Hello Happy Partisans,
I found a book that needs to be read. Only 66 pages with many pictures and diagrams in a free PDF so no excuses.
https://www.theoldsystem.com/forDownloads/Tabletops/Deadlands/Misc/Osprey – ACW/Osprey – ELI 119 – Apache Tactics 1830-86.pdf
It is an Osprey publication discussing Apache tactics from 1830-86 and is extremely informative. Their methods grew from their culture and an education that began at a very young age. Stamina, endurance, discipline, leadership and fieldcraft were excellent and it was simply the Apache way of life with various performance expectations and initiations along the way. Survival, hunting and war all meshed together in a lifestyle and the feats described in the book are amazing and worth learning.
The Apache were far more devious and cunning than the Plains Indians. They would establish patterns and change them with great results as soon as the enemy seemed to catch on. For example, they would always leave the area after performing an ambush in order to be far away when any response arrived. Then one day they wiped out a Mexican militia patrol. Instead of leaving as usual they remained in position two more days until a second detachment showed up. The Apache waited until group 2 collected and buried the bodies before springing again while their new victims were lined up, heads down, for a graveside memorial ceremony.
In another instance a 75 year old chief led a force on a 1500 mile raid into Mexico to steal a massive herd of cattle. The Mexican pursuit was awesome and the entire US Cavalry force in the area, several regiments worth, knew they were coming and awaited their return. The Apache handled it all with ease and the entire herd made it to their home ground. The diversion they used is worth study.
The Apache were able to run rings around much larger forces and they did so for decades in a rather limited area with a very small population. It only ended when the Army found other pissed off Apache and made it Apache vs Apache. Even then it took years to run them down.
As an aside, I was surprised to find they rarely worked at night because that was when the poisonous snakes and scorpions were active. That means most of their accomplishments were in broad daylight. How cool is that?