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History of the Apaches in Texas

Apaches and Buffalo Soldiers in Texas


Apache Rancheria

Apache rancheria with two men holding rifles. Photographed by Camillus S. Fly. American Indian Select List number 75

National Archives

The Guadalupe Mountains are rich in history. Ethnohistoric and archaeological information suggests that the Mescalero Apache had occupied this area since at least the late 17th century. A number of other Apache tribes and non-Apache groups regularly traveled to the mountains to collect important resources such as mescal, timber and water.

During the Apache Wars, the Apaches based in the Guadalupe Mountains conducted guerrilla warfare against fledgling pioneer communities. Typically, they placed their camps with defense in mind, that is, on the crest of ridges where anyone approaching was visible and escape routes were plentiful.

Highly mobile hunters and gatherers, the Apaches constructed simple sapling-and-grass wickiups for shelter that could be quickly abandoned when military patrols were sighted. Later on, during the 1879 to 1881 uprising led by Victorio, the Warm Springs Apaches and their allies also used the mountains, though for the most part the Army drove them further to the west.


A bibliography has been collected for this project.

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