A Fort For a Young America
Exposed to the wind, within a sweeping valley of short grass prairie, amid the swales of the Santa Fe Trail, lie the territorial-style adobe remnants of the largest 19th century military fort in the region. For forty years, 1851-1891, Fort Union functioned as an agent of political and cultural change, whether desired or not, in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest.
Trade to Santa Fe
In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail opened the door for a rich exchange of ideas, languages, material culture, food, and more.Read More
Establishing a Federal Presence in the Territory
To protect commercial activities on the Santa Fe Trail and enforce territorial boundaries, Fort Union was established on July 26, 1851.Read More
Union Response to Confederate Invasion
The remnants of this massive earthwork, constructed by New Mexico Volunteers and US Army Regulars, stand as a reminder of the Civil War in the West.Read More
A Bigger Better Fort
In November of 1862, construction began on the elaborate and final Fort Union which consisted of a Post, a Quartermaster depot, and an Ordnance depot.Read More
Did You Know?
The community of Loma Parda, a few miles from Fort Union, was a favorite hangout for soldiers. Julian Baca's dance hall, with its casino and cantina, was the center of social life. Two orchestras played in 12-hour shifts and soldiers danced with local women.