In 1861, war between the United States and the Chiricahua seemed inevitable. The Apache band lived on a heavily traveled Emigrant and Overland Mail Trail and routinely raided it, organized by their leader, the prudent, not friendly Cochise. When a young boy was kidnapped from his stepfather’s ranch, Lieutenant George Bascom confronted Cochise even though there was no proof that the Chiricahua were responsible. After a series of missteps, Cochise exacted a short-lived revenge. Despite modern accounts based on spurious evidence, Bascom’s performance in a difficult situation was admirable. This book examines the legend and provides a new analysis of Bascom’s and Cochise’s behavior, putting it in the larger context of the Indian Wars that followed the American Civil War.