Just a few photos of the decorations and lights in Mesilla, NM. Tons of history, around the plaza is the courthouse where Billy the Kid was tried and sentence to death, tons of buildings dating back 150+ years, and the San Albino catholic church.
The Treaty of Mesilla was signed here, concluding the Gadsen Purchase which acquired land in the Southwest for the United States from Mexico.
During the Civil War, Mesilla served as the capital of the Arizona Territory of the CSA, and a couple of battles between Union and Confederate forces were fought here.
As communities across the United States grapple with the future of Confederate monuments, Doña Ana County also displays reminders of the area’s role in the Civil War.
High in the dry Chihuahuan Desert, far from the green battlefields typical of the Civil War, the newly formed Confederate States of America scored an early win in what is now Doña Ana County, and the New Mexico Territory played a role in the war — just not a decisive one.
“It was a sideshow, but it was widely reported back east,” said John P. Wilson, a retired researcher who collected countless documents from the National Archives on New Mexico and the Civil War.
At least two major battles and several skirmishes were fought in what is now New Mexico, starting in the war’s first weeks.
Just as the Confederate army scored a major victory back east, it scored a symbolic one along the Rio Grande in late July 1861. The First Battle of Bull Run was the big news that week, but a small Confederate force from Texas humiliated a Union force more than three times its size between Fort Fillmore (near Mesilla) and San Augustin Pass, eliciting unconditional surrender from a far larger force. If not for the scope of Bull Run, the embarrassment in New Mexico would have made much bigger news, Wilson said...