General Sibley managed to recruit about 3,000 men to form three cavalry regiments and one battery of artillery; these were: the Fourth Texas Volunteer Cavalry under Colonel James Reily, the Fifth Texas Volunteer Cavalry led by Colonel Tom Green and the Seventh Texas Volunteer Cavalry commanded by Colonel William Steele. They were later joined by elements of Baylor's old command raising their total strength to around 3,700 men. The men were rough, tough and eager but poorly supplied. Some who had no weapons at all were armed with antiquated lances captured during the war with Mexico. Sibley hoped to take most of his supplies from the enemy and invaded New Mexico with the intention of moving against Santa Fe and Fort Union.
Nevertheless, this was still a time for high hopes. Confederate forces to the south and in Arizona were fighting Apache Indians and some were even planning to conquer the northernmost states of Mexico for induction into the Confederacy. The main goal for General Sibley though was still Ft Union, overlooking the Raton Pass. To advance on the fort though, he would first have to take and hold the Glorieta Pass on the Santa Fe Trail. He dispatched about 300 men to secure Glorieta Pass under the command of Major Charles Pyron and William R. Scurry. On March 26, 1862 Major Pyron was attacked at Glorieta by over 400 Union troops under Major John Chivington. The Confederates beat back the attack, but the Union forces regrouped and managed to push them back with two successive flanking movements. All was quiet on the 27th as both sides called for reinforcements. Lt. Colonel William R. Scurry arrived with additional Confederate troops and Colonel John P. Slough came with Union reinforcements. On the 28th both sides decided to attack.
|Scurry at Glorieta|
Some of the commanders of the New Mexico campaign went on to great fame. Colonel Green rose to the rank of Major General and fought in the victories at Galveston and the Red River Campaign. Colonel Steele became a brigadier general but was killed at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee. General Sibley was given minor commands, struggled with alcoholism and was court martialed in 1863, though he was censured rather than convicted of any crime. After the war he served as a military advisor to the Khedive of Egypt (where his fondness for alcohol was extremely unpopular) before eventually returning to the United States.
|Sibley, the would-be conqueror|