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Encyclopedia > Confederate Territory of Arizona
Territories in and in .
Territories in Arizona and New Mexico in 1863.

The Arizona Territory of the Confederate States of America was an organized territory of the Confederacy that existed between 1861 and 1865. The territory overlapped but was not identical to the Arizona Territory created by the United States in 1863. The Confederate territory was the scene of important battles in the western campaign of the American Civil War, primarily because it offered a possible Confederate invasion route to southern California.


History

Before the start of the war, all the land of the current states of New Mexico and Arizona was part of the New Mexico Territory. As early as 1856, concerns had been raised about the ability of the territorial government in Santa Fe to effectively govern the southern part of the territory.


In July, 1860, a convention of settlers from the southern part of the territory was held in Tucson. The convention drafted a constitution for a provisional "Territory of Arizona" organized out of the New Mexico Territory south of 34 degrees N (i.e., along an east–west line, rather than the current north–south division), and elected a delegate to Congress. The proposal, however, did not succeed in Congress because of opposition from anti-slavery Congressmen.


After the start of the American Civil War, support for the Confederacy was strong in the southern part of the territory. In 1861, a force of Texans under Lt. Colonel John Baylor invaded the southern New Mexico Territory and forced the Union troops there to surrender. On August 1, 1861, Baylor proclaimed the existence of a Confederate Arizona Territory out of the area defined in the Tucson convention the previous year. He appointed himself as governor.


The proposal to organize the territory was passed in the Confederate Congress in early 1862 and proclaimed by President Jefferson Davis on February 14, 1862. Efforts by the Confederacy to secure control of the region led to the New Mexico campaign.


See also: Arizona Territory (USA)


 
 

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