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Fort

Fort Craig National Historic Site

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New Mexico

Socorro Field Office
901 S. Highway 85
Socorro, NM 87801

Website: https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/el_camino_real_de_tierra_adentro/Fort_Craig.html

One of the largest forts constructed in the West, Fort Craig was situated strategically on the primary road between New Mexico and Mexico. In February of 1862, the fort supplied U.S. troops to thwart the invasion of Texas Confederates under the command of Gen. Henry H. Sibley. Troops from the fort, under the command of Col. E.R.S. Canby and bolstered by a contingent of New Mexico volunteers commanded by Kit Carson, engaged Sibley's invasion force at a nearby crossing of the Rio Grande. The daylong Battle of Valverde on February 21, 1862, was a decisive Confederate victory. However, the U.S. troops retreated into the fort, which was never attacked. Sibley's Confederates pressed northward to attack Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Their goal was the capture of Fort Union and the Colorado gold fields. Sibley's troops were defeated one month later, southeast of Santa Fe. Today Fort Craig is in ruins.