Discover the 7 Most Historic Battlefields in New Mexico

It makes sense that New Mexico is referred regarded as the “Land of Enchantment” given its breathtaking landscape and extensive history. In New Mexico, there are countless things to be amazed by, such as untamed mountains, vibrant cliffs, limitless skies, and breathtaking sunsets. These distinctive vistas are inextricably linked to the state’s rich history, which includes innumerable battles spanning several centuries. Let’s get started and explore New Mexico’s seven most significant historical battlegrounds!

7. The “Long Walk of the Navajo” (1864-1866)

The Navajo Wars left behind some of New Mexico’s most significant battlegrounds. The United States and the Navajo were involved in numerous hostilities after the Mexican-American War, ranging from continual raids on both sides to cultural clashes and land disputes. The battles went on until 1863, when Mescelaro Apache and Navajo peoples were brought under American military control by Colonel Kit Carson. They spent several months pursuing the Navajo, burning their crops and hogans, and stealing their cattle, leaving them without supplies for the winter. near 1866, a number of Navajo tribes and their chiefs were compelled to embark on what is now known as the “Long Walk,” a journey of many miles from their residences to the reservation located near Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

6. The White Massacre (1849)

James White and Ann White travelled west towards Santa Fe, New Mexico, in October 1849. Following what they believed to be the most dangerous section of the expedition, the group came into a group of Jicarilla Apaches and Utes. The Indians were driven away, but they came again and demanded gifts.

The group of aboriginal people assaulted and massacred the majority of the white settlers at their third and last return. The locals took Mrs. White, her infant child, and a servant as their only survivors. Mrs. White tragically died shortly after a United States Army Cavalry rescue effort began. Her servant and infant were never found again.

5.  Taos Revolt (1847)

The United States Army claimed Taos and a sizable portion of what is now New Mexico during the Mexican-American War. Native Americans and Mexicans made up Taos’ population, and they did not like the new arrangement. Despite the governor’s assurances that they would receive civil treatment, the troops mistreated their wives and stole their food and supplies.

To no effect, the governor requested that American forces assume command of their soldiers. The residents of Taos plotted an insurrection after receiving this cruel treatment for several months. On January 19, 1847, they overthrew the governor in a revolt led by Pablo Montoya and Tomás Romero. As the uprising spread throughout northern New Mexico, it persisted in intimidating and murdering any American citizens they came into contact with. On January 21, there was a conflict with the US Army, following which the rebels gave up.

4.  Ácoma Massacre (1599)

Before the Spanish arrived, the Acoma people had lived in the Acoma Pueblo, also known as Sky City or Old Acoma, for at least a millennium. But in 1598, Juan de Oñate arrived in the area with 7,000 pastoral animals and 500 people, proclaiming the area to be part of Spanish sovereignty.He stated that the Indians were now under the authority of the King of Spain and had to convert to Catholicism. However, Oñate retaliated by setting fire to the Pueblo, killing some 800 residents, after the Acoma Pueblo people refused to hand up their vital winter supplies to his forces. Every male survivor had one foot amputated, while the women and children were sold into slavery.

Pueblo Revolt (1680)

During the Spanish colonisation of the Americas, the Pueblo Revolt occurred in Santa Fe de Nuevo México, a province of New Spain, and was led by the Tewa leader Po’pay of Ohkay Owingeh. The native Pueblo people of the area were subjected to years of oppression by the Spanish government, which banned their religious traditions and forced them to convert to Christianity. Many of the Pueblo holy men were sentenced to be publicly whipped and executed by the Spanish governor in 1680. The Pueblo people were also unable to pay the high taxes levied by the Spanish government because they were experiencing a protracted and devastating drought.

After organising a mass uprising, several Pueblo villages and factions were able to successfully drive the Spanish out of New Mexico for a protracted twelve years. When the Spanish did return, they made the decision to attempt cooperating with the people instead of opposing them.

2.  Battle of Valverde (1862)

The Confederate Army made an attempt to invade and seize control of the Southwest during the American Civil War. They engaged the Union Army in combat in the New Mexico Territory in 1862, close to Fort Craig. During the two days of the Battle of Valverde in February, numerous casualties were sustained by both the Union and Confederate forces. But in the end, the Confederate Army triumphed, and the Union soldiers withdrew to Fort Craig.

1. Battle of Glorieta Pass (1862)

Glorieta Pass, close to Santa Fe, is home to one of New Mexico’s most significant combat sites. Because of its crucial significance in the American Civil War, the Battle of Glorieta Pass is known as the “Gettysburg of the West.” The Confederate Army intended to relocate from Texas to the western coast in order to seize control of the West. However, the Battle of Glorieta Pass prevented them from travelling farther than Albuquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico.

The Union army attacked Confederate soldiers in 1862 as they were marching down the Santa Fe Trail. The ensuing conflict saw the two sides engage in combat in the bitter cold for three days. They waited for reinforcements the following day and returned to the fight on the third and last day. A company of Union soldiers found the Confederate supply camp and set it on fire while the fighting at Glorieta Pass continued. Although the Confederate Army had driven the Union soldiers back, they were ultimately compelled to retreat since their route to the west had been permanently cut off without their essential supplies.

Highlights of the Most Historic Battlefields in New Mexico:

Battle Location Who Was Involved Year
Battle of Glorieta Pass Glorieta Pass near Santa Fe. The United States Union Army and the Confederate States Army 1862
Battle of Valverde Valverde (near present-day Socorro). The United States Union Army and the Confederate States Army 1862
Pueblo Revolt Santa Fe de Nuevo México. Spanish colonists and the Pueblo. 1680
Ácoma Massacre Acoma Pueblo. Spanish colonists and the Acoma. 1599
Taos Revolt Taos. Mexicans and Pueblo allies and the United States government. 1847
White Massacre Northeastern New Mexico. United States settlers and a band of Utes and Jicarilla Apaches. 1849
“Long Walk of the Navajo” Western New Mexico Territory (present-day Arizona) to Fort Sumner (eastern New Mexico). The Navajo and the United States. 1846-1866