COCHISE STRONGHOLD - The Cochise County Historical Society (CCHS) will be commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the peace agreement forged between the great Chiricahua Apache chief Cochise and Brigadier General Oliver O. Howard.

The ceremony is set for Monday, October 10 at the East Stronghold in the Coronado National Forest, beginning at 10:00 am.

This famous event took place in 1872 in the Cochise Stronghold of the Dragoon Mountains and (temporarily) ended the Apache's war with the Whites. It also established the Chiricahua Indian Reservation, which was disbanded by the government four years later.

The Treaty of Santa Fe, ratified in 1853, failed to effectively delineate Chiricahua Apache Nation territory, and with the subsequent violations and inability of the US to enforce crimes against the Apache, warfare continued for years.

A meeting in 1872 at Council Rock in Arizona was set to resolve differences and clarify the meaning of the Treaty of Santa Fe. The Cochise-Howard Agreement negotiated a peace that recommitted them to abide by the terms of the Treaty of Santa Fe and delineated the “Chiricahua Reservation.”

The agreement itself never became a treaty, as in 1871 Congress removed a president’s ability to enter into such treaties with Native Nations, transferring that power to Congress. The agreement became a clarification, and codification of the principles behind the Santa Fe Treaty.

Descendants of both Cochise and General Howard will be present at the ceremony, as well as other Chiricahua Apache.

There is no charge to attend, nor is it necessary to RSVP. It is recommended that you bring your own lawn chair, since there is no seating in the area.

Specially minted coins, commemorating the anniversary, will be available at the site for purchase, for $5 each.

Location: The ceremony site is eight miles off Highway 191 in the Coronado National Forest:

Directions: From the small town of Sunsites on Highway 191, take Ironwood Road westbound. After a few miles, the pavement ends. The road becomes dirt but is well-graded, even for low-clearance vehicles. At eight miles from the highway, you will see an open meadow on the left side. This is the location.

For more information about this special, historically significant event sponsored by the CCHS, call president Bill Cavaliere at (520) 558-2580.