Arizona was one of the territories whose sentiments leaned towards the Confederacy. Succession from the Union occurred in March of 1861 with the establishment of Provisional Confederate Territory of Arizona. The Confederacy saw the Arizona territory as access to the Pacific Ocean as well as the gold in California. On April 15, 1862, known as the westernmost battle of the Civil war, a detachment of Union Calvary on patrol from California engaged a group of Confederate pickets or scouts at the Battle of Picacho Pass roughly eighteen miles from where we now sit in our trailer.
This morning the Arizona Parks Department hosted the Battle At Picacho Pass Reenactment and if you have never attended one of these you should. There were three complete military camps one each for the divisions involved in the skirmish. Complete with tents and all the accessories that you would find in a encampment. A doctor was on hand to explain the gory details of the surgeries and methods used to perform them. To say the least, cleanliness was not one of them. For example, the term "bite the bullet" comes from the fact that soldiers were given a lead ball to bite on during surgical procedures. During excavation of some of these field hospitals several of the balls were found with different teeth marks imbedded in them as if the ball was passed from patient to patient.
I stayed for the reenactment and had a great time except for the sun beating down and the perch I chose to sit on. I was first in line.
|First in line|
As you walk along the pedestrian trail you round a corner and see the Union Flag flying high in the morning sun light as Union soldiers stand around in groups.
|The Union Encampment|
|The Doctors Office|
None of the soldiers appear ready to do battle as they stand chatting about their leaders in their wool uniforms, sun blaring down and heat starting to present itself.
You get the sense for what happened and how it happened watching these reenactments. Like I said, I had never been to one but I would certainly go to another and would highly recommend them for history buffs or people who just want to know.
Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by