This volume covers the background to the Victorio Campaign of 1879-1881. In the early 1870s, a mixture of diplomacy and successful military campaigning by General George Crook led to the formation of several reservations for various Apache groups such as the Mescalero, Chiricahua and Western Apaches. Almost before the ink was dry on these treaties, an effort was made to rationalise this arrangement by placing the Apaches upon one reservation (the concentration policy). The first reservation to close was the Fort Bowie reservation, which belonged to the Chokonen (Central Chiricahua) Apaches. Some chose to resist, and this resistance - combined with the continued drive for concentration - brought about the closure of the Chihenne (Eastern Chiricahua) Apache reservation at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, in 1877 and their removal to the San Carlos reservation in Arizona. The Chihennes were led by Victorio, Nana and Loco at this time, and they chose to accept the move, even though this was to the territory of the Western Apaches (with whom they often had a mutually hostile relationship). The land they were allocated was not healthy and a deadly feud between the Chihennes and the San Carlos Apaches quickly flared up; in September 1877, Victorio led a large portion of his people off San Carlos and tried to return to Ojo Caliente. Between 1877 and 1879, Victorio and his followers resisted their removal back to San Carlos - periodically fleeing and raiding mainly in Mexico to survive; they minimised hostile activity in the USA in order to keep alive their hopes of a return to Ojo Caliente. By August 1879, Victorio gave up hope that a return to Ojo Caliente was possible and declared war on the USA, as well as continuing their conflict with the Mexicans. Between September and December 1879, Victorio and his warriors - no more than 150 strong (and often as little as 50) - inflicted a number of defeats upon the Ninth Cavalry, US citizen volunteers and Mexican State troops. By the end of this volume, they had taken refuge - undefeated - in Northern Mexico and were poised to return to continue their battle with the USA for the return of their reservation. This research will outline the previously unreconstructed and sophisticated strategies and tactics utilised by Victorio, Nana and their followers to defeat every opponent sent against them.
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