Format Hardcover
Publication Date 04/01/13
ISBN 9781605984223
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.4 in / 400

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The Wrath of Cochise

The Bascom Affair and the Origins of the Apache Wars

Terry Mort

In a powerful evocation of the spirit and drama of the American West, the harrowing story of the feud that ignited the Apache Wars.

In February 1861, the twelve-year-old son of Arizona rancher John Ward was kidnapped by Apaches. Ward followed their trail and reported the incident to patrols at Fort Buchanan, blaming a band of Chiricahuas led by the infamous warrior Cochise. Though Ward had no proof that Cochise had kidnapped his son, Lt. George Bascom organized a patrol and met with the Apache leader, who, not suspecting anything was amiss, had brought along his wife, his brother, and two sons. Despite Cochise’s assertions that he had not taken the boy and his offer to help in the search, Bascom immediately took Cochise’s family hostage and demanded the return of the boy. An incensed Cochise escaped the meeting tent amidst flying bullets and vowed revenge.What followed that precipitous encounter would ignite a Southwestern frontier war between the Chiricahuas and the US Army that would last twenty-five years. In the days following the initial melee, innocent passersby—Apache, white, and Mexican—would be taken as hostages on both sides, and almost all of them would be brutally slaughtered. Cochise would lead his people valiantly for ten years of the decades-long war.Thousands of lives would be lost, the economies of Arizona and New Mexico would be devastated, and in the end, the Chiricahua way of life would essentially cease to exist.In a gripping narrative that often reads like an old-fashioned Western novel, Terry Mort explores the collision of these two radically different cultures in a masterful account of one of the bloodiest conflicts in our frontier history.

Terry Mort did his undergraduate work in English literature at Princeton University and his graduate work at the University of Michigan. After school he served as an officer in the navy, specializing in navigation and gunnery. His service included a lengthy deployment to Vietnam. He is the author of five novels, a book on fly-fishing, and most recently The Hemingway Patrols, a non-fiction account of Ernest Hemingway’s anti-U boat patrols off Cuba during WWII. He has also edited works by Mark Twain, Jack London and Zane Grey. He lives with his wife, Sondra Hadley, in Sonoita, Arizona and Durango, Colorado.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Meticulously written. Mort makes a fascinating read of every subject he takes up.” The Associated Press
“A unique biography of Ernest Hemingway’s decision to volunteer to hunt German U-boats in the Gulf Stream. It was this quest that would shape much of The Old Man and the Sea. A rewarding read about the inner workings of an artistic mind.” Kirkus Reviews
“Epic in scope. Terry Mort tells the story of a little-known period in the life of one of America’s greatest novelists” Philip Caputo, author of A Rumor of Warand Acts of Faith