A FINE AND VERY RARE COVER MAILED DURING THE CONFEDERATE OCCUPATION OF NEW MEXICO FROM THE NEWLY-FORMED TERRITORY OF ARIZONA.
In July 1861 Lt. Col. John Baylor raised the Confederate flag at Fort Bliss, later occupying Fort Fillmore and the town of Mesilla. On August 1st he issued a proclamation establishing the Confederate Territory of Arizona, naming Mesilla as its capital. In January 1862, at about the time this cover was postmarked, the Confederate Congress passed a bill establishing the Territory of Arizona. President Davis signed the bill in January and issued his presidential proclamation shortly thereafter.
During this period in which the Confederate Territory of Arizona was formed, Brigadier Henry Sibley raised three regiments, designated the Army of New Mexico, comprising the 4th, 5th and 7th Texas regiments. The 4th was known unofficially as the 1st Regiment of Sibley's Brigade, to which the sender of this letter, William Jones, belonged.
According to specialists in Arizona and New Mexico postal history, there are fewer than ten examples known of the Mesilla N.M. occupation marking. Please see the following lot for another cover from the Jones correspondence