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Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Fort Union National Monument

Fort Union National Monument actually preserves the remains of three separate adobe forts built to protect travelers along the Santa Fe Trail.

After New Mexico became a U.S. Territory, garrisons were set up along the Rio Grande. When clashes with the Indians increased in the mid-1800s, the local commander, Lt. Col. Edwin V. Sumner, decided to move all the garrisons closer to the Indian lands.

In 1851, Sumner established Fort Union near the Cimarron and Mountain routes of the Santa Fe Trail as a show of military strength. The location was also strategic, as the Santa Fe Trail became a key military supply line.

Near the ruins of the third fort, you can still see the channels etched into the earth by wagon trains headed west. Troops stationed at Fort Union ran surveillance routes along the trail, and often accompanied mail coaches.

Later, as conflicts with the Indians and militia from Texas increased, Fort Union troops stepped up their patrols along the Santa Fe Trail.

At Fort Union National Monument, you can see the ruins and footprints of all three structures that bore the name “Fort Union.” Living history programs bring the past to life, recreating the costumes and bustle of activity that once characterized this “hot spot” along the Santa Fe Trail.

If You Go: 

Summer evenings, rangers lead “candlelight” tours of the ruins, while living historians reenact moments from Fort Union’s history.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Dan

July 12, 2012

Visited Ft. Union July 8th 2012. Clean and well kept without a lot of theatrical props and reconstructions. The park rangers were most friendly and helpful Especially Molly who is a summer intern. She answered all my questions and was a delight to meet.

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