Historic Resource Study
Throughout the first decade of life at Fort Union, the post sutler's store was an important fixture, providing many items for sale to officers, enlisted men, civilian employees, and visitors at the site. This official general store was licensed by the army and protected from competition on the military reservation. In return the sutler paid a fee for the privilege (usually so much per soldier in the garrison), and those tolls went into a post fund to provide items for the troops which the military budget did not supply (such as newspaper and magazine subscriptions, books for the post library, song books, music for the band, and special food items on occasions). The sutler was selected by a council of officers at the post and appointed by the secretary of war. The post council of administration (usually comprised of the three senior officers of the garrison) also set the price the sutler could charge for each item. These prices were apparently fixed in consultation with the sutler, taking into consideration the cost of the item, transportation expenses, and a fair return to the merchant. Katie Bowen provided a few of the post sutler's prices in 1851. 
The merchandise available at the sutler's store included a variety of processed food items (much of it canned for preservation, including vegetables, fruits, meats, and seafoods), fresh vegetables and fruits in season, dried fruits, eggs, butter, cheese, crackers, beans, corn meal, flour, baking soda, sugar, coffee, tea, salt, spices, jelly, candy, chocolate, vinegar, molasses, soap, coffee grinders, coffee pots and cups, pots and pans, basins, pitchers, buckets, churns, stoneware, tinware, cookware, glassware, tableware and utensils, tooth brushes, cloth, canvas, leather, needles, thread, buttons, beads, laces, pins, awls, nails, scissors, combs, mirrors, razors, cologne, watches, clocks, brooms, brushes, wash boards, clothespins, candles, lanterns, lamps, towels, handkerchiefs, underwear, socks, trousers, shirts, skirts, vests, coats, caps, hats, gloves, neckties, shoes, boots, belts, wallets, blankets, pencils, pens, ink, paper, notebooks, playing cards, fish hooks, pocket knives, guns, ammunition, axes, padlocks, matches, tobacco, pipes, cigars, beer, wine, champagne, whiskey, patent medicines, epsom salt, turpentine, rope, horse liniment, horse gear (saddles, halters, bridles, curry combs, etc.), and fodder for livestock. 
Not much specific material has been located about the post traders and the extent of their business at Fort Union prior to 1861. Considerably more documentation is available about the business operations of these favored merchants during and after the Civil War, especially that of Sutler William H. Moore. The appointees to the office of sutler at Fort Union, 1851-1861, have been identified in this chapter, as have the dates of their appointments. Most of the sutlers served as postmaster for the garrison during their tenure, and the post office was apparently housed in the same building as the store. The facility also had a room or rooms to rent, available to visitors at the fort.
According to Colonel Mansfield's plan of the post, 1853, the sutler's store was located near several other buildings (north of the parade ground behind one set of enlisted men's barracks, east of the ordnance depot, south of the laundresses quarters, and northeast of the hospital), within walking distance of all quarters on the base.  The structure, which was the only privately-owned building permitted on the military reservation, was presumably erected by Jared Folger, the first sutler, and sold along with its remaining stock, to each subsequent appointee to that office by his predecessor. In addition to the store, post office, and rooms to let, the building also served as the residence for the post trader and/or his employees.
One of the interesting civilians connected with Fort Union before the Civil War was Hezekiah Brake, an English immigrant who worked for Sutler George M. Alexander from 1859 to 1861. Brake later published his reminiscences, in which he provided information about his activities at and around Fort Union. Brake had come from England and settled in Minnesota, which he left with his wife, Charlotte (called Lottie), and daughter, Lizzie, to seek work in St. Louis. There he was hired by Alexander, who was in the city to buy supplies for the sutler's store at Fort Union, to go to New Mexico and manage Alexander's ranch and dairy a few miles from the post. While Alexander was in St. Louis, the post council of administration at Fort Union selected William H. Moore to be the new sutler. It was late 1859 before the new appointee was confirmed and the store at Union was actually transferred. Alexander continued to operate his ranch to supply the post with food and fodder even though he was no longer the sutler. Brake stayed with Alexander until the coming of the Civil War, when he moved his family to Council Grove, Kansas, where he remained the rest of his long life. 
