Digital Lecture: When the Civil War Came West - CSPM
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Digital Lecture: When the Civil War Came West

May 9 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Megan Kate Nelson

Please note that in consideration of the health and safety of our visitors this program will not be offered in-person at the museum. We are planning a digital program through the video conferencing program Zoom.

We will send information on how to access the Zoom program the day before to everyone who submits an RSVP for the event on our website.

Send any questions about this program and using Zoom to or call 719-385-5990.


In the summer of 1861, Confederate troops invaded New Mexico Territory, hoping to launch a campaign to win the entire West. They wanted access to the region’s gold mines and to California’s Pacific ports, to fund their rebellion. What ensued was a “three-cornered war”: a fight between the Union, the Confederacy, and Native peoples for control of the Southwest in the 1860s. In this lecture, author Megan Kate Nelson tells the story of these momentous events through the lives of several of its participants: men and women, Union and Confederate soldiers, Navajos and Apaches, and New Mexico civilians. Their experiences shed light on this little-known chapter in Civil War and U.S.


Megan Kate Nelson was born in Colorado Springs and grew up in Littleton, Colorado. She is now a writer and historian living in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Her new book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West, will be published by Scribner in February 2020. This project was the recipient of a 2017 NEH Public Scholar Award and a Filson Historical Society Fellowship. Dr. Nelson is the author of two previous books: Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (Georgia, 2012) and Trembling Earth: A Cultural History of the Okefenokee Swamp (Georgia, 2005). She has also written about the Civil War, the U.S. West, and American culture for The New York Times, Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Preservation Magazine, and Civil War Times. Her column on Civil War popular culture, “Stereoscope,” appears regularly in the Civil War Monitor.


May 9
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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