Tag Archives: Texans

Forgotten Lost Victories – Glorietta Pass

glorietta from the ridge pidgeons2

That roof you see down there covers the remains of Pidgeon’s ranch house.  Center point for most of the fighting during the battle of Glorietta Pass.  At the beginning of the battle Regular Union troops held the ridge where I was standing to take the picture and everything you can see beyond.  The rock face below me and to the right is dimpled by fire coming from below because the Union snipers were operating there.

The Texas artillery positions were outside camera range to the upper right.  The hottest fighting was along this ridge and below focused on the low wall between here and Pidgeon’s.

Texans flanked the Union position beyond the ranch house and overran the wall forcing the Federals into a hasty retreat beyond the far left of the picture, where they attempted to establish a new defense line, but the valley widened and doomed it to failure.

At that point the Texans had a straight shot all the way to Fort Union, their goal, with nothing to stop them besides a straggling of Federal troops in disorganized retreat.

But during the night the Colorado Volunteers trekked through the mountains to Coyote Canyon and attacked the Confederate supply train, burned and captured it.  Which completely reversed the fortunes of the Texas Mounted Volunteers. 

Suddenly they found themselves without supplies and a long road back down the Rio Grande occupied by New Mexico Volunteers and Federal troops from Fort Craig which they’d bypassed during the hurry northward.

They buried a lot of their dead just below and to the right of the ridge above Pidgeon’s.  They were found during the 1980s by someone digging a foundation to a house down there, and taken to Santa Fe, beginning a decade-long fight over them between Texas and New Mexico.  But under New Mexico law those bodies belonged to the person who owned the property and found them.

Around 1992 they were buried with a lot of ceremony at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.

Spang Blew It!

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Having a running vehicle I can just brush the cats off of, scare the chickens out from underneath and drive somewhere is surprisingly uplifting.  Not having to borrow Little Red wouldn’t seem to the disinterested observer to be that big a deal, but it is.

Got me feeling uppidy in ways I’m going to need to treat with circumspection and discipline so’s I don’t run myself dry buying gasoline for trips I wouldn’t have made in a borrowed machine.  But damn it feels good anyway.

Those trips to TimeWarpVille [Junction, Texas] trying to get something they’d accept at the courthouse as valid to transfer the title, trips to Kerrville trying to chase down the guy who sold it to me would have been frustrating teeth-grinding to me most of my life.  But they were pure joy, driving along looking at the country, looking at whatever, ignoring the 100+ F. wind blowing through the windows in favor of the freedom it represented.

So yesterday I thought of a reason to drive into Harper.  The day before I’d noticed a piece of the right front tire peeled back on the side, probably something on the driveway flipped up and cut it.  So I was being careful, occupying 30-35 MPH when it blew.  Got her stopped without ruining the rim.

Sweated blood and bullets getting the car up on the jack.  Crumpled a piece of the underbody before I found the secret, unlikely place the top of the jack has to go to lift it.  Discovered the spare is a wheelbarrow tire, which was under-inflated, but left part of an inch of inflated tire between the rim and the ground.  Inched that money-maker home at 2.5 miles per hour.

Gave me time to shoot gratitude affirmations for it all out to the Universe and Old Sol.  Because that blowout’s a major blessing.

When I pulled the tire off the brake disk rotor was exposed to me, badly eaten because there was nothing much like a pad.  Bare metal just grinding pleasant rings into the rotor.  A lot of people would probably replace that rotor, but I think I’ll try just buying pads.  No reason to get extreme, over-react, do anything dramatic. 

But if that tire hadn’t blown I’d never have noticed I had problem needed immediate attention, not to put off until the next Social Security pension check arrives to provide me a something for nothing entitlement [as these Texans are fond of calling it].

So today I’m going into Kerrville and buy me a spanking new tire, buy a set of brake pads, and even let the guys who sell me the tire put the new one on the ground.

Christmas.  It just don’t get much better than this.

Old Jules