Sunday, August 14, 2005


This past weekend celebrated the 150th anniversary of historic Ft. Stanton, New Mexico. Ft. Stanton, Inc. that operates the fort and spearheads the Ft. Stanton restoration effort sponsored an intriguing look at life during the long history of the facility. During the Civil War, Ft. Stanton was temporarily occupied by Confederate Troops and the re-occupied by the Union in 1862. The anniversary celebration took place August 13th and 14th, 2005. Historians, re-enacters, musicians and period craftsmen joined together to create the time machine that transported those in attendance to eras gone by. Tents of soldiers and settlers lined the main street for the two day event, and presented an amazingly real atmosphere. There were moments when, just for a second, this was the past! There were military and atillery drills with vendors demonstrating the crafts of the period. Blacksmiths, weavers, candlemakers and even a genuine tin type photographer added the trimmings which helped fuel the suspension of disbelief. Fife and drummers marched, mounted units performed. For a moment, this was Ft. Stanton in it's finest hour.
Throughout the festivities it was curious to note that I heard no one in all of the demonstrations and awards that was aware of the word "cavalry". Everyone was talking about "Calvary demonstrations", "Calvary hats", "Calvary units". Was there to be a re-enactment of Christ's Crucifixion? Had this become a religious event? Not even Tony Hoffman, the energetic bard of Ft. Stanton, Inc. had the slightest idea that the cavalry was a mounted military unit and Calvary was the mountain on which Christ was crucified. Not exactly the mettle of true historians.
The event drew thousands that were treated to a real "step back". Congratulations to the many staff, volunteers and friends of Ft. Stanton on making the event a great success!