Home Store Products Research Design Strategy Support News
 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 4, Ch. XI–Reports.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

{p.1}

CHAPTER XI.
OPERATIONS IN TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA.
June 11, 1861-February 1, 1862.
–––
REPORTS, ETC.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

June 11, 1861.–Col. E. R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, placed in general charge of affairs in the Department of New Mexico.*
July 3, 1861.–New Mexico embraced in the Western Department.**
Fort McLane, N. Mex., abandoned.
5, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, C. S. Army, ordered to Texas to expel Union forces from New Mexico.
10, 1861.–Fort Breckinridge, N. Mex., abandoned.
23, 1861.–Fort Buchanan, N. Mex, abandoned.
25, 1861.–Skirmish at Mesilla, N. Mex.
26, 1861.–Fort Fillmore, N. Mex., abandoned.
27, 1861.–Surrender of Union forces at San Augustine Springs, N. Mex.
Aug. 2, 1861.–Fort Stanton, N. Mex., abandoned.
14, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Earl Van Dorn relieved from, and Brig. Gen. Paul O. Hébert assigned to, command of Confederate forces in Texas.
23, 1861.–Skirmish near Fort Craig, N. Mex.
25-Sept 8, 1861.–Operations against Indians about Fort Stanton, N. Mex.
-, 1861.–Skirmish with Indians near Fort Bliss, Tex.
Sept. 4, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, C. S. Army, transfers command of the Department of Texas to Col. H. E. McCulloch, First Texas Rifles.
18, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Paul O. Hébert, C. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of Texas.
25, 1861.–Skirmish at Canada Alamosa, N. Mex.
26, 1861.–Skirmish near Fort Thorn, N. Mex.
30-Oct 7, 1861.–Operations against Indians from Camp Robledo, N. Mex
Oct. 11-16, 1861.–Operations against Indians from Fort Inge, Tex.
Nov. 1, 1861.–Skirmish with Indians on the Peosi River, Tex.
8, 1861.–Capture of the Royal Yacht in Bolivar Channel, Texas.
9, 1861.–The Department of New Mexico re-established under Colonel Canby, U. S. Army.**
Dec. 14, 1861.–Brig. Gen. H. H. Sibley, C. S. Army, assumes command of the forces on the Upper Rio Grande and in New Mexico and Arizona.

* See Vol. I of this series, p. 606.

* See order constituting that department, General Frémont’s order assuming command, and order re-establishing, in Vol. III of this series, pp. 390, 406, 567. {p.2}

JULY 25-27, 1861.–Skirmish at Mesilla, evacuation of Fort Fillmore, and surrender of Union troops at San Augustine Springs, N. Mex.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Col. E. R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, with orders.
No. 2.–Maj. Isaac Lynde, Seventh U. S. Infantry, commanding captured forces.
No. 3.–Capt. Alfred Gibbs, Third U. S. Cavalry, with application for court of inquiry.
No. 4.–Asst. Surg. J. Cooper McKee, U. S. Army, with “statement.”
No. 5.–Statement” of Capt. C. H. McNally, Third U. S. Cavalry.
No. 6.–Recapitulation of troops surrendered.
No. 7.–U. S. Secretary of War to House of Representatives.
No. 8.–Lieut. Col. John R. Baylor, C. S. Army, and including subsequent operations.

No. 1.

Reports of Col. E. R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry,* with orders.

* See also Canby to Assistant Adjutant-General Western Department, August 16, in “Correspondence, etc.,” p. 63.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Santa Fe, N. Mex., August 4, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a report from Major Lynde, Seventh Infantry, commanding at Fort Fillmore. This report is in all respects unsatisfactory, and subsequent rumors, not yet confirmed, give a still more unfavorable complexion to the state of affairs in the South. These rumors, although so circumstantial as to give them an air of probability, seem incredible. If true, Major Lynde’s abandonment of his position and trusts exposes the command from Arizona and the posts of Forts Stanton and Craig to great danger, if attacked by a superior force. The commanders of these posts are confident of their ability to hold their positions. The regular troops at both posts are under orders to withdraw as soon as the troops from the South have passed up. I have confidence in the commanders of both posts and of the four companies (Captain Moore, First Dragoons) now on the march from Arizona.

At my instance the governor of the Territory will call out the militia of the Territory and will furnish an additional force of mounted volunteers. I hope soon to be able to restore the Territory to its normal condition. This news has roused the people of New Mexico from their apathetic condition, and I have now no doubt that the organization of an efficient home guard and the completion of the volunteer troops that have been called for will be speedily effected.

No official reports of events subsequent to the 26th inst. have been received, but I hope to obtain authentic information before mail leaves.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R S. CANBY, Major, Tenth Infantry, and Bvt. Lieut. Col., Comdg. Dep’t.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.

–––

SANTA FE, N. MEX., August 11, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit copies of two reports, the first from Major Lynde, Seventh Infantry, late commander of Fort Fillmore and {p.3} the Southern District, and the second from Captain Gibbs, Mounted Rifles, and commander of the mounted force of the immediate command of Major Lynde at the time of his surrender. These reports embody substantially all the information that has yet reached me in relation to this disaster. As Major Lynde’s conduct will be made the subject of judicial investigation, I do not think it proper to express an opinion in advance of that investigation.

I have no later information from Captain Moore’s command. He will have, however, about 300 men, and is fully prepared to defend himself, and is no doubt warned of recent events by the, couriers that have been sent to him from Fort Craig and Fort Fillmore.

Fort Craig is in a position to resist attack, except by a very considerable force provided with artillery. The present garrison is three companies of regulars and two of volunteers. It will be re-enforced in two or three days by six companies, four of regulars and two of volunteers. Lieutenant-Colonel Roberts, Mounted Rifles, is in command of the troops in that quarter.

Fort Stanton has been abandoned, and its garrison reached Albuquerque on the 8th and 9th instant.

The intrenchments at Fort Union are now so nearly completed that it can now be defended against a very large force. It is better provided with artillery than any other post, but there is not in the whole department sufficient for a single post of the size and importance of this post.

The greatest exertions are being used to organize a respectable volunteer force, but the progress does not meet my expectations. Seventeen companies have been mustered in. Two companies are expected in a few days from Colorado Territory, and several companies of mounted volunteers are promised by the end of this week.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Colonel Nineteenth Infantry, Commanding.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.

–––

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 31.}

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Santa Fe, N. Mex., August 27, 1861.

The colonel commanding the department has learned with great gratification that certain reports and statements with regard to the troops included in the surrender of San Augustine Springs are unfounded and slanderous, and that, notwithstanding the difficulties in which they were involved and the seductions with which they were assailed, they have proved themselves, with a few dishonorable exceptions, loyal and faithful soldiers of the Union.

He sympathizes with them in their misfortune, and trusts that they will bear it with patience and look forward with hope to the period when it will be removed, and San Augustine be remembered only as a watchword and an incentive to renewed exertions for the honor of their country and its flag.

By order of Col. E. R. S. Canby:

A. L. ANDERSON, Second Lieut., Fifth Infantry, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen..

{p.4}

–––

No. 2.

Reports of Maj. Isaac Lynde, Seventh U. S. Infantry, commanding captured forces.

HDQRS. SOUTHERN DISTRICT NEW MEXICO Fort Fillmore, N. Mex., July 26, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the night of the 24th instant a deserter from the Texas troops was brought in by our picket, and he informed me that a large body of mounted men, between 300 and 400, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Baylor, Texas troops, were moving up the river, and that he left them at Willow Bar, about 12 miles below the post. Presuming their object to be an attack on the post, I immediately ordered in the two companies of the Seventh Infantry from San Tomas, and kept the garrison under arms until after daylight, when mounted parties were sent out to reconnoiter. In the mean time the enemy passed up the opposite side of the river through the town of San Tomas, where they captured 7 men of my command left behind by the battalion of the Seventh Infantry in the hurry of departure. After extracting from them what information they could in reference to the probable time of the arrival of the troops of Forts Breckinridge and Buchanan, they were released, and joined the post. All property, public and private, belonging to the command was seized and carried off or destroyed.

About 4.30 o’clock p. m. yesterday I moved in the direction of the town of Mesilla, where the Texas troops then were, with six companies of the Seventh Infantry, one acting as artillery, with the howitzer battery of the post and two companies of rifles. One company of infantry, with the band and convalescents, were left to garrison the post, under Lieutenants Stivers and Ryan, Seventh Infantry. Dr. Alden also remained behind. My command numbered about 380 men.

About 2 miles from Mesilla I sent Lieutenant Brooks, Seventh Infantry, A. A. A. G., forward with a white flag to demand the surrender of the town. He was met by Major Waller and Colonel Herbert on the part of the Texans, who replied that if I wanted the town I must come and take it. I moved the battery forward, and fired two shells at long range, but they burst in the air short of the object. The command continued to advance slowly towards the outskirts of the town, while the battery, which had to be moved by hand, was working through the heavy sand. From a corn field and house on the right we received a heavy fire of musketry, wounding 2 officers and 4 men and killing 3 men. As night was coming on, and the fields and houses on both sides of the road were filled with men, and the howitzers useless, except as a field battery, owing to the difficulty of moving through the sand, I decided to withdraw my force and return to my post. The march back was uninterrupted, and to-day I am fortifying with sand bags, &c., in anticipation of an attack. I have sent an express to Captain Gibbs, directing him to return to Fort Craig with his command, as he cannot join this post now. They have possession of the road above. Orders will be sent, if possible, to the commanders of the troops from Forts Breckinridge and Buchanan to take the nearest route to Fort Craig from a point where the orders reach them.

A re-enforcement of 100 men joined the Texans from Fort Bliss last night. Their force at present, with the addition of the citizens of Mesilla, is nearly 700 men. I am hourly expecting an attack. The {p.5} loss of the enemy is reported 11 killed and wounded. Part of their horses were stampeded by one of our shells.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. LYNDE, Major, Seventh infantry, Commanding.

To the ACTING ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters Dep’t New Mexico, Santa Fe, N. Mex.

–––

FORT CRAIG, N. MEX., August 6, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this post to-day with three companies of the regiment Mounted Rifles on parole. I shall send my official report as soon as I can complete it, which I have not yet been able to do. The express is waiting, and I have not time to write more.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

I. LYNDE, Major, Seventh Infantry.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters Dep’t New Mexico, Santa Fe, N. Mex.

–––

FORT CRAIG, N. MEX., August 7, 1861.

SIR: On the 26th of July I had the honor to report the fact of an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the Texan troops from the town of Mesilla, since which events of the greatest consequence to my command have occurred. They are now prisoners of war.

On that day I had reliable information that the enemy would in the course of the night receive a battery of artillery, and if I moved to intercept it with a sufficient force for the purpose they were ready to attack the fort in my absence, and, as I have previously reported, the fort is indefensible against artillery, being perfectly commanded by sand hills for at least half the circle, and the only supply of water at the distance of one and a half miles. Other officers, with myself, became convinced that we must eventually be compelled to surrender if we remained in the fort, and that our only hope of saving the command from capture was in reaching some other military post. I therefore ordered the fort to be evacuated, and such public property as could not be transported with the limited means at the post to be destroyed as far as time would allow, and at 1 o’clock a. m. on the 27th of July I took up the line of march for Fort Stanton, which was believed to be the most practicable point to reach, and was reported to be threatened by the enemy. I had no personal knowledge of the road, but it was reported to me that the first day’s march would be 20 miles to Saint Augustine Springs, where there would be abundance of water for all the command.

