Apacheria is a name given to the lands where the six main groups of Apaches roamed at the time of American settlement of the Southwest. These six groups represented various subgroups and bands within them. The Chiricahua had three subgroups while the Western Apache had five or more, for example. The main groups did not freely associate with each other, neither were they belligerent; they simply were different enough in culture that they developed somewhat separated customs and language. This was, as much as for any reason, that they lived on different land. The Lipan Apache on the west Texas prairie hunted buffalo and slept in teepees, while the Chiricahua survived on antelope and agave cactus and built wickiups in the valleys of the Sierra Madre, while many of the Western Apaches, living in the cooler uplands, farmed and hunted elk.
My historical fantasy novel APACHE PORTAL takes place among the Chiricahua and early ranchers of southern Arizona Territory, but I wanted to write a few articles on some of the bordering areas of the frontier. This month the first of these side trip articles is posted in the World of Apache Portal section of this website. In The Founding of Prescott Arizona, I explore the tussle between North and South to secure the Arizona Territory from each other during the Civil War. This resulted in the first Territorial Capital at Prescott, and the establishment of historic Fort Whipple. And how the exact location was decided after gold was found in “them thar hills” – or in this case, rivers.