The New Mexico Campaign never happens, and those men and resources are sent eslewhere.

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The Rebs take some of Southeast NM early on in the war, but most of the men, weapons, horses and mules that would've been used in Sibley's Campaign are sent elsewhere. Around this time in the ACW where were the Rebs most desperate for men, ( I know the answer is "everywhere yuh dummy") but I was thinking maybe some of those men could've been used at Shiloh, Pea Ridge, or possibly even against Burnside in North Carolina.

How much could a Brigades worth of troops even accomplish?

What do you folks think?
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J. D. Stevens

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Deep In The Heart of Texas
How much could a Brigades worth of troops even accomplish?
According to Gen Henry Sibley the campaign would bring all territory from New Mexico and Colorado to the Pacific Ocean under Confederate control. Sibley went to Richmond and sold Jefferson Davis on the idea. From that point on, it was a no brainer. California or bust. It was a long shot, but if all went as planned (how often did that happen in the CW?) the Confederacy would have a port on the Pacific and they would be rolling in gold.

How much difference would about 2500 poorly armed (some of the men had lances) and equipped cavalry have made at any one of the early 1862 battles versus going off to New Mexico? First, you would have to subtract Col. Baylor's Battalion who were already in New Mexico when Sibley organized his command in San Antonio. Second, many of the men who enlisted in Sibley's New Mexico army were south and west Texas men and not all that interested in enlisting in units going east at that time in the war. In reality, maybe half that number could have been used in other early out of state battles. This is only my non expert opinion.
 
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According to Gen Henry Sibley the campaign would bring all territory from New Mexico and Colorado to the Pacific Ocean under Confederate control. Sibley went to Richmond and sold Jefferson Davis on the idea. From that point on, it was a no brainer. California or bust. It was a long shot, but if all went as planned (how often did that happen in the CW?) the Confederacy would have a port on the Pacific and they would be rolling in gold.

How much difference would about 2500 poorly armed (some of the men had lances) and equipped cavalry have made at any one of the early 1862 battles versus going off to New Mexico? First, you would have to subtract Col. Baylor's Battalion who were already in New Mexico when Sibley organized his command in San Antonio. Second, many of the men who enlisted in Sibley's New Mexico army were south and west Texas men and not all that interested in enlisting in units going east at that time in the war. In reality, maybe half that number could have been used in other early out of state battles. This is only my non expert opinion.
I think that's some pretty good speculation. When I think about guys like Tom Green wasting there time in NM when they could've been elsewhere it makes me wonder.

An extra Brigade at Shiloh might have been enough to encircle Grant. I might be wrong though.
 
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J. D. Stevens

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Deep In The Heart of Texas
Tom Green wasting there time in NM
We have to remember, Davis and Sibley did not think controlling the entire southwest was a waste of time. That aside, if Tom Green and 1500 to 2000 others had been sent east in early 1862, would it have affected the outcome of the war? Quién sabe? Even though many Texans thought they could out fight any ten Yankees, my guess is, no.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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May 27, 2011
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los angeles ca
The Rebs take some of Southeast NM early on in the war, but most of the men, weapons, horses and mules that would've been used in Sibley's Campaign are sent elsewhere. Around this time in the ACW where were the Rebs most desperate for men, ( I know the answer is "everywhere yuh dummy") but I was thinking maybe some of those men could've been used at Shiloh, Pea Ridge, or possibly even against Burnside in North Carolina.

How much could a Brigades worth of troops even accomplish?

What do you folks think?
View attachment 348064
My understanding at the battle of Gloritea Pass the Confederate Army had only 1,100 men so maybe it would of made a difference maybe not.
Not sure how 1,100 men was going to conquer the present day states of New Mexico , Arizona and had least San Bernardino County, California. Yes the populations were much smaller back then but that a while lot of square miles to defend with such a tiny force.
Leftyhunter
 
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Sending them somewhere else would allow the Union Army in and around Colorado to do who knows what?
Iv'e always wondered why the Union never invaded West Texas.


Remainder of the war[edit]
For the remainder of the Civil War, Union forces in the department would fight only Indian tribes. Canby was promoted and transferred to a command in the Eastern Theater, and Carleton, also promoted to brigadier general, was named as Canby's replacement. He reorganized the New Mexico volunteers into a regiment of cavalry command by Kit Carson. Over the next three years, Carleton launched multiple campaigns against the local tribes, especially the Apache and Navahos; the Navahos were forced onto a reservation by the spring of 1864, and the other tribes were forced to curtail their raiding.[12]

 

Belfoured

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I think that's some pretty good speculation. When I think about guys like Tom Green wasting there time in NM when they could've been elsewhere it makes me wonder.