Until daylight the command advanced without difficulty, but when the sun arose the day became intensely hot, and soon after the men and teams began to show signs of fatigue, and I found that the distance was greater than had been represented. About 6 miles before reaching the Springs commences a short ascent to a pass in the Organ Mountains, and here the men and teams suffered severely with the intense heat and want of water, many men falling and unable to proceed.

Up to this time there was no indication of pursuit. I now determined to push forward with the mounted force to the Springs, and return with {p.6} water for the suffering men in the rear. When I had nearly reached the Springs word was brought me that a mounted force was approaching in our rear; but it was believed to be Captain Gibbs, R. M. R., with his command, and soon after that supposition was confirmed by another express.

On reaching the Springs I found the supply of water so small as to be insufficient for my command. After procuring all the water that could be transported by the men with me I started back to the main body. After riding some distance I became so much exhausted that I could not sit upon my horse, and the command proceeded without me, under the command of Lieutenant Cressey, B. M. R., and I returned to the Springs. Soon after it was reported to me that a part of the teams had given out and could not be brought up, and that large numbers of the infantry had become totally overpowered with the intense heat. At this time an express from Captain Gibbs reported that eight companies of mounted men, supported by artillery and a large force of infantry, were approaching our rear guard. I had the “Call to” sounded, and found that I could not bring more than 100 men of the infantry battalion on parade. Captain Gibbs, with a mounted force, now rode into camp, and stated to me that eight companies of mounted Texans (supported by a regiment of infantry, more or less) were approaching; that they had driven in or captured our rear guard (composed of three companies of infantry) and the men that had given out in the rear. Three of the four mountain howitzers that we had with us were with the wagons in the rear and were captured. They were guarded by one company of infantry acting as artillery. Captain Gibbs also reported that his company, men and horses, had been without water for twenty-four hours.

Under the circumstances I considered our case hopeless: that it was worse than useless to resist; that honor did not demand the sacrifice of blood after the terrible suffering that our troops had already undergone, and when that sacrifice would be totally useless. A body of mounted Texans followed Captain Gibbs to the vicinity of the camp, when a parley was held, and I surrendered my command to Lieutenant-Colonel Baylor, of the C. S. Army.

The strength of my command at the time of surrender was, Mounted Rifles, 95 rank and file and 2 officers. The infantry I have not the means of stating the exact number, but there were seven companies of the Seventh Infantry, with 8 officers, present. Since I have been at Fort Fillmore my position has been of extreme embarrassment. Surrounded by open or secret enemies, no reliable information could be obtained, and disaffection prevailing even in my own command, to what extent it was impossible to ascertain, but much increased, undoubtedly, by the conduct of officers who left their post without authority. My position has been one of great difficulty, and has ended in the misfortune of surrendering my command to the enemy. The Texan troops acted with great kindness to our men, exerting themselves in carrying water to the famishing ones in the rear; yet it was two days before the infantry could move from the camp, and then only by the assistance of their captors. The officers and men who chose to give their parole were released at Las Cruces, N. Mex.

Inclosed is a copy of the terms of surrender.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. LYNDE, Major, Seventh Infantry.

The ACTING ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Department of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

{p.7}

[Inclosure.]

Terms of surrender of U. S. troops to C. S. troops, July 27, 1861, San Augustine Springs, N. Mex.

The undersigned, Maj. I. Lynde, Seventh Infantry, U. S. Army, agrees to surrender his command on conditions that they receive the treatment of prisoners of war, families secure from insult, private property to be respected.

Officers, after giving their parole, can elect which route they prefer in leaving the Department of New Mexico to go to any part of the United States.

The enlisted men of the command will be disarmed, and given the liberty of the post of Fort Bliss until instructions can be received from General Van Dorn, C. S. Army, as to their future disposition.

To all which the commanding officer, J. R. Baylor, lieutenant-colonel, C. S. Army, agrees.

I. LYNDE, Major, Seventh Infantry. JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieut. Col., Mounted Rifles, C. S. Army.

–––

No. 3.

Reports of Captain Alfred Gibbs, Third U. S. Cavalry.

FORT CRAIG, August 6, 1861.

COLONEL: In obedience to orders No. -, of July 15, from your headquarters, I left Albuquerque on the 18th ultimo, and arrived here on the 22d. I started the next day with 100 head of beef cattle for Fort Fillmore, and arrived at the Point of Rocks, 27 miles from the Rio Grande, on the 26th ultimo. I here met Lieutenant Lane, with Company A, Mounted Rifles, and Dr. Steck, Indian agent, who informed me that the Texans were in force at La Mesilla, and would prevent my junction with Major Lynde. I hired a guide, and, turning off the road, proceeded that night to pass behind Las Cruces and Doña Aña, hoping to get into Fort Fillmore in rear, and thus to avoid capture. On arriving at San Augustine Springs, or rather the Pass of La Cueva, 5 miles this side, I found Major Lynde’s command in full retreat for Fort Stanton. I reported myself, with 35 men of Company I and 10 of Company G, Mounted Rifles-the last the escort to the mail I met upon the road, and which I ordered to join me-to Lieutenant Brooks, Major Lynde’s adjutant, and with him proceeded 5 miles to the front, to report myself to Major Lynde, as directed in your instructions. I also reported to the major that I had seen a force of Texans approaching, and that I thought they would molest our rear. Major Lynde asked what force I had, and I replied 70 men, all told. He said that there were two companies of infantry on rear guard in addition, and that would be sufficient. He then turned back and returned to San Augustine Springs.

It will be well here to mention that the infantry had been marched up to noon 20 miles without water, and that under the bushes by the side of the road over 150 men were lying, unable to rise or to carry their muskets and useless and disorganized in every way. This was the rear guard on which I was ordered to rely. Major Lynde had not seen it {p.8} for several hours. On arriving at the mouth of the canyon I assumed command of the cavalry force, consisting of Companies F, B, and I, and a part of G, Mounted Rifles-70 men strong. The Texans, under Colonel Baylor and Major Waller, and about 320 strong (all cavalry), with some dismounted men, and what seemed to be a couple of pieces of artillery, at this time debouched from behind the point of the hill below me to the left, and captured the beef cattle and my two wagons. I deployed 50 men as skirmishers, with 20 men as a reserve; but finding that I was entirely outflanked, I formed column of sections and prepared to charge with drawn pistols.

Before doing this I sent back word to Major Lynde, by an intelligent man, the exact state of affairs. He brought back word to protect the wagons, if possible, and then to fall back on the main camp. As most of the men had thrown away their muskets and gone to the front, I retreated slowly and in good order, forming in line three times, and keeping the Texans in check by causing them also to form line. On arriving at the crest of the Pass I galloped into camp and reported myself to Major Lynde as ready for action, and asked where I should take position. Part of the infantry companies were already formed and men were rapidly falling into ranks. Major Lynde told me to dismount and water my men and horses. As we had been twenty-four hours without water I did so, and was ready in fifteen minutes for duty.

The Texans then began to form on the plateau a quarter of a mile in our rear, and I saw Lieutenant Brooks ride out towards them. Major Lynde at this time sent me word that I could leave for Fort Stanton, but before I could get a sack of flour and a side of bacon as rations for my men Colonel Baylor had arrived, the surrender had been agreed upon by Major Lynde and himself without consulting a single officer, and I was ordered by Major Lynde not to attempt to escape. Upon being informed of the surrender, every officer in the command protested against it; but it was of no avail, and the command of seven companies of the Seventh U. S. infantry and three companies of Rifles were voluntarily surrendered without striking a blow. After great suffering for want of water we were marched to Las Cruces, when our horses, arms, transportation, &c., were turned over to the Texans.

We left Las Cruces on the 2d instant and arrived here this morning. The Seventh Infantry were to leave on the 3d, and will probably be here to-morrow. I respectfully state that charges against Major Lynde, under the fifty-second and ninety-ninth Articles of War, have been preferred, and are now in the hands of Captain Potter, commanding Seventh Regiment.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALFRED GIBBS, Captain, U. S. Rifles, Comdg. Squadron.

Col. E. R. S. CANBY, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, Comdg. Dep’t New Mexico, Through Capt. R. M. Morris, Comdg. Fort Craig, N. Mex.

–––

FORT UNION, N. MEX., August 29, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report my arrival at this post on yesterday with three paroled officers and the detachment of Mounted Rifles included in the surrender of the 27th ultimo. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 23d, 24th, and {p.9} 25th instant, and in reply beg to state that I herewith inclose a list of the men and officers included in the surrender, as requested by you, by name, with explanatory remarks.* The number of horses and mules’ surrendered by me was 100 horses and 2 mules. In addition, 8 horses were stolen. The number of sets of arms and equipments corresponds with the number of men.

In the order directing the paroled men of the Rifles to march into the States, dated the 25th instant, no mention is made of the disposition to be made of the four officers with them or the paroled men of Companies I and G included in the surrender, and now here under my command. I should like to be informed of this at once, and if they are to be embodied in Company F. There will then be three first sergeants with the command. How are they to be disposed of? With regard to the books, records, and property pertaining to Company I, Mounted Rifles, a part was kept in Albuquerque, to be forwarded by Captain McFerran to the ordnance officer here, a part is now here in daily use by the whole command, and the balance will be sent, as directed in your letter, to Santa Fe by the first opportunity. I shall be compelled, however, to retain the tents, as the depot here is entirely stripped of them. As soon as the muster rolls are completed, Private Marius, of Company I, not paroled, will be sent to Santa Fe to report, as directed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALFRED GIBBS, Captain, Rifles, Commanding Squadron.

Lieut. A. L. ANDERSON, A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dep’t New Mexico, Santa Fe, Through Commanding Officer Fort Union.

* List of names omitted. The number of officers and men of the United States Mounted Rifles was 100.

–––

JEFFERSON BARRACKS, MO., November 7, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to request that a court of inquiry may be ordered, to convene at this place as soon as possible, to inquire into and report upon the facts and circumstances connected with and bearing upon the surrender of Major Lynde’s command at San Augustine Springs, N. Mex., July 27, 1861, more particularly as relates to my connection therewith as commanding the mounted force of that command.

This request is made in the name of all the officers connected with my command.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALFRED GIBBS, Captain, Third Cavalry, Commanding Squadron.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.

–––

Statement of Captain Gibbs.

