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La Glorietta Pass staff ride offers hands-on history  
By Army Master Sgt. David A. Schmidt, Colorado Army National Guard Historian 
La Glorietta staff ride 
Officer Candidates John Buchanan, Joshua Arndt and William Troxel prepare to fire 1859 Springfield rifles, the same type used by many of the Union and Confederate Soldiers, in Apache Canyon near La Glorietta Pass, N.M., where Colorado Soldiers fought 148 years ago. Civil War re-enactor Ken Dusenberry and Officer Candidate lead instructor Capt. Matthew Arnold observe the firing line. (Photo by Army Master Sgt. David A. Schmidt/RELEASED)

SANTA FE, N.M. (4/22/10) – In tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the Colorado National Guard, Soldiers of the Colorado Army National Guard's Officer Candidate Class 52 conducted a staff ride through the La Glorieta Pass battlefield near Santa Fe, N.M., April 22-25.

The event, organized by CONG historians Capt. Adam Morgan and Master Sgt. David Schmidt, the state’s newest potential officers were given a hands-on learning opportunity on the Civil War battle site – as well as Colorado’s role in the conflict – as part of their curriculum. Dr. Don Alberts and Mr. Flint Whitlock, both noted authors and subject matter experts on the 1862 engagement between the First Colorado Infantry and the Texas Confederates, accompanied the group.

Officer Candidate John Colin said he learned a lot from the experience.

"We discussed many different leaders during the trip through student presentations," Colin explained. "The discussions with the subject matter experts provided many positive examples of leadership and as well as some that were not so positive. Hopefully we all learned some lessons of what to do and what not to do.

"Obviously, learning from the past prevents errors and tragedy in the future – and in this case there are many lessons to be learned that transpose to the modern battlefield. The focal point in this battle came down to logistics which is something young officers need to incorporate into their planning skills."