History buffs will re-create three Civil War battles from present-day Arizona and New Mexico later this month at Picacho Peak State Park.

Nearly 250 volunteers will re-enact the 1862 battles of Picacho Pass, Glorieta Pass and Valverde on March 19 and 20 at the park, located along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson. Re-enactors will also demonstrate what camp life, fashion, artillery and church services were like for soldiers and women of the time.

The Battle of Picacho Pass was the westernmost battle of the Civil War. A group of Union cavalry troopers captured three Confederate scouts, but seven other Confederates quickly opened fire. Lieutenant James Barrett, the Union leader, and two of his men were killed. Park manager Rob Young said Barrett’s grave remains “unmarked and undisturbed near the present railroad tracks.”

The battles of Valverde and Glorieta Pass were larger and occurred in present-day New Mexico. This month’s event will feature re-enactments of all three battles.

The park has hosted the annual re-enactments for the past 30 years. To achieve historical accuracy, park staff begins preparations nearly five months ahead of time.

Young said the purpose of the event is to give people of all ages an authentic historical experience.

To learn more, visit the park’s website.

— Brianna Cossavella