Following his graduation from West Point in 1858, Bascom was stationed at Camp Floyd in Utah and then at Fort Buchanan in southern Arizona. His unsuccessful and treacherous attempt to ambush Cochise in 1861 is remembered as the Bascom Affair. When the Civil War began, he was promoted to Captain of the 16th U.S. Infantry. On February 21, 1862, before he could take on the new commission, Bascom was killed during the Battle of Valverde in the New Mexico Territory.
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