Battle of the American Civil War, April, 1862.
Both the outcome of the battle and its relative important in the course of the war have long been debated. Unfolded at the Glorietta Pass, a half mile from a place called Pigeon's Ranch in New Mexico. The pass itself was a roughly cut gorge which was part of the Santa Fe trail.
Six companies of Union troops from Colorado, a company of volunteer soldiers from New Mexico and a couple of nicely groomed cavalry detachments were on one side. A superior Confederate army was on the other. The Union troops, however, had the good fortune of two artillery batteries and a well guarded supply train made up of more than 100 wagons. Although on the defensive for much of the battle, the Union forces were able to demoralize the Confederates by cutting off their supply line and destroying their base of supplies. The Union troops were reported to have bayoneted in the vicinity of 500 mules and horses in their efforts to keep the opposing Army from being supplied. Doing so defeated the Confederate efforts to take control of the then territorial Southwest.
Disputed often was the actual victory, as both sides declared the victory was theirs. Official Confederate figures at the time listed 100 Union troops killed, 36 Confederate dead, 60 wounded. Other reports have the Confederate losses as high as 581 killed. Although the Union troops lost control of Glorietta Pass, their focus was on destroying the Confederate supply line to the western territories, and so, determination of victory depends strictly on interpretation of the goals of the two armies.
Debates about the importance of the battle hinge on the historical relevance of the Southwest during the war. Some say it was of little strategic importance for either side. Others point out that taking control of those territories would have been a major success for the Confederacy.
No animals were bayoneted or otherwise harmed in the process of creating this writeup.