I am a huge history geek I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated. Even as a kid I loved history field trips, museums and especially re-enactors. I have long believed that the best way to teach history is to get out of the books and classrooms and to live and see where the history was actually made. We are very lucky in Santa Fe because we have El Rancho de las Golondrinas ( the ranch of the swallows). A village set during Spanish Colonial times. Along with the lessons on New Mexico history they also play host to some of the best events of the year in Santa Fe. We enjoy every visit, although that long climb up the hill at the end of the day is a killer.
Yesterday was time to slip back to the 1860s and to the Battle of Glorieta. A lot of people think that the Civil War was fought only in the east and while the majority of the battles were, we had one right here in New Mexico. Sometimes called the Gettysburg of the West it was a much needed win for the Union and helped to keep the Confederates from gaining a toehold in the west.
Every year, on the first weekend in May, re-enactors ( many related to those who actually fought in the war) gather at Las Golondrinas for a weekend of history doing. The actual battle of Glorieta occurred in February but I guess the need for true accuracy is not nearly as great as the need for fingers and toes. But it does give you pause when you realize that several thousand troops were marched into this often barren, seemly godforsaken land in the middle of winter without adequate supplies and expected to fight.
Come back tomorrow for part two.. a look at the cannons and the battle!