Skip to main content

Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A battlefield near Taos where the nation decisively defeated U.S. Army troops will receive a federal grant to protect the historical site. Carson National Forest will receive $35,400 of a $348,230 grant awarded this year from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program, which works to preserve battlefield sites on U.S. soil. The grant will fund an archaeological dig at the site of the Battle of Cieneguilla, in which the tribe defeated the 1st U.S. Dragoons in March 1854. However, Claudia Vigil-Muniz, president of the 3,300-member nation, said she prefers to pass on history orally. "And that wouldn't occur with the restoration of a site. I think it's important, but you can't really learn that much history from a piece of markings." She said she would not visit the site. Forest archaeologists want to learn more about the American Indians' battlefield tactics at the time. The fight lasted only four hours. "A site like this should be protected because it will tell both sides of the story," said Darlis Miller, a New Mexico State University professor emeritus and an expert on Western U.S. history. The archaeologists will take about one year to finish their research, said Glenn Williams, a historian for the Battlefield Protection Program.