Arizona Territory Ordinance of Secession

Adopted March 16, 1861, Mesilla

March 28, 1861, Tucson

People of Arizona in Convention

Mesilla & Tucson, Arizona Territory

WHEREAS, a sectional party of the North has disregarded the Constitution of the United States, violated the rights of the Southern States, and heaped wrongs and indignities upon their people; and WHEREAS, the Government of the United States has heretofore failed to give us adequate protection against the savages within our midst and has denied us an administration of the laws, and that security for life, liberty, and property which is due from all governments to the people; and WHEREAS, it is an inherent, inalienable right in all people to modify, alter, or abolish their form of government whenever it fails in the legitimate objects of its institution, or when it is subversive thereof; and WHEREAS, in a government of federated, sovereign States, each State has a right to withdraw from the confederacy whenever the treaty by which the league is formed, is broken; and WHEREAS, the Territories belonging to said league in common should be divided when the league is broken, and should be attached to the separating States according to their geographical position and political identity; and WHEREAS, Arizona naturally belongs to the Confederate States of America (who have rightfully and lawfully withdrawn from said league), both geographically and politically, by ties of a common interest and a common cause; and WHEREAS we, the citizens of that part of New Mexico called Arizona, in the present distracted state of political affairs between the North and the South, deem it our duty as citizens of the United States to make known our opinions and intentions; therefore be it…

RESOLVED, That our feelings and interests are with the Southern States , and that although we deplore the division of the Union, yet we cordially indorse the course pursued by the seceded Southern States.

RESOLVED, That geographically and naturally we are bound to the South, and to her we look for protection; and as the Southern States have formed a Confederacy, it is our earnest desire to be attached to that Confederacy as a Territory.

RESOLVED, That we do not desire to be attached as a Territory to any State seceding separately from the Union, but to and under the protection of a Confederacy of the Southern States.

RESOLVED, That the recent enactment of the Federal Congress, removing the mail service from the Atlantic to the Pacific States from the Southern to the Central or Northern route, is another powerful reason for us to ask the Southern Confederate States of America for a continuation of the postal service over the Butterfield or El Paso route, at the earliest period.

RESOLVED, That it shall be the duty of the President of this Convention to order an election for a delegate to the Congress of the Confederate States of America, when he is informed that the States composing said Confederacy have ordered an election for members of Congress.

RESOLVED, That we will not recognize the present Black Republican Administration, and that we will resist any officers appointed to this Territory by said Administration with whatever means in our power.

RESOLVED, That the citizens residing in the western portion of this Territory are invited to join us in this movement.

RESOLVED, That the proceedings of this Convention be published in the Mesilla Times, and that a copy thereof be forwarded to the President of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, with the request that the same be laid before Congress.


© Robert Clyde Massey, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Incident at Stanwix Station

Incident at Stanwix Station
Furthest West Armed Action Between the Union and Confederate Armies
by Dr. Robert Massey, Chairman
Sesquicentennial Committee, Arizona Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans

March 30, 1862: Arizona Territory, CSA (80 miles east of Fort Yuma, CA)

On March 30, 1862, a detachment from Company A, Baylor’s Regiment of Arizona Rangers, CSA fired the first shots of the Civil War in what is now The State of Arizona.
The incident took place at Stanwix Station, an abandoned Butterfield Overland stagecoach station located on the road, below a bluff overlooking the Gila River. The Rebels were in the process of burning 30 tons of hay that had been pre-positioned at the station by the Union Army.

The 1st California Cavalry (272 men) arrived at Stanwix on March 29 and set up camp near the station. Pickets were sent out in pairs to protect the camp and warn of any advance of Confederate troops. In the early morning hours of March 30, 1862, a group of Confederate Arizona Rangers surprised two Union pickets and ordered them to surrender or be shot. The soldiers refused to surrender. The Rebels fired several shots, hitting one private in the right shoulder. The wounded man, Pvt. William Semmilrogge (Co. A, 1st Cavalry, CA Volunteers), and his companion fled the scene and ran back to their camp. They reported to their commander, Capt. William Calloway, that they had been shot at by approximately 40 mounted men.

