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Fort Craig



Mike Kaspar web site

Fort Craig was one of the largest forts constructed in the west, and was critical to both the Indian Campains and the Civil War.Established in 1854, the primary function of the fort was to control Apache and Navajo raiding, and to protect the central portion of the Camino Real, a trail which stretched from northern Mexico to San Juan Pueblo, 30 miles north of Santa Fe.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Fort Craig remained a Union Army Post, manned by regular army troops.In 1862, after capuring several military installations in southern New Mexico, Confederate troops under the command of General Henery Hopkins Sibley marched up the Rio Grande to Fort Craig.The battle for Fort Craig happend on Febuary 21,1862, Sibley's troops fought Union Troops led by Colonel R.S. Canby.The battle of Valverde took place upstream from Fort Craig at Valverde Crossing.General Sibley had won a Confederate victory, although Union troops succeeded in holding the Fort and detroying half of the confederate supply wagons.What remained of the Confederate supplies were lost at the battle of Glorieta, east of Santa Fe on March 28,1862, forcing the Confederates to retreat back to Texas.


The ground plan of Fort Craig remained basically the same throughout its history, although the use of various buildings change periodically. The flagpole can be used as a guide to view the layout of the buildings.

1. Sally Port (Main Gate) Guard House
2. Commanding Officer's Quarters
3. Warehouses
4. Defensive Bastions
5. Enlisted Mens' Quarters
6. Sinks (Latrines)
7. Quartermaster's Stores: Sutler's Store, Offices, Workshops
8. Corrals
9. "Old" Hospital; Married Soldiers' Quarters; "Laundress' Row"; Offices, Later Telegraph
10. "New" Hospital
11. Officers' Quarters
12. Adjutant's Office

One of the reasons for selecting this location for Fort Craig was the good grazing on the surrounding plain. Hay was cut and stored in the stable area for the many draft and cavalry animals required by the Fort. Horse and mule herds were often herded along the river when not corralled here.



SCV Camp 1994
Fort Craig preservation
1425 Ranger
Ridgecrest, CA 93555

Phone: 760-375-9154

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Fort Craig,Civil War Battlefield,New Mexico.