2018 Civil War Encampment – Schedule of Events

Pecos, NM The annual Civil War Encampment at Pecos National Historical Park will take place Saturday, March 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This free, family-friendly event will bring to life the experience of the Civil War in New Mexico.  Interact with living history participants, see black powder demonstrations, take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, and hear speakers share their expertise on life during the Civil War in the West.  Children of all ages can make their own corn husk dolls, paint quilt squares, and play historical games.

2012 Reenactment at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
Photo credit: johnstonarchives.net

ManuelAntonioChaves1In honor of the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Glorieta Pass, the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park will also unveil a bronze plaque commemorating Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Chaves and the contingent of New Mexico volunteers who fought alongside Union regulars and Colorado volunteers in this decisive battle.  The bronze plaque will eventually be affixed to a new New Mexico Volunteers stone monument, which will be located in the Glorieta Unit of Pecos National Historical Park between the extant Texas Volunteer and Colorado Volunteer Monuments.

Please note, all events will take place at Pecos National Historical Park on the grounds of the Forked Lightning Ranch.  Detailed driving directions below.

Schedule of Events:

Black Powder Demonstration

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

See, hear and experience the power of black powder weapons like rifles, cannon and muskets.

 Kids’ activities

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Stop by the arts and crafts tent to try your hand at decorating a corn husk doll, painting quilt squares or testing your skill with Civil War era games. 

 Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides

10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Travel back in time as you enjoy a free horse-drawn wagon ride around the grounds of the historic Forked Lightning Ranch.  The horse rides are a popular attraction, so be sure to arrive early!

Unveiling of Plaque Commemorating New Mexico Volunteers

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Friends of Pecos National Historical Park Vice President Andres Romero will present a brief overview of the contributions of the New Mexico Volunteers during the Battle of Glorieta Pass and the role of the Friends Group in securing a new monument honoring their key contributions in the war effort.

Lecture: “Civil War Era Medicine”

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover more about Civil War era medicine with Dr. Bob Mallin.  A Vietnam veteran, historian, and surgeon, Dr. Mallin offers a rare opportunity to see and learn more about the medical and surgical instruments that were used to treat battle wounds in the field.

Reception

12:15 p.m. -1:00 p.m.

Join the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park for light refreshments and the chance to see the newly minted bronze plaque commemorating the New Mexico Volunteers.

 

Lecture: “Civil War in the Southwest”

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Civil War historian Dr. Alwyn Barr presents an overview of the 1862 New Mexico campaign and the conflicts along the Texas coast and lower Rio Grande border with Mexico.  Dr. Barr is an American historian who specializes in African American studies, the American South, the American Civil War, and Reconstruction.   He is a professor emeritus and former chairman of the history department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

2012 Reenactment at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
Credit: Johnstonarchive.net

Black Powder Demonstration

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

See, hear and experience the power of black powder weapons like rifles, cannon and muskets.

All events are free and open to the public.  Please be sure to check in at the information tent upon arrival to confirm event locations and times.

For more information about the park in general, 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).

To reach the grounds of the Civil War Encampment: From I-25 N: Take the Pecos/Glorieta Exit, #299. Left onto overpass, right onto Route 50; proceed on Route 50 for eight miles. At the village of Pecos, take a right at the four-way stop onto Route 63. In 2.6 miles, the entrance to the encampment field will be on your left. Follow the dirt road east for 0.6 miles to the parking area.  From I-25 S: Take the Rowe Exit, #307. Follow signs. From Highway 63, follow the road for 3 miles.  The entrance to the encampment grounds will be on your right. Follow the dirt road east for 0.6 miles to the parking area.

 

Park Offers Forked Lightning Ranch Open House

Don’t miss your chance to visit one of northern New Mexico’s most iconic locations—the Forked Lightning Ranch.  On Saturday, February 24th, Pecos National Historical Park will open up the Ranch House from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for visitors to explore at their leisure.  The Forked Lightning Ranch, which overlooks a wild stretch of the Pecos River, is steeped in history.  Once home to such notable personalities as rodeo promoter Tex Austin and Hollywood actress Greer Garson, the ranch house transports you back to the formative years of dude ranching in the Southwest.  Rangers and volunteers will be on site to help answer questions and to orient visitors to this architectural gem.

 Please note, space is limited to a total of 30 vehicles.  Access to the ranch is down a 1.5 mile dirt road.  For safety reasons, parking reservations are required. For more information and to make reservations, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241.

For more information about the park in general, 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 Twitter (https://twitter.com/pecosnhp) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

 

Park Prescriptions Program Offers Much more than a $50 Prize

 Pecos National Historical Park PrescriptionPark Prescriptions Program participant Cari Anderson is kicking off 2018 in style!  She is the most recent recipient of the Park Prescriptions Program’s quarterly prize drawing. Anderson, who won a $50 Home Depot gift, is a relative newcomer to the program.  She and her canine companion,Falcor, have made a habit of hitting the park trails and are logging three to four miles on a regular basis.

Like many of the other participants in the program, she finds a plethora of benefits from recreating in the park. Anderson said, “I like to walk here because it’s so close to town and I feel safe.”   Pecos National Historical Park Superintendent Karl Cordova echoes her sentiments; “The National Park Service strives to ensure that parks remain relevant to local communities in preserving their heritage, educating their youth and providing opportunities for physical and mental wellness.”

