Did you know that the Union and Confederate armies fought a Civil War battle on what is now the grounds of Pecos National Historical Park? The 1862 Battle of Glorieta Pass helped to decide much of the fate of the American West in the Civil War. Confederates sought to control large portions of the American West and its gold fields so as to fund the Southern war effort. Union forces successfully defended the territory and its denizens from the Texan army. Over the course of the three-day battle, Americans on both sides fought and died for the nation’s future as the Confederate war effort in New Mexico failed.
Historians debate the true number of dead and wounded from the Battle of Glorieta Pass; contradictory numbers, the number of wounded who later died, desertion, and poor record-keeping all contribute to questions of exactly how many soldiers died from the battle. Therefore, the physical cost of the battles of New Mexico remains shrouded by the mysteries of the past.
This Veterans Day, November 11th, Pecos National Historical Park will memorialize those who lost their lives in the Battle of Glorieta Pass with small flags. The 175 flags will be placed near the historic Pigeon’s Ranch building in the Glorieta Unit of Pecos National Historical Park along State Highway 50 outside of Pecos. Each flag represents one of the 175 soldiers who died either at the battle or later from their wounds. As you drive by the area, please remember those who have given their lives in service to their country.
For more information, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or follow us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).