To enforce the confinement of rebellious Indian populations at the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation, Fort Sumner was established in 1862. Colonel Christopher “Kit” Carson brought approximately 400 Mescalero Apaches and 7,000 Navajos to Bosque Redondo. However, pneumonia and dysentery resulted in the death of a quarter of the population. In November 1865, the Mescalero fled the reservation, but the Navajos remained until permitted to return home in 1869. Deemed a failure, the post was abandoned in 1869. This is the tale of one of America’s most notorious concentration camps.
Matthew J. Barbour holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from UNM and works for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. Currently, Barbour is the deputy director of New Mexico Historic Sites. Throughout his career, he has published over 200 nonfiction articles and monographs. Under Barbour, Coronado Historic Site received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History and Jemez Historic Site received the Archaeology Heritage Preservation from New Mexico Historic Preservation Division.