Bronze bust of Cochise, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Arizona
Chiricahua country, under Spanish occupation
|Died||June 8, 1874|
Cochise Stronghold, Dragoon Mountains, Arizona, U.S.
|Allegiance||Chiricahua Apache Indians|
|Years of service||1861–1872|
|Rank||Chief (or leader) of Chiricahua Apaches|
Cochise ( // ; in Apache: Shi-ka-She or A-da-tli-chi – "having the quality or strength of an oak", after the whites called him "Cochise", the Apache adopted it as K'uu-ch'ish or Cheis "oak"; c. 1805 – June 8, 1874) was leader of the Chihuicahui local group of the Chokonen ("central" or "real" Chiricahua) and principal chief (or nantan) of the Chokonen band of the Chiricahua Apache. A key war leader during the Apache Wars, he led an uprising against the U.S. government which began in 1861, and persisted until a peace treaty in 1872. Cochise County, Arizona is named after him.
A chiefdom is a form of hierarchical political organization in non-industrial societies usually based on kinship, and in which formal leadership is monopolized by the legitimate senior members of select families or 'houses'. These elites form a political-ideological aristocracy relative to the general group.
Chiricahua are a band of Apache Native Americans, based in the Southern Plains and Southwest United States. Culturally related to other Apache peoples, Chiricahua historically shared a common area, language, customs, and intertwined family relations. At the time of European contact, they had a territory of 15 million acres (61,000 km2) in Southwestern New Mexico and Southeastern Arizona in the United States and in Northern Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico.
The Apache are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Salinero, Plains and Western Apache. Distant cousins of the Apache are the Navajo, with which they share the Southern Athabaskan languages. There are Apache communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Apache people have moved throughout the United States and elsewhere, including urban centers. The Apache Nations are politically autonomous, speak several different languages and have distinct cultures.
Cochise (or "Cheis") was one of the most noted Apache leaders (along with Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas) to resist intrusions by European Americans during the 19th century. He was described as a large man (for the time), with a muscular frame, classical features, and long black hair, which he wore in traditional Apache style. He was about six feet tall and weighed about 175 pounds.In his own language, his name Cheis meant "having the quality or strength of oak."
Geronimo was a prominent leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Apache tribe. From 1850 to 1886 Geronimo joined with members of three other Chiricahua Apache bands — the Tchihende, the Tsokanende and the Nednhi — to carry out numerous raids, as well as resistance to U.S. and Mexican military campaigns in the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora, and in the southwestern American territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Geronimo's raids and related combat actions were a part of the prolonged period of the Apache–United States conflict, which started with American settlement in Apache lands following the end of the war with Mexico in 1848.
Mangas Coloradas or Mangus-Colorado, or Dasoda-hae was an Apache tribal chief and a member of the Mimbreño (Tchihende) division of the Central Apaches, whose homeland stretched west from the Rio Grande to include most of what is present-day southwestern New Mexico. He was the father-in-law of the Chiricahua (Tsokanende) Chief Cochise, the Mimbreño Chief Victorio and the Mescalero (Sehende) Chief Kutu-hala or Kutbhalla, and is regarded by many historians to be one of the most important Native American leaders of the 19th century due to his fighting achievements against the Mexicans and Americans.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Cochise and the Chokonen-Chiricahua lived in the area that is now the northern region of Sonora, Mexico; New Mexico and Arizona, which they had settled in sometime before the arrival of the European explorers and colonists.As Spain and later Mexico attempted to gain dominion over the Chiricahua lands, the indigenous groups became increasingly resistant. Cycles of warfare developed, which the Apache mostly won. Eventually, the Spanish tried a different approach; they tried to make the Apache dependent (thereby placating them), giving them older firearms and liquor rations issued by the colonial government (this was called the "Galvez Peace Policy"). After Mexico gained independence from Spain and took control of this territory, it ended the practice, perhaps lacking the resources (and/or possibly the will) to continue it. The various Chiricahua bands resumed raiding in the 1830s to acquire what they wanted after the Mexicans stopped selling these goods to them.
Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border primarily with the state of Arizona with a small length with New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.
