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Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial
3647 Billy the Kid Road Fort Sumner, NM 87501

The story of Fort Sumner and the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation is one of Manifest Destiny regardless, a callous government policy, the heartless destruction of Indian nations, and an ill-conceived experiment in social engineering doomed to fail. And it did. In 1991, New Mexico State Monuments and the Museum of New Mexico, with strong support from Navajo and Mescalero Apache leaders, began the creation of the Bosque Redondo Memorial. It stands today to acknowledge the tragic history of the 1860s when 9,500 people from Apache and Navajo nations where chased down, rounded up, marched for hundreds of miles and interned for years, all to open the western frontier for another culture to move in and take over. Though the cast of military VIPs includes James H. Carleton, Kit Carson, and William T. Sherman, the Native Americans are those to celebrate for their determination and victory. As one wrote in 1865: "Chain the eagle to the ground—he will strive to gain his freedom, and though he fails, he will lift his head and look-up to the sky which is home—and we want to return to our mountains and plains, where we used to plant corn, wheat and beans." In a museum designed by Navajo architect David Sloan and on an interpretive trail with historical information, visitors can honor those who died, salute those who returned home, and reflect on a time never to be forgotten.