Operations in the Southwest | American Battlefield Trust
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Operations in the Southwest

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In February 1862, a band of 120 Arizona Rangers under Captain Sherod Hunter entered Tucson and raised the Confederate flag. Hunter hoped to secure the Arizona Territory and expand the border of the Confederacy westward. Unionists there were jailed and their property confiscated. Union forces in California learned of the threat and quickly mobilized. In early April, Union Colonel James H. Carleton led a “Column from California” of 2,350 men toward Tucson. On April 15, Union cavalry skirmished with the Confederate Rangers near Picacho Peak. After a sharp fight, both sides withdrew.


Although the Rangers delayed the Union force and foiled a surprise attack against the town, Hunter evacuated Tucson in May when no additional Confederate forces were sent to the area. Carleton's Californians recaptured Tucson without firing a shot. Although it was a small skirmish, the engagement at Picacho Peak was the westernmost battle of the American Civil War and ended Confederate hopes of establishing a presence in Arizona.

Battlefields Today
Many battlefields are already preserved and restored to their 18th and 19th Century state. Many are also open to visitors by national, state and local battlefield park organizations. For information on how to visit the site of one of America's early battles, visit our Battlefields Section.
Picacho Peak State Park
Civil War
BATTLE MAP | Arizona State Parks’ map of the trails at Picacho Peak State Park
Picacho Peak Battlefield
Civil War
The Civil War in the Southwest Trail at Picacho Peak State Park interprets the 1862 skirmish at...
Default History Troops
Civil War
The Battle of Picacho Peak Picacho Pass In February 1862, a band of Confederate Rangers under Capt...