Trouble on the Southern Frontier: Apaches, Gold, and the Old West

November 6-11, 2019

A BGES Indian Wars Field University Program

Tombstone in Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona
Courtesy Library of Congress
Hot, harsh, and stark are descriptive adjectives to define the American Southwest. It is a place well suited for snakes, cactus, and Apaches–vibrant life! Neil Magnum has spent a career working and living there, and now he offers a unique and broad look at the great history of the region. Walk in the footsteps of Cochise, Mangus Coloradas, and Geronimo faced and pursued by the American army. Visit the old Army forts like Fort Bowie and Fort Lowell. See the vestiges of the great Spanish influence and the Catholic Church at Mission San Xavier and Tubac Presidio. Consider the search for riches and the Wild West at Bisbee, Boot Hill Cemetery, and the OK Corral in Tombstone.



One of the nation’s foremost Indian Wars authorities and a life-long student of George Armstrong Custer, Neil Mangum served his career in the National Park Service where his postings included a tour as the Superintendent of the Little Big Horn National Battlefield. He was a key player in significant changes that made the site more inclusive and healing. His engaging manner has opened many doors to heritage tourists and made him one of the country’s most respected historians. He has also led tours of the Great Sioux Indian War, the Apache Wars, the Central Plains Indian War, the Buffalo Red River War, and many other Western themes. Recently he has turned to Americana tours, including the Pony Express, Route 66, and the Santa Fe Trail. He is the author of the definitive work, The Battle of the Rosebud: Prelude to the Little Big Horn. Neil retired from the NPS in 2003 and now lives in Payson, Arizona.