Mark SantiagoSep 11, 2020
A Bad Peace and A Good War
Spain and the Mescalero Apache Uprising of 1795-1799
University of Oklahoma Press 2018
In August 1795, Apaches wiped out two Spanish patrols In the desert borderlands of the what is today the American Southwest and Mexican north. This attack ended what had bene an uneasy peace between various Apache groups and the Spanish Empire. In A Bad Peace and A Good War: Spain and the Mescalero Apache Uprising of 1795-1799 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018), Mark Santiago (the recently retired Director of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum) examines why this peace broke down, as well as what the ensuing conflict looked like on the ground. Many historians argue that the 1790s were a period of peace in the Spanish/Apache borderlands, and Santiago presents an alternate view: that sustained conflict was the norm in this region during the twilight of the Spanish Empire. A Bad Peace and a Good War is remarkably detailed and well-researched and won the 2019 Robert Utley prize in military history from the Western History Association.