Written by Darren Court, Museum Director/Curator
Edited for this website by Jenn Jett, Museum Specialist
The Apache did not recognize the new borders which came into being when the US acquired the southwest after the war with Mexico – they certainly took advantage of them, though. At the time, the Chiricahua (including the Warm Springs people) ranged throughout Arizona and New Mexico, in addition to the northern Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora. These new borders between the US and Mexico, as well as New Mexico and Arizona, caused some difficulty for the US Army.
The American states were each under a different Military Division: The Division of the Pacific for Arizona and the Division of the Missouri for New Mexico. As such, each operated independently, which sometimes caused difficulty in coordinating pursuits and scouts for Apache throughout the region. In addition, the border with Mexico brought its own set of problems – The US agreed to prevent Apache raiding into Mexico, something it was never able to stop; could US troops pursue the Apache south of the border and, if so, how far; What role would Mexican military forces play in pursuing Apache in the border region? These issues had important consequences in the war against the Apache.