The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History
Paul Andrew Hutton
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In the tradition of Empire of the Summer Moon, a stunningly vivid historical account of the manhunt for Geronimo and the 25-year Apache struggle for their homeland
They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides--the Apaches and the white invaders—blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout, Apache Kid.
In this sprawling, monumental work, Paul Hutton unfolds over two decades of the last war for the West through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. This is Mickey Free's story, but also the story of his contemporaries: the great Apache leaders Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Victorio; the soldiers Kit Carson, O. O. Howard, George Crook, and Nelson Miles; the scouts and frontiersmen Al Sieber, Tom Horn, Tom Jeffords, and Texas John Slaughter; the great White Mountain scout Alchesay and the Apache female warrior Lozen; the fierce Apache warrior Geronimo; and the Apache Kid. These lives shaped the violent history of the deserts and mountains of the Southwestern borderlands--a bleak and unforgiving world where a people would make a final, bloody stand against an American war machine bent on their destruction.
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nervous. John C. Cremony, a veteran of the Mexican War who now served as Bartlett’s chief interpreter, was particularly puzzled as to why the Navajos, so often the bitter enemies of the Apaches, would dare venture so far south. His Apache friends explained that it was Mangas’s astute diplomacy that had secured peace with their northern neighbors. According to Cremony’s informants, on a raid in Sonora, Mangas had “carried off a handsome and intelligent Mexican girl, whom he made his wife, to the
large Coyotero camp some thirty-five miles from Mount Graham on June 27 and attacked late in the afternoon. It was all over in less than an hour. The soldiers counted twenty-four dead warriors, including the man who had slain Dodge, with twenty-six women and children taken captive. Colonel Bonneville, well satisfied with this victory, ordered his troops to return to their posts. While the campaign added to the martial reputations of Bonneville, Loring, and Ewell, the most important consequence
over to Reuben Bernard. direction of Tombstone: Mazzanovich, Trailing Geronimo, 181–86; Russell, One Hundred and Three Fights, 163–65; Sweeney, From Cochise, 185–90. “paper lily on his chest”: Clum, Apache Agent, 265–67; Clum, Apache Days and Tombstone Nights, 48–50. toward the Sierra Madre: Mazzanovich, Trailing Geronimo, 189–90; Clum, Apache Days and Tombstone Nights, 50–53; Ledoux, Nantan, 1:358–59. Indian police force: Radbourne, Mickey Free, 78–79; Collins, Apache Nightmare, 151. noted
Bourke, Apache Campaign, 68–69; Bourke Diary, 67:30–32. the daughter of Bonito: Thrapp, Sierra Madre, 143–46; Goodwin and Rope, “Experiences of an Indian Scout, Part Two,” 63–64; Betzinez, Geronimo, 118–20; Ball, Indeh, 51; Sweeney, From Cochise, 306–7; Simmons, Massacre, 180–82. along as best they could: Betzinez, Geronimo, 113–15. scattering the soldiers and scouts: Goodwin and Rope, “Experiences of an Indian Scout, Part Two,” 64–65; Bourke Diary, 67:56–60; Bourke, Apache Campaign, 81–82;
the coach. Lieutenant Cooke opened a covering fire as Buckley and Davis cut the traces on the dead mule. Others pulled the wounded driver into the coach as Buckley mounted the seat and lashed the team with his whip. As the stage jerked forward, the Apaches unleashed another volley. The stage careened down the mountain road, swaying back and forth as it bounced over boulders placed in the roadway by the Apaches, hell-for-leather in a mad two-mile dash to the stage station. A mile down the road,