Brake left his wife and child at St. Louis (they joined him a few months later) and accompanied Alexander's wagon train over the Santa Fe Trail during February 1859.  Brake went to Alexander's ranch, located eight miles west of Fort Union and ten miles east of the town of Mora, in the Mora River valley where another stream, which Brake called Rio Coyote, joined the Mora. This was a large operation with labor provided by Negro slaves and "Mexican" peons. Brake was expected to oversee the planting of a large irrigated garden, wheat, corn, Hungarian grass, oats, and barley (the barley was for beer). He was also in charge of a herd of cattle, from which he was to select cows to start a dairy to produce milk, butter, and cheese to sell at Fort Union. 
Within a few weeks, Brake had vegetables in the garden that were ready to peddle. He "decided to take them to the store at the Fort." His arrival with the produce at Fort Union, zigzagging his team of mules and wagon about during a hail storm and with a wash tub inverted over his head for protection, may have provided one of the strangest apparitions ever seen at the post, if, indeed, anyone saw him. When he had left the ranch the weather was clear, but along the way the storm stuck with "the most fearful torrents of rain, mixed with the largest hailstones I ever saw." He forgot about his mission for money and sought to save his life. "With one hand I tried to hold the rearing team," he recalled, "and with the other caught the tub, turned out the green stuff, and put the inverted vessel over my head. I had to zigzag about on the prairie in order to save the mules. . . . My green stuff was all lost or spoiled, and my labor and my first prospective ten dollars were floating around on the prairie in a new kind of soup, to my own regret and that of the ladies in the Fort." 
Brake, perhaps because of his English origins, was less prejudiced against the New Mexicans and New Mexico than were many of his contemporary Anglo-Americans, whether civilians or soldiers. Of the land, he wrote, "the healthfulness of the country, the beauty of the scenery, and the advantages of soil and climate, cannot, in time, fail to make New Mexico a noted member of the sisterhood of States." While he regretted "there was hardly a respectable white [Anglo] resident near me" and that most of the "half-breed Mexicans, Indians and negroes" could not be trusted, Brake found most of the New Mexicans to be "kind-hearted, hospitable, and temperate." "The hospitality of the Mexicans," he declared, "was truly remarkable. They freely entertained friends or strangers, and disdained payment for their courtesy." Brake was amused when he inquired of a "Mexican" laborer, who had spent four days hauling flour to the ranch and charged "only two dollars, . . . how he could work so cheaply." The man replied it had cost him nothing along the way because "friends feed a Mexican for nothing." 
During the summer another hail storm destroyed most of the crops Brake had planted and killed some pigs and calves. According to Brake, "Mr. A.'s [Alexander's] loss was heavy, but, as I was to receive one-half of all the profits, mine was irreparable." After the loss of the crops, "the dairy business now was our last resource." They were milking 40 cows. Charlotte Brake looked after the making of butter and cheese. Alexander, who was soon to be replaced as sutler by Moore, headed for the Colorado gold fields, "where he lost thirty thousand dollars." Thus, "his ranch was all the property that he had left." By the autumn of 1859 the Brakes had produced 800 pounds of butter and 500 pounds of cheese which were sold at the fort. The cows were not milked during the winter months. Most of the crops had failed, but Brake sold some fodder at Fort Union for $30.00 a ton and had 250 bushels of corn to sell. The cabbages grown in the garden were made into 100 gallons of sauerkraut, which was sold at the fort for $1.00 per gallon. Approximately 100 cauliflowers were sold for 50 cents per head at Santa Fe. Brake had several bushels of barley, from which he brewed "an excellent porter [a dark-brown beer similar to light stout]." He reported, "I bottled some of the product, and the ladies at the Fort were greatly pleased with it." 
