« AnteriorContinuar »
MILITARY TREASON ON THE RIO GRANDE.
tant, but onio toring, and his
cret organization known as “Knights | mander, Col. Loring, and his adjuof the Golden Circle," having its tant, but only to find them both as Texas head-quarters at San Antonio, thoroughly disloyal as Crittenden. and its castles' or affiliated lodges in He was rudely rebuked by them as a every part of the State, had prose- meddler with other men's business, cuted its undertaking at immense and ordered directly back to Fort advantage over the unorganized and Staunton, but found opportunity to often unsuspecting as well as unin- give notice to Capt. Hatch, comformed Unionists. The conspirators manding at Albuquerque, to Capt. had long before made themselves ac- Morris, who held Fort Craig, and quainted with the loyal or disloyal other loyal officers, of the treachery proclivities of the Federal officers; of their superiors, and the duty inand, wherever an important position cumbent on them of resisting it. was held by an inflexible Unionist, Meantime, desperate efforts were they were able, by secret representa- made by the prominent traitors to tions at the War Department, to pro- bring their men over to their views, cure such a substitution as they de- by assurances that the Union had sired; and thus Col. Loring, a North ceased to exist-that it had no longer Carolinian, deep in their counsels, had a Government able to pay them or been sent out by Floyd, in the Spring feed them-while, if they would but of 1860, to take command of the de- consent to go to Texas and take serpartment of New Mexico, while Col. vice with the Confederacy, they should G. B. Crittenden, a Kentuckian, of be paid in full, and more than paid, like spirit and purposes, was appointed beside having great chances of proby Loring to command an expedition motion. To their honor be it recordagainst the Apaches, to start from ed, not one man listened to the voice Fort Staunton in the Spring of 1861. of the charmer, though Capt. ClaiLieut. Col. B. S. Roberts, however, born, at Fort Staunton, made several who here joined the expedition with harangues to his company, intended two companies of cavalry, soon dis- to entice them into the Confederate covered that Crittenden was devoting service. Of the 1,200 regulars in all his sober moments—which were New Mexico, one only deserted during few-to the systematic corruption of this time of trial, and he, it is behis subordinates, with intent to lead lieved, did not join the enemy. Fihis regiment to Texas, and there turn nally, the disloyal officers, headed it over to the service and support of by Loring and Crittenden, were glad the Rebellion. Roberts repelled his to escape unattended, making their solicitations, and refused to obey any rendezvous at Fort Fillmore, twenty of his orders which should be prompt- miles from the Texas line, not far ed by the spirit of treason. He finally from El Paso, where Maj. Lynde accepted a furlough, suggested by commanded. Here they renewed Loring, and quickly repaired under their intrigues and importunities, it to Santa Fé, the head-quarters of finding a large portion of the officers the department, making a revelation equally traitorous with themselves. of Crittenden's treachery to its com- But Maj. Lynde appeared to hold out See his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War.--Report, Part 3, pp. 364–72.
the ont Fillmore
against their solicitations. His forces, blame wholly upon Lynde. Our however, were so demoralized that, men were paroled, and permitted, as soon afterward, when he led 480 prisoners, to pursue their course of them, out of 700, to the village of northward, after listening to a speech Mesilla, some twenty miles distant, he from Col. Baylor, of their captors, fell into an ambuscade of 200 badly intended to win their good-will. armed Texans, and, after a skirmish, Their sufferings, on that forlorn wherein his conduct can only be vin- march to Albuquerque and Fort dicated from the imputation of cow- Wise, were protracted and terrible; ardice by the presumption of treason, some becoming deranged from the he ordered a retreat to the fort, which agony of their thirst; some seeking his men were next day engaged in to quench it by opening their veins, fortifying, when surprised, at 104 A.M., and drinking their own blood. Maj. by an order to evacuate that night. Lynde, instead of being court-marThe commissary was ordered to roll tialed and shot, was simply dropped out the whisky, from which the men from the rolls of the army, his diswere allowed to fill their canteens, missal to date from his surrender ;' and drink at discretion. No water and Capt. A. H. Plummer, his comwas furnished for the weary march missary, who held $17,000 in drafts, before them, over a hot and thirsty which he might at any moment have desert. They started as ordered; but, destroyed, but which were handed before they had advanced ten miles, over to and used by the Rebels, was men were dropping out of the ranks, sentenced by court-martial to be repand falling to the earth exhausted or rimanded in general orders, and susdead drunk.
