Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Five

Part Five: Controversies and Interventions The first controversy that engulfed the Soldiers’ Monument arose not from the reference to “savage Indians,” but rather from the word “rebels.” In 1909 a resolution was introduced in the New Mexico territorial legislature to replace the words “rebels” with the terms “confederates,” on the basis that “the time has … More Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Five

Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Four

Part Four: The Three-Cornered War The original intent of the Soldiers’ Monument was to honor the soldiers and volunteers who died fighting the Confederacy in New Mexico. When the territorial legislature of 1867-68 added the infamous text that memorializes those “who have fallen in the various battles with the savage Indians of the Territory of … More Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Four

Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Three

Part Three: The Monument Col. John Slough, who had led the Union forces at the Battle of Glorieta, resigned his commission shortly thereafter due to “an unfortunate difference between him and Gen. Canby concerning the conduct of the New Mexico campaign…”[1] However, he was subsequently commissioned Brigadier-General and assigned to serve as the military governor … More Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Three

Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Two

Part Two: The Civil War in the West Two of the tablets affixed to the Soldiers’ Monument commemorate the “heroes” who died who died fighting with “rebels” at the battles of “Valverde,” “Cañon del Apache,” “Pigeon’s Rancho (La Glorieta),” and “Peralta.” For most observers, the meaning of these texts is utterly opaque. Few have any … More Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part Two

Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part One

Every monument and memorial is a site of contested meaning. This is literally true in the case of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument. The monument presents a different message depending on which side one stands. Looking north in the direction of the Palace of the Governors, we read: TO THE HEROES OF THE FEDERAL ARMY WHO … More Making Sense of Santa Fe’s Soldiers’ Monument: Part One

The Lost Cause Finds a Home at Glorieta Battlefield

There are few examples of right triumphing over wrong more unambiguous than the Union Army’s defeat of the Confederate Army of the West in the first year of the Civil War. The Confederate Army invaded the Territory of New Mexico in February of 1862 to extend slavery through the Rocky Mountains and to the Pacific … More The Lost Cause Finds a Home at Glorieta Battlefield