Confederate Capital of Arizona Territory

I probably should have added this to the last post, but somehow it seems to me to deserve a place of its own.

That building sitting on the corner of the plaza in Mesilla, New Mexico, was the self-same structure Col. Baylor of the Texas Baylor Baylors of Texas aristocracy chose as the capital building for the Confederate Territory of Arizona.

Baylor turned out to be a less-than-optimal governor to the Territory, brought himself up for all manner of criticism.  One of which being the source of an order to kill all the male Indians in the fledgling Territory, and make slaves of all the kids and surviving females.

News travelled slowly in those days, and this command reached Richmond, Virginia at a time to dovetail nicely with news of Sibley failures, chaotic retreat after Glorietta, and other matters not calculated to endear Baylor to the general Confederate command structure.

For instance, the retreating Texans left their severely injured in the hospital at Fort Davis as they passed through, hop-skip-and-jump ahead of pursuing Union Forces.  Obviously intending to defer medical treatment to the pursuers.

But Apache arrived at that hospital ahead of the Yankees.  Tortured, disembowelled, roasted those Texans at their leisure, finally killed them in time for the arrival of the rescuers.

Ultimately Baylor was reduced in rank to corporal and sentenced to spend the remainder of the war walking guard in Galveston, where he served honorably.

Old Jules

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4 responses to “Confederate Capital of Arizona Territory

  1. There’s a lot to be said for honorable service. On the way out of my own enlistment, I served honorably while edging the parking lots with a butter knife. I haven’t taken any orders since that time.

  2. Rule No. 1 for anyone serving in the west back before 1900 should have been: Don’t mess with the Apaches. Rule No. 2 should have been: Don’t even think about messing with the Apaches.

    I know hindsight makes it easy to come up with this dictate today, but anyone not wise enough to pick up on this pretty quickly back then probably had a few other issues when it came to ‘leadership.’

    • Morning Cotton Boll Conspiracy. From 1856 through around 1885 the average person could do worse than follow that rule. Sometimes organized military forces violated it and came away clean, though. Luck, leadership and firepower helped. Then, the semafore mirror device wrapped the game up for good. I’m planning to make a post about the latter when I get around to it. Those mirror signalling devices were perfectly suited for desert warfare. Gracias, J

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