The Confederates, finding themselves facing a much larger force, turned and galloped to the east. Capt. Calloway ordered his Californians to saddle up and give chase. Before they could get mounted, Capt. Nathaniel Pishton’s (or Pishon’s) company of US cavalry arrived in camp. The new arrivals were ordered to give pursuit at once even though the horses and men were tired from a long nights advance. The chase lasted over twenty miles with the Union cavalry breaking off at Oatman Flats as their horses and men were near exhaustion. The Confederates continued their ride back to Tucson and warned their Commander, Capt. Sherod Hunter, of the advance of the Californians.

The skirmish at Stanwix Station was significant for several reasons. It marked the farthest west advance by the Confederate Army; it was the farthest west
armed conflict between the military forces of the Union and the Confederacy during the war; it saw the first shots of the war fired in what is now Arizona; and it was the site of the first combat casualty of the Civil War in what is now Arizona.

© Robert Clyde Massey, 2013 All Rights Reserved
[Permission is granted to reprint for educational / informational purpose]

Don Jolley, artist from Mesa, AZ

Private William E Doolittle

by Mark Doolittle

“A life done too soon”

William Doolittle was born in New York in 1840. He joined the 11th Georgia Infantry Co D in Atlanta Georgia on the 3rd of July 1861 signed up by Major Calhoun, he was 22 years old. He was latter reassigned to Co K which he stayed in until his death.

He was involved in the following battles:

  • Yorktown Siege( April 1862)
  • Lee’s Mill (April 16 1862)
  • Williamsburg ( May 5 1862)
  • Seven days Battles(June 25-July 1, 1862)
  • Garnett’s and Golding’s Farms (June 27-28, 1862)
  • Allen’s Farm (June 29 1862)
  • Malvern Hill (July 1, 1862)
  • Rappahannock Station ( August 23, 1862)
  • Thoroughfare Gap (August 28, 1862)
  • Second Battle of Manassas (August 28-30, 1862)
  • South Mountain (September1862)
  • Antietam (September 17, 1862)
  • and finally Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862)

It was Smallpox that finally took him off the battlefield his 5ft 5in body now ravaged with diseases, his black hair now streaked with gray from the stress of being in so many battles in such a short period of time.

As he lay dying in that Richmond Virginia Hospital his sunken blue eyes filled with tears from the pain, I can imagine him looking at his fellow soldiers suffering with him and thinking that each one there had something they shared, they each sweated beneath the same sun, looked up in wonder at the same one, and wept when it was all done for being done too soon, for being done too soon.

RIP Beloved Grandfather we will never forget you. SCV

Private Francis Kelly Harris

by Erik Skov

My wife’s great grandfather, Private Francis Kelly Harris, 5th Texas Infantry, Company B commanded by Captain J. D. Roberdeau (John Bell Hood’s Regiment) was born in Croydon, Surrey, England in 1830 into an upper class family of landowners and professionals. His paternal grandfather was a druggist, his father a surgeon and his maternal grandfather Lieutenant Colonel Edward Kelly (1771-1828) fought at Waterloo and later served in India. His brother Edward was an attorney.
Francis received excellent schooling, learned 5 languages, became a Civil Engineer, and was established in business as a Land Surveyor. He married Mary Rendell in 1850 and his eldest daughter Mary Louisa was born in 1851. His Son Thomas was born in 1857, and his second daughter Sarah was born in February of 1861. His brother Edward dies in March of 1861. In the April 7th, 1861 English Census, his wife Mary lists herself as Widow and Head of Household. That was 5 days before Fort Sumter was fired upon.

Francis Kelly Harris LetterFrancis mustered into Company B of the 5th Texas Infantry in Columbus, Texas on the 11th of March 1862. He is listed as being 6ft 2inches tall, fair complexion, grey eyes and auburn hair, his avocation is listed as Civil Engineer and he is a Subject of the Kingdom of Great Britton. It is speculated that Francis came through a Mexican Port and then overland to Columbus due to the Union Blockade of the ports.

