WR.1104.1 is the United States flag carried by the 1st Regiment of Colorado Volunteers during its march into New Mexico Territory during the Civil War. The standard measures 48 by 105.5 inches. Materials utilized in construction are cotton, wool, and brass. The thirteen stripes are made of red or white plain weave wool fabric. The stripes are machine sewn together. The canton is made of blue plain weave wool fabric. Thirty-four white cotton fabric stars are hand sewn to the field. The heading is made of twill weave cotton fabric with five brass grommets. The fly hem is hand stitched.
The 1861-62 campaign along the Rio Grande in New Mexico Territory was the only operation during the Civil War in which the Secessionists tried to conquer, as opposed to liberate unquestionably Union territory. The Colorado Volunteers’ victory not only preserved Colorado for the Union, but also ended any hopes for the Confederacy’s western expansion. The flag “made by the ladies of Denver in 1861” symbolizes that success.
WR.1104.1 is the only flag known to have survived a relatively unknown Civil War battle whose outcome could have changed American history.
Early in the Civil War, Texas Confederate troops entered New Mexico Territory with sights set north on the rich Colorado gold fields. In addition to supplementing the Confederacy's dwindling coffers, they hoped to control routes to California; possibly extending their frontier to the Pacific. At Camp Weld in Denver City, hastily assembled volunteers marched hundreds of miles through intense cold and rugged landscape to meet and ultimately defeat the rebel troops at Glorieta Pass on March 28, 1862.
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