About Fort Union National Monument

Enter Site #1-#16
Mechanics Corral Today
Mechanics' Corral; photo by Steve Martin

Within a sweeping valley of short-grass prairie and amid the deeply carved tracks of the Santa Fe Trail lie the adobe remnants of the largest 19th century military fort in the American Southwest. For forty years, from 1851 to 1891, Fort Union functioned as an agent of political and cultural change, whether desired or not, in New Mexico and throughout the region. Serving as the main supply depot for the Army of the Southwest, Fort Union provisioned 46 forts within a 600+ mile radius as the military led campaigns against the Native American tribes throughout the entire New Mexico Territory and beyond. Additionally, Fort Union was the prime target of a failed Confederate invasion of the New Mexico Territory during the Civil War in early 1862.   

Established in 1954, Fort Union National Monument protects and preserves more than just the historic remnants of the fort and the deep, carved ruts of the Santa Fe Trail. It also conserves and interprets the stories of those who lived and worked here and how their actions shaped, defined, and forever changed the land and peoples of the American Southwest.

As the National Park Service rings in its 100th anniversary, Fort Union National Monument will be presenting numerous programs and special events.  We hope the self-guided mobile tour of the monument and the map of sites highlighted will facilitate a deeper understanding of the importance and influences that the fort had on the American Southwest during the 19th century.  

We look forward to seeing you here at the fort to experience the incredible stories and stunning architecture and landscape that make up Fort Union National Monument. 

Aerial view of Fort Union; photo by New Mexico True