3. Once They Moved Like the Wind


“At the end, in the summer of 1886, they numbered thirty-four men, women, and children under the leadership of Geronimo.”

Once They Moved Like the Wind, David Roberts

Knowing I was going out to Tucson for a week, my dad recommended this book, which is all about the Apache wars, which took place exactly where I was going to be.  And I tried to get a copy, and couldn’t find one (I mean, not that hard.  I went to my bookstore. I didn’t even try Amazon).  And then my dad said he’d bring me a copy, but it was a library copy, and I wasn’t going to bring someone else’s library book on vacation, though I read a few pages before I went.  But then I was at Coronado National Monument, and they had a copy for sale.  And then, we got stuck in the mud on the way to our next stop, Fort Bowie National Monument, and as we waited in the car for a tow, I read the first chapter.  And not only was it great, it was literally about the start of the Apache wars which began at Fort Bowie! So when we finally arrived at the park I had literally just learned about the place and it was amazing.

Now, you aren’t going to have the same experience, unless you buy the book and wait to read it until right before you hike into Fort Bowie.  But, even so, this is a pretty great read.  It tells the story of the Apache wars - when the U.S. was trying to conquer the Apache people, and the Apache people were doing a pretty good job at not getting conquered.  It’s violent and bloody on both sides, and you are left with such a respect for the war skills of the Apache leaders, from Cochise to Geronimo (even as you quiver when you read what they did to their victims).  It show was a colossal screw up the whole thing was - seriously, all the Indians wanted was to be allowed to live on their ancestral lands which, SPOILER are basically abandoned today so, good lord what would the harm have been?  It’s a story I didn’t really know - though I guess its the basis of the whole “cowboys and Indians” thing, and its tragic and moving and really interesting. If you’re interested in a little-covered area of American history, this is a pretty good story, and if you happen to be going to Cochise and Geronimo country, my dad was right - you have to read this before you go.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017