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A battlefield narrative of the Confederacy’s attempt to win the West, an integral part of the Confederacy’s broader goals and the strategy for achieving them.

Portrait of Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, officer of the Confederate Army…Library of Congress photo

Blood & treasure : Confederate Empire in the Southwest College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c 1995 Donald S Frazier Confederate States of America. Army ; Southwest   History  Civil War, 1861-1865 Hardcover. 1st. ed. xiii, 361p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.  Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

For decades before the Civil War, Southern writers and warriors had been urging the occupation and development of the American Southwest. When the rift between North and South had been finalized in secession, the Confederacy moved to extend their traditions to the west – a long-sought goal that had been frustrated by northern states. It was a common sentiment among Southerners and especially Texans that Mexico must be rescued from indolent inhabitants and granted the benefits of American civilization.

Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor

Blood and Treasure tells the story of the Confederacy’s ambitious plan to extend a Confederate empire across the continent. Led by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor, later a governor of Arizona, and General H. H. Sibley, Texan soldiers trekked from San Antonio to Fort Bliss in El Paso, then north along the Rio Grande to Santa Fe. Fighting both Apaches and Federal troops, the half-trained, undisciplined army met success at the Battle of Val Verde and defeat at the Battle of Apache Canyon. Finally, the Texans won the Battle of Glorieta Pass, only to lose their supply train – and eventually the campaign. Pursued and dispirited, the Confederates abandoned their dream of empire and retreated to El Paso and San Antonio.

Frazier has made use of previously untapped primary sources, allowing him to present new interpretations of the famous Civil War battles in the Southwest. Using narratives of veterans of the campaign and official Confederate and Union documents, the author explains how this idea of building a Confederate empire was an essential part of the Confederate strategy. Military historians will be challenged to modify traditional views of Confederate ambitions and generalists will be drawn into the fascinating saga of the soldiers’ fears, despair, and struggles to survive.

During March 26-28, 1862, Confederates from Texas Union forces defeated union forces in the Battle of Glorieta Pass. The heaviest fighting occurred at Pigeon’s Ranch, March 28, the hacienda serving as a temporary field hospital with many of the dead buried on the ranch lands. A Missourian of French descent, Alexandre Pigeon or Valle (he used both names in New Mexico), was a successful Santa Fe Trail trader who established a sheep ranch and wayside stop in the 1850s. Located in a tight canyon near Glorieta Pass approximately twenty-five mile east of Santa Fe, the ranch complex straddled the trail. The main hacienda was a rambling single story, rectangular building of over twenty rooms with a shallow pitched roof. Trees shaded an interior patio. Outbuildings, stables, corrals, and well house surrounded the hacienda. The structure also served as a stagestop and a trailside inn. The ranch deteriorated after Pigeon’s death in the 1870s. After the construction of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad through the pass, in 1880, traffic was diverted away from the trail. In 1925, Thomas L. Greer bough the “Old Pigeon Ranch” where he opened a store of curios, postcards and other sales items for tourists along what was later designated U.S. Route 66. He published a brochure describing the hacienda as a “Spanish fort” and the well as “Coronado’s Well.” The curio store and roadside attractions remained in operation into the 1960s. State supported archeological surveys mapped the site in the 1970s and 1980s. Stabilization of the remaining adobe structure, part of the original hacienda, occurred in 1978-9. The National Park Service acquired Pigeon’s Ranch in 1992 as part of the Glorieta Pass Unit of Pecos National Historical Park.

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