The year was 1846 and the great American Southwest was the prize in an epic conflict. The U.S. Army and the army of Mexico met in a battle that would shape the course of history, while the legendary Apache warrior chief Mangas Coloradas looked on, determined to defend his ancestral lands and age-old tribal traditions against either of the invaders or both.
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In the North, a lanky lawyer named Abraham Lincoln was recovering from a brutal political setback. In the South, eloquent U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis was risking all in a race for governor of his native Mississippi. And far to the Southwest, the future of the frontier was being decided as the U.S. Army, under Colonel Bull Moose Sumner, faced the growing alliance of Native Americans led by the great Mangas Coloradas and determined to defend their ancestral lands.
It’s 1854. In the East, tension between North and South pulled the country apart, with a weak President helpless to stop it and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis following his own agenda. But in the West, a different threat arose. A new generation of Apache leaders were taking over, who would no longer talk peace with the White Eyes. Instead they would fight with the courage, daring, and brilliance that was the Apache pride.
It is 1857. Under President James Buchanan, the battle lines for America’s coming conflagration are being violently drawn. As the burning questions of slavery scorches the nation, another savage war takes shape in the West. In the far-off New Mexico territory, blue-coated soldiers hurl a challenge against the implacable Mimbreno Apaches: surrender or die. And in the Indians’ ranks stands the brave called Sunny Bear - the powerful, blond-haired warrior and medicine man.
The year 1858 dawns bloodred in the untamed Southwest, even as in the East the country moves towards civil war. Leadership of the most warlike Apache tribe has passed to the great warrior chief Cochise, who burns to avenge the poisoning of an Indian child. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army is out to end Apache power with terror instead of treaties.
For 12 years he rode as an officer of the United States Army. For one year he served as an apprentice warrior of the Apaches. Torn between two loyalties, Nathanial Barrington prays he has found the peace he sought for so long. By the side of Clarissa, his star-crossed mate, he marks his stake as a rancher on land no one else dares claim, deep in Apache territory. But Barrington’s respite is short-lived. For the Apache nation is caught between the pincers of the bluecoats from the north and the Mexicans from the south.