In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Old Tucson celebrating Arizona’s Civil War history this weekend


Arizona Civil War Days, a family history event, is happening at Old Tucson February 15 & 16. Old Tucson has partnered with the Arizona Sonora Western Heritage Foundation,  Arizona Civil War Council and the Southwest Living History Association to make this an authentic experience.  Old Tucson was originally built in 1939 for the movie Arizona, set during the territorial period when Arizona was briefly a Confederate territory.

Each day of the weekend will feature the history of the Civil War in Arizona.  Visitors may:

  • See live battle re-enactments with rifle and cannon fire
  • Visit the Union and Confederate encampments
  • Learn about the war and its Arizona connections from members of the Arizona Civil War Council and the Southwest Living History Association
  • See both Union and Confederate flag raisings


After the American Civil War began, the Confederacy arrived from Texas in mid-1961 and established the Arizona Territory in February 1862. After several battles, mostly with the Apaches, the Confederate flag was raised in Tucson on March 1,1862. In May, Col. James Henry Charleston and his army of over 2,000 volunteer soldiers from California occupied the abandoned Fort Breckinridge to the northeast of Tucson.

On May 14, 1862, the Californians began their march to Tucson from the fort to defeat the Confederates. On May 20, 1862, Capt. Emil Fritz with his Company B, 1st California Volunteer Cavalry, entered Tucson, not approaching from the west as the Confederates had expected, but from the north and east through the Canada del Oro.

The Confederates had been watching for a western approach and were completely surprised by the Union forces. The Confederates made a hasty retreat, thus allowing the Californians to secure Tucson without firing a single shot, returning the Starsand-Stripes to the city after a Confederate occupation had lasted only 80 days.


New this year to Civil War Days is the inclusion of the Hatfields & McCoys, whose infamous feud began during the Civil War. Guests can learn about the true history behind America’s biggest family feud from the real descendants themselves: Ron McCoy, Judy Hatfield, Jack Hatfield and Reo Hatfield. These special guests will present their families’ roles in the Civil War, and how after over 100 years of feuding they finally declared peace and unity.

The feud between the Hatfields and McCoys is one of the most infamous in America, and it began during the Civil War! In the 1880’s the Hatfield family in West Virginia was led by William “Devil Anse” Hatfield, while the McCoys in Kentucky were led by Randolph McCoy. Many of the family members on both sides fought during the Civil War for the Confederates but Asa Harmon McCoy fought for the Union. The feud exploded with the death of Asa, who was killed in 1863 by a Confederate groupthat was rumored to be led by Hatfield family

Between 1880 – 1891 the feud escalated, claiming the lives of dozens of family members on both sides. The feud continued until finally on June 14, 2003, over 100 years after the feud began, the descendants of the Hatfields and McCoys decided it was time to make peace with a the signing of a truce. This official document was signed by Reo Hatfield, Ron McCoy and Bo McCoy. Now the Hatfields and McCoys travel around the country spreading their message of the importance of unity and forgiveness, even when it seems impossible.

Get autographs, take Old Tyme photos, and get to know the truth about these famous families straight from the source! Plus, the Hatfields & McCoys will be signing a brand new unity document while at Old Tucson, and encourage guests to sign the document to be displayed at Old Tucson for years to come.

Civil War Days will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (entrance gate closes at 4 p.m.) Civil War Days is included with Old Tucson admission of $21.95 for adults (ages 12 and over), $19.95 for seniors (ages 65+) and $10.95 for children (ages 4-11).

For more information go to: