CLIMATE: It can get hot. It can sure get cold.
COMMENTS: FORT CRAIG. Post office 1855 / 1879.ORIGINALLY CALLED FORT CONRAD when the post was firs built by Col. E. V. Sumner in 1851 to protect the lower Rio Grande Valley. In 1854, the troops moved S to Ft. Craig on W side of the river..On the W side of the Rio Grande, 35 mi S of Socorro, New Mexico.
REMAINS: Crumbling walls, parade grounds, trash pits.
FORT CRAIG. In August 1861, after conventions had been held in the privious two years at Mesilla and Tucson, southern NM and southern Arizona were proclaimed the Territory of Arizona under the Confederate States of America. An army of Texans under Gen. H. H Sibley moved N toward Santa Fe in February 1862. At Valverde, they met General Canby with 3800 men from the fort. After an all day battle, the Confederates triumphed and the Union soldiers retreated to ft. Craig. This was the first battle of the Civil War in NM. Sibley captured Albuquerque and Santa Fe without a fight at either place. He thenmoved on to take Ft. Union. The fall of Ft. Union would have carried the Southern armies into Colorado and would have forced the North to send forces westward which were needed east of the Mississippi. This was not to be. Col. E. R. S. Canby, head of the Military Department of New Mexico, had asked for help, and on March 27 and 28 the Colorado Volunteers re enforced the troops from Ft, Union for a decisive battle in Apache Canyon near Glorieta, 18 mi SE of Santa Fe. Although the Confederate soldiers drove the Union forces back, a detachment of soldiers guided by Co. Manuel Chaves of the New Mexico Volunteers crossed a difficult mountain trail and fell on the supply camp of Sibley's men, destroying wagons, mules, and cannon. General Sibley retreated down the Rio grande and, after a few more skirmishes, pulled backinto Texas. Ft. Craig, like Ft. Fillmore and Ft Union, had seen the rise and fall of the Confederacy in New Mexico. Submitted by: Samuel W McWhorter