A quote from Cochise, Apache leader almost brought me to tears because it has such a sad tone coming from a man who just wanted peace and to be left alone.
“When I was young, I walked all over this country.After many summers, I walked again and saw another race of people who come to take it. How is it? Why is it the Apaches wait to die, that they carry their fingernails. They roam over the hills and the plains and want for the heavens to fall on them. The Apaches were once a great nation. Now they are few and because of this they want to die, so carry their lives on their fingernails.- Cochise
We can all have different interpretations of his quotes, but for me personally, he is saying, the white man came in greed to take the land and whatever they could find, while the Apaches did not want anything but to live in peace on their land, because that was all they knew and treasured it like gold.
Let’s go back in time together and understand what happened that made Cochise who he was.
Let’s go back in history to the year 1861, in the month of February. When a twelve year old boy disappears from an Arizona rancher. His son, was kidnapped by Apaches. Cochise was falsely accused of this atrocity . Then, Lt. George Bascom made arrangements to meet with him. Cochise has no idea of the impending danger that lied ahead, and nonchalantly took his family to meet Bascom. He told him of his innocence and honestly had no idea where the kid was! Bascom decided to hold him and his family hostage in a tent. Cochise, being a highly intelligent man cut the tent and escaped , even with bullets being shot at him. Cochise vowed revenge against them and ignited the southwestern frontier between the U.S army and the Chiricahua apaches that lasted 25 years. Your probably curious as to what Cochise means? Yes, it means “the quality of strength of an oak”
The significance of the Dragoon Mts. Is that the Chiricahua apaches used this place as a safe haven and even wrote a quote about these mountains.
“I am alone in this world, I want to live in these mountains. I do not want to go to Tularosa ( in New Mexico) This is a long way off. I have drank the waters of the Dragoon Mts and this has cooled me. I do not want to leave here.” Cochise died in June of 1874 in the Dragoon Mts. And is at peace. No one knows where. He was a magnificent leader and looked up to. He had his wrath and he made his peace. Cochise stronghold is a place for people to hike, climb rocks or just camp out, but never forget the leader of the Apaches who was and always will be the Warrior.