The Apache Wars: A Timeline.

Apache Pass as viewed from Ft. Bowie today.

Apache Pass as viewed from Ft. Bowie today.

The saga of the Apache Wars is both complex and compelling. For over a quarter century, hundreds of ambushes, raids, massacres, and full-fledged military battles occurred over a huge, rugged, and diverse landscape. The wars involved hundreds of notable participants. The following is the merest of highlights to help you get your mind around the amazing history of many places you can visit here.

1793 (circa) Birth of Mangas Coloradas (Red Sleeves).

He will become undisputed Chief of the Warm Springs Apaches (also called Mimbreno Apaches) in southwestern New Mexico after Mexicans massacre many of his tribe in 1837. He will earn his Spanish name from all the blood on his sleeves after violent confrontations with challengers within his own band.

1805 Birth of Cochise.

He will become Chief of the Chokonen band of the Chiricahua Apaches and leader of the Apaches in a war that begins in 1861 because of the seriously poor judgment of a young, inexperienced Lieutenant. Cochise County in Southeastern Arizona is named for him because it is the ancestral home of the Chiricahuas and so much Apache War history is here. (See Apache War Map) Cochise will become the son-in-law of Mangas Coloradas.

1810 Birth of Nana.

He will become the formidable patriarch of the Warm Springs Apaches under Chief Victorio in their wars against the United States and Mexico. When a young man, he will marry Geronimo’s sister and maintain close ties with the Bendonkohe band of Chiricahuas. When he grows up, he will have a crippled leg and walk with a limp. As he ages, his eyesight will not be good. But he will be able to “ride like the devil.”
In old age, he will be considered by his people to be a wise and caring grandfather, but it is likely Nana was responsible for killing more Anglos and Mexicans than either Cochise or Geronimo. After Victorio’s death at the Tres Castillos (Mexico) massacre in 1880, it will be Nana who leads the remains of the band. For more than two months Nana, with only 40 warriors, will elude more than a thousand U.S. troops and hundreds of Apache scouts in a thousand-mile campaign.

1825 (circa) Birth of Victorio.

He will be chosen by Mangas Coloradas to be the next Chief of the Warm Springs Apaches. As a big, powerful man, Victorio will become a brave, relentless warrior, an inspiring leader, and cunning military strategist.
His younger sister, Lozen, will be come a legend among the Apaches.

After living under terrible conditions at the San Carlos Reservation, AZ, and after repeated petitions to the American government to allow them to relocate to their ancestral home are denied, Victorio and his people will bolt from the reservation, wreaking havoc on Anglo and Mexican settlers and soldiers on their flight to northern Mexico. Read More

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