Chief Cochise was one of the great leaders of the Apache Indians in their battles with the Anglo-Americans.
Known as “The Apache Napoleon,” Cochise was war chief of the Chiricahua Apache tribe and fought tirelessly against the American and Mexican armies and settlers for many years. Cochise originally befriended white settlers until he was wrongly accused of kidnapping and several of his relatives were executed in retaliation in 1861. From that point on, Cochise made it his mission to kill as many white men as possible in Arizona. The following year, Cochise and his followers took on the U.S. Army in the battle at Apache Pass. Although he lost that engagement, Cochise continued his attacks on settlements and travelers on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border until signing a peace treaty with the U.S. in 1872. He died on a reservation a couple of years later.
Cochise (or “Cheis”) was one of the most famous Apache leaders (along with Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas) to resist intrusions by 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 1.78 m (5’10”) tall and weighed about 175 lbs. In his own language, his name “Cheis” meant “having the quality or strength of oak.”
Cochise Quote: “When I was young I walked all over this country, east and west, and saw no other people than the Apaches. After many summers I walked again and found another race of people had come to take it. How is it?