Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

did new mexico have a part in the u.s civil war? What side did they take if the answer is yes?

I have a simple question about the civil war, and I can't figure it out. was new mexico part of the civil war? If yes, did they take the north side or the south side? Please help!

7 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Did New Mexico play a part in the war? The answer isn't no. Michael J Varhola's "Everyday Life During the Civil War" says this on the subject matter:

    "New Mexico Territory

    U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Kearny captured Santa Fe and acquired New Mexico for the United States in 1846 during the Mexican War. In 1850, the Territory of New Mexico was organized. It expanded in 1853 when the Gadsden Purchase added a strip of land in the south. In 1863, the territory was divided to create the Arizona Territory, reducing New Mexico to it's present boundaries.

    At the start of the Civil War, Confederate forces seized much of the territory. In March 1862, however, Union troops decisively defeated the Confederates at Glorieta Pass, near Santa Fe, and the rebel forces soon withdrew from New Mexico."

    So you have at least one battle taking place in New Mexico during the war according to this book. There is a fuller article on the subject in the "Encyclopedia of the American Civil War" edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler . In it it is stated that the Gadsden Purchase led to resentment by Southern-born settlers who had settled in what is today Arizona (at the time a part of the New Mexico Territory) as the purchase went to the eastern half of the New Mexico Territory. Also stated is that pro-Southern sympathizers tended to be elected to the territorial government in the prewar years. At the start of the war Federal troops in the territory were moved east to Missouri which left the settlers in the New Mexico Territory without protection against Apache and Navajo raids which resulted in the Southern-born settlers claiming the territory for the Confederacy and proclaiming it the Arizona Territory. The Confederacy, in recognition of this act dispatched troops from Texas under Lt Colonel John Baylor to hold the territory in July 1861. Numbering only a few hundred at the time, they defeated all remaining Federal troops in the territory, either capturing them or forcing them to leave the territory and were later reinforced by a couple thousand more Texans led by Brigadier General Henry Hopkns Sibley. However, a failed invasion in early 1862, in which the Confederates faced a Federal force of 3,000 (1,000 regulars and 2,000 volunteers) may have lead to the eventual end of Confederate held New Mexico. The Battle of Val Verde proved indecisive for either side and Sibley choose to capture Albuquerue and Santa Fe after the Battle. But the Federal Forces, being reinforced by troops from California, Colorado, and Kansas, defeated them at Glorieta Pass in March 1862. The result of this defeat was a retreat to Texas, leaving New Mexico in Federal hands for the rest of the war.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    New Mexico was a territory of the USA during the 1860's and only became a state in 1912.

    From Wikipedia:

    New Mexico played a role in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War. Both Confederate and Union governments claimed ownership and territorial rights over New Mexico Territory. In 1861 the Confederacy claimed the southern tract as its own Arizona Territory and waged the ambitious New Mexico Campaign in an attempt to control the American Southwest and open up access to Union California. Confederate power in the New Mexico Territory was effectively broken after the Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. However, the Confederate territorial government continued to operate out of Texas, and Confederate troops marched under the Arizona flag until the end of the war. Additionally, over 8,000 troops from New Mexico Territory served the Union.[28]


    I suspect most residents of the territory would have preferred to stay neutral.

  • 4 years ago

    New Mexico was a territory of the United States during the Civil War, but the territory joined the Confederacy along with Arizona when the south split from the Union.

  • Bobby
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    It was part of the unincorporated Arizona Territory claimed by the Confederates. There were a few battles there and overall Union victory.

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  • Lomax
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    They didn't.

    However, they might have done, sort of. Napoleon III of France mounted an expedition to subdue Mexico, which went very badly. Had the French been more successful, they would very possibly have intervened on the Southern side.

  • 7 years ago

    New Mexico was relatively sparsely populated by Americans at the time and remained a US territory. IIRC there was a small Confederate expedition to try and capture it but they were defeated.

  • 7 years ago that time they werent a state hence the term NEW mexico it was a part of mexico im not 100% sure but maybe google it ..... your welcome.

    Source(s): 6th grade
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