When it acquired New Mexico and Arizona, the United States inherited the territory of a people who had been a thorn in side of Mexico since 1821, and Spain before that. Known collectively as Apaches, these Indians lived in diverse, widely scattered groups with many names - Mescaleros, Chiricahuas, and Jicarillas, to name but three.
Cochise, a Chiricahua, was said to be the most resourceful, most brutal, most feared Apache. He and his warriors raided in both Mexico and the United States, crossing the border both ways to obtain sanctuary after raids for cattle, horses, and other livestock. Once, only he was captured and imprisoned; on the day he was freed he vowed never to be taken again. From that day, he gave no quarter and asked none. Always at the head of his warriors in battle, he led a charmed life, being wounded several times, but always surviving.
In 1861, when his brother was executed by Americans at Apache Pass, Cochise declared war. He fought relentlessly for a decade, and then only in the face of overwhelming military superiority did he agree to peace and accept the reservation.
The book is published by University of Oklahoma Press.
"It is difficult to imagine sources Sweeney has not tapped. What there is to know about Cochise is almost certainly here." (
Journal of Arizona History)
"This book is the definitive life story of history's most important Apache chief and restores him to his proper preeminent role in the region's history." (
"Trailing Cochise through nearly every skirmish and battle of his career, the narrative is a veritable catalogue of persecution, treachery and cruelty on both sides." ( Publishers Weekly)
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