Cochise Facts








Apache Wars; Bascom Affair, Battle of Cookes Canyon, Battle of the Florida Mountains, Battle of Dragoon Springs, Battle of Apache Pass

Cochise Articles

Explore articles from the History Net archives about Cochise

» See all Cochise Articles

Cochise summary: Cochise was an Apache Indian chief. His territory covered parts of present day Arizona and New Mexico. For many years, Cochise maintained peace with the Americans, even allowing them to set up a post in his territory. However, in 1861, a farm was raided and cattle and a child were taken. United States Army Lieutenant George N. Bascom was sent out with orders to find the child. He asked to speak with Cochise about the raid. Cochise, used to peaceful interactions with the Americans, met with the lieutenant, apparently without much concern. After being told what had happened, Cochise, who had taken several members of his family along to the meeting, promised to try to find out what had happened to the child. The lieutenant remained suspicious, however, and decided that he was going to hold Cochise’s family members until the child was returned.

Cochise was appalled by the lieutenant’s actions and escaped the meeting by cutting through the tent. The other Apaches were taken prisoner; by some accounts one was killed and another wounded. Soon, Cochise took some white men prisoner and tried to negotiate an exchange of hostages with Lt. Bascom, who refused. The Apaches killed their captives and mutilated the bodies. In retaliation, three of the male Apaches being held by the Army were hanged at the site of the white victims’ mass grave. Bascom, who had opposed hanging the three prisoners, released Cochise’s wife and son. In 1872, Cochise agreed to a treaty that granted his tribe land in Arizona, and he remained there until his death two years later.