The Park Prescriptions Program was formed in 2017 as part of a partnership between Pecos National Historical Park and the Pecos Valley Medical Center (PVMC) to encourage wellness in the community of Pecos and the surrounding area. The Pecos Park Prescriptions program promotes health and wellness by encouraging and rewarding community members for recreating for free within their national park.  

The next quarterly drawing for the Park Prescriptions Program will take place at the end of March.  Participants must receive 10 punches during the quarter in order to be eligible for the next drawing.  For more information please contact Becky Latanich (Pecos NHP) at (505) 757-7210 or Louella Vigil (Pecos Valley Medical Center) at 505-757-7132

Las Posadas at Pecos National Historical Park: Update to Parking

Pecos National Historical Park - Mission Pecos National Historical Park, the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park and Western National Parks Association will host Las Posadas festivities on Monday, December 18th.  The free event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with horse-drawn wagon rides.  The procession will begin at the remnants of the 18th century church and convento at 6:00 p.m. and wind down the trail to the visitor center with the group singing traditional hymns and holiday songs in both English and Spanish. More than 3,500 farolitos will illuminate the trail. Free hot beverages and biscochitos will be served at the Visitor Center following the procession. There will also be a festive piñata breaking for the children.

Parking will be different this year to better accommodate and serve the growing number of visitors attending this event. Free visitor parking will be located at the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Posse – Rodeo Grounds, immediately south of the Village of Pecos, near mile-marker 5 on the west side of Hwy. 63. Limited handicapped parking will be available at the park visitor center. There will be free bus shuttles to take visitors to and from the park visitor center and parking area. Gates to the parking area open at 5:00 p.m. and bus shuttles will begin taking visitors to the Las Posadas event immediately. The last visitor shuttle from the rodeo grounds to the visitor center will leave at 7:00 p.m. There is no other parking available at Pecos National Historical Park.

Once visitors arrive at the park they should assemble at the church no later than 6:00 p.m., when the procession will begin.  For those who are interested, two horse-drawn wagons will be available to convey visitors from the visitor center to the church site between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Appropriate winter clothing and flashlights are highly recommended, temperatures are expected to be around freezing (32 degrees F) and the event is nearly entirely outdoors.

A Holiday Tradition: Las Posadas at Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos National Historical Park, the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park and Western National Parks Association will host Las Posadas festivities on Monday, December 18th. The free event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with horse-drawn wagon rides.Pecos National Historical Park - Mission The procession will begin at the remnants of the 18th century church and convento at 6:00 p.m. and wind down the trail to the visitor center with the group singing traditional hymns and holiday songs in both English and Spanish. More than 3,500 farolitos will illuminate the trail. Free hot beverages and biscochitos will be served at the Visitor Center following the procession. There will also be a festive piñata breaking for the children.

In Spanish, las posadas means “inns” or “shelters,” and represents the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. St. Anthony’s Parish in Pecos carries on this northern New Mexico tradition every December. Pecos National Historical Park will be just one stop during this novena, or nine-day event.

Superintendent Karl Cordova says that, “Keeping traditions alive for current and future generations is an important job of the National Park Service, and a fun one, too.”

Visitors should assemble at the church no later than 6:00 p.m. on Monday the 18th. For those who are interested, two horse-drawn wagons will be available to convey visitors from the visitor center to the procession site between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Appropriate winter clothing and flashlights are highly recommended.

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 us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps.

Becky Latanich
Chief of Interpretation and Education
Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos NHP Honors Veterans Day and Those Who Fought in the Battle of Glorieta Pass

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).

Park Prescriptions Program Offers Much more than a $50 Prize

Park Prescriptions Program participant Danny Winston finally hit the jackpot!  He is the second recipient of the Park Prescriptions Program’s quarterly prize drawing. Winston, who won a $50 Target gift card was surprised and grateful to win just for walking the park’s trails—something he has been doing for almost 11 straight years. Like many of the other participants in the program, he finds a plethora of benefits from recreating in the park. Winston said, “I love it, it’s therapy.  And the dogs love it.  They love coming to the park every day.”  Pecos National Historical Park Superintendent Karl Cordova echoes his sentiments; “The National Park Service strives to ensure that parks remain relevant to local communities in preserving their heritage, educating their youth and providing opportunities for physical and mental wellness.”

The Park Prescriptions Program was formed this spring as part of a partnership between Pecos National Historical Park and the Pecos Valley Medical Center (PVMC) to encourage wellness in the community of Pecos and the surrounding area. The Pecos Park Prescriptions program promotes health and wellness by encouraging and rewarding community members for recreating for free within their national park.  

 The next quarterly drawing for the Park Prescriptions Program will take place in early January 2018.  Participants must receive 10 punches during the quarter in order to be eligible for the next drawing.  For more information please contact Becky Latanich (Pecos NHP) at (505) 757-7210 or Toni Rodriguez (Pecos Valley Medical Center) at 505-757-7132

Find the Pecos Valley Medical Center at www.pecoshealth.org