I read The Apache Wars slowly ...
It took me several weeks to get through this book. It may be the most intense and bloody book I have ever read. Someone, or many people, died on every one of the 528 pages. It was brutal. Another reviewer stated how heavy and packed with information it was. I can second that. I do have to say that Mr. Paul Andrew Hutton did his homework. I was truly amazed at how he was able to get all of this information in here and still tell it like a story instead of as a text book. Bravo.
I learned many terrible things while reading this book. People this short time period ago were pretty heartless. A few short generations back, people were literally violently killing everyone they didn't agree with. I learned that the Europeans are the ones that brought scalping to our country. The Apaches would rarely even do it because it was so brutal. Reading about how one goes about scalping another person almost did me in.
There were bad people all around in this story. The white man stealing from and herding the Indians as well as the Mexicans and Europeans. This war was bloody. It started when the Apaches kidnapped a young boy and lasted 36 years.
It was interesting that all of these people had racial hatred against another people group. The Indians would say the Mexicans weren't worth killing with a bullet so they would beat them in the head with rocks. The Mexicans hated the Indians and the Europeans. The Europeans who were fighting for freedom for the black people, thought it was perfectly acceptable to have Indian slaves. There were more Indian slaves in the Southwest than there were those of African descent.
I found their different religious practices interesting. The Apaches believed in a creator God. They put their trust in a female prophetess of sorts to guide them. As a people, they were unspeakably violent. Their ending was sad as they were largely herded into small reservations and basically held as prisoners of war for over a decade. The conditions were so terrible many of them were sick and dead in the first year.
If you are interested in the Apache War, Geronimo, Cochise, Mickey Free, or the times of Wyatt Earp, you will enjoy this. There is also a little information about the Buffalo Soldiers. Fascinating. Terrifying. Enjoy your reading.
Thanks to Broadway Books Publishers for graciously donating this book for review.