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- Cochise -
A Travelling Days Website

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COCHISE, who later became Apache chief of the central Chiricahua, was born in what is now known as Arizona, or New Mexico, around 1812. He was the descendent of a long line of chiefs. The picture (right) is Cochise's youngest son Naiche, said to have looked like his father, taken by Frank Randall in 1884. Not much is known about Cochise's descendants except that it is said they were brought up to follow in their footsteps.

Although Cochise was initially friendly towards whites, in 1861 this turned to hatred after he had been taken in custody on the false charge of kidnapping a white child. He escaped and joined up with another similarly disgruntled Apache leader, Mangas Coloradas. After Coloradas was murdered in 1863 Cochise became the main war chief of the Apaches.

For ten years Cochise and his warriors harassed the white settlers and the US Army by raiding lonely ranches and attacking stagecoaches, army patrols and miners' camps. Cochise's skills as a warrior inspired the respect of his people and terror in his enemies; however, he was generally believed to have been 'an honest man'. In spite of various successful ventures he and his supporters became gradually confined to a small area in the mountains and he surrendered to the troops of the US Army in 1871.

Cochise's skill as a diplomat helped his people retain the lands in the Chiricahua Mountains but after his death in 1874 the Government broke the treaty made with Cochise and moved the Chiricahua from their old mountain homeland to the hot, Arizona desert. Many refused to go and were sent to prison in Florida or died in Oklahoma from tuberculosis or other diseases. Cochise was succeeded as chief by his son, Taza.


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Former Cochise territory near the last stronghold.


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The last Cochis stronghold.


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Cochise Warriors.
Comments were received from Tim Quast of California who came upon this site while 'surfing the net' : "Thought you'd appreciate knowing that the Apaches you picture as "Cochise warriors" are in fact, from left to right, Yahnozha, Chappo, Fun and Geronimo, and this photo was taken near Canyon de los Embudos in Sonora, Mexico, in March 1886, some 12 years after Cochise's death. Chappo is Geronimo's son.
What with Naiche, son of Cochise, hanging around as well, it was quite a family affair. The others answered to Geronimo, though Naiche served as Geronimo's lieutenant of sorts. Fun and Chappo are said to be among the toughest Chiricahua warriors ever. Fun later shot himself while in exile at Fort Marion, FL."


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Memorial to Cochise in the last stronghold. Cochise was buried nearby by his followers but the exact location was "known to only one white man - Thomas J. Jeffords, his blood brother".


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