Colorado Military History

The nation’s military history was the theme of the Denver Veteran’s Day Parade this year. Colorado has an interesting and extensive military history, dating back to territorial days when Colorado volunteers played a role in the western theater of the Civil War. You can learn about Colorado’s military history through a number of insightful publications available from our library, including:


  • This Soldier Life: The Diaries of Romine H. Ostrander, 1863-1865, in Colorado Territory, Colorado Historical Society, 2006.
  • The Tall Chief: The Unfinished Autobiography of Edward W. Wynkoop, 1856-1866. Colorado Historical Society, 1994.


  • A Time for Peace: Fort Lewis, 1878-1891.  University Press of Colorado, 2006.
  • The Military Establishment at Camp George West.  Colorado Historical Society, 1992.
  • Fort Garland Museum: A Capsule History and Guide. Colorado Historical Society, 2005.
  • Old Fort Garland. Colorado Historical Society, 1954.


  • Military Engagements Between United States Troops and Plains Indians. University of Northern Colorado, 1980.
  • Hollow Victory: The White River Expedition of 1879 and the Battle of Milk Creek. University Press of Colorado, 1997.
  • The Battle of Beecher Island and the Indian War of 1867-1869. University Press of Colorado, 1992.
  • Cheyenne Dog Soldiers: A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat. University Press of Colorado, 1997.


  • Just Outside of Manila: Letters from Members of the First Colorado Regiment in the Spanish-American War. Colorado Historical Society, 1992.
  • Distant Bugles, Distant Drums: The Union Response to the Confederate Invasion of New Mexico. University Press of Colorado, 2006.
  • Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War: The New Mexico Campaign of 1862. Colorado Historical Society, 1963.



  • Military Records of the State and Territory of Colorado. Colorado State Archives.
  • Colorado Volunteers, 1861-1865Colorado State Archives.
  • Annual Report of the Department of Military Affairs


This Veterans’ Day, these publications and others available from our library can help us to remember those Coloradans who fought and died for our country.

The Colorado Veterans’ Monument in Lincoln Park across from the State Capitol is one of many military monuments on or near the Capitol grounds. Others include Civil War monument and cannons; a Pearl Harbor Memorial; the USS Colorado Memorial; Volunteers of the Spanish American War Flagpole; Medal of Honor recipient Joseph R. Martinez statue; Amache Internment Camp and Governor Ralph Carr memorials; and the Sand Creek Interpretive Plaque. Photo courtesy Colorado Legislative Council.