Monday, November 13, 2023

Riding with Cochise by Steve Price

First Line: By 1863, however, both the water and the canyon were controlled by the Apaches, who were being led by an imposing and charismatic leader named Cochise.
Using oral histories told by relatives of the legendary Apache warriors Cochise, Geronimo, Victorio, and Mangas Coloradas as well as the personal diaries of others who were involved, author Steve Price paints a vivid and memorable portrait of a people.
"The Apache sense of place was essentially their culture." They worshiped one god-- Ussen-- who made them caretakers of the Earth, and if they did not care for it properly, it would be taken from them. They knew their homeland so intimately it was the major reason why they were able to hold off thousands of soldiers in America's longest war. For example, during one time period, Geronimo, along with thirty-four men, women, and children outran and outfought 5,000 American and 3,000 Mexican soldiers.
Even though so much Apache history has been wiped clean from their ancestral lands, Price includes many historic places (and the directions to them) that readers can visit. I was pleased to see that I'd been to most of the Arizona locations such as  Cochise Stronghold, the Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie, the Butterfield Overland Trail, and Skeleton Canyon.

But while my knowledge of the area greatly enhanced my enjoyment of Riding with Cochise, it was the history of the Apaches themselves that was vital. I learned so much about Cochise, Mangas Coloradas, Victorio, and Geronimo-- leaders known by their Spanish names because their actual names were too difficult for the Mexicans and Americans to pronounce. 
The Apache leaders were honorable men. They wanted peace and did their best to achieve it. They upheld all the terms of any treaties they agreed to. However, it was impossible to trust those with whom they signed those agreements. An American Army officer ordered one Apache leader to be murdered, and the Mexicans loved to bring the Apache in under a flag of truce to then massacre them and collect the bounties on their scalps. No wonder the Apache fought so hard.

Riding with Cochise is a fast-paced, informative history of the American Southwest. The next time I'm traveling in southeastern Arizona, I'll have an even greater appreciation of the Apache, their history, and their homeland.

Riding with Cochise: The Apache Story of America's Longest War 
by Steve Price
eISBN: 9781510774582
Skyhorse Publishing © 2023
eBook, 240 pages
Non-Fiction, Standalone
Rating: A
Purchased from Amazon.


  1. I really need to check this one out, Cathy. I know a little about the Apache people, but not enough. And it sounds as though this is told in 'user-friendly' way - a way I wish the authors of textbooks would use!

    1. Yes, it is told in a user-friendly way which, I believe, is the best way to write non-fiction. It holds a person's attention and doesn't promote nap taking.

  2. I like to have a nonfiction read in progress while I'm also devouring novels. I'll add this one to the list.

    1. I hope you get a chance to read (and like) it, Kate.


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