New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east-southeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
As a result, the Mexican government began a series of military operations to stop the raiding by the Chiricahua, but they were fought to a standstill by the Apache. Cochise's father was killed in the fighting. Cochise deepened his resolve and the Chiricahua Apache pursued vengeance against the Mexicans. Mexican forces captured Cochise at one point in 1848 during an Apache raid on Fronteras, Sonora, but he was exchanged for nearly a dozen Mexican prisoners.
Fronteras is the seat of Fronteras Municipality in the northeastern part of the Mexican state of Sonora. Frontera translates as Border. The elevation is 1,120 meters and neighboring municipalities are Agua Prieta, Nacozari and Bacoachi. The area is 2839.62 km², which represents 1.53% of the state total.
Beginning with early Spanish colonization around 1600, the Apache in their territory suffered tension and strife with European settlers until the greater part of the area was acquired by the United States in 1850, following the Mexican War. For a time, the two peoples managed peaceful relations. In the late 1850s, Cochise may have supplied firewood for the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach station at Apache Pass.
The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the Intervención estadounidense en México, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848. It followed in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, not formally recognized by the Mexican government, disputing the Treaties of Velasco signed by Mexican caudillo President/General Antonio López de Santa Anna after the Texas Revolution a decade earlier. In 1845, newly elected U.S. President James K. Polk, who saw the annexation of Texas as the first step towards a further expansion of the United States, sent troops to the disputed area and a diplomatic mission to Mexico. After Mexican forces attacked U.S. forces, Polk cited this in his request that Congress declare war.
Butterfield Overland Mail was a stagecoach service in the United States operating from 1858 to 1861. It carried passengers and U.S. Mail from two eastern termini, Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California. The routes from each eastern terminus met at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and then continued through Indian Territory (Oklahoma), Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico, and California ending in San Francisco. On March 3, 1857, Congress authorized the U.S. postmaster general, Aaron Brown, to contract for delivery of the U.S. mail from Saint Louis to San Francisco. Prior to this, U.S. Mail bound for the Far West had been delivered by the San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line since June 1857.
A stagecoach is a four-wheeled public coach used to carry paying passengers and light packages on journeys long enough to need a change of horses. It is strongly sprung and generally drawn by four horses.
The tenuous peace did not last, as European-American encroachment into Apache territory continued. In 1861, the Bascom affair was a catalyst for armed confrontation. An Apache raiding party had driven away a local rancher's cattle and kidnapped his 12-year-old step-son (Felix Ward, who later became known as Mickey Free). Cochise and his band were mistakenly accused of the incident (which had been carried out by another band, Coyotero Apache).Army officer Lt. George Bascom invited Cochise to the Army's encampment in the belief that the warrior was responsible for the incident. Cochise maintained his innocence and offered to look into the matter with other Apache groups, but the officer tried to arrest him. Cochise escaped by drawing a knife and slashing his way out of the tent. Cochise may have been shot as he fled.
The Bascom affair was a confrontation between Apache Indians and the United States Army under Lt. George Nicholas Bascom in the Arizona Territory in early 1861. It has been considered to have directly precipitated the decades-long Apache Wars between the United States and several tribes in the southwestern United States. War was coming with the Chiricahua Apache. The affair led to an open break and open hostilities, but Cochise had not previously been peaceful, he had been prudent and avoided raiding Americans. He had, however, stolen livestock from the Overland Mail, from Fort Buchanan and had twice been forced to return stolen stock by Capt. Richard S. Ewell, who swore that if he had to deal with Cochise again, he would strike a blow.
Mickey Free, birth name Felix Telles, was an Apache Indian scout and bounty hunter on the American frontier. Following his kidnapping by Apaches as a child, he was raised as one and became a warrior. Later he joined the US Army's Apache scouts, serving at Fort Verde between December 1874 and May 1878 and was given the nickname, Mickey Free.
Bascom captured some of Cochise's relatives, who apparently were taken by surprise as Cochise escaped. Cochise eventually also took hostages to use in negotiations to free the Apache Indians.However, the negotiations fell apart, because the arrival of U.S. troop reinforcements led Cochise to believe that the situation was spiraling out of his control. Both sides eventually killed all their remaining hostages. Cochise went on to carry out about 11 years of relentless warfare, reducing much of the Mexican/American settlements in southern Arizona to a burned-out wasteland. Dan Thrapp estimated the total death toll of settlers and Mexican/American travelers may have reached 5,000, but most historians believe it was more likely a few hundred. The mistaken arrest of Cochise by Lt. Bascom is still remembered by the Chiricahua's descendants today, who describe the incident as "Cut the Tent".
