The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 420
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
was enthusiastic over the plan of operation and the more op-
timistic even thought in terms of a greater Confederacy extending
to the Pacific Ocean. The commander of the proposed expedi-
tion, Brigadier-General Henry Hopkins Sibley, was a debonair
aristocrat, conspicuous even in those bewhiskered times for wear-
ing long, thin sideburns and a flashy handlebar mustache. A good
organizer, Sibley, working feverishly, raised an impressive force
of about 3,500 Texas volunteers who were eager to get into the
war. But once they reached the barren wastes of southeastern New
Mexico, the soldiers lost their initial enthusiasm and one trooper
remarked wistfully: "when I go to another war, I'm goin' to it a
way I can get to it quicker than I can this 'ere one."
Several factors weighed powerfully against the success of the
expedition-the lack of specific information on road conditions,
shortages of ammunition and supplies, and the strength of Fed-
eral forces in New Mexico. On February 21, 1862, Sibley's Army
of New Mexico fought a Yankee force at Valverde, on the Rio
Grande a few miles above Fort Craig, New Mexico. Then the
Confederates pushed northward to a second engagement at
Glorieta Pass, located some twenty miles southeast of Santa Fe
at the southern tip of the Sangre de Cristo Range. Afterwards, the
exhausted and starving invaders began a desperate retreat down
the Rio Grande, reaching Texas in the late spring of 1862, their
ranks thinned by nearly i,7oo casualties on the campaign.
Professor Hall's is the third and the most thorough study of
Sibley's "romantic gamble." The first of these, Robert Lee Kerby,
The Confederate Invasion of New Mexico and Arizona (Los An-
geles, 1958), is sometimes vague, sometimes misleading, without
the keen perception and insight that flatters Hall's scholarly work.
The second book, Ray C. Colton, The Civil War in the Western
Territories (Norman, 1959), which devotes about a hundred
pages to the invasion, is less thorough but more interestingly
written than Hall's work.
Sibley's New Mexico Campaign is one of the most exhaustive
accounts this reviewer has ever read of a relatively insignificant
Civil War campaign. Confederate side-forays and Yankee maneu-
vers are described at length making it somewhat of a task to
follow the exact progress of the Southern main body. Another
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/457/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.