Apache Wars

Native Indian Tribe

Apache Wars Summary

Apache Wars Summary and Definition: The Apache Wars were a series of conflicts fought over 50 years with American settlers, the Confederate and United States against many Apache tribes in the southwestern United States.

The Apache Wars were fought by several tribes of the Apache nation including the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Mescalero, Chihenne or Warm Springs Apaches and Lipan Apaches together with the Western Apache and the Plains Apache tribes.

Apache Wars Summary and Definition
The Apache were greatly feared by all of their enemies. They fought tenaciously to retain their lifestyle, traditions and tribal homelands. Interesting history and fast facts about the Apache Wars:

Name of Conflict:  Apache Wars
Location:  Southwest United States, American Settlers
Date Conflict started:  1851
Date Conflict ended:  1900
Result:  United States victory over the Apache
Combatants:  Various Apache Tribes and the United States
Famous Leaders:  Cochise, Geronimo, Chatto, Victorio and Juh

The History and Cause of the Apache Wars
The history, reasons and causes of the Apache Wars were as follows:

  • When New Mexico became a Spanish colony in 1692, hostilities increased between Spaniards and Apaches

  • The Spanish slave traders from Mexico provoked the Apache into making retaliatory raids stealing cattle, horses and firearms

  • Disputes over Apache Indian lands with Mexico and the US

  • A series of forts were built to house the forces of the United States Army antagonising the indigenous Apache tribes

  • Broken treaties

  • The gold rush which began in 1848 led to increasing numbers of white settlers moving into Apache areas and homelands

  • Forced relocation to Indian reservations which were restrictive and harsh

The Significance of the Apache Wars
The significance of the Apache Wars in history is that the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Apache, which included hunting, gathering and farming has been lost forever. The languages, culture, religion, beliefs and ceremonies of conquered people fallen into decline - even Geronimo converted to Christianity. The number of people of the Apache nation have significantly and sadly diminished. The demise of the Apache led to the prosperity of the white settlers who gained the land, natural resources and wealth of the Southwest United States.

Geronimo and the Apache Wars
Geronimo was a great war chief and
Medicine Man, or Shaman, of the Chiricahua Apaches. His Indian name was Goyathlay. As a war leader he produced such fear in his Mexican enemies that, when Goyathlay led the attack, the Mexicans would call out the name of their patron Saint Jerome and his nickname, Geronimo, added to his legend.

Facts and History Timeline of the Apache Wars
This short History Timeline of the Apache Wars provides facts and information about the history, years, key dates, key events and key people who fought in this war.

  • 1835: The Apache in conflict with Mexicans who put a bounty on Apache scalps1846: Geronimo admitted to Council of the Warriors
  • 1849: The Jicarilla War fought between the Jicarilla Apaches and Ute warriors against the United States
  • 1858: The family of Geronimo are massacred by Mexican soldiers
  • 1860: Miners search for gold on Apache homelands, conflicts arise and the Apache retaliate
  • 1860: Chiricahua Wars (1860–1886) - their chief is Cochise
  • 1861: Various Apache tribes form an alliance. Lieutenant George Bascom falsely accuses Cochise, the leader of the Chiricahua Apaches, of mounting Apache raids
  • 1861: 1861 - 1900 Apache Wars in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Leaving the reservation attacks were made on outposts led by Geronimo and Cochise. Geronimo surrendered in 1886 but others carried on the fight until 1900
  • 1862: Battle of Dragoon Springs - Apache fight confederate soldiers
  • 1862: Battle of Apache Pass
  • 1871: Camp Grant Massacre at the Aravaipa camp. Women and children killed and the survivors sold as slaves
  • 1872: Peace Treaty signed by Cochise and the US. Apaches granted a small, permanent reservation in the Dragoon Mountains of Southeastern Arizona
  • 1873: Mexican troops attack Juh’s band of Apaches. Campaign against Apache Indians in Arizona and New Mexico
  • 1874: Death of Cochise
  • 1876: Treaty of 1872 broken by US - Apaches forced to move to the San Carlos Reservation
  • 1879: Victorio's War (1879–1880)
  • 1880: The Alma Massacre - Chihennes Apaches led by Victorio attack miners
  • 1881: Geronimo's War (1881–1886)
  • 1882: Mexico and the United States agree that either nation may cross the border when in pursuit of hostile Indians
  • 1883: Many Apaches surrender and are forced on to the terrible San Carlos Reservation
  • 1885: Geronimo escapes to Mexico and encourages renegade Apaches to leave the reservation. A treaty is signed with General Crook
  • 1886: Geronimo surrenders to General Miles at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona Territory - he is never allowed to return home and is with many other Apaches treated as a prisoner of war
  • 1905: Geronimo leads President Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural Parade.
  • 1909: Geronimo died of pneumonia on February 17, 1909 as a prisoner of the United States at Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • 1913: Apaches are divided when some choose to live on reservations in New Mexico whilst others remain in Oklahoma
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