Cochise joined with his father-in-law Mangas Coloradas (Red Sleeves, Kan-da-zis Tlishishen), the powerful Chihenne-Chiricahua chief, in a long series of retaliatory skirmishes and raids on the white settlements and ranches.The Battle of Dragoon Springs was one of these engagements. During the raids, many people were killed, but the Apache quite often had the upper hand. The United States was distracted by its own internal conflict of the looming Civil War, and had begun to pull military forces out of the area. It did not have the resources to deal with the Apache. Additionally, the Apaches were highly adapted to living and fighting in the harsh terrain of the southwest. Many years passed before the US Army, using tactics conceived by General George Crook and later adopted by General Nelson A. Miles, were able to effectively challenge the Apache warrior on his own lands.
At Apache Pass in 1862, Cochise and Mangas Coloradas, with around 500 fighters, held their ground against a New Mexico-bound force of California volunteers under General James Henry Carleton until carriage-mounted howitzer artillery fire was brought to bear on their positions in the rocks above.
According to scout John C. Cremony and historian Dan L. Thrapp, the howitzer fire sent the Apaches into an immediate retreat. The Battle of Apache Pass was one of the rare pitched battles the Apaches fought against the United States Army. Normally, the Apaches' tactics involved guerrilla-style warfare. Capt. Thomas Roberts was persuaded by this conflict that it would be best to find a route around Apache Pass, which he did. Gen. Carleton continued unhindered to New Mexico and subsequently took over as commander of the territory.
In January 1863, Gen. Joseph R. West, under orders from Gen. Carleton, captured Mangas Coloradas by luring him into a conference under a flag of truce. During what was to be a peaceful parley session, the Americans took Mangas Coloradas prisoner and later murdered him.This fanned the flames of enmity between the encroaching Americans and the Apache. Cochise believed that the Americans had violated the rules of war by capturing and killing Mangas Coloradas during a parley session. Cochise and the Apache continued their raids against U.S. and Mexican settlements and military positions throughout the 1860s.
Following various skirmishes, Cochise and his men were gradually driven into Arizona's Dragoon Mountains, but used the mountains for cover and as a base from which to continue attacks against white settlements. Cochise evaded capture and continued his raids against white settlements and travelers until 1872. In 1871, General Oliver O. Howard was ordered to find Cochise, and in 1872, Howard was accompanied by his aide 1st Lt Joseph Alton Sladen and Captain Samuel S. Sumner, and they came to Arizona to negotiate a peace treaty with Cochise. Tom Jeffords, the Apache leader's only white friend, was also present and a treaty was successfully negotiated on October 12, 1872.Based on statements by Sumner and descriptions by Sladen, modern historians such as Robert M. Utley believe that Cochise's Spanish interpreter was Geronimo.
After the peace treaty, Cochise retired to his new reservation, the short-lived Chiricahua Reservation (1872-1876), with his friend Jeffords as agent. Cochise died of natural causes (probably abdominal cancer) in 1874. He was buried in the rocks above one of his favorite camps in Arizona's Dragoon Mountains, now called the Cochise Stronghold. Only his people and Tom Jeffords knew the exact location of his resting place, and they took the secret to their graves.
Many of Cochise's descendants reside at the Mescalero Apache Reservation, near Ruidoso, New Mexico, as well as the Fort Sill Apache Tribe Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache in Oklahoma.
Whether a portrait of Cochise exists is unknown; a reported portrait of Cochise is actually that of a 1903 Pueblo of Isleta man named Juan Rey Abetia.
He married Dos-teh-seh (Dos-tes-ey, Doh-teh-seh – "Something-at-the-campfire-already-cooked", b. 1838), the daughter of Mangas Coloradas, the leader of the Warm Springs and Mimbreño local groups of the Chihenne band. Their children were Taza (1842–1876) and Naiche (1856–1919).
