The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History

The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History

4.3 6
by 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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/29/2016
Hutton (Phil Sheridan and His Army), a professor of history at the University of New Mexico, relates a sprawling, fascinating tale of conflict in the late 19th-century American southwest. In January 1861, a band of Apache raiders hit Johnny Ward’s 160-acre ranch in Arizona’s Sonoita Valley, carrying away 20 head of cattle and Ward’s 11-year-old stepson, Felix. The kidnapping was part of escalating hostilities in an area riven with violence. Apaches attacked American and Mexican settlements, stealing property and resisting the growing authority of the U.S. government. Warfare continued for 25 years. Hutton moves beyond standard descriptions of battles between Apache warriors and American troops (though there are plenty of those) to paint a larger, more detailed picture of Southwestern life: slavery, gold mining, territorial politics, and the creation of reservations. Fascinating people flit in and out of the story, including the Apache warriors Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, Lozen, Victorio, and Geronimo, and American scouts Kit Carson and Al Sieber. What happened to Felix Ward is less important to the larger historical picture than how the situation with the Apaches was resolved, but Hutton provides an unexpected twist that keeps the story fresh until the end. Illus. Agent: Jim Donovan, Jim Donovan Literary. (May)
Library Journal
03/15/2016
Hutton (Distinguished Professor of History, Univ. of New Mexico) presents an outstanding, comprehensive overview of the Apache Wars of Arizona and New Mexico between 1861 and 1886. The life of Apache scout and bounty hunter Mickey Free serves as a touchstone throughout, as it was his capture during an Apache raid that started the chain of events that quickly changed the nature of relations between the Apache and the U.S. government, as they transitioned from trading partners to bitter enemies by 1861. The resulting military engagements and war of attrition made legends of Apache leaders such as Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, Victorio, Geronimo, and the Apache Kid. Also profiled are frontiersman Kit Carson, Gens. George Crook and Oliver O. Howard, and scouts Al Sieber and Tom Horn. During the decades-long conflict, many were active in both Apache and U.S. cultures, including Apache scouts working for the U.S. Army as well as captive children such as the Apache Kid's infant daughter. Woven tightly into this epic story are the accounts of several lesser-known participants such as Lozen, a skilled Apache warrior and sister of Victorio. VERDICT This recounting of the Southwestern battles for Apacheria will be valued by general readers and researchers alike for its colorful personalities and strong representation of the cultural context of historical events. [See Prepub Alert, 11/2/15.]—Nathan Bender, Albany Cty. P.L., Laramie, WY
Kirkus Reviews
2016-02-10
Cultural historian Hutton (History/Univ. of New Mexico; Phil Sheridan and His Army, 1985, etc.) presents the sorry history of white America's persecution of the ferocious tribe that consistently returned their ill treatment measure for measure. The story can be quickly summarized. In the early 1860s, a band of reservation Apaches was infuriated by yet another venal betrayal by genocidal white authorities. Under a series of leaders, they slipped away to roam the canyons of Arizona and New and Old Mexico, stealing livestock and gruesomely torturing and killing settlers. The U.S. Army pursued them, both sides suffered casualties, and the surviving Apaches, weary of the chase, surrendered to return to the reservation. Repeat periodically for 35 years until much of the tribe was exiled to Oklahoma. Felix Ward, the Irish/Mexican "captive boy" later known as Mickey Free, is the thread that runs throughout the narrative. Raised as an Apache, he spent much of his adult life working as a reservation policeman and scout for the Army, in which capacities he appears during much of this history without disclosing any sense of his personality. This is equally true of Hutton's vast cast of characters—native, Hispanic, and Anglo—who largely fail to emerge as distinct individuals. The accounts of armed conflict are stirringly told and often read like a Western thriller, but there are too many, with no sense of proportion; it seems there is no raid, patrol, or skirmish too minor to draw Hutton's attention. Furthermore, the author explains little of the culture of the geographically fragmented Apache people. The narrative unfolds almost entirely from an Anglo perspective, but very few individuals of any ethnicity emerge in a favorable light, with the possible exception of those Apaches who wished only to live quietly in whatever wasteland the whites most recently assigned to them. A thoroughly researched but plodding account of the clash of two implacably incompatible cultures.
From the Publisher
"Paul Hutton is one the great scholars of Western Americana, but he's also a natural born storyteller, with a rare gift for locating the deep ironies that suffuse history. Hutton has brought this sere landscape—and this classic clash of the borderlands—to pungent life on the page." —Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and In the Kingdom of Ice

