The Colorado Territory as drawn in 1860 from the Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico Territories. Colorado appears to have a rectangular border at this scale, but there are in fact some slight deviations from a straight line along its southern border.
The Battle of Glorieta Pass, Roy Andersen
The Colorado Territory as drawn in 1860 from the Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico Territories. Colorado appears to have a rectangular border at this scale, but there are in fact some slight deviations from a straight line along its southern border.
Action at Apache Canyon
Glorieta Pass battlefield. This photograph was taken in 1990 from Sharpshooter's Ridge, just north of Pigeon's Ranch. It was the location of the Union right flank during the last day's battle.
Battle of Glorieta Pass marker at the Cuerno Verde Rest Area, Colorado
The battlefield in 2012
Battle of Glorieta Pass: actions on March 28
Confederate
Union

The strategic goals were to gain access to the gold and silver mines of California and the Colorado Territory and the seaports in Southern California, and thus evade the Union naval blockade.

- Battle of Glorieta Pass

The Coloradans, under the command of Union Army General Edward Canby and Colonel John P. Slough, Lt. Col. Samuel F. Tappan and Major John M. Chivington, defeated Sibley's force at the two day Battle of Glorieta Pass along the Santa Fe Trail, thwarting the Confederate strategy.

- Colorado Territory
The Colorado Territory as drawn in 1860 from the Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico Territories. Colorado appears to have a rectangular border at this scale, but there are in fact some slight deviations from a straight line along its southern border.

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John Chivington

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American Methodist pastor and Mason who served as a colonel in the United States Volunteers during the New Mexico Campaign of the American Civil War.

American Methodist pastor and Mason who served as a colonel in the United States Volunteers during the New Mexico Campaign of the American Civil War.

A delegation of Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Arapaho Chiefs in Denver, Colorado on September 28, 1864
Edmund Guerrier provided testimony to Congressional investigators at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1865 concerning the Sand Creek Massacre.
Chivington in his later years, by Edgar H. Rood

He led a rear action against a Confederate supply train in the Battle of Glorieta Pass, and was then appointed a colonel of cavalry during the Colorado War.

Colonel Chivington gained infamy for leading the 700-man force of Colorado Territory militia responsible for one of the most heinous war crimes in American military history: the November 1864 Sand Creek massacre.

John Potts Slough

John P. Slough

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American politician, lawyer, Union general during the American Civil War, and Chief Justice of New Mexico.

American politician, lawyer, Union general during the American Civil War, and Chief Justice of New Mexico.

John Potts Slough

He commanded the Union forces at the Battle of Glorieta Pass.

With the establishment of the new Colorado Territory in early 1861, he helped organize the courts system, establishment of the bar, and review of professional peers.

Depiction of the Battle of Glorieta Pass during the campaign, dubbed the "Gettysburg of the West"

New Mexico campaign

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Military operation of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War from February to April 1862 in which Confederate Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley invaded the northern New Mexico Territory in an attempt to gain control of the Southwest, including the gold fields of Colorado and the ports of California.

Military operation of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War from February to April 1862 in which Confederate Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley invaded the northern New Mexico Territory in an attempt to gain control of the Southwest, including the gold fields of Colorado and the ports of California.

Depiction of the Battle of Glorieta Pass during the campaign, dubbed the "Gettysburg of the West"

At Glorieta Pass, the Confederates defeated another Union force from Fort Union, but were forced to retreat following the destruction of the wagon train containing most of their supplies.

Sibley's strategy called for an invasion along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, seizing the Colorado Territory (then at the height of the Colorado Gold Rush) and Fort Laramie (the most important United States Army garrison along the Oregon Trail), before turning westward to attack the mineral-rich Nevada and California.

New Mexico Territory

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Organized incorporated territory of the United States from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912.

Organized incorporated territory of the United States from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912.

Map of the later Arizona and New Mexico Territories, split from the original New Mexico Territory of 1851, showing existing counties
Proposed boundaries for the earlier federal State of New Mexico, 1850
Map of the later Arizona and New Mexico Territories, split from the original New Mexico Territory of 1851, showing existing counties
New Mexico Territory, 1852
The Gadsden Purchase, 1853

The Colorado Territory was established by the "Colorado Organic Act" on February 28, 1861, with the same boundaries that would ultimately constitute the State of Colorado.

The Battle of Glorieta Pass in May 1862, following the retreat of Texan Confederate forces back south to El Paso, placed the area of the Rio Grande valley and eastern New Mexico Territory with the capital of Santa Fe under the control of the Federals with their Union Army.