The best-selling novel by Elliott Arnold in 1947 titled Blood Brother gives a fictionalized account of the latter part of the struggle and friendship between Jeffords and Cochise.
In 1950, director Delmer Daves turned Arnold's novel into a film re-titled Broken Arrow, featuring James Stewart as Jeffords and Jeff Chandler as Cochise. Broken Arrow is often credited as the first sound film to show a sympathetic picture of Native Americans and influenced the popular image of Native American people. The tall, handsome, deeply tanned Chandler, a Jewish actor born in Brooklyn, New York, portrayed Cochise as a noble, nearly tragic character forced to fight against the U.S. Army officers who led incursions into Apache territory.
John Ford's representation of Cochise in the 1948 film Fort Apache was also positive to Native Americans, although in that film Cochise spoke Spanish (a language the Apaches had learned from their Mexican enemies).Jeff Chandler again portrayed Cochise in the 1952 film The Battle at Apache Pass . Chandler also played Cochise in Taza, Son of Cochise (1954), with Rock Hudson as his son, Taza The film Conquest of Cochise released by Columbia Pictures in 1953 and starring John Hodiak as Cochise also showed Cochise as a caring man who wanted peace with whites. Broken Arrow was a TV Western series that told a fictionalized account of the historical relationship between Jeffords (John Lupton) and Cochise (Michael Ansara); the show was aired on ABC in prime time from 1956 through 1958. Cochise was portrayed by Jeff Morrow in a 1961 episode of Bonanza .
"Cochise" is an instrumental piece in the album "Guitars", by Mike Oldfield.
Audioslave's debut single "Cochise" is named after the chief. In an interview, guitarist Tom Morello said that Cochise was "the last great American Indian chief to die free and absolutely unconquered. When several members of his family were captured, tortured and hanged by the U.S. Cavalry, Cochise declared war on the entire Southwest.... Cochise the avenger, fearless and resolute, attacked everything in his path with an unbridled fury."
The 2008 novel by Melody Groves titled Arizona War: A Colton Brothers Saga gives a fictionalized account of Cochise's dealings with the main characters, James and Trace Colton, during the early 1860s including the Bascom Affair of 1861 and the New Mexico-bound force of California volunteers under General James Henry Carleton during 1862.
Wes Studi portrays Cochise in A Million Ways to Die in the West .
A statue of Cochise is shown as a meeting point between friends Jaime Reyes and Tye Longshadow in the Young Justice episode "Beneath."
A small lunar crater was named after Cochise, located near the landing site in the Taurus–Littrow valley, by the astronauts of Apollo 17.
Phoenix-area theme park, Legend City (now defunct), featured a popular animatronic river ride called Cochise's Stronghold.
Victorio was a warrior and chief of the Warm Springs band of the Tchihendeh division of the central Apaches in what is now the American states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua.
The Apache Wars were a series of armed conflicts between the United States Army and various Apache nations fought in the southwest between 1849 and 1886, though minor hostilities continued until as late as 1924. The United States inherited conflicts between American invaders and Apache groups when Mexico ceded territory after the Mexican–American War in 1846. These conflicts were continued as new United States citizens came into traditional Apache lands to raise livestock, crops and to mine minerals.
Juh was a warrior and leader of the Janeros local group of the Ndéndai band of the Chiricahua Apache. Prior to the 1870s, Juh was unknown in the areas controlled by the United States. He went to many wars together with the Tchihende leader Mangas Coloradas and Tsokanende leader Cochise, and was particularly close to the Bedonkohe di-yin and leader Geronimo; they grew up together even though they were from different bands. His name reportedly meant "He sees ahead" or "Long neck." He was also known as Tan-Dɨn-Bɨl-No-Jui - "He Brings Many Things With Him" or Ya-Natch-Cln - "See Far".
Dahteste was a Choconen Apache woman warrior.
Apache Pass, also known by its earlier Spanish name Puerto del Dado, is a historic mountain pass in the U.S. state of Arizona between the Dos Cabezas Mountains and Chiricahua Mountains at an elevation of 5,110 feet (1,560 m). It is approximately 20 miles (32 km) east-southeast of Willcox, Arizona, in Cochise County.
