Mexican apache wars/causes/Development/characters/winner

Mexican Apache Wars (1861 – 1886)

The Apache wars were started by disagreements and perpetual attacks on the Indians. These disagreements arose from the presence of new settlers in the Indian lands that comprised the border territories between the United States and Mexico . The consequent presence of Mexicans and Americans, began a forced displacement of native Indians, a process that they resisted in innumerable attacks and battles between 1861 and 1886 . Mexican apache wars

The new inhabitants had an interest in rich lands for mining, in travel routes for commercial activity, and in cattle-raising settlements. However, these purposes and goods were attacked by the Indians. As a result, both civilians and soldiers were directly and indirectly affected in the midst of the fighting.

Civilians from Mexico as well as the United States participated in these battles, and because they were affected by the fatal attacks carried out by the Apache Indians, they felt compelled to participate.

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What were the Apache wars?

The Apache wars were a set of warlike confrontations between the Apache Indians against the Mexican and American army. These confrontations took place between the years 1861 to 1886 . Certainly the Apache Indians were inferior in number and in military strength, however their extensive knowledge of the territory allowed them to resist the different military offensives and to attack successfully on different occasions.

Simply put, the Apache wars were the result of disagreements, misunderstandings, attacks on private property, and the displacement of Apaches. Unfortunately, these clashes caused the death of countless people, including many innocent people. Mexican apache wars

Causes of the Apache wars

The arrival of Mexicans and Americans to the land of the Apaches caused different problems that gradually turned violent . The presence of these strangers altered the ecosystem in which the Apaches lived . When forced to settle to the west and south of the United States reaching Mexican territory, their supply options were running out .

That is why, to survive, some dedicated themselves to stealing cattle from the inhabitants of Chihuahua and later exchanged it for merchandise from American merchants. These circumstances were added to the friction that already existed, intensifying the battles even more. At different times, the government of the United States and Mexico offered to make a peace treaty, however the Apaches refused due to the mistreatment and murder that these tribes received in both countries . Mexican apache wars

One way the Apaches retaliated against whites was by looting cattle, horses, ambushing, and dispossessing those who traveled through the area, and by murdering every white man they encountered. These circumstances infuriated those affected to the point of recruiting civilians who would participate in this war against the Apache .


This war took place on the border of Mexico and the United States, specifically in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chihuahua. It all started when in 1861 some Apache Indians stole cattle from a colonist and took his son kidnapped . These circumstances led Boscom, who was an inexperienced lieutenant, to accuse Cochise of being guilty of the attack. Mexican apache wars

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Although the accusation was wrong, Bascom insisted that they had carried out the assault and had kidnapped the boy. In the middle of the accusation they tried to arrest Cochise, but he fled . However, his companions could not flee. So he took hostages in order to trade and rescue them. However, the tension and confusion caused both parties to kill their hostages .

Due to these circumstances Cochise joined his father-in-law Mangas Coloradas , who was a chief of the Mimbreño Indians. Together they carried out incursions into the territory of the settlers causing numerous deaths on both sides .

After Mangas Coloradas was captured and assassinated in 1863, Cochise was left as head of the Apache rebellion. Later, after Cochise died of natural causes, Gerónimo took up his position as Apache chief and continued the attacks until he was captured .

Apache wars characters

  • Mangas Coloradas : There is little information about his birth, but it is estimated that he was born between 1970 and 1975. He lived in the wicker mountains. Ally together with Cochise carried out various acts of vandalism and massacres as acts of revenge for the deaths received by the settlers. After countless confrontations, Mangas Coloradas was captured and killed in 1863.
  • Cochise : He was born in the Sierra de Chiricahua, a land that was annexed by the United States in 1847. He was a Chiricahua military leader who led the revolt of 1861, which started the Apache wars. Later, Cochise would join the red sleeves with whom he carried out various attacks on the settlers. In 1874 he died due to natural causes. Mexican apache wars
  • Gerónimo : He was born in Arizona on June 16, 1829. He stood out as a military leader of the Chiricahua Indians. After the death of Cochise, Gerónimo was proclaimed as head of the tribe. Later, he led various attacks and incited the Apache not to accept the conditions imposed by the government to stay in a refuge area, since for Gerónimo accepting that condition was synonymous with being in captivity. Finally, he was captured in Sierra Madre, where he decided to surrender to the US army when he was surrounded and without an escape route.

Who won the Apache wars?

The Apache tribes of course did not win the war. They were confined to reservations where many escaped or even died of numerous diseases. The conflicts gradually disappeared as the United States government intervened to settle the confrontations, arresting and confining the leaders responsible for the different uprisings, as was the case with Gerónimo. Mexican apache wars


This war caused a large number of deaths of both Indians and Mexicans and Americans . It was a long war that caused great damage to all the Indian tribes present in the area. When the native Indians lost the war, they were forced to settle in territories reserved for the displaced. This only benefited the new settlers who took over the territories for mining exploitation.

The worst result was for the Apaches, who were almost exterminated and lost the control they had over their lands , where they previously lived from hunting and the resources they obtained from the land. Another consequence of the war aside from the countless deaths, has been the resentment that remained between the tribes and settlers , a resentment that is still alive in some descendants of the Apache tribes. Mexican apache wars

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