258 pages, 16 photos
$24.95 hardcover (ISBN 978-1-890689-26-1)
FINALIST, 2007 BEST BOOKS USA BOOK NEWS
FINALIST, 2007 NEW MEXICO BOOK AWARDS
SILVER MEDALIST-HISTORICAL FICTION, 2007 BOOKS OF THE YEAR, FOREWORD MAGAZINE
FINALIST, 2007 SOUTHWEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, TUCSON-PIMA PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM
FINALIST-HISTORICAL FICTION, 2008 INDIE EXCELLENCE BOOK AWARDS
Avenging Victorio has received a Five-Star review on Amazon.com, September 26, 2007:
“Avenging Victorio” is a dramatic moving story of an enslaved people whose way of life was completely destroyed and changed forever.
A rabble band of Apache warriors led by an elderly man rose up against the U. S. Army Ninth Cavalry to revenge the death of the highly esteemed war chief Victorio. Using guerilla warfare, armed with revolvers or rifles, as well as poisoned arrows which became missiles of death, the Apaches attacked in surprise raids against the Blue Coats of the white man’s army. They were also guilty of massacring innocent men, women, and children.
The Apache’s took advantage of the US and Mexico border escaping to Mexico to evade the American army stationed in the territory of New Mexico. After Victorio’s return to Mexico, and subsequent death, Colonel Edward Hatch, commander of the Military District of New Mexico was faced with a new dilemma. “…his problems were equally divided between the Apache renegades, the politicians, his superior officers, and the press.” It became obvious his only solution was to capture or kill the Apache leader.
The elderly Apache leader, Nana, expressed his philosophy this way: “Every struggle whether it is won or lost strengthens us for the next one to come. Sometimes, as we have seen from Victorio’s death, we need to be defeated so that we may gain the strength and courage necessary to be victorious again. Our war of vengeance has proven this to be true.”
Colonel Hatch describes the Apache presence this way, “Fighting the Apaches is not like fighting the Mexicans or the Confederates…It’s more like fighting ghosts. They are an enemy you cannot see, cannot find, and cannot kill. Yet they can strike at you when you least expect it and then disappear into the landscape.”
This is historical fiction at its best. I especially appreciated DeWitt’s detail in describing the traditions, customs, and celebrations of the Apache Indians. I was also intrigued with De Witt’s insight into the prayers, songs, and ceremonial dances. His depiction of their communication with the supernatural was powerful. The careful attention to details, comprehensive research and expressive reporting added greatly to the enjoyment of this action packed historical novel of the early 1880s.
This is a book for every American citizen to read and pass along to their offspring. The story is a reminder of the high price paid by the frontiersman and settlers of the West. It is also a reminder of the high price paid by the American Indian in their attempt to maintain their land, culture and way of life. Brilliantly written. this is a story that will haunt the reader long after the cover is closed on the last chapter.
-- Midwest Book Review, November 2007 and Amazon.com, September 26, 2007