The Battle of Glorieta Pass has been described, hyperbolically, as the ‘Gettysburg of the West’. A Confederate victory would leave their way open to Fort Union, the key federal stronghold, and, even more crucially, the depot for Union stores: Confederate General Sibley badly needed to resupply. On 25 March, an initial Union sortie managed to scatter the Confederate advance guard in Apache Canyon, but then both sides withdrew to await reinforcements. On 28 March, each force advanced, clashing at Glorieta Pass. The battle developed into a three-pronged Confederate assault, and although both officers leading the flanks were killed, Confederate General Scurry broke through the centre, forcing a Union retreat to their bivouac at Kozlowski’s Ranch. During the withdrawal, Union Major Chivington’s scouts spotted the Confederate supply train at Johnson’s Ranch. Scrambling down the canyon, they looted and destroyed the train, forcing the ostensibly victorious Sibley to abandon his whole campaign.
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