Manuel Antonio Chaves, El Leoncito and War Hero

January 30, 1889 marked the death of Manuel Antonio Chaves, known as El Leoncito (the little lion) for his military exploits as a soldier in the Mexican Army and in the US Army on the side of the Union during the Civil War (1861-1865).  As an American soldier, he helped to defeat the Confederates in the Battle of Glorieta Pass in March, 1862.  This battle was decisive in stopping the Confederates’ drive into New Mexico.  Chaves made American literary history when he appeared as a minor character in Willa Cather’s classic novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop.  (You should have read that one in high school, think back.)

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