"Kit Carson's Own"
The 1st New Mexico Volunteer Infantry, Company B, is a reenactment group organized to recreate the volunteer soldiers of Arizona who filled the ranks as loyal Americans during the Civil War.
Our group specifically recreates the Regiment as it was first recruited in the Spring of 1861. The largely Hispanic Regiment served with (mostly unrecognized) honor under Colonel Kit Carson during Sibley's Confederate Invasion of 1862, in the Battle of Valverde. Even though the Union forces lost that battle, Col. Carson and the 1st NMVI distinguished themselves with their courage. After Valverde, the 1st was ordered to garrison Fort Craig, south of Socorro. The Confederates were finally defeated on March 28, 1862 at Apache Canyon and Glorieta Pass by Volunteers from Colorado and elements of the 1st. As they retreated from New Mexico, the surviving third of the Rebels intentionally avoided Ft. Craig and its New Mexican garrison. The once proudly mounted Texans limped home on bare feet.
With the threat from the Rebels ended, in May, 1862, Brigadier General Canby ordered the best of all the New Mexican soldiers consolidated into the First New Mexico Volunteers (Reorganized) under Colonel Carson. This unit was later reorganized further to include mounted companies. Colonel Carson and the New Mexico soldiers served with honor protecting New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Arizona from the Indian threats that developed when the United States failed to live up to its pre & Civil War promises for subsistence and protection. The last of the New Mexico Volunteers were discharged in 1867, as the regular Army returned to the Southwest after the war.
Reenacting with the First New Mexico:
Company B participates in reenactments of Civil War events and living history throughout the area defended by the original First. We join with Union and Confederate re-enactors as the New Mexico Civil War Congress to organize events and encourage activities throughout the state. Our particular focus is Arizona, New Mexico and its loyal defenders during the Civil War and our members participate in Regional and National events.
We currently have over 43 members - men, women and children- all of whom portray a variety of authentic impressions. Although primarily an Infantry group, our members impressions include Chaplain Image, Surgical Unit, Ordinance Sergeant, and Civilian Group. Our group attends local, regional and national events, and we are a member of a national reenacting organization, the Frontier Brigade. Most importantly, we love to have fun!
We welcome recruits and will be glad to discuss what's involved in reenacting, sources for uniforms, weapons, and gear. We are an incorporated volunteer organization with monthly meetings and a (generally) monthly event schedule. In Company B, we learn about Civil War era drill, uniforms, military custom, weapons skills and safety, camp skills and cooking, and period songs. While we strive for reasonable authenticity, we are not "hard core." Our objectives, in priority order, are safety, fun, and authenticity. These objectives are not in conflict.
You are welcome to try us out. Visit our New Member Information page or visit us at a reenactment event. We can arrange loans of uniforms and equipment, so you can try it out first before you purchase your own.
We hope to see you on the field!