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Description - Once They Moved Like the Wind 49 by David Roberts

At the end, in the summer of 1886, they numbered thirty-four men, women, and children under the leadership of Geronimo. This small group of Chiricahua Apaches became the last band of free Indians to wage war against the United States Government. The 'renegades', as white men called them, were mercilessly pursued by five thousand American troops (one quarter of the US Army) and by three thousand Mexican soldiers. For more than five months Geronimo's band ran the soldiers ragged. The combined military might of two great mations succeeded in capturing not a single Chiricagua, not even a child.' From the Preface. Of the many tales of conflict and warfare between the US Government and the Indian tribes, perhaps none is more dramatic or revealing than the story of the Apache wars. Those wars were the final episode of the US Government's subjugation of the indigenous peoples; the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 effectively ended the Indian wars. Once They Moved Like the Wind is the epic story of the Apache campagin, told with sympathy and understanding. Using historical archives and contemporary accounts, David Roberts has writeen an original, stirring account of the last years of the free Apaches.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712666282
ISBN-10: 0712666281
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 154mm x 28mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 23-Apr-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Once They Moved Like the Wind 49 by David Roberts

US Kirkus Review » An absorbing account of a quarter century of conflict: the Apache resistance to the "White Eye" settlers encroaching on their Arizona lands. Clashes between US troops and Apaches broke out in 1861, but it was only after the Civil War that the army turned its attention fully to these skirmishes in the Southwest. Roberts (Jean Stafford: A Biography, 1988, etc.) sifts through contradictory memoirs and letters from the two sides to present a balanced version of why peace in the region was continually shattered - and why the outnumbered Apache were continually able to drive white settlers to hysteria. Complaints about Indian atrocities were sometimes valid, Roberts explains, but the Apache chief Cochise was often accused of crimes that he couldn't have committed. Meanwhile, the Apaches felt betrayed when agreements with troops were cavalierly broken by Indian land agents. Roberts's narrative is considerably enhanced by its briskly written portraits - including those of the fierce, and fiercely honest, Cochise; of General George Crook, the army's best Indian fighter, who found the key to ending the Apaches' flight (to catch an Apache, use Apache scouts); of John Clum, an Indian land agent whom the Apaches nicknamed "Turkey Gobbler" for his arrogance; Lozen, the woman warrior who could equal any man in riding and shooting; and Juh, the chief afflicted with a terrible stutter but gifted with military genius. And, above all, there is the presence of Geronimo, vengeful, untrustworthy, and vacillating, but also capable of leading a band of 34 men, women, and children that, before it surrendered in 1886, managed to elude five thousand American troops and another three thousand Mexican soldiers. Geronimo rightly feared the fate in store for his people: They were deported on sealed railroad cars to Florida, where they remained POWs for 27 years, never to see their homelands again. A history that never loses its sense of drama even as it separates myth from truth. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - David Roberts

David Roberts is the author of seven previous books, among them The Mountain of My Fear and Jean Stafford: A Biography. He has been a contributing editor at Men's Journal, Outside and American Photo Magazines, and he has also written for National Geographic, Smithsonian and The Atlantic, among other publications. He lives in Cambridge Massachusetts.

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