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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful story at the close of the Indian Wars., August 13, 2011
Today's news headlines of missing children and the search for them is not a new phenomenon. As we see in this book, Marc Simmons takes us way to 1883 to a remote corner of the then-New Mexico Territory where a husband and wife were killed and their son captured by members of the Chiracahua Apache tribe on an old dirt road between Silver City and Lordsburg.

The author's story reveals three salient points. The first was that the attack by the Apaches came at such a late time in the period of the Indian Wars. By this time, all of the plains Indians, including the hardy Comanches, had been relegated to reservations for almost ten years. Most of the remaining tribes were either on reservations, on the run or located deep inside Mexico. The second fact was that the victims were prominent citizens of the Silver City community and that the deaths and their child's capture was broadcast via telegraph from coast to coast; this was a shadow on things to come in terms of publicity and sensationalism which revealed itself in the numerous speculative stories on where the child was located. The last point was that this incident spelled the end of the Chiracahuas as an effective fighting force. The hostility towards this group was so strong that the Army, after the tribe's surrender was obligated to ship most, if not all of the men, women and children of this tribe to Florida. Some were transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and by the time they were moved again to the Mescalero Apache reservation in New Mexico, only a handful survived.

The author admits that much of the early record of the lives of the victims was missing and the first chapter was full of speculation. The other thing that stands out is the speculation on what happened to the child Charley McComas. The author generally accepts the story that the child, who was taken by the Apaches, was taken into Mexico where he died some time later after the tribe's encounters with U.S. Army general George Crook's forces. The final chapters are essentially an epilog on what happened to main characters in this story, both white and Apache. I recommend this book highly. The book contains 205 pages of text, end notes, an index and a bibliography.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Page turner history, March 29, 2014
John Sandifer (SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, US) - See all my reviews
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I rated this book highly due to its academic and exhaustive research and the clarity of writing. It is an excellent account of a little-known episode in the Apache Wars.
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