Nana’s raid

Nana’s raid is treated only briefly in most popular histories of the Apache Wars. I believe the old man who was hero (or villain, depending on your point of view) of this extraordinary saga deserves better. This is my attempt to gather the available facts, resolve various inconsistencies and contradictions in the narrative, and tell his tale as best I can.

The old Apaches insisted that their stories could only be told properly over a campfire. To help you understand what they meant, I’ve included a hiking, driving and camping guide that retraces Nana’s trail through New Mexico Territory in the summer of 1881.

For a brief overview of my researches and my (tentative) conclusions, a copy of my presentation to the 2016 Historical Society of NM annual conference is here.

You can follow my progress (and randomly related thoughts on topics that interest me) by checking Field Notes, which is kind of an intermittent blog. Questions or comments are welcome. Contact me direct at


  1. John Lewis Taylor

    April 27, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I met you at the flagstaff convention and I am interested in Nana’s raid. I will also keep you posted on my research on Navajo scouts. Are you familiar with the Apache raid near Grants that led to the capture of Placida Romero?


      August 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Sorry for delay in reply, somehow I didn’t get a notice of this comment. I am very interested in the Navajo Scouts, and would even more like to know about events on the Navajo Reservation in 1880-’81, as I believe unrest there heavily influenced Nana’s strategy.
      I learned a lot about Placida’s adventures from Bob Roland, who knows more about it than anybody I’ve met. I have a Placida project in mind if you’re interested.

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