Captain Gibbs was relieved from duty as commissary, depot at Albuquerque, July 15. Received an order, July 17, to take Company I, Mounted Rifles, and escort 100 head beef cattle from Fort Craig to Fort Fillmore, and report to Major Lynde for duty. Left Albuquerque on the 18th. Reached Fort Craig on 22d. Started with the cattle and {p.10} Company I, 35 men, mounted. On the night of the 23d reached Point of Rocks, 80 miles, without water. On the morning of the 26th met Captain Lane, Mounted Rifles, from Fort Fillmore, with a train of fifteen wagons, commissary stores, who asked me to stay by him that day, as [he was] afraid of being attacked by the Confederate forces. He advised me not to go to Fort Fillmore, as I was certain to be cut off by their troops. Staid by him all that day. Started at sunset, and turned oft the road to the left to avoid the rebels. Made for San Augustine Springs, 45 miles, without water, intending to come in behind Fort Fillmore, and thus avoid the enemy and carry out my instructions.

At noon on the 27th, when within 5 miles of the Springs, met Major Lynde’s command, which had abandoned Fort Fillmore the night before. Rode forward and reported to Major Lynde’s adjutant, Lieutenant Brooks, who told me that Major Lynde was encamped 5 miles in advance, at the Springs. Rode forward with the adjutant, and sent on an express that a party of the enemy were approaching from the rear. Came up to Major Lynde a quarter of a mile this side of the Springs with Lieutenant Cressey, returning to the rear with 40 men of the Mounted Rifles. Reported to Major Lynde and asked for orders. He told me that there were two companies of the Seventh Infantry in rear guard, and that they, with the Rifles, would protect the rear. Filled my canteen at the Springs; rejoined Major Lynde about 2 miles from it, returning to the front without his escort, which had gone to the rear. He told me to protect the rear with the infantry rear guard and the mounted force as long as I saw fit, and then to return to the camp at the Springs. Rejoined the mounted force, then consisting of 70 men, and formed at the foot of the hill in front of the enemy. I found that the infantry rear guard was completely broken down by their long march and want of water; that I had nothing but the mounted force to rely upon. Four of Major Lynde’s baggage wagons, filled with stores, and women and children, completely blocked up the road.

I requested Lieutenant Brooks to try to get a couple of the 12-pounder mountain howitzers that were fastened behind these wagons, and gave him men from my command for that purpose. It was found that the ammunition for these pieces was not in the wagons to which the pieces were fastened, and the effort failed. Finding that my force of 70 men, armed with rifles and pistols only, was opposed to the enemy’s force of 300 men, similarly armed, with the addition of sabers, [which] was rapidly approaching, and the ground was favorable only for a single charge, I sent another messenger to Major Lynde, telling him of the enemy’s near approach and their strength. In order to gain time, I kept deploying into line, and by rapid formations gaining ground by our superior drill, to allow the main force in camp in front to form before I reached them. I then rode rapidly to the front and reported to Major Lynde with my command that the enemy were about 2 miles in the rear and rapidly advancing. I asked him where I should take up my position. He told me that I might water my command and horses. Time, 20 hours without water. The Springs being made, while I was doing so Major Lynde sent me an order not to move. While watering, Major Lynde sent me word that I could leave for Fort Stanton if I chose. Before I could mount I received another order not to move from camp. I went towards him, distance about 100 yards, and saw him in conversation with two mounted officers, whom I did not know. The enemy at that time were in line of battle about a quarter of a mile to the rear. I heard Major Lynde say, “I agree to these terms,” and I called to some of the officers to come up. When we came up, all the officers being present, I think, Major {p.11} Lynde said: “Colonel Baylor, to avoid bloodshed, I conditionally surrender this whole force to you, on condition that officers and their families shall be protected from insult and private property be respected.” Nearly every officer protested earnestly, and even violently, against this base surrender; but Major Lynde said: “I am commander of these forces, and I take upon my shoulders the responsibility of my action in the matter.” The altercation by Major Lynde’s subordinates became so violent that Colonel Baylor asked who was commander of that force and responsible for their action, when Major Lynde again repeated as above. The adjutant then read aloud, by Major Lynde’s order, the terms of the surrender as made by him, when I insisted that the officers and men should be allowed to select any route they might choose in leaving the country, and this was readily granted.

We remained where we were during the night, suffering greatly for want of water. The next day we marched to Las Cruces, on the Rio Grande, 20 miles distant. The following day (the 29th) all the public property in our charge was turned over to the rebel forces. On the 1st of August the oath was administered to all the men and officers.

–––

No. 4.

Report and statement of Asst. Surg. J. Cooper McKee, U. S. Army.

ALBUQUERQUE, N. MEX., August 16, 1861.

SIR: I hereby inclose, through you, to the honorable Secretary of War, my parole of honor, given at Las Cruces, N. Mex., to the commanding officer of the Texas troops, after the base surrender of our forces by Major Lynde, of the Seventh U. S. Infantry (on the 27th July, 1861).

I also inclose a copy of an order to destroy my property. I made the destruction as complete as possible without the aid of fire. This I was forbidden to use. I am unable to make out any return of my property, as in the confusion my retained copy of last year’s return was lost. I will be under the necessity of waiting until my arrival in Washington.

I also report that my hospital steward, Charles E. Fitzwilliams, chose to remain with the Texans as a prisoner of war. All paroled troops, officers and men, are ordered to Fort Union, preparatory to leaving for Fort Leavenworth, Kans.

I would be under deep obligations to the Surgeon-General if he would have me exchanged immediately, as I am anxious to be again in active service.

I am unable to express to you the deep grief, mortification, and pain I, with the other officers, have endured from this cowardly surrender of a brave and true command to an inferior force of the enemy, without having one word to say or firing a single shot. I, among other officers, entered my solemn protest against the surrender, but we were peremptorily told by Major Lynde that he was the commanding officer. To see old soldiers and strong men weep like children, men who had faced the battle’s storm in the Mexican war, is a sight that I hope I may never again be present at. A braver or truer command could not be found than that which has in this case been made the victim of cowardice and imbecility.

The number of women in this command should receive the rigid scrutiny of the War Department, as five officers had their wives and {p.12} children at this post (Fort Fillmore, N. Mex.). The camp women and children I will not pretend to enumerate. Yet all these were kept in the garrison to paralyze us when in presence of the enemy, seemingly preparing for the result-a surrender. Major Lynde was warned of this repeatedly, but was too weak to act. This has been one of the causes why I and others are now prisoners of war.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. COOPER McKEE, Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army.

To the SURGEON-GENERAL, U. S. A., Washington, D. C.

–––

Statement of Asst. Surg, J. C. McKee, U. S. Army.

Dr. McKee agrees with McNally [No. 5] so far as his deposition. He adds to this that if Lynde had laid down [?] in and given the word forward they would have taken the town.

Before going into town asked Major Lynde if he could take a house for his wounded. He said certainly-to take the first. Went forward with Lieutenant Brooks, who requested him to go with a flag of truce, and Brooks demanded an unconditional surrender (this before the fight). Major Waller’s reply was, after riding back and seeing his colonel (Baylor), to come and take it. Lynde then ordered his forces forward cavalry in front and artillery in the road. Ordered the battery to fire into a group on the right and scattered them. The men cheered with enthusiasm. Advanced, throwing infantry to right and left in line of battle; cavalry in front and artillery in road advancing through a corn field towards the town. After advancing towards town the enemy were concealed in two corn fields; no scouts out.

The firing commenced by the enemy. One of the Rifles killed (Private Lane) and other casualties. Lieutenant McNally dangerously wounded. Two men were killed of Lieutenant Crilly’s command in charge of battery. The fire was so hot on the battery that Crilly ordered his men to lie down. After this Major Lynde rode up and told Dr. McKee that he wanted him to prepare his wounded for retreat. Dr. McKee asked him, “Retreat where, sir?” He said to Fort Fillmore. Got out his stretcher and carried his wounded in. Arrived about 10 p. m. That night he passed in attending to his wounded. Next morning no orders; all confusion; no one knew what was going on. Captain Potter came, and said he was going to put up a howitzer on Dr. McKee’s kitchen. It was taken down in the morning. About 2 p. m. the adjutant (Mr. Brooks) gave the doctor an order to destroy his public property. He refused to obey orders. It was a written order which Brooks gave. An order was issued about 3 p. m. to retreat at 10 p. m., or thereabouts. Turned to and destroyed all my property. Asked Major Lynde’s permission to apply fire, and was forbid.

Did not, however, get off until 2 a. m. Were ordered to march to San Augustine Springs, 25 miles. Marched the greater part of the men on foot. On getting within 6 or 7 miles of the Springs the Texans were reported in the rear. Ascending to the summit of the pass, asked Dr. Alden, of the Army, “Shall we go forward and try and bring back Major Lynde because the Texans are in our rear, or shall we stay back with our wounded and be taken prisoners?” On consultation, we concluded to go forward and tell Major Lynde, and try and get him back and protect his command. There was then but one company in the rear. Concluded to go after him.

{p.13}

Drove after Lynde 6 miles in a buggy with two horses on a full run. He was then 5 or 6 miles ahead of his whole command, with a company of Mounted Rifles under Mr. Cressey. Reported to him the Texans on our rear. He grinned in an imbecile way and said, “Ah, indeed!” and ordered the troops back. Drove back after him. Then I heard that Captain Gibbs was coming with a company of cavalry. McNally and his ambulance came up at this time. Order was then given to move into camp. (Lynde was at the Springs when McKee came up, and went back on a slow walk-the d-dest kind of a slow walk.)

Went back to camp, Captain Gibbs protecting the rear. He came up on our left and but for him every man would have been taken before we reached camp. After getting into camp at San Augustine Springs, asked McNally and the sergeant (wounded) what they wanted-if he should hang out a hospital flag to protect him, thinking there was to be a fight. They both requested him to put out a flag, which he did on his buggy.

Just after that Captain Potter came to the medical camp and said, “It’s no use we are all surrendered; that d-d old scoundrel has surrendered us! I am going up to protest against it. Who’ll go along?” I said, “I’ll go.” McNally, with his bloody shirt on, said he would go with Dr. McKee and Lieutenant Ryan (he thinks). Dr. Alden and the officers around said they would go too. Went up together, and found Lieutenant Brooks writing out the terms of a surrender. Major Lynde was present, and Colonel Baylor, Texan forces, and Major Waller, second in command of Texans, and the Texan forces were brought up on horseback 300 yards in the rear, about 300 strong. They had no artillery. As we approached, Major Lynde said to Colonel Baylor, “To prevent the effusion of blood, and on condition that private property shall be respected, I surrender the whole of this command unconditionally.” Dr. McKee stepped in front of him and said, “Major Lynde I protest against this surrender.” The adjutant (Mr. Brooks), not minding this protest which came from the officers, at the same moment was writing the terms on his knee, looked up in the major’s face and asked him what next he said.

–––

No. 5.

Statement of Capt, C. H. McNally, Third U. S. Cavalry.

Fort Fillmore, 45 miles from El Paso, 6 miles opposite Mesilla; Las Cruces 8 miles above, on same side; Doña Aña 6 miles above Las Cruces, same side. I consider 300 men could hold against 3,000.

Major Lynde arrived at Fort Fillmore and took command last of June-three companies of Seventh Infantry, and he brought four; also Lane’s company of Rifles, 42 men. McNally came down with 32 and Cressey with 25; McNally’s and Cressey’s alone mounted.

