Battling History

Manuel Chaves was a Civil War hero who also killed and enslaved Native Americans. A group dedicated to reviving his memory recently tried to erect a plaque in his honor at Pecos National Historic Park, near Santa Fe. This was where Chaves helped lead a band of volunteers and the Union army to victory in the Battle of Glorieta Pass, which some historians call “the Gettysburg of the West.” But when details emerged of Chaves’ raids on Native American camps, the National Park Service cancelled the plaque. I wrote about Chaves and his complicated legacy for National Parks Magazine.

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