** From the 1840s onward, United States military forces clashed with the Apache, a group of Native American peoples living in the southwestern part of North America. US territorial expansion and conflict – first with Mexico and then during the Civil War – led to an escalation of hostilities that culminated in the defeat of the Apache leader Geronimo in 1886. Examining the tactics, equipment, and training available to each side over four decades of evolving conflict, Sean McLachlan assesses how the Apache were able to pose such a grave threat to US forces and how their initial advantages were gradually negated by the cavalry. Featuring contemporary accounts and specially commissioned artwork, this is a revealing combatant’s-eye view of one of history’s most intriguing campaigns. **
** Quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Combat - Apache Warrior vs US Cavalryman, 1846–86 by author Sean McLachlan as Number 19 in their Combat series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, black and white and color illustrations, informational charts, first-hand accounts, strategic and tactical maps and detailed captions. It has a 2016 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-4728-1246-9. As the title states, the book discusses the fighting between the United States Cavalry and the indigenous Apache warriors during the years of 1846 through 1886.
- The Opposing Sides
- Motivation and morale
- Mobility and logistics
- Conduct in battle
- March 30, 1854
- First Adobe Walls
- November 25, 1864
- Cibecue Creek
- August 30, 1881
- Unit Organizations
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. Author Sean McLachlan covers the fighting between the indigenous Apaches and the US Cavalry very well and goes into great detail about the individuals on both sides of the conflict as well as specific actions and their outcomes. Please refer to the Contents section of this review to learn all that is discussed in this volume. The contents section is very accurate in regards to the history that Author Sean McLachlan has written. This is a well written book that will be of great use and interest to the well-seasoned and knowledgeable American Indian Wars historian or the individual that is new to that period in American History and wants to learn about its history. In addition to the history and technical information provided on the Apache warriors and the US Cavalrymen which includes their weapons and tactics, the author has also included personal accounts provided by individuals from the period in discussion. Personally, I appreciate the individual accounts as they provide excellent information on the books main subject manner and gives the reader a first-hand type of account of the specific era and the subject discussed. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the fighting during the American Indian Wars to their personal library will be pleased with this very informative and interesting book.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.
There are a total of 43 black and white photographs and 7 color photographs. The photographs range from wide angle photographs to close-up detailed photographs. I would say that the photographs that were chosen for this book were for the most part lesser known photographs as opposed to photographs that are featured in many other titles that deal with the same subject matter. The majority of the photographs are clear and easily viewable, however a few have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark, and others appear too light. This is typical for the discussed periods of history and consideration needs to be given to the fact that some of the photographs are over one hundred years old and the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. Author Sean McLachlan stuck to the title of the book and chose subject specific photographs and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. The majority, if not all, of the photographs will prove to be a wealth of information to anyone interested in Native Americans, the American Indian Wars and the uniforms, weapons and warfare of the period due to the details they contain.
Some of the photographs that I found interesting were:
- A cavalry patrol departing from Fort Bowie.
- A Buffalo Soldier of Company D, 9th cavalry with sharpshooter collar insignia.
- Brigadier general Crook on his mule “Apache” accompanied by two Apache scouts, Dutchy and Alchesay.
- Apache braves ready for the trail near Camp Apache, Arizona in 1873.
- A .44-caliber Colt Model 1848 Dragoon revolver.
- A .52-caliber Sharps carbine. (see attached scan)
- A .45-70 Springfield Model 1870 “Trapdoor” rifle. (see attached scan)
- Shee-zah-nan-tan, a Jicarilla Apache brave in northern New Mexico, 1874.
- A Union cavalry officer on horseback, 1863. (see attached scan)
- A Colt Model 1860 revolver.
- Apache scouts with two renegade scout prisoners.
- Ka-a-te-nay, the head Chief of the Warm Spring Apache.
- US Apache Geronimo at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
- Private William E. Riley US Cavalry, c. 1886. (see attached scan)
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.
There are 4 color illustrations and 2 accompanying black and white illustrations by illustrator Adam Hook. Two of the color illustrations are accompanied by a black and white copy of the same illustration that describes the scene and points out and describes key areas of interest. The illustrations are very well done, nicely detailed and are of:
Apache warrior – Cibecue Creek, August 30, 1881. (see attached scan)
- Front and back illustrations of an Apache warrior with a well written caption that details Apache weapons, dress, and equipment of the period.
Private, 6th Cavalry – Cibecue Creek, August 30, 1881. (see attached scan)
- Front and back illustrations of a US Cavalry soldier with a well written caption that details cavalry weapons, dress, and equipment of the period.
A Desperate Chase
- A two-page double illustration depicting Apache warriors preparing to attack a column of US Dragoons which the Apaches have been harassing. On the following page there are detailed captions, which accompany black and white copies of the same colored illustrations, detailing what is taking place in the two scenes.
The Second Kiowa-Apache attack
- A scene depicting a clash between Kiowa-Apache warriors and US Cavalry soldiers that are in a skirmish line between Adobe Walls and Cannon Hill. The two-page illustration provides the view from the cavalry’s skirmish line. On the following page there is detailed caption detailing what is taking place in the two scenes.
Please refer to the scan that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.
There are 4 maps provided in this volume. All of the maps are nicely detailed and three of them have accompanying map keys that point out specific key areas and provide a wealth of detail. The maps are of:
- Apacheria. A map showing the operational area where the US Cavalry and the Apache fought in the 1870s and 1880s.
- Jicarilla Apache and the 1st Dragoons at Cieneguilla, March 30, 1854
- Kiowa-Apache and Carson’s column at First Adobe Walls, November 25, 1864
- Cibecue-Apache and Carr’s column at Cibecue Creek, August 30, 1881
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the maps for yourself.
THE INFORMATION CHARTS
There are 2 informational charts provided in this volume. They are:
- Key to military symbols
- Key to unit identification
There are 2 individual profiles included that detail and provide information on:
- Santana – the Kiowa-Apache chief
- Kit Carson – scout/guide and Indian agent
There are 3 notes included in this volume and they are:
- Artist’s note
- Editor’s note
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place in the accompanying photograph. The details themselves are basically miniature history lessons as they detail what is happening, or happened, in the photographs and cover things such as military unit affiliation shown, as well as the weapons, equipment, uniforms, dates, locations shown and other such pertinent information. As with the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It details the fighting between the United States Cavalry and the indigenous Apache warriors during the years of 1846 through 1886 very well. Native American Apaches, the US Cavalry and the uniforms, weapons and warfare of the period are well represented in the accompanying photographs and illustrations as well as being detailed in the text and captions. This volume will be of great use to anyone interested in this important period in American military history. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey Publishing LTD titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
This book was provided by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
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