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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tiswin. On July 25, Poston and Steck camped at the old presidio. Mangas soon brought in 350 of his people and a grand party followed. Poston had his boys put on quite a show for the Apaches with their new revolvers and carbines. The Apaches joined in, and Poston was charmed that they carefully cut the bullets from the trees they used for targets “as they were economists in ammunition if nothing else.” Poston and his men “exhibited our new firearms, which were then Sharp’s rifles and Colt’s
night gambling and drinking with his pals. When Pierce woke him up, he gave a bleary-eyed once-over to the message and replied: “It’s nothing but a tiswin drunk. Don’t pay any attention to it. Davis will handle it.” He rolled back into his blankets and Pierce pigeonholed the message. Crook never received the telegram. Davis anxiously awaited a reply. One day, two days, and then three passed with no response. On Sunday afternoon, Davis was umpiring a baseball game between the two post nines at
Mormon friends led him to a Mexican family in Chihuahua who lived near the Mormon settlement of Garcia. There he met Lupe, the daughter of the Apache Kid. Ingstad was enthralled. “She is around forty, large and strongly built,” he wrote. “Her hair is pitch black and swept back, her face finely featured with skin taut over protruding cheekbones. She looks tough and aggressive, but at the same time intelligent.” Lupe, married to a Mexican man and fluent in Spanish, said she had been captured in
living area of the sixty-by-sixteen-foot adobe from a little bedroom for John and Modesto. There was no kitchen, since cooking was customarily done outdoors. With five large windows for light and three doors to the front, side, and rear, Ward’s spacious home must have seemed like a mansion to Modesto and her two children. The Sonoita settlement, as it was called, consisted of seven ranches along the dozen miles of the valley floor. The census of 1860 listed fifty-one citizens in the valley,
department headquarters. His message had been returned unopened because he had failed to properly write a brief synopsis on the outer envelope. He was reprimanded by a department clerk for this breach of regulations concerning official communications. About the same time Whitman received his returned dispatch, Uncle Billy Oury and Jesus Elias met late one evening in a back room of Tucson’s Congress Hall Saloon to plan their anti-Apache expedition. Oury’s Tucson militia force numbered eighty-two