Colorado in the Civil War

Lately, Civil War history has come into the spotlight as it began 150 years ago this year, and many anniversary events are taking place. Today, December 6, is the 146th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended slavery in 1865.

While many think of the Civil War as being fought mostly in the East, Colorado did have a role. The Colorado Volunteers fought in the Battle of Glorieta Pass (which actually took place in what is now New Mexico) in what is called the “Gettysburg of the West” against Confederate Texans. (Less gloriously, the Colorado Volunteers also fought in the “Indian Wars” and were responsible for the Sand Creek Massacre, which destroyed around 200 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians).

Did you know, there are more books written about the Civil War than any other event in American History? Two interesting books in our library collection, both published by the Colorado Historical Society, shed light on the Colorado Volunteers’ service in the Civil War: Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War: The New Mexico Campaign in 1862; and This Soldier Life: The Diaries of Romine H. Ostrander, 1863-1865, in Colorado Territory.