Mayfield Canyon takes its name from Colonel Mayfield who died alongside one of the Cavalry men, Trooper Christopher Gillespie, when they were killed by local Native Americans. The canyon was one of many bloody places of battle between 1861 and 1865 when settlers and cavalry soldiers joined to fight the Paiute Indians of Owens Valley. The Paiutes had occupied their homeland territory in the Owens Valley for hundreds of years. As time went on, and the white settlers continued to move further into Pauite territory, disputes began over land rights, cattle and ammunition. The settlers wanted access to the valley because it served as an important passageway into Nevada and Southern California. The Paiutes began killing cattle on ranches for food because their own food sources had disappeared as a result of severe weather. Some of the men who worked the gold fields stayed in California during the Civil War and were recruited to serve as volunteers in the Second Cavalry to fight in the Owens Valley Indian War among others of the period.  In this specific battle, Cavalry soldiers believed a group of Pauites were hiding inside the canyon. The soldiers set up camp at the mouth of the canyon and went inside to search for them. Instead of cornering the Paiutes inside the canyon as the soldiers had expected, they were forced to retreat back into the Valley and Colonel Mayfield and Gillespie were killed. Bishop Creek BattlegroundSan Francis Ranch, and Camp Independence are other California Historical Landmarks located in Inyo County that mark the sites involved in the Owens Valley Indian War. Mayfield Canyon is .2 miles north of Farmer Wells Meadow Ranger Station. While traveling along Highway 395, drive 1.5 miles northwest of intersection of Pine Creek Road and North Round Valley Road. Then drive 1.5 miles north on Ranger Station Road to the historic site. This landmark is 15 miles northwest of Bishop. Inyo County Inyo means “dwelling place of great spirit” in Paiute Native American language. Inyo County has many “greats.” Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States and Death Valley, the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere, are both within Inyo’s boundaries. Great earthquakes have left their mark in recent history, changing the course of the Owens Riverand exposing ancient sedimentary rock.