The Military Express, running from Fort Garland to Canon City in the early 1860s, connected with the "Pony Line" from Denver.
Fort Garland was established in June, 1858 just west of La Veta Pass. It was intended to protect nearby settlers from Utes and Jicarilla Apaches. Originally a part of New Mexico Territory it became a part of Colorado Territory in 1861. A Post Office was first established on February 25, 1862.
Two riders are know to have carried the mail on horse back in this region of Colorado:
Juan Santos Avila carried the mail on horseback over the Mosco Pass region from Badito on through the Great Sand Dunes, then on through to Fort Garland where he delivered mail to anxious army soldiers who were stationed there. He then proceeded and ended his route in Alamosa. Juan Santos rode the express from 1886 to 1889.
Pedro Panteleon Gonzales carried the mail in 1881 from Silvercliff to Alamosa, Colorado, over Mosco pass.