McNally and Dr. McKee insisted upon Lynde’s sending away the women and children, 103 in number, from the fort. He had an opportunity of sending them away, but refused. After this they insisted upon his occupying Mesilla. He declined doing so, because he said it would bring on a collision between him and the rebel forces. They also insisted upon his taking possession of Doña Aña, a point he could hold against any number of men; then to send all his provisions, &c., to the rear, where they could fall back and hold them. These measures provisional, because Fort Fillmore is surrounded and commanded by hills, in case of accident.

{p.14}

Twice McNally induced him to give the order to haul down the secession flag in Mesilla; twice he gave the order; twice McNally was saddled up, and twice he rescinded it. The second time his adjutant, Mr. Brooks, (who had previously resigned,) came to McNally and told him that he had prevented his going to Mesilla, as he thought it best not to bring on a collision with the Texans. The first time he would have gone, but he (Brooks) prevented it.

The Texans were then at El Paso, 45 miles below. This was from the 4th to 25th July. They were always urging him on. The night of July 24 or 25 the Rifle picket, stationed 7 miles below, brought in a Texan prisoner, who stated that the Texan forces were coming up and within an hour’s march of the fort. The long roll was beaten and our men fell in promptly. There they stood until daylight, except that 25 Rifles went out to call in Potter and Lieutenant Hancock, leaving the San Tomas road open for the Texans, by Major Lynde’s orders. At daylight McNally went to Major Lynde, and asked him to let his company of 32 men, and Cressey’s of 22 men, go over to Mesilla and see if the Texans were there. He said: “Yes; mount your command and go, and give me all the information you can collect.” I took the command, crossed the Rio Grande, and went over as fast as possible to Mesilla, halted the command, gave it to Mr. Cressey, and rode into the town with three men, first sergeant, corporal, and a private. Gave orders to Cressey, if we were not back by a certain time, either to take the town or send back for re-enforcements, as he saw fit. Rode through the town; found everything quiet; the flag was not flying. Went back and reported to Major Lynde no Texans present, and everything appeared to be quiet. Then McNally mounted his 32 men; again started out with Dr. McKee to find their trail. Found their camp within 2 miles of Fillmore, about 300 or 400 men, who had left shortly before and crossed the river to Mesilla. Went back and reported to Lynde. They had gone in by the San Tomas road, abandoned by his order the night before. Lynde told him to dismount his men and put his horses in the stable.

This was at 9 a. m. on the 25th. At the same time positive word was brought back that the Texans were in the town of Mesilla (by Captain Potter). After that we laid quietly in garrison until 4 p. m., when he moved the whole forward, putting McNally, with 22 men, in front, with the order to go on and feel the way. He had four 12-pounder mountain howitzers. He first fired two shells at long range. Ordered McNally to form and go ahead. McNally kept ahead until he got within 60 or 70 yards of the Texans. Halted, and reported in person that they were there in the jacals and corn fields. First McNally knew they fired one shot, that cut away his saber; the second struck him. Then fired a volley of about 80 shots. (They confessed to 70 men.) They had no artillery. McNally dismounted, and fired at random. They fired another volley. Remounted, not being supported. Sent to Major Lynde, who could not be found, and not being supported by infantry or artillery, ordered his men to retreat. In this fire one sergeant and one corporal were wounded and one man killed. In retreating, the Seventh Infantry fired into us. I retreated behind the battery, and found the infantry still in the rear. There McNally fainted from loss of blood, and was carried from the field. The last he heard was an order from Major Lynde to retreat.

N. B.–Before Brown, the prisoner, was brought in, a Mexican came in and reported the Texans in force, and Lynde never sent out a scout.

The command reached Fillmore about 10 p. m. on the 25th.

{p.15}

–––

No. 6.

Recapitulation of troops surrendered at San Augustine Springs, N. Mex., July 27, 1861.

Released on parole: 1 major, 2 assistant surgeons, 2 captains, 5 first lieutenants, 1 second lieutenant: total commissioned, 11. 1 sergeant-major, 1 quartermaster-sergeant, 1 principal musician, 23 sergeants, 22 corporals, 7 musicians, 344 privates: total enlisted, 399. Aggregate, 410.

In confinement as prisoners of rear: 1 sergeant, 15 privates: total, 16.

Deserted to the enemy: 1 hospital steward, 1 sergeant, 24 privates: total, 26.

Available for service, not paroled: 2 sergeants, 3 corporals, 35 privates: total, 40.

J. H. POTTER, Captain, Seventh Infantry, Commanding.

–––

No. 7.

U. S. Secretary of War to the House of Representatives.

WAR DEPARTMENT, December 12, 1861.

Hon. G. A. GROW, Speaker of the House of Representatives:

SIR: In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 4th instant, asking what measures have been, or ought to be, taken to expose and punish such of the officers now on parole as were guilty of treason or cowardice in surrendering Fort Fillmore, in New Mexico, to an inferior force of Texas troops, I have the honor to inclose a report of the Adjutant-General, which, together with a copy of General Orders, No. 102, herewith, furnishes all the information in the possession of the Department.

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, December 11, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this office of a resolution from the honorable the House of Representatives, dated December 4, 1861, asking what measures have been taken, or ought to be taken, “to expose and punish such of the officers now on parole as were guilty of treason or cowardice” in the surrender of a “force of United States troops,” under Maj. Isaac Lynde, in New Mexico, in July, 1861, “to an inferior force of Texas troops,” &c.

In compliance with your instructions, I have the honor to report that Major Lynde was, by direction of the President of the United States, dropped from the rolls of the Army, November 25, 1861, for the offense alluded to in the resolution. It is believed that no other officer of the command was in any way involved in the suspicion of complicity in the offense, and the commanding officer, Major Lynde, was the only person on whom the responsibility could rest.

{p.16}

The resolution is herewith respectfully returned, together with a copy of General Orders, No. 102.

Respectfully submitted.

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

The Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR.

[Subinclosures.]

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES, In the House of Representatives, December 4, 1861.

Mr. Watts submitted the following, which was adopted:

Whereas, in July, 1861, at Fort Fillmore, in New Mexico, Maj. Isaac Lynde, U. S. A., abandoned said fort, and shortly after its abandonment surrendered a largely superior force of United States troops under his command to an inferior force of Texas troops, without firing a gun or making any resistance whatever; and whereas it is charged and believed that said surrender was the result of treason or cowardice, or both, in which surrender other officers under his command were also concerned: Therefore

Resolved That the Secretary of War be requested, if not incompatible with the public interest, to report to this House what measures have been or ought to be taken to expose and punish such of the officers now on parole as were guilty of treason or cowardice in that surrender, and relieve from suspicion such as were free from blame.

Attest:

EM. ETHERIDGE, Clerk.

–––

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 102.}

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C., November 25, 1861.

I. Maj. Isaac Lynde, Seventh Infantry, for abandoning his post – Fort Fillmore, N. Mex. – on the 27th of July, 1861, and subsequently surrendering his command to an inferior force of insurgents, is, by direction of the President of the United States, dropped from the rolls of the Army from this date.

...

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

–––

No. 8.

Reports of Lieut. Col. John R. Baylor, C. S. Army, of skirmish at Mesilla, and surrender of Union troops at San Augustine Springs, and subsequent operations.

PICACHO, MESILLA VALLEY, Arizona, August 3, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I had an engagement with the U. S. forces, numbering over 500 cavalry and infantry with four pieces of artillery, at Mesilla, on the evening of the 25th of July, in which the enemy were repulsed with a loss of 3 killed and 7 wounded.

On the 27th I captured at San Augustine Springs the entire command of the enemy under Major Lynde, consisting of eight companies of infantry, three of Mounted Rifles, with four pieces of artillery, together with all their transportation, arms, ammunition, commissary and quartermaster’s stores; all of which, with Fort Fillmore, are now in my possession.

{p.17}

Too much praise cannot be given to the officers and soldiers under my command, and especially to Captain Hardeman and company, who were the only part of the command engaged with the enemy.

I have thought proper to release upon parole the entire command of officers and men, as I could not, with less than 300 men, guard over 600 and meet another force of 240 of the enemy that is looked for daily.

I have the honor to be, respectfully,

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Second Regiment Mounted Rifles, C. S. A.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Doña Aña, Ariz., September 21, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement at Mesilla on the 25th of July; the capture of the United States forces the day after the next succeeding at San Augustine Springs, in the Organ Mountains, Territory of Arizona, and of my operations in the Territory up to the present time:

On assuming command at Fort Bliss I ascertained that the United States forces were concentrating in strong force at Fort Fillmore, and from the proximity of that post I supposed that the object of the enemy was to attack the forces under my command at Fort Bliss. I was satisfied that if I permitted them to concentrate, my command was too weak to maintain my position. I therefore determined to attack the enemy in detail, and prevent, if possible, the contemplated concentration. For that purpose I sent a detachment, under Major Waller, to reconnoiter Fort Fillmore and see the position of the enemy’s pickets, also whether the fort could be approached without discovery. The report of Major Waller satisfied me that I could easily in the night gain a position between the fort and the river (Rio Grande), and cut off the animals as they went to water; then the enemy would have to attack me in a strong position, thus rendering the protection afforded by the fort of no use. I accordingly took up the line of march in the night of the 23d of July with 258 men, and in the night of the 24th succeeded in taking a position on the river near Fort Fillmore. The surprise of the enemy would have been complete but for the desertion of a private from Capt. T. F. Teel’s company, who reported to Major Lynde our strength and position. The long-roll was distinctly heard, which apprised us that our approach was known to the enemy.

On the morning of the 25th I determined to occupy Mesilla, and prevent, if possible, the enemy from getting a position there, as it was one that would be easily held, and would enable them to hold the country. I reached Mesilla in the afternoon of the 25th, and was soon informed that the enemy were marching to attack us. I posted my men in position and awaited the arrival of the enemy. At about 5 o’clock I discovered their cavalry approaching the town by the main road, and soon alter the infantry came in sight, bringing with them three howitzers. They formed within 300 yards, and were, as near as I could tell, about 600 strong. A flag was sent in to demand the “unconditional and immediate surrender of the Texas forces,” to which I answered that “we would fight first, and surrender afterward.” The answer was followed by the enemy opening on us with their howitzers. After four or five rounds of bombs, grape, and canister, the cavalry formed and marched up within 250 yards, preparatory to making a charge. Captain Hardeman’s company, being in position nearest the enemy, was ordered to {p.18} open on them with his front rank, to see if they were within range of our guns. The fire was well directed and proved effective, killing 4 of the enemy and wounding 7. The cavalry was thrown into confusion and retreated hastily, running over the infantry. In a few moments the enemy were marching back in the direction of their fort; but supposing it to be a feint, intended to draw me from my position, I did not pursue them, but kept my position until next morning, the 26th, expecting that they would attack us under cover of night.

The enemy not appearing, I sent my spies to reconnoiter, and discover, if possible, their movements. The spies reported the enemy at work at the fort making breastworks, and evidently preparing to defend themselves. Upon hearing this, I sent an express to Fort Bliss, ordering up the artillery to attack the fort on the arrival of my re-enforcements.

