The Apache Wars – Thoughts From an Actual Apache

I just finished – Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History, which was written by Paul Andrew Hutton.

Why did I read this book?

I am an enrolled tribal member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, but I don’t feel like I know much about the history of the Apache people. Apache Wars was on audible so I thought I’d give it a listen.

Apache Wars details the creation of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, which today, is one of the most economically depressed regions in the United States. It is often called “Hells 40 acres.” Practically all of my Dad’s side of the family lives on the reservation so I have visited often. I wanted to learn more about important events that transpired in and around the San Carlos region.

Samuel Pedro with his Grandma Vernita on the San Carlos Apache Reservation
My grandma and I on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in 2014.

Did I like this book?

Overall, I enjoyed the book. However, I felt the book didn’t have a natural flow to it at times. It was still fascinating to learn about the key characters of the Apache war and Arizona history. Paul Andrew Hutton provides rich detail to bring alive the story of the Apache Wars. I learned for the first time many facts about the Apache Kid and Mangas Coloradas.

Most of the book is about the story of Geronimo. He was the last of the great Native American chiefs to be captured by the United State Government. The nation was fascinated by him. His name dominated the headlines as the U.S. army tried for years to capture him. I loved learning about his story.

Arizona history is a very fascinating subject. A lot has happened in these deserts and mountains. In the late 1800s, Arizona was a wild place. It seems like every week there was an Indian attack, murders or some other lawless act. This is a great book if you want to learn more about the history of Arizona.

Geronimo and his warriors.


I can’t really say what I really think about Geronimo. Whenever I see his picture or hear about him I get a sense of pride knowing that he and I are both Apache. But Geronimo’s stubbornness led to many troubles for the Apache people. However, he was a mighty and effective leader. He constantly outmaneuvered the United States Army. His small band of 135 Apaches evaded capture for months while being pursued by 5,000 U.S. soldiers and 3,000 Mexican soldiers. 

The book details the last years of Geronimo’s life. The United States’ government sent him to Florida and then to Oklahoma. He rode a pony in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., and he even had the chance to meet with President Roosevelt. He pleaded with the President to let him and his people return to their homelands in the west but was denied his request. The mighty warrior was turned into a circus act. It was a sad ending to this great warrior’s life.

This is a book I plan on reading again and I recommend it to you. You can pick up a copy of Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History here.

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