During the winter of 1859-1860, Brake worked part-time as a forage agent for the quartermaster at Fort Union, going into the countryside to purchase fodder for the livestock at the post. He "received three hundred and twenty-five dollars in gold" for the hay he hauled to Fort Union. In the spring of 1860 Brake again oversaw the planting of a garden and other crops and started milking cows again. During the year they sold 700 pounds of butter for "fifty cents per pound" and 600 pounds of cheese "at high prices." All the crops were sold at good prices, too. As usual, Brake had difficulty keeping reliable employees at the ranch. 
Brake was not only a historian but a collector of New Mexican folklore. One of his experiences deserves repeating. Brake could not find a dependable herder for the swine at the ranch and finally hired "a superannuated priest" for the job. "The loss was as bad as before," according to Brake, because the hogs "strayed away while he prayed." So the old priest was dismissed. Brake later was told that the old padre "became so thin . . . that he either vanished or the wolves ate him." When Brake suggested that the man may have died, "the Mexicans shook their heads. An old physician who had just offered me his practice for forty dollars, said: 'They don't die in this healthy climate, unless they get killed. Otherwise, they just dry up and vanish.'" 
After the wheat crop was harvested with "sickles," threshed by "some Mexicans" who drove horses around a circle where the wheat was placed, and winnowed through "a sieve [made] of rawhide," Brake sent it to mills for grinding into flour. Brake lost 25 bushels "of this expensive grain" by entrusting a former commissary sergeant from the fort to deliver it to a mill. The man "got drunk and peddled it all out, and spent the money for whisky." The hay and sauerkraut were sold at Fort Union, and the cauliflowers were sent to Santa Fe. In all, it was a more profitable year for the Brake family than the previous one. 
In the autumn of 1860, according to Brake, there was fear of an Indian uprising in the area. "Pickets were stationed around Fort Union," he recalled, "and the outside rancheros were cautioned to be constantly on the alert." They were to report any information about Indians to the fort. Brake stated that he made several trips "over the lonesome road to the post." One night while returning home, he was "followed by a gang of Indians or disguised Mexicans." He was riding a horse or mule and they were on foot. They were near him before he saw them, and "as they began to throw stones at me, I fired four shots at them, and galloped homeward." He never told his wife about it, "and in a few days the alarm died away without harm to anyone." 
Early in 1861, with rumors of an impending civil war, Brake resigned his position with Alexander and moved his family to the new State of Kansas, settling at Council Grove. He had been in New Mexico exactly two years when he left. The Brakes spent one night at Fort Union, enduring a terrible windstorm, before they left New Mexico.  During the time that the colorful Brake was associated with the post sutler and produced commodities for the post, several changes had taken place at Fort Union.
Lieutenant DuBois remained at Fort Union until June 1859, during which time he continued to confide to his journal what was happening. In February "rumors came . . . that eight men had been killed on the Arkansas by the Comanche indians & 1000 sheep stolen by them." Since it was at least third-hand information, "there is no certainty even in this story." The Comanches were expected to cause trouble because they were "irritated by the defeat they experienced from troops under Major Van Dorn - in which they lost from fifty to one hundred men & the troops several including my class mate & friend Van Camp."  Because of the rumors about the Comanches, there was concern when the westbound mail was two days late. As it turned out, the mail "had been detained by bad weather & snow." DuBois was disappointed that "it brought no news - no letters from home." 
A few weeks later, DuBois again complained of "a perfect dearth of news." He then proceeded to record all kinds of news, including possible military conflict with Mexico over the boundary dispute, the expected admission of Oregon as a state, the interest of France and Britain in Mexico's economy, and letters from a friend who was in Paris and from his family at home. DuBois was upset to learn that another West Point classmate, Second Lieutenant Henry M. Lazelle, Eighth Infantry, had been seriously wounded ("shot through the lungs") in a recent fight with Mescalero Apaches in Dog Canon in the Sacramento Mountains far to the south of Fort Union. 