On the morning of the 27th, a little after daylight, my spies reported a column of dust seen in the direction of the Organ Mountains, distant 15 miles, on the Fort Stanton road. I could from the top of a house with a glass see the movements of the enemy. I immediately ordered the command to saddle and mount, for the purpose of intercepting them at San Augustine Pass. I had reached the river, distant 1 mile, when I received intelligence that a messenger had arrived from the fort, and stated that the enemy had fired the buildings; that it had been extinguished, and that but little had been destroyed. I at once ordered Major Waller to take a detachment of men and go to the fort, and save, if possible, the property therein, and to leave men enough to guard the post, and then overtake me as soon as possible. On reaching the foot of the mountain, distant about 15 miles, I could see the rear of the enemy, composed chiefly of famished stragglers, endeavoring to make their way to water. I disarmed and collected a number of them, and finding most of them dying of thirst, we gave them the water we had, and were compelled ourselves to go to a spring in the mountain for water. Lieutenant Baylor and Mr. Barnes, a citizen of Las Cruces, who acted as guide, found 24 of the enemy at the spring, who had from exhaustion gone to sleep, whom they captured.

After getting water for my men I started in pursuit of the enemy, who had passed through San Augustine Pass. I was delayed for some time here waiting for Major Waller, who, mistaking my orders, had carried with him the whole command, except Captain Hardeman’s company, to Fort Fillmore. So soon as they joined me I started in pursuit, and found the enemy’s cavalry drawn up to cover the retreat of the infantry through the Pass. These I charged with Captain Hardeman’s company. They retreated in haste, leaving behind them their wagons and artillery and all their supplies. Upon gaining the summit of the Pass, a plain view of the road to the San Augustine Springs was presented. The road for 5 miles was lined with the fainting, famished soldiers, who threw down their arms as we passed and begged for water. At the Springs the enemy had drawn up in line of battle some 200 or 300 strong. I ordered Major Waller to charge with Captain Hardeman’s company until he reached the end of the line of straggling soldiers, then to form and cut them off from the main body. I followed, disarming the enemy, and as fast as our jaded horses could go. On reaching Captain Hardeman’s company, who were formed, I saw Major Waller and Captain Hardeman riding into the enemy’s lines. I was in a few moments sent for by Major Lynde, who asked upon what terms I would allow him to surrender. I replied that the surrender must be unconditional. To this Major Lynde assented, asking that private property should be respected. The articles of capitulation were signed, and the order given for the enemy to stack arms.

{p.19}

Major Lynde’s command was composed of eight companies of infantry and four of cavalry, with four pieces of artillery, the whole numbering nearly 700 men. My own force at the surrender was less than 290. I regret to report that the regimental colors were burned by the enemy to avoid surrendering them.

I was delayed at the place of surrender for two days on account of the condition of the enemy and the want of transportation. As soon as possible I marched them to Las Cruces and there paroled them, as I was informed that Captain Moore was en route for Fort Fillmore, from Fort Buchanan, with 250 men. I could not guard the prisoners I had and meet the coming forces. Being desirous, too, to afflict the enemy in every way, I considered that it was much better for them to bear the expense of finding the prisoners than for me to do so.

After getting rid of the prisoners I immediately selected a strong position near the village of Picacho to await the arrival of Captain Moore’s command. Here I was joined by Brig. Gen. A. S. Johnston, with a party of officers of the U. S. Army, who had resigned and were en route for Richmond, Va.; also a party of Californians, under Capt. Alonzo Ridley. I tendered to Brigadier-General Johnston the command of my forces, believing that the best interest of the service required that I should relinquish the command to an officer of his rank and distinguished ability, which he did me the honor to accept, and remained in command until there was no further necessity for his services, he sent Captain Coopwood’s spy company to meet the enemy and send him word where they were, and to watch their movements and prevent any communication with them. The spies discovered them on the Miembres, and reported them moving carelessly, evidently not suspecting danger. On the night of the 6th of August an express reached Captain Moore from Fort Craig, telling him of the defeat of Major Lynde’s command, and ordering him to burn up his transportation and supplies, and make his escape to that place. This was done. The jaded condition of our animals alone prevented us from capturing them.

The accompanying abstracts of quartermaster’s, subsistence, medical, and ordnance stores will show but a part of the property captured, much of it having been stolen and destroyed while I was awaiting the enemy at Picacho and some since I have left the command to Major Waller. A number of muster rolls are lost, the remainder only showing about half of the prisoners captured; also the correspondence with the commanding officer in reference to his regimental colors was lost. I regret the loss of these papers, but in the hurry and excitement it was unavoidable. I can only give the number of the enemy as it was reported to me by the officers captured.

On the 10th of August an express reached me from Fort Stanton, stating that the news of the capture of Major Lynde’s command had created a stampede among the United States troops, who hastily abandoned the fort after having destroyed a considerable portion of their supplies and Government property of all kinds, and all would have been destroyed but for a storm of rain, which extinguished the fire intended by the enemy to destroy the fort. The few citizens living near the fort took possession of it, and saved a valuable lot of quartermaster and commissary stores. The Mexicans and Indians in large numbers demanded the right to pillage the fort, which was granted. The citizens, being too weak to resist, not knowing that they would get aid from me or not, were forced to abandon the fort to the Mexicans and Indians. Captain Walker’s company, on the receipt of the express from Fort Stanton, was ordered to that post, and he succeeded in recovering {p.20} a portion of the property stolen. For particulars of his operations I refer you to his report. I sent a train to bring from Fort Stanton all the property and stores of value. The invoices will acquaint you with the property recovered from the post. I will mention, among other things, four pieces of artillery, two of which are uninjured and two so much injured as to be of no use.

Believing that the interest of Arizona demanded imperatively some form of government, I issued my proclamation, of date 1st of August, 1861, to the people, a copy of which I forward you.

I cannot conclude this report without alluding to the courage, fortitude, and patriotism of the officers and soldiers of my command and to those citizens who participated with us. All did nobly their part. I cannot make distinction between men so willing and ready to do their whole duty. To the courage of my officers and men the country is indebted for the success of our arms and the acquisition of a Territory valuable in many respects.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieut. Col., Comdg, C. S. Forces in Arizona.

Capt. T. A. WASHINGTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., C. S. Army, San Antonio, Tex.

–––

PROCLAMATION.

To the People of the Territory of Arizona:

The social and political condition of Arizona being little short of general anarchy, and the people being literally destitute of law, order, and protection, the said Territory, from the date hereof, is hereby declared temporarily organized as a military government until such time as Congress may otherwise provide.

I, John R. Baylor, lieutenant-colonel, commanding the Confederate Army in the Territory of Arizona, hereby take possession of the said Territory in the name and behalf of the Confederate States of America.

For all the purposes herein specified, and until otherwise decreed or provided, the Territory of Arizona shall comprise all that portion of New Mexico lying south of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude.

All offices, both civil and military, heretofore existing in this Territory, either under the laws of the late United States or the Territory of New Mexico, are hereby declared vacant, and from the date hereof shall forever cease to exist.

That the people of this Territory may enjoy the full benefits of law, order, and protection, and, as far as possible, the blessings and advantages of a free government, it is hereby decreed that the laws and enactments existing in this Territory prior to the date of this proclamation, and consistent with the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States of America and the provisions of this decree shall continue in full force and effect, without interruption, until such time as the Confederate Congress may otherwise provide.

The said Territory of Arizona from the date hereof is hereby temporarily organized under a military government until such time as Congress may otherwise provide. The said government shall be divided into two separate and distinct departments, to wit: The executive and judicial. The executive authority of this Territory shall be vested in the commandant of the Confederate Army in Arizona. The judicial power {p.21} of this Territory shall be vested in a supreme court, two district courts, two probate courts, and a justice of the peace, together with such municipal and other inferior courts as the wants of the people may from time to time require. The two district judges shall constitute the supreme court, each of whom shall determine all appeals, exceptions, and writs of error removed from the district court wherein the other presides. One of the said judges shall be designated as the chief justice of the supreme court. There shall be but one session each year, which shall be holden at the seat of government. The district judges shall hold two terms of court every year in their respective judicial districts. They may likewise hold special terms whenever in their opinion the ends of public justice require it.

The judicial districts of this Territory shall be divided as follows: The first judicial district shall comprise all the portion of Arizona lying east of the Apache Pass, the district and probate courts whereof shall be holden at La Mesilla. The second judicial district shall comprise the remainder of the Territory. The district and probate courts shall be holden at Tucson. The governor shall likewise appoint one probate judge and sheriff and the necessary justices of the peace in and for each judicial district. The constables shall be appointed by the respective justices of the peace. Each district judge shall appoint his own clerk, who shall be ex officio clerk of the probate court within such district. The district and probate courts of the two districts shall be holden at such times as heretofore provided by the legislature of New Mexico for the counties of Doña Aña and Arizona.

All suits and other business now pending in any of the late courts of New Mexico within this Territory shall be immediately transferred to the corresponding courts of this Territory, as herein established. The style of all process shall be the Territory of Arizona, and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name of the Territory of Arizona.

There shall likewise be appointed by the governor an attorney-general, secretary of the Territory, treasurer, and marshal, whose duty and compensation shall be the same as heretofore under the laws of New Mexico.

The city of Mesilla is hereby designated as the seat of government of this Territory.

All Territorial officers shall hold their respective terms of office until otherwise provided by Congress, unless sooner removed by the power appointing them.

The salaries, fees, and compensation of all Territorial officers shall remain the same as heretofore in the Territory of New Mexico.

The treasurer, marshal, sheriffs, and constables, before acting as such, shall execute to the Territory a bond, with good and sufficient securities, conditioned for the faithful discharge of their official duties, in the same manner as heretofore provided under the laws of New Mexico.

All Territorial officers, before entering upon their official duties, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States and of this Territory and faithfully to discharge all duties incumbent upon them.

The bill of rights of the Territory of New Mexico, so far as consistent with the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States and the provisions of this decree, are hereby declared in full force and effect in the Territory of Arizona.

Given under my hand at Mesilla this 1st day of August, 1861.

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Gov. and Lieut. Col., Comdg. Mounted Rifles, C. S. Army.

{p.22}

–––

Appointments.

In accordance with the provisions of a proclamation, dated August 1, 1861, organizing temporarily the Territory of Arizona, I, John E. Baylor, governor of the said Territory, do hereby publish and declare the following appointments. All appointees are requested to qualify and enter upon their official duties without delay:

Secretary of the Territory, James A. Lucas; attorney-general ,M. H. McWillie; treasurer, E. Augorstein; marshal, George M. Frazier; probate judge first judicial district, Frank Higgins; justice of peace Doña Aña County, L. W. Greek; justice of peace Mesilla fourth precinct, M. A. Verimendi; justice of peace Mesilla, fifth precinct, Henry L. Dexter; justice of peace La Mesa, Theodor J. Miller; justice of peace, Pinos Altos, M. M. Steinthal; justice of peace San Tomas, C. Lanches.

Given under my hand at Mesilla this 2d day of August, A. D. 1861.

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Gov. and Lieut. Cot., Comdg. Mounted Rifles, C. S. Army.

