The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

24 October 2008

Controversy in Socorro about Confederate Burial Site

In the early years of the Civil War, Confederate soldiers from Texas invaded New Mexico. A battle ensued in Valverde, which is about 30 miles south of Socorro. After the Confederates won they battle, they set up a makeshift hospital in Socorro. A few of the soldier died, and were buried in the town.

Recently, there has been controversy about whether the bodies of these soldiers should be exhumed from their places. The problem is that this site lies within the boundaries of a Socorro widow's property, and she does not want the exhumations to take place. She plans to give the land to her children, and does not want to have the land disturbed.

Personally, I understand the arguments of both sides. This site is of great historical interest. However, property rights need to be respected. Maybe the city could solve the problem by following what the widow suggests. She would surrender the property if the city gave her a comparable piece of land.

Maybe its a good thing that I'm not a government official. I would hate to make a decision like that.

Anyhow, here is a link to a recent Albuquerque Journal article about the issue: Family Lot may be Graveyard for 27 Confederate Soldiers.

Socorro's newspaper the El Defensor Chieftain also has an article that mentions the issue as it was discussed at a Socorro City council meeting: Socorro Approves Utility Rate Increases.

And here is a web site that has a 2002 Albuquerque Journal article about the site: Civil War Battle Left Loose Ends. The site also has a link that lists the Confederate Civil War dead who are supposedly buried on the site.


Elyse said...

Why would they want to move the bodies in the first place? Wouldn't it be better to leave them there?
But if they have to keep the land, then why don't they give the widow another peice of land. Problem solved.

Robert Baca said...

I agree.

One of the articles mentions that there was once a recognized cemetary there. There were metal fences and tombstones there, but they were knocked down years ago. Also, the Confederate soldier's bodies are not the only ones there. There are apparently other people buried there. I think the story said that it was once a Presbyterian cemetery.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't feel confortable about living on top of a cemetery.