Picacho Peak State Park hosts Civil War in the Southwest - Tucson News Now

Picacho Peak State Park hosts Civil War in the Southwest

Experience three battle re-enactments during the annual Civil War the Southest event. (Source: http://azstateparks.com/parks/pipe/events.html) Experience three battle re-enactments during the annual Civil War the Southest event. (Source: http://azstateparks.com/parks/pipe/events.html)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -  Civil War buff? Then Pichacho Peak State Park on March 21 & 22 is the place for you. 

The annual historic re-enactment of an Arizona Civil War skirmish, Battle of Picacho Pass, and the New Mexico battles of Glorieta and Val Verde at "Civil War in the Southwest" at Picacho Peak State Park. 

The three re-enactments will take place on Saturday, March 21, 2015 and will be repeated on Sunday, March 22, 2015. Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days but gates will open at 9:30 a.m. and no further entry is allowed after 3 p.m.

"Visitors travel from around the country to experience these authentic historic re-enactments complete with lifestyles of the soldiers in the southwest during the 1860," said Executive Director Sue Black. "More than 200 re-enactors come in from many states and will camp at Picacho Peak State Park with their Civil War era camping gear." There will also be food and beverage concessions available. Please bring plenty of water, hat, lawn chair and sunscreen. Please note that pets are not permitted to this event.

Civil War battles across America have been well documented and history teachers carefully covered each battle across the East Coast, but few ever learn what was happening in the West during this time. One battle of the American Civil War was a skirmish fought near a rocky spire called Picacho Peak located between Phoenix and Tucson. The Interstate highway follows the old wagon route that passed Picacho in 1862.

In 1860 the New Mexico Territory, which consisted of the lands that would become the states of Arizona and New Mexico, was sparsely populated. It ranked 34th in population out of 43 states and territories with only 83,009 inhabitants. It was 37th in black population, with just eight of who were free. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the U.S. Government recalled the majority of its troops from the West to build the Union army for the fighting in the east. Henry Hopkins Sibley joined the Confederacy and convinced Jefferson Davis that he would raise an army in Texas and invade New Mexico territories. He proposed that mineral resources would fill the coffers of the Confederacy and fund their massive war effort.

For more information about the re-enactments, please visit AZStateParks.com/parks/PIPE or call Picacho Peak State Park at (520) 466-3183. This year the Civil War in the Southwest event is being coordinated with financial support from the Union Pacific Railroad Foundation, the Arizona State Parks Foundation and the Arizona Civil War Council.

Special Event Vehicle Entrance Fee is $10 per vehicle for up to 4 persons, each additional person is charged $3. The entrance fee for pedestrians and bicyclists is $3 per person. There is no charge for children aged 13 and younger. Pets are not permitted in the event area. The park is located off I-10, on exit 219; 60 miles south of Phoenix, and 40 miles north of Tucson.

For information about all 28 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703). Campsite reservations can be made online at AZStateParks.com or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520) 586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow AZStateParks on Twitter and Facebook.

Copyright 2015 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
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