On May 4th, during the Peninsula Campaign, Francis was taken prisoner near West Point, King Williams County, Virginia. Other prisoners from that engagement were taken to Fort Delaware but Francis was taken to the Union Headquarters at Fortress Monroe where he was held until June 9th when he was delivered to Fort Delaware by Captain W. Lyons of the NY 6th Cavalry. Captain Lyons is the Adjutant and Personal Escort of Major General Edwin Sumner, Commander of the 2nd Corp of the Union Army.

On August 5th, Francis appears on a list of prisoners on the Steamer Catskill and he is exchanged at Aikens Landing. On August 7th, Francis is back with Company B. On August 22nd, Francis is wounded by a shell, his left femur is broken in several places and his ribs broken and his chest “caved in”. He is initially cared for locally but as he does poorly, he is transferred to Hospital 8 in Richmond, Virginia by order of “Surgical Officer” dated December 2nd, 1862. On January 27th, 1863, he appears on a register of Hospital 8 and is designated “Paymaster” for the Hospital. On February 10th, the doctors issue a Certificate of Disability stating that he is unable to serve due to shortening of the left leg due to compound fractures, organic decease of the heart, and contraction of the chest due to fractured ribs. On February 13, Francis is discharged from the Army of the CSA by order of Major General Arnold Eltzy Jones, Jr. Commander of the Department of Richmond.
On March 12, 1863, Francis wrote a letter to Curtis Gustavo Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederate States of America seeking his help in obtaining other employment as Hospital 8 was slated to close. In his letter, he lists former US Senators Oldham and Wigfall, now Confederate Senators, as his references.
In 1864, Francis’ wife, or presumed widow, marries again and has several more children.

We are not aware of any records of Francis’ whereabouts or activities between 1863 and 1881 when he and a second wife, Maria live in Kirkcudbright, Scotland where Francis is first an umbrella maker and later a sheriff’s officer. I 1889, he is awarded his brothers substantial estate, 28 years after his
brother’s death. In 1890, Francis and Maria adopt my wife’s grandmother Minnie and her sister Louisa Donnelly after their parents and some of their siblings have perished in a house fire. In 1895, at the age of 65, Francis dies in Scotland. Presumably because of what he had experienced in Hospital 8, Francis’ will specified that his heart was to be pierced with a dagger before he was buried.

According to – as of yet – unconfirmed “Oral Family History”, Francis was a spy for the North in the South in the American Civil War and went, in later years, each month to “an American Office” in the UK where he was paid a pension “in gold coin”.

So – Hero or villain – some day we may know.

Jemimia Hancock

By Shelly Decker

Jemimia Hancock was born in Tattnall County, Georgia on January 17, 1821 to Cadar and Penelope Newman Hancock. They soon moved to the village of Alligator Town, now Lake City Florida. It is interesting to note Cadar’s aunt was Judith Hancock the wife of William Clark, of Louis and Clark fame and the Judith River in Montana is named after her.

In 1837 when Jemima was only 16 she married William H. Brooks, my Great, Great, Grandfather. He was a Third Sergeant in the 1st Florida Reserve, enlisting when he was 54 years of age. He and Jemima had several children together, but were divorced in 1857. And it was under William H. Brooks, I enlisted in the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

On September 24th 1857, she married 24 year old John Parrish of Fernandina, Florida. I do not know when their marriage ended nor whether it was by divorce or upon his death. He enlisted in the 11th Florida Infantry Company I, in May 1863. I haven’t been able to find anymore on him after he joined up.

However, she married again! Her third Confederate Husband was Noah Cason, born 1845 in Columbia County, Florida, who was in the 7th Florida Infantry Company I, and died of the measles in the hospital in Chattanooga in April of 1862 or 1863, two different dates are recorded.

Granny Jemimia died March 30, 1900 in Clay County, Florida and is buried in the Decoy Baptist Cemetery north of Bostwick, Florida.

I have always found it interesting her first husband was 9 years older than she, but her second was 12 years younger, and her third was 24 years younger. She sure must have been some woman.

So often we forget that war was against the entire South, military and civilians alike.