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New Mexico Campaign

Trivia powered by Prof. WalterThe New Mexico Campaign was a military operation of the American Civil War from February to April 1862 in which Confederate forces invaded the northern New Mexico Territory in an attempt to gain control of the Southwest, including the gold fields of Colorado and the ports of California.

What do you know about the New Mexico Campaign? Try this Civil War Trivia quiz. You'll find the answers at the bottom of the page.

1) Union forces in the Department of New Mexico, included at Fort Craig, five regiments of New Mexico volunteer infantry, a company of the 2nd Colorado Infantry, two provisional artillery units, eleven companies of the 5th, 7th, and 10th U.S. Infantry, six companies of the 2nd and 3rd U.S. Cavalry, and two regiments New Mexico militia. At Fort Union, under the command of Colonel Gabriel Paul, were the 1st Colorado Infantry, a company of the 2nd Colorado Infantry, a battalion of the 5th U.S. Infantry Regiment, a detachment from the 1st and 3rd U.S. Cavalry, a company of the 4th New Mexico Infantry, and two provisional artillery batteries. Who led the Union forces?

  • Colonel Ron Paul
  • Colonel Neal Baxter
  • Colonel Edward Canby

2) The Confederate Army of New Mexico, included the 4th Texas Mounted Rifles and 5th Texas Mounted Rifles (both of which had batteries of mountain howitzers), five companies of the 7th Texas Mounted Rifles, six companies of the 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles (which also had an artillery battery attached), and several companies of Arizona Confederate mounted volunteers. Following arrival in New Mexico in January, they organized his artillery into a battalion under the command of Captain Trevanion Teel, who was promoted to major. Five additional companies of the 7th Texas arrived near the end of February and served as the garrison of Fort Thorn at Mesilla. Who led Confederate Army of New Mexico?

  • Brigadier General Mark Reynolds
  • Brigadier General Abraham Mosley
  • Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley

3) In July 1861, who led of a battalion of Texas mounted rifles into the southern portion of the New Mexico Territory, seizing Mesilla and establishing the Confederate Territory of Arizona south of the 34th parallel?

  • Lieutenant Colonel John Baylor
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Bancroft
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Boynton

4) Confederate strategy called for an invasion along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, seizing the Colorado Territory (then at the height of the Colorado Gold Rush) and Fort Laramie (the most important United States Army garrison along the Oregon Trail), before turning westward to attack the mineral-rich Nevada and California. They planned to take minimal supplies along with them, intending to live off the land and to capture the stockpiles of supplies at Union forts and depots along the Santa Fe Trail. Once these territories had been secured, they intended to take the northern Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sonora, and Lower California, either through purchase or by invasion.

  • True or False?

5) In February 1862, Confederate forces advanced northward from Fort Thorn up the valley of the Rio Grande, toward the territorial capital of Santa Fe and the Union storehouses at Fort Union. Along the way, they detached 54 men to occupy what town?

  • Tucson
  • Phoenix
  • El Paso

6) On February 19, Confederates camped at the sandhills east of the fort with the intention of cutting the Union lines of communications with Santa Fe. On February 20, the Union forces advanced from the fort but were hit with heavy Confederate artillery and were forced to retreat. The next day the Confederates marched to Valverde Ford, six miles north of the fort, in an attempt to outflank the Union forces. Union forces attacked, but the they were driven back by the Confederates under Colonel Thomas Green, who took command after the Confederate commander was indisposed (some say of drunkenness). Union forces retreated to Fort Craig but refused to surrender.

  • True or False?

7) Starting on February 23, the Confederate forces reached Albuquerque on March 2 and Santa Fe, but due to their slow advance they failed to capture most of the Union supplies located at these cities. When did Confederate forces reach Santa Fe?

  • March 3
  • March 13
  • March 23

8) On April 14, Union forces encountered the Confederates where the armies skirmished until 2:00 p.m. when a sandstorm permitted the Confederates to withdraw. The retreat continued through Mesilla to San Antonio, during which hundreds of Confederates straggled and fell behind. Where did the forces meet?

  • Roswell
  • Peralta
  • Fort Sumter

9) The best men from the New Mexico volunteers were formed into the 1st New Mexico Cavalry; the regiment spent the rest of the war fighting Indian tribes in the territory. Who commanded the unit?

  • Tex Ritter
  • Kit Carson
  • Sam Bass

10) The campaign is part of the backdrop for what 1966 motion picture?

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  • New Mexico Wars
  • Dessert Wars


New Mexico Campaign Answers

  1. Colonel Edward Canby
  2. Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley
  3. Lieutenant Colonel John Baylor
  4. True
  5. Tucson
  6. True
  7. March 13
  8. Peralta
  9. Kit Carson
  10. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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