Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Craig (NM)

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
For tonight's installment of the "Forgotten Forts Series" I'll focus on Fort Craig located in rural New Mexico along the Rio Grande. Fort Craig was established in 1854 by the U.S. Army for protection and as a base of operations against local tribes. The fort was named after Captain Louis S. Craig.
Fort Craig 1.jpg

When the American Civil War broke out the fort was garrisoned by U.S. Army regulars and soon by New Mexico volunteer forces. Troops from Fort Craig got action in the war early on when they took part in the Battle of Canada Alamosa in September of 1861. When Brig. General Henry Sibley launched his invasion of New Mexico in early 1862 Fort Craig served as the base of operations for Col. Edward Canby's Union forces. Sibley originally planned to capture the fort and more importantly it's supplies for his ill equipped army. However, following the Battle of Valverde which took place nearby, Sibley lost most of his supplies and could not afford to lay siege to Fort Craig and instead bypassed the fort headed for Santa Fe. Following Sibley's retreat from his ill-fated New Mexico operation Fort Craig would continue to serve as an outpost for the remainder of the war but would not fire a shot in anger.
Fort Craig 4.jpg

Following the war Fort Craig would continue on as a U.S. Army post for use to combat various tribes mainly local Apaches and deter them from raiding the local settlements. The fort was abandoned by the military in 1885. In 1970 the fort was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today the fort is open year round to the public. At the site you can explore the remains of the earthworks, parade ground, and various ruins of different buildings from the original fort. There is also a small visitor center on site.

http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/socorro/fort_craig.html
http://www.fortwiki.com/Fort_Craig_(1)

Links to other "Forgotten Forts Series" forts
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-pike.78757/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-livingston.78737/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-mcallister.78469/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-caswell.78408/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-wool.78325/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-mackinac.77950/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-norfolk.77859/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-clinch.77816/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-adams.77979/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/fort-warren.77775/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/fort-alcatraz.77732/
 

IanMC2009

Private
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Location
FL
This would probably be a neat site to visit even if it doesnt look like there is much left these days. Alot of people forget that the Civil War spread this far west. I certainly wouldnt mind spending a day exploring this place if I was in the state
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
This would probably be a neat site to visit even if it doesnt look like there is much left these days. Alot of people forget that the Civil War spread this far west. I certainly wouldnt mind spending a day exploring this place if I was in the state

These types of sites are certainly off the radar. When I came off active duty from the Marines and drove cross country to come back home to Indiana I wish I'd have known about more of them. I would have taken a drive off the beaten path in certain areas and visited.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
These types of sites are certainly off the radar. When I came off active duty from the Marines and drove cross country to come back home to Indiana I wish I'd have known about more of them. I would have taken a drive off the beaten path in certain areas and visited.

NFB22,

Exactly!

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

SweetSue

Private
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Location
California
Stopped off at Fort Jeffeson Davis in Texas one year . Also Fort Union in New Mexico , These off the beaten track places are great. Fort Union on the Santa Fe Trail is near Glorietta Pass . Took the train east one year and went right though the battlefield.
 
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