Cochise and the "Bascom Affair"
January 28, 1861 Lieutenant George Bascom
invited Cochise and several of his best men
into their camp for a friendly dinner.
Cochise had complied with the request,
believing the soldiers knew, as he did, that
a band of Coyoteros Apaches had kidnapped
the boy, and that the Chiricahuas had
nothing to do with it. Cochise and his men
were arrested. Bascom informed Cochise that
he was under arrest, to be held as hostage
for return of the child. Cochise defended
his case and told the soldiers that he did
kidnap anyone, but they refused to believe
him. Cochise was able to escape by boring a
hole through the tent in which he was held
in. Bascom then ordered the hanging of six
Apache prisoners. Cochise never trusted a
white man again. In 1862 the murder of Chief Mangus Colorado (Red Sleeve)
and the mutilation of his body only
increased the hostility between Apaches and
the United States.
Cochise - The Battle of Apache Pass
After his escape, Cochise led the Apache
Indians that were under his control and
increased the number of raids against United
States settlements and camps. Hundreds of
civilians were killed and others, fearing
for their lives evacuated from their houses.
Then came the famed ambush of the California
Volunteers in Apache Pass on July 15, 1862.
Unfortunately for the Indian tribe, the
American soldiers brought out their
artillery guns (howitzers) which forced them
Cochise becomes War Chief
Cochise was not daunted by the heavy
artillery and in 1863 he was made war chief
of the Apaches. He fought stubbornly against
the Americans targeting settlements,
stagecoaches and mail carriers.
Cochise and Tom Jeffords
In 1867 a brave mail contractor named Tom
Jeffords had the courage to ride into
Cochise's camp to ask for a personal treaty.
Cochise was so impressed by the man's
courage that he honored the request. After
that, mail carriers were never molested, and
Tom Jeffords and Cochise became close
Cochise and the Peace Treaty
In 1872 the United States government
represented by General Otis Howard sought to
pacify the Chiricahua Apaches and Cochise by
assigning them a reservation in their
Dragoon Mountains homeland, Cochise agreed
provided that Tom Jeffords was appointed
agent. Two years after the peace agreement
was settled, Cochise suffered a disease
which was believed to be stomach cancer and
died on June 8, 1874. His remains were
secretly buried in a place deep in Dragoon
Mountains along with his weapons. In 1876
the Chiricahua's reservation was terminated
and the people were forced to move. It was
Geronimo who then
became war chief and continued the war with
the white settlers.
Cochise is Exonerated by Fellix Tellez
A decade after his death, Cochise’s
innocence was proven when the kidnapped
Fellix Tellez appeared and worked for the
U.S. Army. He said that it was a Western
Apache tribe that kidnapped him and Cochise
was not part of it. Fellix Tellez served the
American Army as a scout who spoke Apache.
Cochise was at last exonerated.
The Story of
For additional facts and information refer
to the legend and the
Story of Cochise
Story of the Apache Wars.
The Apache Wars
Apache Wars were a series of conflicts
fought over 50 years (1851 - 1900) with
American settlers and the US army against
many Apache tribes in the southwestern United States. The Apache tribes
involved in the conflicts included the Chiricahua, Jicarilla,
Mescalero, Lipan, Chihenne or Warm Springs Apaches.
The famous leaders of the Apache Wars were
Geronimo, Cochise, Chatto,