pended from duty for six months! At 2 A. M., a Texan force was seen advancing on their flank, whereupon New Mexico, thus shamefully beLynde's Adjutant remarked, “They reft, at a blow, of half her defendhave nothing to fear from us." Our ers, was now reckoned an easy prey men were halted, so many of them, to the gathering forces of the Rebelat least, as had not already halted of lion. Her Mexican population, igtheir own accord; and the officers norant, timid, and superstitious, had held a long council of war. Many been attached to the Union by conprivates of the command likewise quest, scarcely fifteen years before, took counsel, and decided to fight. and had, meantime, been mainly unJust then, Capt. Gibbs appeared from der the training of Democratic offithe officers' council, and ordered a cials of strong pro-Slavery sympathies, retreat upon the camp, saying, “ We who had induced her Territorial will fight them there.” Arrived at Legislature, some two years before, the camp, our soldiers were ordered to pass an act recognizing Slavery as to lay down their arms, and inform- | legally existing among them, and ed, “ You are turned over as prison- providing stringent safeguards for its ers of war.” The subordinate offi- protection and security-an act cers disclaimed any responsibility for which was still unrepealed. Her this disgraceful surrender, laying the Democratic officials had not yet been 8 July 24, 1861.
• July 27, 1861.
privates of the ncil of war. Many norant, timid, a
CANBY PREPARES TO HOLD NEW MEXICO.
replaced by appointees of Presidentton, where the absorption of all enerLincoln. Her Delegate in Congress, gies in the more immediate and moMiguel A. Otero, had issued to and mentous struggle on the Potomac and circulated an address to her people, the Missouri, denied him even an anintended to disaffect them toward the swer to his frequent and importunate Union, and incite them to favor the requisitions and representations. An Rebellion; but her Democratic Gov- urgent appeal, however, to the Governor, Abraham Rencher, though a ernor of the adjacent Territory of North Carolinian, upon receiving Colorado, had procured him thence a news of Lynde's surrender, issued a regiment of volunteers, who, though proclamation calling out the entire falling far enough short of the effimilitia force of the Territory, to act ciency of trained soldiers, were worth as a home guard ; which call, though five to ten times their number of his it added inconsiderably to the effec- New Mexican levies. Making the tive force of her defenders, was cal- best use possible of his scanty or inculated to exert a wholesome inílu- different materials, he was probably ence upon public opinion, and keep about half ready to take the field restless spirits out of mischief. Col. when apprised that the Texans were E. R. S. Canby, who had succeeded upon him. to the command of the Department, Gen. H. F. Sibley had encounterwas a loyal and capable soldier, and ed similar difficulties, save in the was surrounded, for the most part, qualities of his men, in organizing by good and true men. When the and arming, in north-western Texas, new Governor, Henry Connolly, the “Sibley Brigade," designed for met " the Territorial Legislature, a the conquest of New Mexico. His very wholesome and earnest loyalty funds were scanty, and the credit of was found, well-nigh universal, so his Government quite as low as that that the Governor's cautious recom- depended on by Canby; but the mendation that the act for the pro- settled, productive districts of Texas tection of slave property be modified, were not very remote nor inaccessible, as needlessly severe and rigorous, while Canby's soldiers were for weeks was promptly responded to by an al- on short allowance, simply because most unanimous repeal of the entire provisions for their comfortable subact, leaving the statute-book of New sistence were not to be had in New Mexico clean of all complicity with Mexico, nor nearer than Missouri, the chattelizing of man.
then a revolutionary volcano, where Meantime, Col. Canby was quietly production had nearly ceased. Two proceeding with the organization of insignificant collisions had taken his militia and other forces for the place near. Fort Craig. In the inevitable contest, crippled through- earlier, a company of New Mexican out by the want of money, munitions, volunteers, Capt. Mink, were routed and supplies of all kinds. Even di- and pursued by a party of Texans, rections and orders, so plentifully be- who, in their turn, were beaten and stowed on most subordinates, were chased away, with considerable loss, not vouchsafed him from Washing- by about 100 regulars from the fort. 10 Feb. 15, 1861.
11 Dec. 2, 1861. 12. In: October, 1861.
The surviving Texans escaped to the night, by their breaking away, in Mesilla; and Canby occupied the the frenzy of their thirst, from the frontier posts so far down as Fort weary and sleepy guards appointed Staunton, leaving Fort Fillmore still to herd them. He was thus compelin the hands of the Texans.
