Alamocita Creek

I spent an enjoyable and informative day last week exploring Alamocita Creek, guided by Bob Roland (“The Ballad of Placida Romero,” New Mexico Historical Review, Summer 2011). Bob showed me the graves of the two sheep ranchers killed by Nana’s raiders on the Alamocita sometime around August 5 or 6, as well as the site he identifies as “Camp French.” According to Roland, this was the location Lt. Wright was referring to when he advised Col. Hatch that “Captain Parker is at Alamosa” (Chapter 4). To my untrained eye the remaining stonework looks substantially different from any other ruins we looked at in the area and is very similar to the fieldstone construction I’ve seen at Western forts from that period. This may well have been where Parker’s half company was based in his sweep along the Rio Salado. A number of men working together certainly put considerable sweat equity into the buildings, directed by someone with the eye for precision, order and straight lines typical of the military mind. Seems to have been a lot of work for what could have been no more than an occasionally occupied outpost, but I can envision an officer like Parker planning the project, with a tough First Sergeant like Thomas Shaw to keep the men at it in the hot sun.

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