Valverde, NM

Date(s): February 20-21, 1862

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Glorieta Pass (pass), New Mexico, United States

Campaign: Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign [1862]

Battles in Campaign:



  • Union: Col. E.R.S. Canby

  • Confederate: Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley and Col. Thomas Green

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Department of New Mexico (combination of regular and volunteer units)

  • Confederate: Army of New Mexico


  • Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley hoped to cut Federal communications between Fort Craig and Union military headquarters in Santa Fe.

  • Sibley led his force of 2,500 men across the Rio Grande River and up the east side of the river to the ford at Valverde, north of Fort Craig, New Mexico.

  • Union Col. E. R. S. Canby left Fort Craig with more than 3,000 men to prevent the Confederates from crossing the river.

  • When Canby reached a position across the river from the Confederates, he opened fire and sent Union cavalry across the river.

  • The Union cavalry forced the Confederates back to the Old Rio Grande riverbed.

  • After crossing all his men, Canby brought all of his forces across the river and deployed his force to assault and turn the Confederate left flank.

  • Sibley's forces launched an attack before the Union troops.

  • The Union troops halted a cavalry charge, but were unable to contain a frontal attack by the main Confederate force.

  • The Confederates captured six artillery pieces and forced the Union line to break.

  • Canby ordered a retreat.

  • Confederate reinforcements arrived and Sibley was about to order another attack when Canby asked for a truce to remove the bodies of the dead and wounded.

  • Although the Confederates would soon occupy Santa Fe, they would have to leave New Mexico within four months.

Photo Gallery:1:


Fort Craig Flag Pole Pictures of Fort Craig The Battle of Valverde El Camino Real

Fort Craig Tour Map


The Establishment of Fort Craig

Commanding Officer's Quarters

  Guard House and Sally Port Guard House and Sally Port Parade Grounds and Enlisted Men's Quarters

  Ground Plan Flag Pole  

Commanding Officer's Quarters    

Store Houses

Store Houses   Earthen Work Defenses  

The Indian Wars The Apache Campaigns The Navajo Campaigns Defensive Bastions

Defensive Bastions Defensive Bastions Defensive Bastions  

Civilian Life   The New Mexico Volunteers  

Natural History Rock Walls   Corrals and Stables

Location of Corrals and Stables Location of Corrals and Stables Hospital Row The "New" Hospital

The Buffalo Soldiers Officers' Quarters Company Quarters Canby and Sibley
at Fort Craig
The Battle of Valverde      

Classification2: B


  • Union: 202

  • Confederate: 187

Results: Union Victory Miniature Confederate Victory

Battlefield Website:

Lodging and Restaurants: New Mexico Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of"

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 05/02/2013