Lazelle, stationed at Fort Stanton, New Mexico Territory, had been in command of 20 mounted riflemen at the time of the engagement. His wounds were so severe that "doubts are expressed of his recovery." Three of his command were killed in the losing fight and six were wounded, including Lazelle. "There is much indignation in the regiment," DuBois testified, "at an infantry officer having been sent in command while the Rifle officer remained at the post." He was happy to report a few days later that "Lazelle has recovered. . . . I am rejoiced to hear it." The thought of having "two classmates killed in one year is enough blood for us to offer in these insignificant indian wars." 
During late March and early April 1859, DuBois was gone from Fort Union for twelve days. He and Lieutenant Claflin were sent with a small contingent of troops to Galisteo to bring back some horses belonging to the mounted riflemen. He and Claflin spent four days in Santa Fe "to enter into the gayities of the Capitol," but DuBois was sick the entire time. He recovered when it was time to start back to the post, and "our return was pleasant." At Fort Union DuBois had a letter from "Ed Reed - written more than a year ago." That was an unusually long delivery time for the mail, even in New Mexico, but the letter "had been to Mexico - Chihuahua & ever where." He was happy to receive it and "answered immediately." After spending several months in garrison, DuBois was "waiting now anxiously to learn if we are to make an expedition this summer."  He took the field in June as part of Major Simonson's escort to a survey party laying out a new road west of Abiquiu.
Meanwhile life at Fort Union remained monotonous. "Change is stamped on all things," DuBois wrote in May 1859, "except Fort Union." He informed his mother that "there is a perfect dearth of news. . . . No war. No trains going in to or away from the states. No news from Europe or America . . . and no news at my own post." He did comment on the weather: "All the past month we have enjoyed wet & cold weather. Snow fell yesterday accompanied by rain & wind." Like his comrades, DuBois always welcomed letters from home. "Write as often as you can," he told his mother, "I am always anxious as each mail arrives & disappointed when I receive no letter." 
The "perfect quiet" was interrupted for a few days with the gathering at the post of officers from throughout the department who were going to the states. Some were promoted and heading for new assignments, some were sick or injured, some were going to get married, and others were just taking a leave of absence. DuBois was especially pleased to see Second Lieutenant William Woods Averell, Regiment of Mounted Riflemen and another of DuBois's classmates at West Point, who "was walking on two sticks" because of a broken leg he received during the "Navajo War." While awaiting his departure to the states, Averell "made his home in my room & being nearly helpless has occupied all my time and attention." DuBois avowed "it was a luxury to talk over old times with Averell." 
Averell told DuBois about their mutual friend, Lieutenant Orren Chapman, First Dragoons, who had died of illness at Albuquerque early in 1859. In his memoirs, Averell described Chapman as "an extraordinary man in his irrepressible spirits and power to entertain. He seemed never to admit a serious view of life." The following story about Chapman was recorded by both Averell and DuBois (who heard it from Averell). While Chapman was "at Albuquerque on his way to the states to die," he became so weak that he realized he would not leave New Mexico alive. He sent for Captain Daniel Henry Rucker, quartermaster, and asked him if he would paint a sign and put it up over the door of Chapman's room. Rucker agreed to do it and asked what kind of sign Chapman wanted. The sick man replied, "dying done here by O. Chapman." Then, his sense of humor still intact, Chapman added, "Many die & leave no sign." Chapman died January 6, 1859. When the officers heading for the states left Fort Union, DuBois confided, "now Averell has gone I feel very lonely." 
Among those going to the states was Colonel Loring, which left Major Simonson in command of the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen. Simonson was planning to come to Fort Union, organize an escort for the survey party, and lead that escort during the summer of 1859. DuBois was critical of the government's Indian policy in New Mexico, believing it was based on "blunders." "For years the government have been furnishing the indians with rifles," he wrote, "they now have learned to use them. . . . we all expect an uprising." 
