Civil War South West

September 27 - October 2, 2015

Completing his trilogy of travels through the Southwest that included Arizona and Los Angeles, Your Correspondent visited New Mexico, a state that witnessed two large battles of which few in the East are aware. In the summer of 1861 with the permission of President Jefferson Davis and with the intent of seizing the Southwest and California for the South, Confederate Brigadier General Henry Sibley and his Texas volunteers launched northwards from Fort Bliss (modern El Paso) northwards up the Camino Real and the Rio Grande Valley. On February 21, 1862 the Confederates defeated the Union at the Battle of Valverde near Fort Craig and continued north, occupying Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The ultimate target was Fort Union, the largest Federal fort and depot in the Southwest. However the New Mexico and Colorado Volunteers met the Confederates at the Battle of Glorieta Pass and after three days of fighting from March 26th to the 28th, the Confederates were forced to retreat. This battle is often referred locally as the Gettysburg of the West for the Confederate reached its greatest territorial gain here. With their supplies destroyed, Sibley’s forces eventually returned to Texas and the Southwest and California remained in Union control. Today, there is an active Civil War Reenacting community that still commemorates the battles of Valverde and Glorieta Pass.


Guarding the Plaza Mountain Howitzers Albuquerque Union Army Memorial To the heroes A modern addendum The Palace of the Governors The New Mexico History Museum Valverde Souvenir El Leoncito Confederate Drum Personal items from Glorieta Seizing the Southwest Colonel Cook's Charge Housewife and Crucifix Flag of the 1st Colorado Fort Union Old Santa Fe Trail Civil War Defenses Not a shot fired