‘Chasing Shadows’

I’m re-reading Hatfield’s Chasing Shadows, an excellent, in-depth history of a century of border disorder as viewed from the Mexican side. It’s a thoroughly researched (and extensively footnoted) work of scholarship with a unique perspective so far as I know. All our popular histories necessarily address the long and bloody conflict in the Southwest from the American point of view. Hatfield draws heavily on primary Mexican sources to provide new insights into incidents like Captain Crawford’s death, as one example. Plus the book places the Apache Wars in the context of all the Indian depredation, banditry, foreign invasion, filibustering and rebellion occurring along the whole length of the border, beginning before the Mexican-American War and continuing into the 20th Century.   Exploring the significance of the Yaqui and Mayo rebellions  in shaping Mexican efforts to suppress the Apache menace really helps in understanding the whole period.

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