Feb. 17, 1862: Gen. Sibley’s Confederate Army of New Mexico (about 2,500 men in several Texas cavalry regiments and a few Arizona militia) marches north up the Rio Grande Valley, toward Ft. Craig. Sibley cannot lure the Federals (about 3,000) out of the fort. When Sibley falls ill (or drunk, as the rumor goes), Col. Tom Green takes over command of the Rebels, crosses the Rio Grande to the opposite bank of the river and marches north, to threaten the ford at Val Verde, where the supply line to the fort crosses.
—George Templeton Strong, of New York City, writes in his journal: "Laus Deo again! We are victorious at Fort Donelson. It was doubted by a few until one o’clock. . . . The fort is taken. We have 15,000 prisoners; perhaps an exaggeration."