The Civil War
Fought Along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro NHT
Need for supplies
Circumvent the blockade
The federals fell back and reorganized. Canby increased his requests for volunteers. By February, 1862, Canby reported that he had 4,000 troops at the ready, and 3,000 Confederates under Sibley's command were moving up the Rio Grande Valley (along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro).
With supplies running low, Sibley knew they could not remain idle, so he determined to advance on Fort Union to capture its great stores and arsenal. That advance along the Santa Fe Trail resulted in the Battle of Glorieta Pass, a defeat that forced Sibley and his men to retreat south along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Lacking supplies to continue their fight, they quickly abandoned both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and by June 1862 the Confederate force had retreated back to El Paso, never to fight in the West again.
Did You Know?
The dreaded Jornada del Muerto is a 90-mile stretch of almost waterless desert on El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro in present-day New Mexico. In the 1600 and 1700s, Spanish trade and supply caravans traveling the road between Mexico City and Santa Fe would move through this section at night.