“A fast-paced, well-written page-turner. Hutton gives an excellent account of individuals, both Native American and White, who contested for control of the Southwest in the 19th Century.” R. David Edmunds, Watson Professor of American History, University of Texas at Dallas
 
“Hutton captures the intensity and drama of the history of both sides in this vibrant segment of western history.” Robert M. Utley, author of Geronimo and The Lance and the Shield
 
“After reading this masterfully researched and written book I thanked my lucky stars for Paul Hutton. It took an author and historian of his caliber to at long last deliver the definitive explanation of the longest war in the nation's history. The wait was worth it. By using the legendary Apache scout and manhunter Mickey Free as a vehicle to tell the story, Hutton cuts through layers of myth exposing one of the most exciting and pivotal episodes in the annals of the American West.”  —Michael Wallis, author of The Wild West: 365 Days

"Humane, insightful, and vivid, The Apache Wars immerses readers in the rugged landscape of Apacheria, the meeting ground and battlefield of nations. In telling the gripping story of the Apaches' long fight against Mexico and the United States, Hutton proves once again why he is a great writer as well as a great historian." —T.J. Stiles, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

“[A] sprawling, fascinating tale of conflict in the late 19th-century American southwest...Hutton moves beyond standard descriptions of battles between Apache warriors and American troops (though there are plenty of those) to paint a larger, more detailed picture of Southwestern life... Hutton provides an unexpected twist that keeps the story fresh until the end.” —Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780770435813
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
05/03/2016
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
13,154
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.37(d)

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

On a crisp morning in late January, the boy tended his stock as he watched the dust cloud rising to the south, at the far end of the narrow timbered valley. Felix was almost twelve, but short and scrawny for his age, with a mop of red hair and fair skin. When the boy saw riders emerging one by one from the cloud of dust, their ponies splashing across the shallow creek, he ran to the little grove of peach trees some three hundred yards from the ranch buildings where his mother and sister were. He knew this area was contested ground, in the heart of what the Mexicans, and the Spanish before them, had named Apacheria. The Mexicans had failed to settle the valley, driven out by the fearsome Apaches who lived in the mountains to the east and north.

A dozen Apaches, wildly painted and heavily armed, galloped onto the ranch. They swept past the buildings to gather up all the horses and cattle. His heart pounding, Felix climbed a peach tree and hid himself as best he could. The Apache leader rode up to the tree as his men began herding the horses and cattle back down the valley and looked up at the terrified boy. Felix expected to be killed instantly, but instead the Apache laughed and motioned for him to climb down. Felix obliged. The Apache, who was called Beto, had a heavily scarred face that bore the imprint of some terrible battle in which he had lost an eye. Felix also had but one eye. The Apache pulled him onto the back of his pony, and off they galloped after the warriors.

These Apaches were of the Aravaipa band, who lived to the northeast of the Sonoita Valley. The Aravaipa would come to call the kidnapped boy Coyote, after their trickster god, because they could never decide if he was friend or foe. Years later, white men would name him Mickey Free. The boy’s kidnapping started the final struggle for Apacheria—the longest war in the history ofthe United States. This conflict would leave a trail of blood from the Pecos River in Texas through New Mexico and Arizona and deep into Mexico from 1861 to 1886. All sides in that conflict blamed Mickey Free for starting it. In time, the boy would come to play a pivotal role in the war, moving back and forth between the harshly conflicted worlds of the Apache and the white invader, never really accepted by either but invaluable to both.

