Glorieta Pass

Glorieta Pass

La Glorieta Pass

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Hoping to expand westward, the Confederate government in 1862 sought to enforce its claim to the Confederate Arizona Territory with support from local secessionists. To cut off Union supplies and reinforcements to the area, Confederate Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley had captured Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Sibley next hoped to control the Santa Fe Trail passes through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the north. Sibley's Confederates in the area were a few hundred mounted volunteers from Texas commanded by Major Charles L. Pyron. On March 26th, Pyron advanced to Glorieta Pass on the trail and skirmished inconsequentially with Colorado infantry and regular U. S. Cavalry posted in Apache Canyon. Both sides gathered reinforcements the next day.  On March 28th, Confederate reinforcements under Lieut. Col. William Scurry attacked the Federals under Colonel John P. Slough resting and filling canteens near Pigeon’s Ranch. The fighting dragged on throughout the day, as the Confederates gradually forced Slough to retreat eastward. When a detachment of Union infantry burned their supply train, the Rebels were forced to retreat. Glorieta Pass is commonly referred to as the “Gettysburg of the West.” It was here that Federal forces were finally able to turn back the Confederate invasion of the New Mexico Territory.

Battle Facts

Result

Union Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
2,640

Union

1,300

Confederate

1,340
Total Estimated Casualties
369

Union

147
51
killed
78
wounded
18
missing & captured

Confederate

222
50
killed
80
wounded
92
missing & captured