miles. The Apaches were never caught, but Pfeiffer recovered and lived to establish a reputation as one of the most famous Indian fighters of his day. Fort McRae was officially abandoned in 1876, but it was kept up for the use of travelers for several years. The ruins of old Fort McRae are now at the bottom of Elephant Butte Lake.