Santa Fe’s Time Machine: Civil War Days at El Rancho de las Golondrinas

Civil War Days Rancho de las GolonrinasOur workamping gig at Riverbend gave us the opportunity to meet so many interesting people from all over the world. Two regulars were Ann and Roger, a couple from Santa Fe.

As longtime volunteers at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history museum, Ann and Roger graciously invited us to the museum’s annual “Civil War Days.”

Did you know, the Civil War was fought in New Mexico?

“On July 23, 1861, Confederate soldiers mobilized out of Texas invading the New Mexico Territory… so began the American Civil War in New Mexico, a battle lasting 12 months, leaving 1300 dead, with no territorial gains for the Confederate Army.”

Every May, the museum holds Civil War Days, when hundreds of volunteers dress in costume and hold battle re-enactments, life and culture demonstrations and more.

I never thought living history could be so much fun. Thank you Ann and Roger, for your kind invitation and friendship.

6 thoughts on “Santa Fe’s Time Machine: Civil War Days at El Rancho de las Golondrinas”

  1. That’s so cool to hear about the one in Socorro. We were in T or C last Feb & March, and never once heard about it. Thanks for the scoop, it sounds really cool. Civil war in NM….who knew?!

  2. Thanks Victoria. I just read the “Siege of Socorro” article over at It sounds like a fun event! Oh, and Rene, definitely check out those sites if you can. Even in only a couple of hours you can see a lot at Antietam, but Gettysburg, at least for me, usually takes a couple of days to see a good portion of it.

  3. Another excellant civil war reenactment in New Mexico is in Socorro. It takes place in February, and what makes this battle unique is that the forces battle door-to-door through the tiny village. As troops near the town plaza, artillery fire can be heard, and seen, as pyrotechnics explode in the plaza trees with each volley.

    For those looking for Civil War history in NM, this is a great event.

  4. That is pretty cool, Tintypes. After we were at Golondrinas, it made me bummed that we didn’t stop to see the Gettysburg or Antietam battlefields. We had never experienced a living history museum or event on this scale before, but will definitely make it a point to do so next time we’re in a cool place like VA.

  5. I use to be involved with living histories and was fortunate enough to be allowed to give demonstrations on the Gettysburg and Antietam battlefields.

    Antietam was especially memorable as it was part of a film shoot (“Antietam: A Documentary Film”) and we actually were allowed in the sunken lane. It was very humbling.

    Anyway, great photos. I still have a lot to learn about the western theatre of the war.


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