The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 130
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
battle took place. Unfortunately for the Confederates, during the main battle a
detachment of Union troops led by Maj. John M. Chivington (of later Chiving-
ton massacre notoriety) swung around the fighting and burned the Confederate
supply wagons, containing ammunition, food, forage, and other baggage. Faced
with the loss of these badly needed provisions, the Confederates retreated to
Santa Fe. Two weeks later Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, commanding Confederate
forces in New Mexico, decided to withdraw to Texas.
The two volumes reviewed here detail the events in the battle of Glorieta
and add to the growing list of works relating to the Confederate efforts to
occupy New Mexico. The two books have much in common. Both are written
by specialists who have spent years researching manuscript collections, govern-
ment documents, and published sources relating to the topic. Both works con-
tain excellent maps, fine illustrations, helpful appendices, and informative end-
notes. Each is written in clear, forceful prose that captures the excitement,
drama, confusion, and uncertainty that marked the two days of fighting along
the Santa Fe Trail.
There are differences in the two volumes. While both make extensive use of
sources, Alberts appears to evaluate the evidence a little more critically. This
leads him to conclude that the Confederates had over 1,200 men at Glorieta,
while Edrington and Taylor accept Scurry's report that he had only 600 men.
Edrington and Taylor give higher numbers for Union strength: 884 men for
Slough at Pigeon's Ranch and 530 men in Chivington's column. Alberts sets the
numbers at 8oo and 488.
Alberts argues that the Union was successful at Glorieta on both the tactical
and strategic level, pointing out that the Confederates did not achieve their
objective of defeating the Federals and advancing on to Fort Union. Edrington
and Taylor take the more traditional position that while the Confederates may
have suffered a strategic reversal they drove the enemy from the field at
Glorieta, thus attaining a tactical victory.
In spite of the subtitle of their book, Edrington and Taylor question whether
Glorieta was "the Gettysburg of the West." They point to substantial differences
between Lee's defeat in Pennsylvania and the fighting in Apache Canyon and at
Pigeon's Ranch. They also tend to downplay the significance of Glorieta, noting
that failure of the Confederates to capture Fort Craig the previous month
"spelled doom for the New Mexico campaign" (p. 114). Alberts, on the other
hand, clearly believes that Glorieta was the decisive point of the war in New
Mexico and was "indeed, the Gettysburg of the West" (p. 173).
These are both fine pieces of historical investigation and writing. That they
differ in some particulars and in their conclusions does not detract from their
overall value. Students interested in the American Civil War will find each book
informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking.
Lamar University Ralph A. Wooster
In Struggle Against fJim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900oo-957. By Merline
Pitre. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1999. Pp. xiv+181.
Here’s what’s next.
Show all pages in this issue.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/158/ocr/: accessed January 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.