CLIMATE: It will be fine
COMMENTS: CRAIG. Post office 1880 / 1885. Mail to San Marcial.
CRAIG. A settlement near Fort Craig.FORT CRAIG. On the west bank of the Rio Grande, 35 mi S of Socorro and E of US 85. Originally called Fort Conrad, when the post was first built by Co. E. V. Sumner in 1851 to protect the lower Rio Grande Valley. In 1854, the troops moved S to Fort Craig on the W side of the river. In August 1861, after conventons had been held in the previous two years at Mesilla and Tucson, southern NM and southern Arizona were proclaimed the Territory of Arizona under the Confederate States of America. An army of Texans under Gen. H. H. Sibley moved N toward Santa Fe in February 1862. At Valverde, they met General Canby with 3800 men from the fort. After an all day battle, the Confederates triumphedand the Union soldiers retreated to Ft. Craig. This was the first battle of the Civil War in NM. Sibley captured Albuquerque and Santa Fe without a fight at either place. He then moved on to take Ft. Union. The fall of Ft. Union would have carried the Southern armies into Colorado and would have forced the North to send forces westward which were needed east of the Mississippi. This was not to be. Col. E. R. S. Canby, head of the Military Department of New Mexico, had asked for help, and on March 27 and 28th the Colorado Volunteers re enforced the troops from Ft. Union for a decisive battle at Apache Canyon near Glorieta, 18 mi SE of Santa Fe. Although the Confederatesoldiers drove the union forces back, a detachment of soldiers guided by Col. Manuel Chaves of the New Mexico Volunteers crossed a difficult mountain trail and fell on the supply camp of Sibley's men, destroying wagons, mules, and cannon. General Sibley retreated down the Rio Grande and after a few more skirmishes, pulled back into Texas. Ft. Craig, like Ft. Fillmore and Ft. Union, had seen the rise and fall of the Confederacy in New Mexico. Post office, 1855/1879. Submitted by: Samuel W McWhorter