Skip to comments.Before well-known Battle of Glorieta Pass, Texans captured Santa Fe
Posted on 03/10/2012 10:46:03 PM PST by Kartographer
The Confederates who briefly occupied Santa Fe 150 years ago this month found it an inhospitable city with Jewish merchants who refused their money, terrified nuns and a Hispanic majority neutral in the fight between Anglos.
Much has been written about the Battle of Glorieta Pass, known as the Gettysburg of the West, which took place from March 26 to 28, 1862. But less is known about Santa Fe's few weeks as a Confederate territory.
That is partly because just about anyone who openly sided with the Union had left Santa Fe -- heading either to Fort Craig, south of Socorro, where New Mexico's Union troops had hoped but failed to stop the advancing Rebels, or to Fort Union, north of Las Vegas, N.M., where the Union contingency awaited reinforcements from Colorado.
(Excerpt) Read more at santafenewmexican.com ...
A.B. Peticolas, a Virginia native who practiced law in Victoria, Texas, and referred to the Union troops as "abs," for "abolitionists," kept a diary and made sketches during the New Mexico campaign.
The lieutenant had been among the main body of Rebels who remained in Albuquerque and then marched directly to Glorieta. When he walked into Santa Fe from the east on March 30, he liked what he saw.
New Mexico PING!
That’s interesting. Some neat trivia in there.
Thanks for posting.
“CSA Lt. Col. John Baylor (for whom the Southern Baptist university in Waco, Texas, is named)”
That’s a different Baylor.
Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
Fascinating. Thanks for posting.
What does the Battlefield site look like today? Glorieta Pass, is it worth a visit? Is there any interpretation? The only skirmish out here in California was in Summerville were a group of Confederates captured gold shipments to send to the south—and shot it out with local lawmen. The gold was recovered and the captured raiders sent to a POW camp on Alcatraz. That’s it for military action California—at least as much as I can find out.
Under the picture of the Palace of Governors, it indicates that the Texans won, when in fact they were soundly defeated after having all their supplies burned.
Weren't there some Californian cavalry units that were sent east to fight for the Union?
It was a victory on the battlefield for the Texans, but a chance discovery and destruction of their supplies at Johnson’s ranch made the army’s occupation of New Mexico untenable, so they withdrew rather than sustain themselves by foraging and scorched-earth tactics. Other civil war events prevented a return.
it is telling though that they offered to pay
that was never an issue for ol Ulysses or William T whilst foraging and scorching now was it?
I was just there last summer while visiting the nearby Pecos Pueblo
My boys were all looking around simply amazed that the South actually fought a battle in the high desert
we live surrounded by Civil War battles and this seemed very out of sync...we expect green hills and knobs or deep south muddy rivers and moss...not rock and juniper...and Injuns and Mexercans
dry, high and hot
I had a kin line in New Mexico from territorial days...Mississippi origin...died out 4 years ago...we visited the graves at the old Vet Cemetery in Santa Fe
anyhow what I found amusing in New Mexico today is that the Anglo power structure has been rendered largely much less effective whereas once they ruled...up until a few years ago...but now the big fight is between Indians and Mexican descended
and damn if I can tell half of them apart
native garb...long hair...those are tells but with modern dress and short hair it's difficult...maybe folks who are used to it can
anyhow...they are fighting big political battles over spoils, entitlements, land resource and of all things... historical places..
The Indians of course hate anything Spanish conquest and the Mexican-Spanish sort are more keen on Coronado or Onate...but you get the Indians going on about the reprisals for the Pueblo Revolt(s) and man have you got a cat fight
the New America in the Southwest....gringos grab yer popcorn
Get a hold of the recut DVD of "Major Dundee" starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, James Coburn and Senta Berger, directed by Sam Peckipah. Not the Hollywood release from circa 1965. That was a butchered chop-job the studio that bought the studio in mid-production put out. It just had no continuity, as the new studio was determined to spend not one dollar more, and use whatever footage they had to put out "something," cut their losses, and move on. They had zero "loyalty" to the film which they thought was going to be too long to be profitable, and too costly to make.
But the location cast and crew didn't quit filming on order. Heston put up millions of his own money to finish it. Best cavalry charge scene ever, across a river ford, with Mexican "lancers" vs a mix of Rebel and Union soldiers.
The premise is brilliant. Apaches have raided a township or big ranch, and carried off a bunch of hostages, including children. The only force nearby that can respond is the Union detachment at a fort/POW camp. They can only spare Heston/Major Dundee, and whatever pick up force of "spare" Union soldiers and volunteer Rebels he can recruit. This mixed force of outcasts and enemies ventures across the rio into Mexico in hot pursuit, encountering both Apaches and Mexicans Army units.
BTW, this was the first ever Western with the dirty/sweaty/grungy/unshaven look. It was because they had no budget left, and were filming every day in the same clothes, after their funds were cut mid-filming.
See it again if you only saw the butchered Hollywood version. The accompanying DVD about the back story of the production is just as interesting as the movie. It shines a brilliant light on a forgotten part of American history, the Civil War in the West.
It's also a really interesting look at one of the best conglomerations of cool-as-hell 60s icons on location in rural New Mexico and Mexico. The back story DVD shows Heston, Harris, Cobern and Peckinpah, filming hard and partying and fighting just as hard. Apparently Heston and Harris truly hated each others guts on sight, and tried hard to "out act" the other.
See 13, please.
Thanks. I love a good western, especially with such a mix of hot topics.
My memory of the story is a bit weak, but I recall a tale that the Union commander and the Confederate commander at that battle were brothers-in-law - married to two sisters.
As such, they knew that if they did any harm to the other that there would be no domestic tranquility when they got home, so they both arranged for their respective forces not to fight particularly vigorously.
Even the 2008 recut is still a hack job compared to what it should have been, a Western on a Ben Hur scale. You have to tolerate the bad cutting and editing, since they had to convey the intent of a 3+ hour film into about 2:15.
That said, looking at it generously, it’s an amazing film on many levels. And it’s not hard to see the genuine hate between two “alpha male” acting dogs of 1965, Heston and Harris. And Senta Berger is very hot, as the “missionary’s daughter” type. And Coburn is Coburn, a man who can carry a film on his own.
I would have loved to have been on location with that wild bunch in Durango, Mexico in 1964.
When making movies was really hard work.
Hard work, but imagine the parties. Coburn, Pekinpah and Harris were all full bottle drinkers. Not sure about Heston. Senta was only about 20. Way down in Mexico way, circa 1965.
Heston lamented in his autobiography that a proper version of Major Dundee had never been done.
I never heard of “Arizona,” I’ll look for it.
You have to watch it through understanding eyes to appreciate what it is, and could have been.
As for “history”: Let us remember that history is the propaganda of the victor. The true history of why the South went to war will never be written.
This from Confederate General Patrick Cleburne:
The history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be taught by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, or maimed veterans as fit objects for derision.
I worked at Pecos National Historic Park. It has a lot of information about the battle, the earlier pre-history of the area, the rise of Pecos Pueblo as a trading power between the Plains Indians and the Pueblos of New Mexico as well as post Civil War residents of the area (most notably Greer Garson, 1942 Oscar Winner for “Mrs Miniver).
There is a large roadside monument to the fallen Texans, and a much smaller, plainer one to the Union soliders of Colorado.
It’s an interesting part of the country, worth a visit IMO.