FINE APPEARANCE. A 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. On January 13, 1862 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 General 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, Captain J. J. Word, 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.
Ex Dr. Warren and Felton. See Confederate Philatelist No. 337, Nov.-Dec. 2003, for an article on the Word correspondence. See also lots 2057 and 2058 from Siegel Sale 1104
VERY FINE AND RARE CONFEDERATE MILITARY COVER TO CHOCTAW NATION, INDIAN TERRITORY.
Colonel Peter P. Pitchlynn was the Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation and a prominent representative of the Five Civilized Tribes located in Indian Territory. When the Civil War broke out, Col. Pitchlynn was in Washington D.C. attending a meeting with President Lincoln. Although pro-Union, Col. Pitchlynn honored the wishes of his people to join the Confederate cause. He commanded the Choctaw forces with headquarters at Fort Towson in Doakesville. Col. Pitchlynn and his contemporary, Stand Watie -- the only American Indian to attain the rank of General in the Confederate Army -- are reported to have been the last Confederates to surrender to Federal forces, on June 23, 1865. (Reference: reprint of Judge Harry J. Lemley Confederate Philatelist articles, John W. Kaufmann sale, Oct. 22, 1977).
Ex Dr. Brandon.
VERY FINE APPEARING COVER TO THE CONFEDERATE MILITARY DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN TERRITORY, ENDORSED BY GENERAL STAND WATIE.
Stand Watie was the only Indian brigadier general in the Confederate Army and the last Confederate general to surrender a major army on June 23, 1865.
Ex Bleuler and Kramer