Cochise- Homeland Defender

Posted on March 6, 2012 by

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For the USHRS’s Native American research project, I decided to research the Apache Chief Cochise. For the first several days I started my research with a very general scope using primarily open internet sources such as Wikipedia. The goal for me in this stage is to find out who Cochise was and what he did that could make a good story. Through this research I have found that Cochise was known to roam between Northern Mexico and Arizona raiding Mexican and American settlers and military outposts for their supplies in guerrilla style raids. Eventually California volunteers attacked Cochise and Mangas Coloradas and about 500 Apache fighters in the battle of Apache Pass, in 1862. This battle stood out as one of the only fights openly against the United States Army. After the fight, Coloradas was killed at a peace meeting he was attending with American forces. The murder of Coloradas determined Cochise anti-American mindset despite originally being willing to work with American settlers. In addition to internet sources, I have started reading Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown to get an Indian perspective of who Cochise was. I hope to get across the idea that here is a man with the passion that America’s founding fathers had; to fight against a statistically stronger army for control of the land he loved. So why would Native Americans be destroyed and isolated instead of assimilated as others may be. Infrequently is there a time that people will fight to the death for something they believe in, Apache chief Cochise was one that would fight for what once belonged to his people.

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