"With more than twenty books published about the Navajo people, Robert S. McPherson is one of the most prolific contemporary writers concerning their history and culture. Scouting for the Bluecoats addresses a little-known and, until now, undocumented story of an estimated five hundred Navajos employed by the United States Army, primarily in the campaigns against the Apaches between 1873 and 1886. The author takes us with these scouts as they guide U.S. soldiers into the deserts, canyons, and mountains of New Mexico, Arizona, and Northern Mexico; he also provides a solid context about the origin of the Navajos and Apaches, their intertribal conflicts, and their elements of shared culture. Once again McPherson demonstrates his skill as a master historian, his understanding of these people, and a meaningful context for this long-neglected story of warrior-soldiers whose fieldcraft and dedication proved critical in shaping relations between the military and two Indian tribes in the Southwest."
—Kent Powell, Senior historian at Utah Division of State History and retired editor of Utah State Historical Quarterly
"Scouting for the Bluecoats examines the important role that Navajos played in military operations during the last quarter of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Unlike the famous Navajo code talkers of World War II, little has been written about these men who served in some of the most challenging and noteworthy struggles against the Apaches. Until now, their story has been forgotten. Navajo skills in understanding and tracking a wily foe across an inhospitable landscape proved to be essential elements in ending the Apache wars. For those interested in the recruitment and deployment of the scouts, measures taken to counter enemy tactics, and the challenge of obtaining recognition for their service, this book is an invaluable source and a must-read for any serious scholar of Navajo history."
—Ronald P. Maldonado, retired Tribal historic preservation officer, Navajo Nation