While waiting for Major Simonson to arrive at Fort Union, DuBois noted that the paymaster visited Fort Union on May 14 and paid the troops. He made no mention of any celebrating afterward. He sent his father $500 with instructions to "set it at work if you can or use it if you want it." He commented about one development in the social life of the post. "The non-com officers of the command gave concert last week," he observed; "it was not a success in itself but certainly was a move in the right direction." 
A few days later DuBois was sent to Santa Fe to turn into headquarters the map of the Navajo country on which he had been working for several months and to accompany Major Simonson to Fort Union. DuBois enjoyed the chance to visit Santa Fe. Regarding Simonson, he wrote that he was "detained two days to get the old man sober." While they were on the road to Fort Union, "Major S told me I would go with the command this summer." DuBois was pleased to leave garrison life for field duty early in June. He did not return to Fort Union in the fall but went to Fort Defiance. He was at Fort Union briefly in December 1860, on his way to garrison duty at Fort Bliss. 
Major Simonson returned to Fort Union on October 23, 1859, and commanded the post until August 15, 1860. The mounted riflemen continued to man Fort Union until May 1861, when the Civil War had begun in the East and would soon be known about in New Mexico. They were assisted occasionally by a few infantrymen who were temporarily at the post. During 1860 and the first four months of 1861 the garrison averaged 273. In addition to Major Simonson, commanding officers during that time included Major Charles F. Ruff, Lieutenant Colonel George B. Crittenden, and Captain Thomas Duncan, all Regiment of Mounted Riflemen. Dr. Robert Bartholomew joined the garrison as post surgeon in September 1859. At the same time, a new post chaplain and schoolmaster, Samuel B. McPheeters, arrived to replace Chaplain Stoddert who had resigned the previous year. 
Among the officers who arrived from the East in August 1859 was Lieutenant Dabney Herndon Maury, regimental adjutant of the mounted riflemen. He was a native of Virginia and would join the Confederate army during the Civil War. Lieutenant Maury had been in charge of moving approximately 500 cavalry horses from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Union in the summer of 1859, with the help of 200 cavalry recruits and "a fine set of young officers not long from West Point." Maury's family and slaves and the wives and children of several officers serving in New Mexico accompanied the expedition. The officers' families traveled in carriages and the camp equipage, supplies, and soldiers' effects were carried in wagons. 
The line of march was carefully organized for the comfort and safety of the party. A herd of beef cattle and a few milch cows were sent ahead of the main column early each morning, accompanied by a small escort. When the column took the trail, led by an advance guard, the order of travel was the carriages for the officers' families, the mounted riflemen who were not on guard duty or accompanying the horse herd, the herd of horses, and the rear guard. Maury explained how the remount horses were driven across the plains by the troops under his command:
"The horses which were not under saddle were driven out in strings, each string being made up of thirty animals and placed in charge of its own squad of men. The picket rope of the string was secured to one end of the wagon, in which was hauled the tent of the squad, with their clothing and rations, etc. A pair of heavy, steady wheel horses were hitched to the wagon and driven by the teamster. Then came the led horses in spans, each secured by a short halter to the picket rope. The string was led off by a pair of steady leaders, hitched by a swingletree to the end of the picket rope, the whole thus presenting a team of about twelve or fifteen pairs of horses. The management of this team required no little skill on the part of the drivers and outriders of the squad. In the party there were a dozen or more of these strings, and they made the Indians' mouths water, I suspect, but they never got a horse." 
Maury maintained "extraordinary vigilance" because of the possibility of Indian raids aimed particularly at the horse herd and the cattle. Except for the theft of some of the personal property of the escort with the cattle herd, the Indians caused no problems for Maury's command. The only loss of life occurred during a buffalo hunt when one of the soldiers accidentally shot and killed a Sergeant Bowman in the excitement of the chase. The remainder of the march was routine, and Maury recorded "we reached Fort Union in good time and with all of our horses in fine condition." 
