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. Crown, $30 (528p) ISBN 978-0-7704-3581-3
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)
Reviewed on: 02/29/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-076-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5094-1366-9
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