America and the whole world fell in love with the American cowboy. The fact that the cowboys’ three R’s weren’t reading, writing, and arithmetic but ridin’, ropin’, and roundups only made their legends greater and greater. What were the Apache Wars? The 20-year period of 1865–1885 was known as the Wild West. During this time the final chapter in the fighting between the Native American Indians of Arizona and the American settlers came to an end. We remember from our Arizona studies that the first battle with the Native American Indians of the American Southwest occurred on July 7, 1540. Coronado and his army fought the pueblo Indians of Hawikuh. The fighting between these two cultures lasted for about 350 years. In the end the American culture won out. Thankfully, the Indian peoples, with their rich and wonderful cultures, survived the wars. They are still a vital part of Arizona and America today. In 1865 the U.S. Army opened a series of military camps like Fort McDowell. The purpose of these forts was to protect settlers and travelers moving to and through Arizona. A total of 18 military forts would be established to protect the American settlers from one particular group of Indians: the Apaches. A Ruins of Fort Bowie as the old fort looks today. Fort Bowie was a major United States Army post during the Apache Wars. It is located at Apache Pass near the town of Bowie, Arizona. B Map shows the location of some of the United States Army forts that were once found in Arizona. Many of these forts played an important role during the Apache Wars. A B Chapter 8 • Territorial Growth  87