In 1861, war between the United States and the Chiricahua seemed inevitable. The Apache band lived on a heavily traveled Emigrant and Overland Mail Trail and routinely raided it, organized by their leader, the prudent, not friendly Cochise. When a young boy was kidnapped from his stepfather’s ranch, Lieutenant George Bascom confronted Cochise even though there was no proof that the Chiricahua were responsible. After a series of missteps, Cochise exacted a short-lived revenge. Despite modern accounts based on spurious evidence, Bascom’s performance in a difficult situation was admirable. This book examines the legend and provides a new analysis of Bascom’s and Cochise’s behavior, putting it in the larger context of the Indian Wars that followed the American Civil War.
Doug Hocking was born on Long Island. While still young, Hocking was transplanted to the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in New Mexico where he grew up forming close friendships with Native Americans and Mexican Americans learning the peoples, cultures, and terrain of the Southwest. Hocking currently lives in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where he has frequently visited the site of Forts Buchanan and Breckenridge, Cochise’s Stronghold, Johnny Ward’s Ranch, and Apache Pass, seeing them through the eyes of historian, ethnographer, and archaeologist.