CWT Marker 12

Saving lives at the Union Field Hospital – Final Phase – Late afternoon, March 28th

After withdrawing to a spot about a mile east of Pigeon’s Ranch, Slough formed a new defensive line across the Santa Fe Trail, and covered the withdrawal of his supply train and ambulance wagons.  At about the same time, the Texans got the devastating news that their supplies had been destroyed.  A truce was declared to allow both sides to tend to their wounded and bury their dead.  The Federal force returned to camp at Kozlowski’s Stage Stop.

Directly ahead of you was the Union field hospital, under the leadership of Colorado surgeons John Hamilton and Lewis Tolles.  Civil War-era medicine was primitive by today’s standards but equal to the best in the world at the time.  Surgery often ended in infection and death.  Amputations were routine for arm and leg wounds.  Alcohol was relied upon as a pain killer.  Union soldiers, badly wounded in the fighting at Glorieta, were evacuated by horse and cart to Fort Union, and Confederate casualties were taken to Santa Fe.

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