In the Fort Sumner Post Cemetery, there were also a few graves of young children. The actual fort was closed in 1868, and sold to Lucien Maxwell, who died in 1875, so this child may have been one of his descendants.

I was curious about the coins on this grave as well as on many others at this cemetery. It was the first time I’d ever seen this practice. My research turned up several possibilities. One is that when military personnel visit military cemeteries, it’s their custom to leave a coin as a sign of respect. Another is that coins are left to assist with maintenance of the burial site, and yet another is that it’s a spiritual gesture to bring luck in the afterlife.

Adjacent to the Fort Sumner Post Cemetery and approximately 1/4 mile away, is the museum dedicated to the tragic history of “The Long Walk” to the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation at Fort Sumner. Until our visit to this area, I had never heard about this part of American history. Hubs said that many years ago, he had seen a program on The History Channel about it but that was about it. There are many published articles about “The Long Walk”. You can read one of them here.

Overall, this was an interesting, educational, and sombre stop.

Photo Note: Aside from resizing, all I did to these photos in post processing was a bit of white balance and tuning. In my famous 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had shot the sign about the Bosque Redondo museum in landscape mode. That would have made the sign between the posts more balanced. The more photos we take, and the more editing we do, the more we learn.

I almost forgot to mention that my feature photo was shot at about the midway point between The old fort cemetery and the Bosque Redondo museum. None of the original fort buildings remain, but when we looked at a mock-up of the original fort, this old fallen tree looked to be the approximate location of the Maxwell house where Billy the Kid drew his last breath.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

Mahatma Gandhi