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The Civil War and Arizona


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Click to enlarge map showing Arizona "Map of the Confederacy - 1863".  Copyright 1997. Used
by permission - www.csamap.com.

**Note the 34th Parallel.  The Southern sympathizers created during this short phase cost Tucson dearly.  They lost the Territorial Capitol to Phoenix.

Did you know Arizona seceded from the Union in 1861? That same year Cochise had family members killed at the hand of Lt. Bascom and finally joined his uncle, Mangas Coloradas, on the war path against all intruders.  The Apaches had literally run off anyone who wasn't a member of their tribe. 

Arizona's Civil War story is a colorful one.  Colonel John R. Baylor of the Confederate States of America (CSA) defeated Union troops in Arizona and New Mexico in March 1861. Arizona became a Confederate Territory  when it was annexed by the Confederate President Jefferson Davis who was also the ex Secretary of War under President Abraham Lincoln.  Baylor was later named governor in January 1862. He set up a territorial government for the Confederacy with its own  constitution. It was not until General Carelton and the California Volunteers recaptured Tucson in June 1862 and drove out Confederate forces that Arizona was under Union control. Ironically, Arizonans had begged for territorialship numerous times and been turned down.  The Confederacy, on the other hand, immediately recognized it.  Having been a territory during Civil War allowed Arizona to get it's wish. 

The Battle of Picacho Pass, "the westernmost conflict of the Civil War",  was fought on April 15, 1862. It took place  between Tucson and Phoenix near Picacho Peak. Arizona became a territory under the Union flag February 26 1863.  (If you go on the I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson, you will pass the Picacho Peak mountains and see an exit to see the park.) Read the Ordinance of Secession below.  It's a rich moment in Arizona history. Statehood would elude Arizona for another 49 years.

AZ confederate map.JPG (63579 bytes) Map of the Confederacy prior to the annexation of the Arizona Territory by the US government. Click to enlarge.


Passed by the People of Arizona in Convention Assembled at La Mesilla, Arizona Territory, March 16, 1861

"WHEREAS, a sectional party of the North has disregarded the Constitution of the United States, violated the rights of the Southern States, and heaped wrongs and indignities upon their people; and WHEREAS, the Government of the United States has heretofore failed to give us adequate protection against the savages within our midst and has denied us an administration of the laws, and that security for life, liberty, and property which is due from all governments to the people; and WHEREAS, it is an inherent, inalienable right in all people to modify, alter, or abolish their form of government whenever it fails in the legitimate objects of its institution, or when it is subversive thereof; and WHEREAS, in a government of federated, sovereign States, each State has a right to withdraw from the confederacy whenever the treaty by which the league is formed, is broken; and WHEREAS, the Territories belonging to said league in common should be divided when the league is broken, and should be attached to the separating States according to their geographical position and political identity; and WHEREAS, Arizona naturally belongs to the Confederate States of America (who have rightfully and lawfully withdrawn from said league), both geographically and politically, by ties of a common interest and a common cause; and WHEREAS we, the citizens of that part of New Mexico called Arizona, in the present distracted state of political affairs between the North and the South, deem it our duty as citizens of the United States to make known our opinions and intentions; therefore be it...

RESOLVED, That our feelings and interests are with the Southern States , and that although we deplore the division of the Union, yet we cordially indorse the course pursued by the seceded Southern States.

RESOLVED, That geographically and naturally we are bound to the South, and to her we look for protection; and as the Southern States have formed a Confederacy, it is our earnest desire to be attached to that Confederacy as a Territory.

RESOLVED, That we do not desire to be attached as a Territory to any State seceding separately from the Union, but to and under the protection of a Confederacy of the Southern States.

RESOLVED, That the recent enactment of the Federal Congress, removing the mail service from the Atlantic to the Pacific States from the Southern to the Central or Northern route, is another powerful reason for us to ask the Southern Confederate States of America for a continuation of the postal service over the Butterfield or El Paso route, at the earliest period.

RESOLVED, That it shall be the duty of the President of this Convention to order an election for a delegate to the Congress of the Confederate States of America, when he is informed that the States composing said Confederacy have ordered an election for members of Congress.

RESOLVED, That we will not recognize the present Black Republican Administration, and that we will resist any officers appointed to this Territory by said Administration with whatever means in our power.

RESOLVED, That the citizens residing in the western portion of this Territory are invited to join us in this movement.

RESOLVED, That the proceedings of this Convention be published in the Mesilla Times, and that a copy thereof be forwarded to the President of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, with the request that the same be laid before Congress."

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Map of Arizona


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Map of the reservations and Four Corners 


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