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"Battle With The Apache, 1872" Topic

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19th Century

379 hits since 14 Mar 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 4:24 p.m. PST

"In 1890, the U.S. government officially declared the American Frontier closed. With this act came the end of an era – the "Wild West" was considered tamed. Only a few years before, however, maps labeled the area west of the Mississippi as "the Great American Desert" – home only to wild animals and wilder tribes of Native Americans. This situation was not to last, as the end of the Civil War ignited a great westward migration. Prospectors, ranchers, farmers, settlers of all types, began filling this "wasteland," transforming it to meet their own needs and bringing with them the means to militarily subjugate the Indian tribes that threatened this advance.

The end of the Civil War also brought a new type of military commander to the West. One experienced in the practicalities of war and hardened to the demands of combat. General George Crook epitomized this new breed of Western General. His success in subduing the Indians of the Northwest prompted President Grant in 1871 to order him to the Arizona Territory to deal with the Apache raids on white settlements throughout the region. Atrocities occurred on both sides. Apaches swooped down on isolated farms and small settlements killing all. In retaliation, whites attacked peaceable Apache camps, massacring innocent women and children. General Crook was ordered to end the Apache raids and bring peace to the region.

His tactics were simple – relentlessly pursue the hostiles wherever they may flee and provoke battle or surrender. Columns of infantry and cavalry lead by friendly Apache scouts familiar with the land crisscrossed a region until contact with the enemy was made. Crook began his campaign in December 1872. It ended in the spring of 1873 with the surrender of the hostile elements of the Apache and their removal to the Reservation…"
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