An extra Brigade at Shiloh might have been enough to encircle Grant. I might be wrong though.
Interesting speculation but I'm not sure about that Shiloh element. The likelihood is that they simply would have been added to Johnston's (Beauregard's) poorly-designed assault formation, not as some specialized flanking unit. Whether they would have made a difference in how Grant's various divisions were driven back from their encampments seems pretty uncertain.
 

jackt62

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New York City
Despite the Confederacy's insistence that it had no aggressive ambitions and was "only defending its own territory," the Confederacy did indeed believe that it had claim to parts of the American territories that were ceded to the US after the Mexican War. In other words, the Confederacy was not only interested in seeking independence for the 11 seceded states, it was also determined to capture as a war aim, parts of New Mexico and Arizona territories although these areas remained part of the United States. So the Sibley expedition made sense in that regard. The Confederacy made a decision to concentrate other forces to defeat Grant at Shiloh, and it might have done so had Johnston/Beauregard not wasted time and/or got their battle plan together, and were able to get at Grant's Army of the Tennessee before Buell's Army of the Ohio had time to reach Pittsburgh Landing.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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Given how few men and supplies went west, I reckon a lot of them may have volunteered for the State of Texas' "Frontier Regiment" manning the frontier line of defense, and other men would have ended up in Arkansas or Indian Territory. I don't think the manpower and resources would have changed a thing, though everyone not in the know would have figured out the walking whiskey keg was a very inefficient general somewhere else.

Amusing picture, Sibley and Van Dorn in the same army. Pea Ridge may have ended up being a bigger disaster in that case.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Despite the Confederacy's insistence that it had no aggressive ambitions and was "only defending its own territory," the Confederacy did indeed believe that it had claim to parts of the American territories that were ceded to the US after the Mexican War. In other words, the Confederacy was not only interested in seeking independence for the 11 seceded states, it was also determined to capture as a war aim, parts of New Mexico and Arizona territories although these areas remained part of the United States. So the Sibley expedition made sense in that regard. The Confederacy made a decision to concentrate other forces to defeat Grant at Shiloh, and it might have done so had Johnston/Beauregard not wasted time and/or got their battle plan together, and were able to get at Grant's Army of the Tennessee before Buell's Army of the Ohio had time to reach Pittsburgh Landing.
I think a lot of the Southwestern question lays heavily on Texas, as in Texas was more interested in it than the rest of the South. The rest of the Confederacy was more concerned with self defense. After all no other Confederate State rushed to help at all.

Texas was still smarting over the humiliating failure of the Santa Fe Expedition by the Republic of Texas to a big degree after all. I think Jefferson Davis and the Confederate government just had the line of thought "If they want to try pulling it off, let them, we'll benefit and we helped fight for it 20 years ago after all." The "Army of New Mexico" as some call it was almost entirely Texan and the most vehement calls for the expedition were Texan and all the supplies came from the State's share of the quartermaster stores in the Alamo. A lot of the memoirs of soldiers in that expedition reflect it to some degree. Outside a couple officers and approval, the "Army of New Mexico" got almost no support from the Confederate Government, actually pretty unusual when compared to all the armies defending the CSA.

Plus most of the settlers in SE New Mexico were Southern. The citizens in Mesilla had declared themselves Confederate shortly before Baylor even arrived in 61. The rest of New Mexico Territory was probably more Union, but Southeastern New Mexico was pretty Confederate in sympathies giving some justification to the pretty radical claims made by the State of Texas and officer from it concerning the expedition.
 
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Desert Kid

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I think a lot of the Southwestern question lays heavily on Texas, as in Texas was more interested in it than the rest of the South. The rest of the Confederacy was more concerned with self defense. After all no other Confederate State rushed to help at all.

Texas was still smarting over the humiliating failure of the Santa Fe Expedition by the Republic of Texas to a big degree after all. I think Jefferson Davis and the Confederate government just had the line of thought "If they want to try pulling it off, let them, we'll benefit and we helped fight for it 20 years ago after all." The "Army of New Mexico" as some call it was almost entirely Texan and the most vehement calls for the expedition were Texan and all the supplies came from the State's share of the quartermaster stores in the Alamo. A lot of the memoirs of soldiers in that expedition reflect it to some degree. Outside a couple officers and approval, the "Army of New Mexico" got almost no support from the Confederate Government, actually pretty unusual when compared to all the armies defending the CSA.

Plus most of the settlers in SE New Mexico were Southern. The citizens in Mesilla had declared themselves Confederate shortly before Baylor even arrived in 61. The rest of New Mexico Territory was probably more Union, but Southeastern New Mexico was pretty Confederate in sympathies giving some justification to the pretty radical claims made by the State of Texas and officer from it concerning the expedition.
L. Boyd Finch's book on Sherod Hunter describes the situation in Pinos Altos, NT (modern day Silver City, New Mexico) as a large jovial party when the news of Fort Sumter had came that far west.

Tucson was a tad split in loyalties, it was a small town of roughly 800, so there were many Mexicans and white northerners who had moved there, along with a large contingent of Texans. That split started to wane against the Union after the Bascom Affair at Apache Pass. Where several of Cochise' band was killed by the Federals. After that, mining camps and ranchers along the Butterfield Overland Trail started lining up with Texas' position and eventually declared for the Confederacy. More out of practicality that the Apaches were going to go completely berserk on them with no Union army to protect them.

Everything north of Socorro was pretty firmly Unionist.
 
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