Taza was the son of Cochise, leader of the Chihuicahui local group of the Chokonen and principal chief of the Chokonen band of the Chiricahua Apache and his principal wife Dos-teh-seh (“Something-at-the-campfire-already-cooked”), the daughter of Mangus Coloradas, leader of the Copper Mines and last leader of the Mimbreños local groups of the Chihenne band and principal chief of the Chihenne band of the Chiricahua Apache.
Thomas Jefferson "Tom" Jeffords was a United States Army scout, Indian agent, prospector, and superintendent of overland mail in the Arizona Territory. His friendship with Apache leader Cochise was instrumental in ending the Indian wars in that region. He first met Cochise when he rode alone into Cochise's camp in 1871 to request that the chief come to Canada Alamosa for peace talks. Cochise declined at least in part because he was afraid to travel with his family after the recent Camp Grant Massacre. Three months later he made the trip and stayed for over six months during which time their friendship grew while the negotiations failed. Cochise was unwilling to accept the Tularosa Valley as his reservation and home. In October 1872, Jeffords led General Oliver O. Howard to Cochise's Stronghold, believed to be China Meadow, in the Dragoon Mountains. Cochise demanded and got the Dragoon and Chiricahua Mountains as his reservation and Tom Jeffords as his agent. From 1872 to 1876, there was peace in southern Arizona. Then renegade Apaches killed Nicholas Rogers who had sold them whiskey and the cry went out to abolish the reservation and remove Jeffords as agent. Tom Jeffords embarked on a series of ventures as sutler and postmaster at Fort Huachuca, head of the first Tucson water company trying to bring artesian water to that city, and as prospector and mine owner and developer. He died at Owl Head Buttes in the Tortolita Mountains 35 miles north of Tucson.
Chief Naiche was the final hereditary chief of the Chiricahua band of Apache Indians.
Yuma William "Bill" Rowdy was a United States Army Indian scout and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory.
Kas-tziden or Haškɛnadɨltla, more widely known by his Mexican-Spanish appellation Nana, was a warrior and chief of the Chihenne band of the Chiricahua Apache. In the 1850s and 1860s he was one of the best known leaders of the Bedonkohe and Chihenne, along with Tudeevia, Cuchillo Negro, Ponce and Loco. He was a nephew of Delgadito, and married a sister of Geronimo.
Loco was a Copper Mines Mimbreño Apache chief who was known for seeking peace at all costs with the US Army, despite the outlook of his fellow apaches like Victorio and Geronimo.
The Battle of the Mimbres River was a surprise attack launched by a troop of American militia against an encampment of Chiricahua Apaches along the western shore of the Mimbres River.
The Battle of Cookes Canyon was a military engagement fought between settlers from Confederate Arizona and Chiricahua Apaches in August 1861. It occurred about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Mesilla, in Cookes Canyon. The exact date of the battle is unknown. The battle occurred in the larger context of both the Apache Wars and the American Civil War.
The Battle of Pinos Altos was a military action of the Apache Wars. It was fought on September 27, 1861 between settlers of Pinos Altos mining town, the Confederate Arizona Guards, and Apache warriors. The town is located about seven miles north of the present day Silver City, New Mexico.
Major John C. Cremony was an American soldier who wrote the first dictionary of the Apache language and later became a newspaperman in San Francisco.
Chato was a Chiricahua Apache subchief who carried out several raids on settlers in Arizona in the 1870s. His Apache name was Bidayajislnl or Pedes-klinje. He was a protege of Cochise, and he surrendered with Cochise in 1872 going to live on the San Carlos Reservation in southern Arizona, where he became an Apache Scout. Following his service as a scout he was taken prisoner after being coerced to travel to Washington, D.C. Chato was imprisoned in St. Augustine, Florida along with almost 500 other Apache at Fort Marion.
Chihuahua or Chewawa, by the Apache also known as Kla-esh or Tłá'í'ez was chief of the Chokonen local group of the Tsokanende Band of Chiricahua Apache who carried out several raids on settlers in Arizona in the 1870s and 1880s. His elder brother Ulzana, who would later became known as leader of a very famous raid through New Mexico and Arizona in 1885, was his war chief (segundo).