Maury said little about conditions at Fort Union, except that there was "very little to occupy us beside the usual routine of a frontier cavalry post, which allowed us plenty of leisure for hunting and wolf chasing." He recalled that "game was so plentiful then on the western frontier that there were few days in which we could not have good sport." Like many officers, Maury liked to hunt and had a fine hunting dog, a setter named Toots. He also enjoyed telling hunting stories. One of the young officers at Fort Union, Second Lieutenant William Hicks Jackson, Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, was the subject of one of these exploits. During the campaign against the Comanches in 1859, when "all hunting and shooting was strictly forbidden," a grizzly bear "crossed the route of the column." Lieutenant Jackson, "armed only with his sabre," rode his horse out to meet the grizzly. Jackson's horse was blind in one eye and, by keeping the bear on the horse's blind side, the officer was able to get close enough to use his weapon. When the grizzly stood up on his hind legs to fight, "Jackson cleft his skull with his sword." Maury concluded that "it is doubtful if such an exploit was ever elsewhere attempted or accomplished." 
One of Maury's hunting companions at Fort Union was Captain Shoemaker at the ordnance depot. Shoemaker kept greyhounds and had an outstanding pack leader in a greyhound named Possum. Maury described Possum as "the longest and tallest dog I have ever seen, and of great fleetness and power." Possum "always led the pack of ten greyhounds, which I was enabled to make up and keep in the Commissary's corral, under charge of Corporal Thomson, a bright young Virginian and an ardent hunter." Maury, Shoemaker, and others took the greyhounds out three times a week to hunt wolves, coyotes, and antelope. The wolves and coyotes usually headed toward the Turkey Mountains, where the timber provided them with safe cover, but the greyhounds often caught them on the prairie between the post and the mountains. 
The greyhounds hunted as a team. Possum, as leader of the pack, "would thrust his long snout between the wolf's hind legs as he closed on him, and toss him over his back, where he would hold him until the rest of the pack came up, when he was soon killed." Possum caught antelope the same way. Once Maury's dog Toots chased an antelope out of Wolf Creek valley near the fort, with Maury close behind, into the view of the pack of greyhounds out on the prairie. The "bewildered" antelope stopped and Toots grabbed a hind leg and hung tight. Maury dismounted, grabbed the antelope by a horn, and killed him with a knife before the greyhounds reached the scene. 
According to Maury, "Toots was a wonderful dog, occasionally too zealous, as when one day he killed a polecat in our kitchen." The Maury family was forced to vacate their quarters at Fort Union for a week, during which time they moved in with their "good friends," Post Surgeon Elisha J. Bailey and his wife. Toots learned his lesson from that incident. Later, after Possum and the greyhounds ran a wolf four miles before the wolf escaped into the Turkey Mountains and the hunters were returning to the post, Toots saw another skunk. Maury claimed his dog came "running in towards us, his ears thrown back in alarm," escaping from "a polecat, with tail erect, ready for action." The greyhounds, however, "had yet to be initiated into the mysteries of that animal" and attacked and "rent him asunder." There followed what Maury called "the high jinks; such tumbling and whining and rubbing of noses and general gymnastics no ten dogs ever set up at the same time." Maury and Corporal Thomson "nearly rolled off our horses with laughter, and Toots sat off beyond polecat range, laughing as if he would split his sides. Evidently, he enjoyed the joke more than any of us." 
Lieutenant Maury served at Fort Union until the spring of 1860. While he was there, he recalled years later, "we heard the news of John Brown's capture of Harper's Ferry." Then, for several weeks, "the Indians cut off mail communication" and troops in New Mexico could only wonder what was happening in the East. A system of escorts between Fort Union and the new Camp on Pawnee Fork (also called Camp Alert and then named Fort Larned) in Kansas Territory eventually reopened the mail route. The first mail, wrote Maury, "brought me a letter from Lieutenant Jeb Stuart, congratulating me upon my promotion to a captaincy in the Adjutant-General's department, with orders to repair to Santa Fe." Maury's rank of brevet captain was dated April 17, 1860. The Maurys moved to Santa Fe and remained there until the outbreak of the Civil War when he resigned (effective June 25, 1861) and joined the Confederate army, in which he served as a major general. On his way back to the East in May 1861, Maury and his family went to Fort Union where a wagon train was made up to cross the plains. There, he remembered, several officers who were his friends but were loyal to the Union, treated him and his family with "every consideration and respect." Some wished him well, one gave him a horse, and a trader at the post offered cash. Maury fondly remembered his sojourn in New Mexico and life at Fort Union, 1859-1860. 