–––

AUGUST 2, 1861.–Fort Stanton, N. Mex., abandoned by Union troops.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Lieut. Col. Benjamin S. Roberts, Third U. S. Cavalry.
No. 2.–Lieut. Col. John R. Baylor, Second Texas Mounted Rifles, and including other matters.

No. 1.

Report of Lieut. Cot. Benjamin S. Roberts, Third U. S. Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Stanton, August 2, 1861.

COLONEL: By Corporal Hughes, of B Co., Mounted Riflemen, I have received information of the surrender of the entire command of Mayor Lynde (including Captain Gibbs and Lieutenant Cressey’s companies of my regiment, detached from their post temporarily) to the Texans.

In order to place the troops [of] this post at once at your disposal at more important points, I have this day abandoned Fort Stanton, and, conforming to your instructions, destroyed all the public stores of every kind my small means of transportation could not convey away.

The two infantry companies will proceed to Albuquerque and report to the commanding officer of that post.

I shall report to you in person in Santa Fe with the two companies of Mounted Riflemen.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

B. S. ROBERTS, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

Col. E. R. S. CANBY, Comdg. Department of New Mexico.

–––

No. 2.

Report of Lieut. Cot. John R. Baylor, C. S. Army, of evacuation of Fort Stanton, N. Mex., and other events.

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Bliss, August 14, 1861.

SIR: I regret to report that the United States troops, consisting of four companies-two of cavalry and two infantry-that were en route {p.23} from Fort Buchanan to Fort Fillmore, succeeded by ignominious flight in making their escape. On the night of the 7th instant an express reached them from Fort Craig, when they immediately burned all their transportation and supplies, and fled in great disorder and haste, saving nothing but their arms and animals.

By express from Fort Stanton I learn that upon the receipt of the news that Major Lynde had surrendered, Colonel Roberts, in command of that post, fled in haste, leaving the post on fire, which was extinguished by a storm of rain. Most of the commissary and quartermaster’s supplies were saved and a battery. On the receipt of this intelligence I sent Captain Walker’s company to occupy Stanton, and will send a train for the commissary and quartermaster’s stores, leaving only two months’ supply for the troops now there. The families there were at the mercy of Indians and Mexicans, and I thought it proper to garrison the post, at least until I could learn the wishes of the Government. I have also established a Provisional Government for the Territory of Arizona, and made the appointments to fill the offices necessary to enforce the laws. I have proclaimed myself the governor, have authorized the raising of four companies to hold the Territory and afford protection to the citizens, and extended the limits of the Territory to the parallel of 36˚ 30´; thence due west to the Colorado, and down that stream to its mouth.

The vast mineral resources of Arizona, in addition to its affording an outlet to the Pacific, make its acquisition a matter of some importance to our Government, and now that I have taken possession of the Territory, I trust a force sufficient to occupy and hold it will be sent by the Government, under some competent man.

I urge the acceptance of the companies I have raised, as they are composed of the very best material, and are invaluable as soldiers. Captain Coopwood’s company especially has been of great service to me, as spies cannot be supplied.

I have acted in all matters relating to the acquisition of Arizona entirely upon my own responsibility, and can only refer the matter, through you, for the approval of the Government.

Inventories of all property captured from the Army will be sent to you as early as possible. I regret to say that a good deal has been stolen by both prisoners and Mexicans, but in the excitement of the time I could not avoid such acts, my time being occupied with other matters. The arms and ammunition are valuable, and many that are broken and injured by the enemy can be repaired. I will send them down to the arsenal by the first opportunity. The artillery (twelve pieces) can be used by mounting them again, as no damage was done to the guns except spiking them.

I cannot conclude without alluding to the manner in which my men have conducted themselves in this short campaign. They have endured hunger and fatigue without complaint, and for a week did not eat more than a meal in twenty-four hours. For four days they did not unsaddle their horses, and during the whole time behaved in a manner worthy of veterans.

Yours, very respectfully,

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieut. Cot., Comdg. Second Reg’t Texas Mounted Rifles.

General EARL VAN DORN, Commanding Department of Texas.

{p.24}

AUGUST 23, 1861.–Skirmish near Fort Craig, N. hex.

Report of Lieut. Col. John R. Baylor, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS Fort Bliss, August 25, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report the capture of a detachment from Fort Craig of 9 men and a Captain Hubbell, of the New Mexico volunteers. From them I learn that there are now at Craig 350 regular troops and 180 New Mexico volunteers. There is no artillery at Craig, and I could easily take the place but for the jaded condition of my horses, many of which are unfit for service. I would suggest that a strong force be stationed here, as I can do nothing towards ridding the country of Indians while the United States troops occupy New Mexico, as my force is too weak to divide.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Mounted Rifles, C. S. Army.

General EARL VAN DORN.

–––

AUGUST 25-SEPTEMBER 8, 1861.–Operations against Indians about Fort Stanton, N. Mex.

-Report of Lieut. John R. Pulliam, C. S. Army.-

FORT STANTON, ARIZ., August 25 [?], 1861.

SIR: Captain Walker having left post this morning for Fort Bliss, I came in command. The condition of the country being such as to render it necessary to keep out spies in the direction of Forts Union and Craig, have thought it a matter of precaution to have men on the lookout to prevent a surprise from the Federal troops, who were concentrating at the before-mentioned forts. The following day I detailed four men to march to the Gallinas Mountains, distant about 75 miles, in a northwestern direction, where they could obtain a position commanding a view of all roads leading to Fort Stanton by which an enemy might approach.

August 29.–Dr. R. H. Dryden, in company with McComb and Hall’s train, arrived. The former was furnished quarters, and took his position as post surgeon. Orders were issued calling for surplus stores over the company’s rations for two months. The train was loaded, and started for Fort Bliss the following day.

September 1.–Last night a spy party returned, and reported having seen no indications of any advancing enemy. At sundown detailed 4 men-T. G. Pemberton, Joseph V. Mosse, Joseph Emmanacker, and Floyd A. Sanders-to proceed to the Gallinas Mountains. My instructions were, in consequence of the situation of the water and dangerous proximity of hostile Indians, very explicit. My orders were to reach the water on the morning of the second day, water the horses, fill up canteens, leave the spring, and noon at a safe and sufficient distance away; but on account of feeling convinced that there was no danger there, the men, contrary to orders, camped at about 100 yards above the spring in a grove of pine trees, where they and their fire were visible to any person going to the spring from the road. While in the act of cooking {p.25} breakfast three Indians were seen running over an adjoining hill. The men immediately saddled up their horses, and while in the act of doing so they were assailed by a shower of arrows, and found themselves totally surrounded by an overwhelming force, who poured in an incessant fire. Each man took up his position behind a tree, and on their attempt to fire their rifles, to their horror found that they would not go off. Revolvers were immediately drawn, and after several shots had been fired the men were dislodged from their positions. Every tree shielded an Indian for considerable distance on all sides. The fight, which was a running one, was continued for nearly two hours, when Emmanacker, Pemberton, and Mosse having fallen, Sanders took his horse, and putting spurs to him, galloped down an almost perpendicular mountain, and amidst a shower of arrows escaped to tell the fate of the horrible massacre of his three comrades. He reported having been followed for 10 miles by the Indians, and had his horse not been fleeter than the Indian ponies he would certainly have shared the fate of his comrades.

The same evening that Sanders returned I ordered fourteen men, accompanied by three citizens, who volunteered to accompany the command, to proceed to the scene of the unfortunate encounter, and at sundown they left the fort. Shortly before night Captain Walker arrived and took command.

September 8.-Since the captain’s return preparations have been made to evacuate the post. About noon the scouting party returned, and reported having seen no Indians. They were at the Gallinas Mountains; saw evident marks of the poor fellows who were killed having fought with bravery and a determination to sell their lives as dearly as possible, as almost every tree was marked by blood shed by the inhuman savages, who, when they outnumbered our men ten to one, attacked them, and were able to carry off their scalps as laurels of victory. The bodies of Pemberton and Emmanacker were found, and buried as well as circumstances would admit, with a salute fired over their graves, and a cross cut in a tree to indicate the spot. Mosse’s body was not found. His fate seems to be doubtful, although Sanders says he saw him shot through the head and fall dead before he left the ground.

The same evening word was brought into the fort that the Indians had attacked the Placito, a Mexican settlement 10 miles below the fort. I was ordered to take fifteen men there and protect the citizens; did so; had an engagement with them (the Indians), and killed five. Returned to the fort amidst a pouring rain at 2 a. m. The next morning we started from Fort Stanton, and arrived at Doña Aña, Ariz., September 21, 1861.

JNO. R. PULLIAM, First Lieut. Co. D, Second Reg’t T. M. R., C. S. Army.

Lieut. Col. JOHN R. BAYLOR, Comdg. Second Reg’t T. M. R., C. S. A., Doña Aña, Ariz.

–––

AUGUST -, 1861.–Skirmish with Indians near Fort Bliss, Tex.

Report of Lieut. Col. John R. Baylor, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Bliss, August 25, 1861.

SIR: I regret to inform you that Lieutenant Mays, with a party of 14 men from Fort Davis, went in pursuit of Indians and attacked a village {p.26} of Apaches, and after a desperate fight were all killed except a Mexican, who came in, bringing the intelligence. Lieutenant White, in command of that post, sent out a detachment to ascertain if any were left, but found nothing but the hats, boots, and a number of horses that had been killed, besides several bodies of men, who were recognized as men of Lieutenant Mays’ party.

I would urge the importance of more men being sent to me, as I can’t hold the United States troops in check and operate against the Indians with the limited number of men under my command.

Very respectfully,

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Second Mounted Rifles, C. S. Army.

General E. VAN DORN.

–––

SEPTEMBER 25, 26, l83l.–Skirmishes at Canada Alamosa (25th) and near Fort Thorn, N. Mex. (26th).

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. E. R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry.
No. 2.–Capt. John H. Minks, New Mexico Cavalry, of skirmish at Canada Alamosa.
No. 3.–Capt. Robert M. Morris, Third U. S. Cavalry, of skirmish near Fort Thorn.
No. 4.–Lieut. Col. John R. Baylor, Second Texas Mounted Rifles.
No. 5.–Capt. Bethel Coopwood, Confederate forces.

No. 1.

Report of Col. E. R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Santa Fe, N. Mex., October 4, 1861.

SIR: The picket skirmishing referred to in my last report of the 29th ultimo resulted in the capture of the captains and lieutenants, 9 men of Captain Minks’ company of mounted volunteers, 3 wagons, and 18 mules. The first lieutenant and the remainder of the company made their escape with their arms and all the horses of the company. The guard duty was negligently performed and the party was completely surprised; no one killed or wounded. Captain Morris, Third Cavalry, with 100 men of that regiment, was sent in pursuit of the Texans, and after a rapid march of 80 miles found them strongly posted and protected by a barricade of fallen timber. A short skirmish ensued, which lasted until Captain Morris had exhausted his ammunition, when he withdrew his command and sent back for ammunition. The Texans availed themselves of this opportunity to make their escape. Their captain 10 men, and 22 horses were killed, 30 men and a large number of horses wounded. In Captain Morris’ command 3 men were wounded. The pursuing troops left Fort Craig hastily, and with only the ammunition in their cartridge boxes. With the exception of this oversight the affair was conducted with judgment and skill, and Captain Morris compliments the officers and men for great gallantry. The parties engaged were about equal in strength.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Colonel Nineteenth Infantry, Comdg. Department.

The ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Hdqrs. Western Department, Saint Louis, Mo.

{p.27}

–––

No. 2.

Report of Capt. John H. Minks, of skirmish at Canada Alamosa.

DOÑA AÑA, N. MEX., September 29, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance to Order No. -, from the commanding officer at Fort Craig, I proceeded with my company about 40 miles southward from Fort Craig to a small town called Canada Alamosa, in order to establish a camp there, &c., leaving behind only 10 men as an escort for a train to Albuquerque, and 5 sick in the hospital at Fort Craig. On my arrival at Canada Alamosa I at once took the necessary steps to secure men and horses against a sudden attack, but I was not able to accomplish the work in one or two days as it ought to have been done, on account of my time being occupied in purchasing forage and making many necessary preparations in my camp to enable me to keep out constantly several small scouting parties. The operations were also retarded on account of the unwillingness of some of my men to use the spade and the pick ax.

Before I had finished my corral and breastworks, September 24, at about 5 p. m., I received information that mounted men had been seen in a southern direction from our camp. I immediately ordered 6 men, already in the saddle, to scout in the direction of Laguna, in company with a Mexican well acquainted with the topography of the country, to start and bring more positive information. They returned and reported the said men to be a scouting party from Captain Hubbell’s company, in command of a certain Colisnara, who had come over on the right bank of the river to pasture their horses. Well aware that this was only an excuse for having abandoned their post on the Jornada, my intention was to arrest the party next morning and send them to Captain Hubbell. At a later hour the same evening similar information was received of having seen mounted men, but, as I considered this already explained, I only cautioned my men not to leave the camp and to keep silence during the night, so they could always hear my voice and be at all hours ready to repel a night attack. The teamsters, who were to start the next day, were ordered to leave early, at 3 o’clock in the morning, for Fort Craig. I sat up writing until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning before I retired. I was soon aroused by one of my sentinels reporting that he had heard a noise in the direction of the town. I gave the alarm to my men, who were immediately under arms.

The night at that hour was very dark; nothing could be seen. I ordered my men to saddle their horses, which were picketed in front of our line between the town and the camp, but before I could see what it meant they had disappeared in the darkness. Some of my men say they fired into our camp. I did not see or hear it, though at this time our horses stampeded. I ordered 8 or 10 men to bring them back or to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy, but more than 30 men went off before I could prevent it, on account of the darkness. At this moment a terrible Indian yell was heard from the town. I thought for a while the Indians were attacking the town, and, with more than 40 of my men, was prepared to march to the rescue of the inhabitants, when we heard distinctly cavalry coming down on us, and a voice near our line hallooing out: “Here’s their camp; give them hell!” The firing now commenced, and the enemy fell back into the town, I then knew that they were Texans, and that it was not an Indian yell I had heard a few moments before. I nevertheless thought the force could not be a large one; that the firing on their side would {p.28} be brisker, and came rather to the conclusion that they were only an advance picket of 12 or 15 men, who were trying to rout my camp by frightening us under cover of night, and who would retreat before day-light, satisfied to have a big laugh at us.

I had already sent an express (Lorenzo Tobats and Felis Gallegas) to Fort Craig, and determined to make a stand. I fell back behind some houses and fences, ceased firing at random, and, no shots being fired by the enemy for some time, I thought they had perhaps already retreated. I then tried to bring some of my men back, and used all kinds of means to prevent the enemy finding out the real number of my men on hand. I went on foot with a few others into the town, in order to find out something about the number and doings of the enemy, penetrating from house to house. Nothing could be seen. I thought the enemy must either have evacuated the town or it was a ruse to bring us out. I did not deem it prudent to go any farther; went back to my camp, where I found that the number of my men had again diminished. I ordered Lieutenant Sanches to bring some of the men back, if there was any possibility to do so before daybreak, and called on volunteers to ride with me into the town to drive the enemy out if they were only few in numbers, or to set fire to some of the small outside houses, from which the enemy could fire at us, and which, at all events, would break the eternal darkness. Provided with matches and some dry wood, in company with Lieutenant Medina, Sergeant Mennett, and a few others, mounted and advanced towards the town, where, to our great surprise, we were received by a pretty smart musketry. We soon found out that we had made a wrong calculation as to the strength of the enemy, and in less than ten minutes were again at the very spot from whence we had started. At this hour of the morning a portion of the enemy took position at an elevated place to our right, near the road leading to Fort Craig, so that a retreat en masse would have been observed and provoked the enemy not only to pursue us, but also those of my company who had gone after their horses, and, doubtless, well mounted as the enemy were, would have overtaken most of our horses and men in less than half an hour. At this time (nearly daybreak) I found my whole force reduced to 10 men. Nothing else could then be done but entertain the enemy and prevent the pursuit of the main body of my company. This was done by loud commands, as if the whole company were still present, and occasional firing for more than an hour, with the loss of only one teamster (John Morrin), wounded in the leg.

Seeing at last, by aid of my spy-glass, that the enemy were more than 60 horsemen strong and preparing to charge us, that retreat was utterly impossible for the few still with me, and further resistance would only lead to a useless butchery, I surrendered between 7 and 8 a. m., after having saved nearly all the men, horses, and arms of my company, but bound to lose 3 wagons, 12 mules, and a few horses, about 15 arms (carbines and pistols), besides all our camp equipage, one and a half boxes of cartridges, rations on hand, and a small lot of old saddles and blankets, which were mostly all destroyed by the enemy. The enemy had one excellent horse killed and a few others wounded.

After my surrender I found the enemy’s forces consisted of Captain Coopwood’s spy company, 45 men strong, a detachment of Captain Pyron’s company, 45 men strong, and 24 men more, detached from another company. Total, 114 men. They say that some of my men were killed, but I am not aware of this, although I took, before we left Alamosa, great pains to ascertain this fact. It may be possible that I have on this occasion committed some errors. I am aware that I have, {p.29} but for others it is an easy thing to find fault when it is too late to do any good. If I had sent my wagons off and divided my company into four or five spy parties, and had them out only one day before, no loss, or very little loss, would have been experienced, and in all probability I would not be a prisoner now. The word “if” is a great word. If Captain Coopwood had delayed his attack until the next morning, cutting off our retreat, which he could have done, not a horse or man of mine could have escaped. He nevertheless had plenty of good reasons to act as he did.

Not being permitted to report the further movements of the enemy, I only state that my second lieutenant, M. Medina, was badly wounded in the upper leg the next day by our own men; the bone is probably hurt, but the wound will not prove fatal; Mr. Peter Dens, of Las Cruces, aim old friend of mine, has taken care of him. John Morrin, the teamster before alluded to is in the hospital at this place, doing well. I am under parole not to leave the headquarters of Colonel Baylor without his permission. We are all well treated so far; receive our rations, and up to this hour have not heard a single unkind word from officers or men, although they have to deplore the loss of two of their best men killed in the action which took place the next morning (September 26), when our troops overtook the same party about 30 miles below the Alamosa, and, furthermore, have about seven wounded in the hospital.

I submit this report to the kind consideration of the colonel commanding, and have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN H. MINKS, New Mexico Mounted Volunteers.

Col. E. H. S. CANBY, Commanding U. S. Forces in New Mexico.

–––

No. 3.

Report of Capt. Robert M. Morris, Third U. S. Cavalry, of skirmish near Fort Thorn.

FORT CRAIG, N. MEX., September 29, 1861.

CAPTAIN: In obedience to your verbal order given me at 9 a. m. on the 25th instant, I moved with Companies C, G, and K, Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, to the relief of Captain Minks’ mounted volunteers, at Canada Alamosa. I reached that point at 4.30 p. m. I should state that I ordered Captain Hubbell’s company to join my command from their camp opposite Panago, which was under the command of Lieutenant Hubbell, the first lieutenant.

Arriving at Canada Alamosa, I found that a number of ponies were too wearied to proceed at any gait. I therefore left Lieutenant Brady (who was too sick to proceed) in charge of the camp, and resumed my march with 101 rank and file on the trail of the Texan force which had captured Captain Minks, marching until 3 a. m. of the following morning, rested until daylight, then proceeded on the trail.

Lieutenant Cooley, of the Second Volunteer Regiment (who acted as my aide-de camp), riding in advance, discovered the Texans encamped. I then formed my command to charge, but upon examining their position I saw it was futile to attempt it at that time.

To test their strength I ordered Lieutenant Treacy with his company {p.30} (C) to take position on their right flank and attack them, whilst I moved forward to attack them front and left. Taking up my position, a single shot was fired. I immediately dismounted and went into action, which lasted an hour and forty-two minutes.

My ammunition running low, I retired a half mile as a feint to draw them out from their intrenchments, but without success. I then turned their right and camped 2 1/2 miles from them, where I remained till 5 p. m.; then I moved up the creek and encamped, where I remained until dark, and then moved back on Canada Alamosa with my wounded, which place I reached at 4 a. m. on the 27th instant.

Although it may appear invidious to mention names where all behaved so coolly and with unflinching bravery, I will state that Dr. Sylvester Rankin and Lieutenant Cooley performed their appropriate duties to my full satisfaction. To the riflemen engaged I cannot but say that they proved themselves by their coolness and bravery men who will sustain their regimental flag under any circumstances.

Lieutenant Treacy’s conduct on the field elicited my highest approbation.*

This report is respectfully submitted.

R. M. MORRIS, Captain, Regiment Mounted Riflemen.

Capt. H. R. SELDEN, Fifth Infantry, Commanding Post.

* List of casualties shows: Number of wounded in Company C, 3 enlisted men; number of wounded in Company G, 3 enlisted men.

–––

No. 4.

Reports of Lieut. Col. John P. Baylor, C. S. Army, and of affair near and abandonment of Fort Stanton.

HEADQUARTERS Fort Bliss, September [October] 1, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that Captain Coopwood’s spy company had an engagement with two companies of U. S. Dragoons from Fort Craig, in which the enemy lost four killed and several wounded. The fight occurred 40 miles below Craig, about the 26th ultimo. Capt. James Walker also took 48 prisoners of a New Mexico company near Fort Stanton. They were disarmed and released on parole.

I have been compelled to abandon Fort Stanton, as my force is too weak to divide. That post, I am sorry to inform you, was robbed by Indians and Mexicans, who threatened the lives of the few citizens that had occupied it. Captain Walker has recovered a considerable part of the articles stolen, and I sent a train out to bring in all articles of any value.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Second Regiment Mounted Rifles.

General EARL VAN DORN.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Doña Aña, Ariz., October 6, 1861.

SIR: Pursuant to my order of September 18, issued from my headquarters, to Capt. B. Coopwood, then commanding Camp Robledo, 12 {p.31} miles north of this place, he detailed a detachment of 110 men, and proceeded toward Fort Craig, for the purpose of reconnaissances. During his progress had two engagements with the enemy: the first in the town of Alamosa, in which he dispersed a New Mexican volunteer company, taking the captain, lieutenant, and several others prisoners. The following day had to contend against 180 or 190 cavalry from Craig, in which he also made them retire. For further particulars of his proceedings I refer you to a condensed copy of his report made to these headquarters.