This is Mickey Free’s story, but it is also the story of his contemporaries—both friend and foe, red and white—whose lives were shaped by the violent history of the deserts and mountains of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. It was a land where every plant bore a barb, every insect a stinger, every bird a talon, every reptile a fang—an inhospitable, deadly environment known to the outside world as Apacheria. In this bleak and unforgiving world, the one-eyed, deeply scarred Mickey Free was at home.

Meet the Author

PAUL ANDREW HUTTON is an American cultural historian, author, documentary writer, and television personality. He is also a professor of history at the University of New Mexico, a former executive director of the Western History Association and former president of the Western Writers of America.

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The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I'm lucky enough to live in Arizona and have traveled to many of the places that passed through this history. Really brought the story to life for me. Fort Bowie and Apache Spring especially. Loved this book and was hooked after only a few pages.
4aussiegirl 7 months ago
The Apache Wars The Hunt For Geronimo, The Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy who Started the longest War In American History By Paul Andrew Hutton I love true stories of Native Americans instead of hearing stories how they were all savages and you can’t trust them. Maybe it’s we can’t trust Spanish, Mexicans and the whites eyes. It seems to me that through this beautifully written book you’ll soon find out the other side of the Apache History. You’ll see the History books and teachers only told one side. I feel this book tells the other side and you should know the other side and the truth!!!! I also feel that the Indians are not the savages but the rest of the people that invaded their land are the savages, read and see how you feel about the history of the Apaches. This book made me mad, made me cry, and made me ashamed of how all cultures treated the Indians, yet the Indian paid the ultimate price didn’t they? They are still paying that price. Will you look at the history of the Native American Indians different or just take the lies of all the years you were taught they were the savages. You’ll read about Geronimo, one of the greatest warriors, the captive boy that started the longest war, The Apache kid you’ll read about a lot of great Chiefs, warriors and what they went through. You’ll read about a lot of Generals in the Armies that were back behind killing the Indians wrongfully, lied and got the Indians to trust them. You’ll also see how the Spanish, Mexicans scalped the Indians and even took their ears. This book goes into great detail of the wars of the Apaches and all they truly went through. This is one of the best books I have every read on the American Indians. I recommend this book highly to anyone that truly wants to read a thorough book on the Apaches this is a book for you. I hope Paul Andrew Hutton writes a book on the Cherokee Indians another of my favorite Indians. I love the history of all the Native Indians. I received this beautiful book free from Bloggingforbooks for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review only an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own. 5 Stars ISBN 978-0-7704-3581-3
Anonymous 7 months ago
Casey07 8 months ago
This book by Paul Andrew Hutton is well researched, engaging and an informative read. I read this book because I am interested in native american history in the american southwest. It is the first book by the author that I have read. The subtitle of the book "The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid and the Captive Boy who started the longest war in American History" pretty much covers the overall theme of the book. Mickey Free is the boy referred to above. The book covers the time period from the mid 1800's to the late 1800's as the United States tried to capture the various Apache tribes and confine them to reservations. The major Apache players covered in the book include Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, Geronimo, Victorio, Lozen and the Apache Kid. It addresses why they were difficult to capture and when captured, why they were hard to confine to a reservation. It addresses their beliefs and concerns with changing their way of life. On the other side, major roles were played by O.O. Howard, George Crook, Nelson Miles, Al Sieber, Tom Horn and Kit Carson. The book also deals with Tom Jeffords and Mickey Free and their struggle to balance their lives between the two sides of the struggle. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in southwestern native american history. I received a free copy of the book courtesy of Blogging for Books and Crown, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on my blog, Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes and Noble. I also posted it my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Buecherwurm161 11 months ago
Not a Light Read. I was a First Read Winner of this book, and was eager to get started. Growing up in Europe I did not know to much about the Indian history and I wanted to learn more about it. This book certainly did that, however it took me a long time to read because I could only take it in small doses. Not because it was badly written but due to violence and brutality of the time. Overall it was very informative, though sometimes my head was spinning a little bit by all the different names and events, and shed some light into that part of history for me. One thing is for sure, this book will stay with me long after I have set it aside.