. I’m old, my young ones. Soon I’ll have to leave. But ere we part I have just one tale more To share---a tale of valor. Never grieve A grandpa who helped win the Civil War! Back then I was a farmer, country-born, Ohio bred, blessed with an upright wife. But once the South seceded I was sworn To help preserve the Union with my life. So Lincoln sent me to New Mexico, A territory then---untamed and bold--- With Spanish ranches, cowboys, Navajo... The trail to California’s ports and gold. Back East the War hit Shiloh and Bull Run. Great generals led like Sherman, Grant and Lee. New Mexico claims no such famous son--- Yet here the Union won its victory! When Texan soldiers marched on Santa Fe We Union troops marched south from Colorado. Bullets flew between the Blue and Grey And cannons rained down death with grim bravado. We failed to see the Southern troops amass And had to flee the field at deadly cost. The rebel soldiers then attacked the Pass. If Glorieta fell then all was lost! Although our troops retreated in alarm We vowed to keep the Territory free! Outgunned, we met in stealth at Johnson’s farm And there devised our winning strategy: A group of us slipped past the foe as spies And gained advantage with this covert feat: We found and then blew up the South’s supplies! The Texans had no choice but to retreat! The War fought in the East was far from through. But rebels never claimed the West again. That was March of 1862--- A year that cost 200,000 men. You say you love this country. Don’t forget We fought at Glorieta Pass for you--- Our lives and honor pledged to stop a threat That tried to rip this sacred land in two! So many valiant men have fought and died Because we thought our country worth the fight. The devil take the idiots who’ve lied With claims this nation doesn’t strive for right! America’s a land just like your mother--- Not quite unflawed but blest in her creation. Where worth is based on work and nothing other--- The fairest way to build a righteous nation. . Poet’s Note: The Battle of Glorieta Pass---frequently dubbed “the Gettysburg of the West”---was the decisive battle of the New Mexico campaign of the Civil War. It took place March 26-28, 1862. The Union victory put an end to Confederate dreams of taking California and the Southwest. . . Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.