Respectfully, &c.,

JOHN R. BAYLOR, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, C. S. ARMY, Headquarters Department, San Antonio, Tex.

–––

No. 5.

Report of Capt. Bethel Coopwood, Confederate forces.

DOÑA AÑA, ARIZ., September 29, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your order of date September 18, 1861, I started from Camp Robledo on the 22d instant to make a reconnaissance of the country around Fort Craig with a detachment of 112 men, including officers, detailed from Captain Pyron’s company, B, and Captain Stafford’s company, E, Second Texas Mounted Rifles, and my spy company, as shown by lists from the different companies, hereto annexed; also one man, the Rev. William J. Joyce, of Captain Hardeman’s company, A, Second Texas Mounted Rifles.

Having obtained reliable information that a company of U. S. volunteers had started from Fort Craig to occupy the town of Alamosa, 35 miles from Fort Craig, I marched with all precaution to that place, and on the morning of the 25th instant succeeded in getting between that place and Craig without being discovered. I immediately marched my force into town, and after some skirmishing captured Capt. J. H. Minks, Second Lieut. Metiaze Medina, and 23 privates and non-commissioned officers. In the skirmish 4 of the enemy were killed and 6 wounded. The remainder of Captain Minks’ company fled early in the action, and escaped by crossing the river and taking to the mountains.

In the camp of Captain Minks I found an amount of public property, and immediately appointed Lieutenant Poore to take charge of the same; and the duplicate of his inventory, hereunto annexed, exhibits the amount of property taken, except four Sibley tents and a number of saddles and other articles of small value, which were burned by my order, not having transportation for the same. Not having transportation for the prisoners, I administered to 22 of them a strong oath, binding them not to take up arms against the Confederate States during this war unless exchanged, &c., and then set them at liberty without arms; but I held Captain Minks and Lieutenant Medina and one sergeant as prisoners, and deliver them to you to abide your order.

From Alamosa I marched along the river road with the property taken to the place known as B Company Grove, and encamped for the night. On the morning of the 27th, while at breakfast, I was informed that my pickets were running into camp, and, rising to my feet, I saw {p.32} the enemy pursuing them. In less than ten minutes my camp was surrounded by U. S. troops, numbering about 190. None of the ordinary ceremonies of attack were performed. There being no misunderstanding, we at once commenced business. The firing commenced at 7 o’clock and ended at 11 a. m. The enemy began to retreat before 11, and about that hour fled from the field. I lost 2 men killed, and had 2 severely wounded, each in the arm, besides 6 others slightly wounded, all of which will more fully appear from the list hereto annexed. The enemy removed their dead and wounded as they retreated, so as to evade a discovery of their losses; but, from the number of horses led away with bodies apparently lashed across them, there were 12 or 13 killed, but the number of their wounded could not be ascertained.

The principal portion of the battle was fought with the enemy’s force formed in two lines, forming the angle of a square, and my forces formed the same way inside of theirs, my lines being much the shorter. One of my lines was composed of the detachment from Captain Pyron’s company and a portion of the detachment from Captain Stafford’s company, under the immediate command of Lieutenant Poore, Sergeant O’Grady, and Sergeant Browne. My left line was composed of the detachment from my company and a part of the detachment from Captain Stafford’s company. This line was under the immediate command of Lieutenant Sutherland, being divided into two platoons, one led by Sergeant Coulter, and the other by Private Tevis, who was named for the special occasion.

I remained upon the field till 10 o’clock a. m. the next day, but was prepared to receive another attack should the enemy return re-enforced. In relation to the men and officers under me I would say to you, sir, that I have not witnessed such a display of manly courage and perfect order during my experience in wars. Each officer and man conducted himself as though he thought the destinies of himself and his country were depending upon his action on that occasion. The wounded would not even utter a cry, lest it would be injurious to the cause. A remarkable instance of this was displayed in the case of sergeant O’Grady. After being severely wounded, and after having fallen to the ground from loss of blood, he continued to cheer his men and encourage them to fight, telling them not to cease firing until they had avenged his blood. This kind of courage was also displayed by others whose wounds were not so severe. Sergeant Quinn, Sergeant Robinson, and Antonio Lambert, after having each received a wound, continued to fight, if possible, with more courage and determination. The officers and men paid strict attention to every order, and acted more like veteran troops than volunteers. I cannot with words express the esteem I have for all who were with me. Nothing short of witnessing a similar occasion can impress you with an idea of the value of such troops and the credit due them for what they have already done. I herewith annex a list of the names of all who were with me, that you may know that number of men by name who will not flinch under the most trying circumstances.

Regretting much that some of my esteemed fellow soldiers have suffered the fate of war on this scout, I most respectfully submit to you this report of the same.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

BETHEL COOPWOOD, Captain Commanding Scout.

Lieut. Col. JOHN R. BAYLOR.

{p.33}

SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 7, 1861.–Operations against Indians from Camp Robledo, N. Mex.

Report of Capt. P. Hardeman, C. S. Army.

CAMP ROBLEDO, ARIZ., October 8, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you, in obedience to General Orders, No. 16, issued at headquarters, San Antonio, August 21, making it the duty of officers of scouting parties to forward reports of their operations to headquarters through their respective commanding officers, that, in obedience to your order, I, with a detachment of 25 of my men, accompanied by Captain Frazier, took up the line of march on the 30th ultimo en route to the Upper Rio Grande, to see if I could make any discoveries of the enemy in that portion of the country. After passing up the Jornada road some 50 miles I directed my course westward, to intersect the road running up the river by old Fort Thorn. Before reaching that road I came across an Indian trail with a large flock of sheep. The trail being fresh, I thought proper to pursue them. After crossing the river and trailing about 10 miles northwest the trail then turned a due west course for 15 miles across a level plain to a very rough, mountainous country. Here the trail turned nearly due north through the chain of mountains. I followed them across the headwaters of the Rio Miembres, and thence to the tributaries of the Gila River. Not being able to overtake them at this point, and some of my horses becoming very tender-footed from traveling over the rocky country without shoes, and having started from camp with only three days’ rations, and being entirely out at this time, I thought it prudent to abandon the chase and return to camp, which we did without having the pleasure of capturing the red rascals, and arrived in camp on the 7th instant, having been out four days without any rations or anything to eat except a few wild grapes which we were lucky enough to find in the mountains.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. HARDEMAN, Captain Company A, Commanding Scout.

Lieut. Col. J. R. BAYLOR, Commanding Second Regiment Texas Mounted Rifles.

–––

OCTOBER 11-16, 1861.–Operations against Indians from Fort Inge, Tex.

Report of Sergt. W. Barrett, U. S. Cavalry, forwarded by Lieut. John Bradley, C. S. Infantry.

FORT INGE, TEX., October 17, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward the inclosed report, and respectfully add that I sincerely deplore the loss that has been sustained by the death of three such good soldiers; also my inability to leave the post for the purpose of proceeding to the battle ground in hopes of recovering the bodies of the deceased, and again endeavoring to come up with the same party or finding others in the same neighborhood, for I think there are plenty of them to be found in that section of country. {p.34} There being no other commissioned officer at the post, it necessarily compels me to remain inactive.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN BRADLEY, Second Lieutenant C. S. Infantry, Commanding Post.

Capt. D. C. STITH, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Dept. of Texas, San Antonio.

[Inclosure.]

FORT INGE, TEX., October 16, 1861.

SIR: According to orders received from you I started on the evening of the 11th instant with a party of fifteen privates and two non-commissioned officers in pursuit of a band of hostile Indians, taking with me four days’ rations. Upon arrival at the scene of depredations I was informed that the Indians had taken the direction of the Nueces River. I immediately started out in pursuit, and encamped that night on the Rio Frio. Next morning early we struck the trail between the Frio and the Leona, and continued to follow it until dark that night. On the morning of the third day I again took up the trail, running in the direction of Fort Yulee, hotly pursuing it until sunset. That night (the 3d) two mules and two ponies came into camp with several arrows stuck into them. The animals died shortly after they were discovered. On Monday morning I again started on the trail, following it for about half a mile, when I lost it. After some time I discovered that the Indians had retraced their steps in the direction of the Rio Grande. That day the Indians crossed and recrossed the Barosito Creek several times. Some of our horses in pursuing them, so boggy were the crossings, sank in the mud and had to be pulled out by lariats, causing great delay and wetting our sharpshooters and ammunition. The same evening, about sunset, upon arrival in a small clearing, we were suddenly attacked by the Indians, who sprang out from the surrounding scrub. The Indians (Lipans) were in large numbers. It seemed to be a head camping ground. As soon as attacked the men unslung their carbines and prepared for action, but upon attempting to discharge them not one in a half dozen would go off, although four or five caps were used on each piece; the arms and ammunition being completely unfit for use from the soaking they had received during the day. I may here say that it rained incessantly that day from sunrise until sunset. The men who could not use their carbines drew their sabers and commenced using them. Three men who happened to have dismounted engaged the Indians hand-to-hand, killing several. I am sorry to say that the three men were also killed; that, along with 1 man and 4 horses wounded, was the only loss on our side; on the Indian side, about 10 killed and several wounded. The fight lasted about half an hour. As it was getting dark, having no pistols, and the Indians being too numerous-they were gaining strength every minute-I gave the command to retreat. On Tuesday morning we started for home, and arrived here this evening.

In conclusion, allow me to say that the men under my command behaved admirably.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

W. BARRETT, Sergeant, Company A, C. S. Cavalry.

Second Lieut. JOHN BRADLEY, C. S. A., Commanding Fort Inge.

{p.35}

NOVEMBER 1, 1861.–Skirmish with Indians on the Peosi River, Texas.

Report of Col. H. E. McCulloch, C. S. Army.

GALVESTON, TEX., November 30, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that Capt. J. B. Barry, of my regiment, writes me that he attacked a party of Indians on Peosi River, a branch of the Red River, on the first day of this month, and killed ten of them dead on the field, and wounded two others severely, if not mortally.

He reports that he carried but ten days’ rations, was out on the scout twenty-two days, during which time his command suffered greatly, but never murmured. The fight was a running one of several miles, consequently only a portion of his men could get up with the Indians; that six of his command overtook and engaged twelve Indians, keeping them from proceeding and holding them at bay for fifteen or twenty minutes until several others of his command came up; that during this time the fight was close and severe, the Indians fighting desperately, and apparently having the advantage of the fight at times, but finally gave way, and all of this twelve was killed or wounded, while he only sustained a loss of two men wounded, which he thinks will soon recover, and one horse shot with an arrow, which he thinks will probably not be of any service to his owner in future.

This is the first decided victory that has been gained with any loss to the Indians by our troops during the present service that has come to my knowledge, and I earnestly hope that it will be followed up by like brilliant and decided successes in the future.

Respectfully submitted.

H. E. MCCULLOCH, Col. First Reg’t Texas Mounted Rifles, P. C. S. Army.

General P. O. HEBERT, Commanding Military Department of Texas.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6