Hughes presents a military mien as sesquicentennial speechmaker


Near the start of the 150th Founders' Day, retired Army Colonel Dave Hughes provides an overview of its significance.
Westside Pioneer photo
A prominent figure at Old Colorado City's sesquicentennial Founders Day celebration Aug. 8 was Dave Hughes. A retired Army colonel and veteran of Korea and Vietnam, he was decked out in a uniform styled after that of a union officer in the Glorieta Pass battle of 1862 (which had included soldiers recruited from this area). Now the treasurer of the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), he gave three speeches during Founders' Day - one to introduce the event and give general Old Town history; a second to explain the significance of the historic “Colorado Midland Band March” that the New Horizons Symphonic Band played; and a third to describe the new monument that the OCCHS made possible in Bancroft Park.
       Asked about his Founders' Day attire, Hughes described it in an e-mail as a “near-historical military uniform, close to what the officers of the 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry Regiment would likely have worn after returning to Colorado City from defeating the Texans at Glorieta Pass… and at a dance party to celebrate the victory in the El Paso House - today's Amarillo Motel location where the 1st Colorado was encamped over Christmas 1862 - and where such dances took place.
       “I wore my Stetson Civil War/Indian Wars officer's hat, with the crossed 7th cavalry sabers - for I actually commanded Company K, 7th United States Cavalry in combat in Korea - Custer's old outfit when he fought the Indians in western Kansas… I wore my cavalry black boots, black trousers, and dress blue coat with brass buttons with West Point crests engraved on each one. I wore two of my combat awards - a miniature Combat Infantry Badge with star above my left breast, denoting two wars in infantry combat below the rank of colonel (Korea and Vietnam), and a blue and red lapel pin denoting my being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross - the second highest combat award.”

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