California Column Marches 900 Miles to El Paso

The “California Column” of 2,350 Union soldiers entered El Paso on August 29, 1862 after a 900-mile march in wool uniforms across the Southwestern desert in the searing summer heat.

The Californians never laid eyes on the Sibley Brigade, the Texas Confederates they had been sent to drive out of New Mexico.  Sibley and his men already had retreated leaving The Column in complete control of El Paso and the Trans-Pecos for the rest of the Civil War.

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