During 1860 Lieutenant William B. Lane and his family returned to Fort Union. William and Lydia had spent several months in the East on leave and traveled the Santa Fe Trail to Fort Union. They now had two daughters, Mary (age 5) and Susan (age 1). This was Lydia's third trip across the plains, and she enjoyed it. They accompanied several other families on the way to Fort Union, including Captain Andrew Jackson (Jack) Lindsay and wife, Dr. Bartholomew and family, and Chaplain McPheeters and family. 
This time Lydia Lane provided a brief description of their quarters and life at the post. "The quarters assigned to us," she recalled, ". . . were built of logs, and old, but cosey and homelike." It would be interesting to know if the Lanes occupied the same quarters where Maury's dog Toots encounted the polecat. Like most other officer families, the Lanes had servants (two black women who may have been slaves). "With our good cook and nurse, we enjoyed housekeeping after our weeks and weeks of travel." The cook must have been a testy woman. Lydia remembered, "by discreetly keeping away from the kitchen and giving as few orders as possible to the cook, the peace of the household was undisturbed. When obliged to speak to her, I made known my wants in a meek voice and beat a hasty retreat." 
Compared to some of the other posts where the Lanes had been stationed, Fort Union "was a large post, with many pleasant people." Lydia enjoyed the society of the officers and their families there but provided no details of their activities. Before the end of 1860, Lieutenant Lane was transferred to Fort Craig, New Mexico, and his family moved with him. They spent Christmas day, 1860, as guests of Lieutenant and Mrs. Dabney Maury in Santa Fe  and arrived at Fort Craig on January 4, 1861. A few months after the Civil War began, Lydia and her daughters and servants, passed through Fort Union on their way East to escape from the war in the territory. While traveling on the Santa Fe Trail a fire burned through their camp and destroyed most of Lydia Lane's possessions. The Lanes returned to Fort Union after the Civil War. By that time things had changed thoroughly from what they were like during their brief stay in 1860. 
During the summer and fall of 1860, many of the troops stationed at Fort Union were in the field as part of a campaign against the Kiowas and Comanches, and some of the mounted riflemen from Fort Union were in the engagement with members of those tribes early in January 1861. Second Lieutenant DuBois participated in the campaign of 1860, during which he was at Fort Union briefly on several occasions. He became the acting regimental quartermaster after the campaign and was attached to Union. Early in 1861 DuBois observed that "the papers are all filled with secession." He understood what this meant, declaring "our glorious union will at last prove a failure because man must needs have a brother man for a slave." He was granted a six-month leave of absence in March and left Fort Union for the states on March 17, 1861. While traveling across the plains, DuBois learned that some southern states were "in open arms to resist what they call invasion." He predicted "this will be a long & bloody war. It will last five years at least & may not be a success." He feared many of the southern army officers would leave the Union and lead the rebel forces. His party traveled from Fort Union to Westport, Missouri, in twelve days. In three more days he was home in New York. Within two weeks his leave was canceled and DuBois was ordered to report at Washington for duty.  The outbreak of Civil War not only divided the Union, but it divided the troops, especially the officers, stationed at Fort Union and throughout the Department of New Mexico. No other event of the nineteenth century had such an important and far-reaching effect on the nation, the army, and Fort Union as did the tragic war, 1861-1865. Life at the post on Wolf Creek, after a decade of comparative solitude, soon underwent innumerable alterations. Many other changes, including the construction of two new complexes, took place at Fort Union during the Civil War.
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