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March 8, 2012

Civil War comes to Southwest this weekend

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Written by: anradmin
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B Troop, 4th Regiment, U.S. Cavalry (Memorial) will stop representing the Indian Wars in 1885 and will instead represent part of the Union cavalry that battled the Confederacy for control of the southwest in 1861. The annual Civil War in the Southwest event, hosted by the Picacho Peak State Park each year in March, takes place on Saturday and Sunday. The park is about a 30-minute drive north of Tucson off Interstate 10. More than 200 re-enactors come from many states and will camp at the park with their authentic Civil War camping gear.

The two-day event is the 150th anniversary of what is billed as the “western-most battle of the Civil War.” It is also an official Arizona Centennial Event “” one of several in which B Troop will participate this year. The Civil War in the Southwest event features three battle re-enactments each day, artillery demonstrations and numerous other special events and activities. There will also be food and civil war memorabilia available for purchase.

B Troop will feature prominently in all the battle re-enactments, but will be the main feature of the Battle of Picacho Pass re-enactment. The first two battles of the day will re-enact the battles of Valverde and Glorietta Pass which took place in New Mexico and were key battles in the struggle for control of the southwest United States during the Civil War. B Troop will provide the cavalry element to these battles and will also provide a cannon crew with their mountain howitzer to help beef up the Union artillery.

The Battle of Picacho Pass, the last battle each day, was a minor skirmish between advance elements of the Union force advancing from California, and Confederate pickets that were guarding the road to Tucson. B Troop will re-create this encounter that helped keep the Arizona Territory in Union hands.

The Picacho event is a rare opportunity for Arizonans to see a Civil War re-enactment which are uncommon west of the Mississippi. Many people are unaware that a Civil War battle actually took place in Arizona. The staged battles take place against the spectacular backdrop of Picacho Peak which echoes the sound of musketry and artillery fire throughout the day. It is a must-see event for history buffs and fun day for the whole family.

The vehicle entrance fee is $10 for up to four people. Each additional person is $3. The individual entrance fee is $3 for walk-in or bike. Gate hours are 9:30 a.m. ““ 3 p.m., and entry to the park is permitted only during gate hours. The Civil War events take place from 10 a.m. ““ 4 p.m. Dogs are not permitted in the event area.

For more information about the reenactment, go to the Picacho Peak State Park website, http://azstateparks.com/Parks/PIPE/index.html. For more information about B Troop, go to http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/garrison/units/BTROOP/.




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