Images of Old Fort Craig & Valverde Battlefield, NM

Top four images taken 10/18/2002 by webmaster


This image shows Old Fort Craig remains looking to the northeast. The foreground shows a quartermaster storage facility. The five white structures in midground (with flagpole) are the remains of the CO's quarters. Mesa del Contadero (generally known today as Black Mesa) in background is located on the far side (east side) of the Rio Grande. The Battle of Valverde (2/21/1862) occurred on the left flank (north side) of Black Mesa and on the adjacent Rio Grande's alluvial flood plain.


This image shows the remains of the Old Fort Craig CO's quarters with the flagpole in the midground and Black Mesa in the far background.

This image shows the Rio Grande in the midground with the north end of the CO's quarters in the foreground. The high ground on the far side of the Rio Grande and adjacent to the cottonwood bosque was where Colonel Canby, Union CO of Fort Craig, observed the Confederates riding south-to-north (right-to-left) the day before the Battle of Valverde (2/21/1862).


This image shows the northwest flank of Black Mesa. The Rio Grande lies between the salt cedar (foreground) and Black Mesa. The salt cedar is not native to New Mexico and was not present during the Battle of Valverde. Today, the Valverde battlefield is largely covered with salt cedar. Moreover, there are some three dozen Confederate soldiers buried in an unknown location likely beneath the salt cedar.

This image shows the northwest flank of Black Mesa as viewed from the mesa top. Black Mesa is located on the Armendaris Ranch owned by Ted Turner. Image taken 9/2/2004 by webmaster.

This is an unpublished sketch of the battle as drawn by Sgt Peticolas (5th Sgt; Co C, 4th Texas Mounted Volunteers) shortly after the Battle of Valverde (2/21/1862). TABLE MT. as shown on the sketch is Black Mesa. Image is oriented such that south is at the top of the sketch The sketch depicts the Confederate and Union battlelines on the left and right, respectively, and shows the military situation early in the battle. Note that the Confederate battleline extends to the top of the mesa. Sketch is provided by courtesy of Dr. Don Alberts(deceased) of Rio Rancho, NM.

This image is a view looking northwest from on top of Black Mesa at approximately the location where the Confederate battleline crossed over the top as depicted on Peticolas' sketch above. The Rio Grande has obviously changed course since 1862 -- now flowing right to left whereas in the prevoius sketch it ran bottom to top. The bulk of the Valverde battlefield is viewed in this image and shows dead salt cedar in midground of image. Image taken 9/2/2004 by webmaster.

This image shows the location of the 4th TX Mounted Volunteers campsite on the evening before the Battle of Valverde (2/21/1862). The campsite is located a few miles southeast of Black Mesa. When the accompanying wagons arrived at the campsite (late evening of 2/20/1862) the wagon horse-mule teams and soldiers were exhausted from the grueling work of moving wagons through deep sand. This was a dry campsite -- accordingly, both soldiers and animals were very thirsty. The Rio Grande is located (west) within a mile or so from the campsite and was patroled by the Federals. Many of the thirsty horses & mules broke and ran to the river for water and were not recaptured by the Confederates -- accordingly, the wagons had to be abandoned due to the lack of horse-mule teams. Approximately 80 wagons were located here and left unguarded, and the Federals burned the wagons either during or shortly after he battle. The campsite is located on the Armendaris Ranch owned by Ted Turner. Image taken 9/2/2004 by webmaster.

This image shows some artifacts remaining on the 4th TX Mounted Volunteers campsite as shown above. Metal straps and glass remains are shown. Image taken 9/2/2004 by webmaster.

Constructive comments are requested by webmaster

Updated -- 2/26/2012