led to abandon a part of his wagons Gen. Sibley, who had hoped to ad- and baggage next morning, as he vance in the Autumn of 1861, was started for the river, the smallness of still at Fort Bliss, within the limits his force not permitting him to diof Texas, on the 1st of January, vide it in the presence of a capable 1862; but moved forward, a few days and vigilant enemy. thereafter, with 2,300 men, many of When his advance, 250 strong, them trained to efficiency in the Mexi- under Maj. Pyron, reached, at Valcan War and in successive expeditions VERDE, a point, at 8 A. M., where the against Apaches and other savages, river bottom was accessible, fully wherein they had made the name of seven miles from the fort, they found 66 Texan Rangers” a sound of terror themselves confronted by a portion of to their foes. For Canby's regulars our regular cavalry, Lt. Col. · Roand American volunteers, they had berts, with two most efficient battesome little respect-for his five or ries, Capt. McRae and Lt. Hall, six thousand New Mexicans, none at supported by a large force of regular all. Advancing confidently, but and volunteer infantry. Our batslowly, by way of Fort Thorn, he teries opening upon him, Pyron, found 13 Canby in force at Fort Craig, greatly outnumbered, recoiled, with which he confronted about the mid- some loss, and our troops exultingly dle of February. A careful recon crossed the river to the east bank, noissance convinced him that it was where a thick wood covered a conmadness, with his light field-guns, to centration of the enemy's entire force. undertake a siege; while his offer of The day wore on, with more noise battle in the open plain, just outside than execution, until nearly 2 P. M., the range of the guns of the fort, when Sibley, who had risen from a was wisely declined. He would not sick bed that morning, was compelled retreat, and could not afford to re- to dismount and quit the field, turnmain, consuming his scanty supplies; ing over the command-in-chief to while to pass the fort without a con- Col. Thomas Green, of the 5th test, leaving a superior force unde- Texas, whose regiment had meanmoralized in his rear, was an experi- time been ordered to the front. The ment full of hazard; he therefore battle was continued, mainly with resolved to force a battle, and, with artillery, wherein the Federal supethat view, forded the Rio Grande to riority, both in guns and in service, its east bank, passed the fort at a was decided, so that the Texans were distance of a mile and a half, and losing the most men in spite of their encamped nearly opposite, in a posi- comparatively sheltered position. To tion of much strength, but entirely protract the fight in this manner was destitute of water, losing 100 of the to expose his men to constant decimules of his baggage-train during mation without a chance of success.
13 Feb. 19, 1862.
OUR DEFEAT AT VALVERDE.
Canby, who had reached the field at arms, and the charging shout of the 1 P. M., considered the day his own, victors, sufficed to complete the disand was about to order a general ad- aster. No part of our army seems to vance, when he found himself antici- have stopped to breathe until safe pated by Green, at whose command under the walls of the fort. Six exhis men, armed mainly with revolv- cellent guns, with their entire equiers, burst from the wooded cover and page, and many small-arms, were leaped over the line of low sand-hills among the trophies secured by the behind which they had lain, and victors. The losses of men were made a desperate rush upon McRae's about equal—60 killed and 140 battery confronting them. Volley wounded on either side. But among after volley of grape and canister was the Confederate dead or severely poured through their ranks, cutting wounded in the decisive charge, them down by scores, but not for an were Lt.-Col. Sutton, Maj. Lockridge, instant checking their advance. They Capts. Lang and Heurel, and several were 1,000 when they started; a few lieutenants. Col. W. L. Robards minutes later, they were but 900; and Maj. Raguet were also woundbut the battery was taken; while Mc-ed, though not mortally. The celerRae, choosing death rather than ity of the flight precluded the taking flight, Lieut. Michler, and most of of more than half-a-dozen prisoners, their men, lay dead beside their guns. among them Capt. Rossel, of the Our supporting infantry, twice or regulars, captured while crossing the thrice the Texans in number, and in- river. cluding more than man for man of Fort Craig was still invulnerable; regulars, shamefully withstood every though a flag of truce, dispatched by entreaty to charge. They lay grov- Canby as he reached its gates, was eling in the sand in the rear of the fondly mistaken for a time by the battery, until the Texans came so Texans as bearing a proposition to near as to make their revolvers dan- surrender. It covered an invitation gerous, when the whole herd ran to a truce for the burial of the dead madly down to and across the river, and proper care of the wounded, to save those who were overtaken by a which two days were given by both cowardly death on the way. The armies; when a Rebel council of war Colorado volunteers vied with the decided that an assault was not justiregulars in this infamous flight. fiable, but that they might now safely
Simultaneously with this charge in leave Canby to his meditations, and front, Maj. Raguet, commanding the push on up the river into the heart of Texas left, charged our right at the the Territory. They did so, as they head of his cavalry; but the dispar- anticipated, without further opposiity of numbers was so great that he tion from the force they had so sigwas easily repulsed. The defeat of nally beaten. Leaving their wounded our center, however, soon altered the at Socorro, 30 miles on the way, they situation; our admirable guns being advanced to Albuquerque, 50 miles quickly turned upon this portion of further, which fell without resistance, the field, along with those of the and where their scanty stock of proTexans, when a few volleys of small- / visions was considerably replenished.