Fort Union National Monument…

Last Friday we were able to visit Fort Union National Monument located in northwestern New Mexico.
The kids were anxious to visit something other than pueblo dwellings!
The kids did the Jr. Ranger program (but they didn’t have patches like they said online ;(

We checked out the museum…

and after lunch we (some of us) walked the fort ruins. (Molly and I took a nap in the rv :)

It was really windy, but since it was warm out, I hear it still made for a nice little tour.

Fort Union was the biggest fort in the southwest during the Civil War era, and the fort was actually built 3 times (or maybe I should say that they built 3 different Fort Unions). Since the first set of buildings were thrown up so quickly, they were not built very well, and soon had to be replaced.
The second Fort Union was near the mountains, and therefore susceptible to Confederate attack (though that never happened). When the 3 Fort Union was built, more centralized in the valley, the 2nd set of FU buildings were used as an armory.

The remains of the buildings are pretty interesting – there are detailed maps for the ruins so that you could tell what everything was, and we have been to enough forts to be able to really visualize the layout. The kids were really interested in the sundial – and were all surprised at how accurate it was!

The Santa Fe Trail runs (ran) right next to the fort, so it was a major area of commerce and trade besides Army activity.

While a Civil War battle never did happen at the fort, some troops were sent from the fort to a battle at Pecos (where we were the day before). The Union troops did, in a round-a-bout way, achieve their goal of stopping the Confederates from entering and going through New Mexico to get to the Utah and California goldfields to fund their armies. Even though the Union lost the actual battle, their Calvary flanked the Confederate troops and destroyed the southern supply train. Without supplies, the Confederates had to retreat.

The kids spent quite a bit of time checking out the different ruins, and had fun doing the Jr. Ranger program here… (can’t you tell?)

and while they didn’t have cool patches, the ranger did give the kids special Jr. Ranger pencils to use when they do programs from now on. Oh, and the most important thing that happened – the ranger also gave he kids coupons for 15% off an item in the gift shop. Emma was ecstatic!!! A rather dramatic thing, she clasped it to her little heart, and gushed, “oh, my first real coupon!!!” and you’d have thought it was the best thing that happened to her ever! It was so cute! (and that sweetheart gave me her ‘first real coupon’ as an Easter gift on Sunday! :)

this is what is left of the military prison building – guess it’s construction was more of a priority than the rest of the fort! LOL!

After Fort Union, we again hit the road. We are moving lots, just not very far each day!

After we left Fort Union, we went up to the N.M./Colorado border. We hoped to stay at a state park that is right inside the NM border, but when we got there, we found that we wouldn’t fit. So, we kept trucking up the road until we got to Trinidad, CO. During the weekend, we washed the laundry to later realize (after we left town) that we forgot a load of towels at the laundrymat… par for the road (shrug). We stuck around since there was one last National Park in New Mexico that we wanted to visit, and would finally make it there on Monday…

Lilla Rose

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  1. Emma is a girl after my own heart! If only everyone was so excited about coupons!! :)

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