COBWEB CORNERS: North vs. South

By Mel McFarland

       When the first citizens of Colorado City were getting the community started, there was a problem brewing. The town had no sooner organized than the war between the states popped into view. In Southern Colorado, once the union was divided, there was a strong group that wanted to join the South. Colorado as a whole was undecided in those early days. Colorado City was primarily on the North's side.
       The sympathizers for the South started gathering arms, supplies, and ammunition. A group in Pueblo would secretly haul wagonloads of this material to Texas. This group called themselves Knights of the Golden Circle. In the summer of 1862 the group made themselves public, and invited help from similar minded groups in this area.
       On July 4, the town of Pueblo planned a big celebration. A barbeque was planned on Santa Fe Avenue. A picnic arbor 200 feet long with evergreen boughs providing shade was built along the street. Food of various types and varieties loaded down the tables. Wagons and carriages from as far away as Colorado City and Canon City arrived with revelers. The late morning found nearly 500 people at the festivities. All went well until someone suggested parading up and down Santa Fe with the Stars and Stripes. The Knights objected to this and suggested that the Stars and Bars would do better. A supporter from Taos had been providing a recent batch of "Taos Lightnin' " at his wagon.
       At noon a group of men gathered to start their parade. Again the Knights threatened an armed protest; however, many of their group were suffering from the effects of the Lightnin' and the hot sun. After a quick look at the situation, they retreated. Their support of the South continued for some time, but the State of Colorado placed its support behind the Union. A detachment of troops fought in a battle, later in the war, defeating southern sympathizers at Glorietta Pass in New Mexico Territory. There is even a display over at the Old Colorado City History Center, and this is why it is there!