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CANBY PREPARES TO HOLD NEW MEXICO.
replaced by appointees of President, ton, where the absorption of all enerLincoln. Her Delegate in Congress, gies in the more immediate and moMiguel A. Otero, had issued 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 influ- different materials, he was probably ence upon public opinion, and keep about half ready to take the field restless spirits ont 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. Feb. 15, 1861.
" Dec, 2, 1861.
* 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 “ 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" 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.
18 Feb. 19, 1862.
OUR DEFEAT AT VALVERDE.
Canby, who had reached the field at arms, and the charging shout of the 1 P. 1., 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 justi-. regulars 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. At Cubero, 60 miles westward, they came within range, tearing through obtained more provisions and some their ranks, but not stopping their ammunition. Still advancing on advance. A short but desperate Santa Fé, the Confederates encoun hand-to-hand conflict ensued, our intered," at Cañon Glorietta, or Apache fantry interposing to protect their Pass, 15 miles from Santa Fé, near guns, which were saved and brought Fort Union, a new Federal force of off, with most of our wagons. But 1,300, composed partly of regulars, our infantry soon gave way, and the but mainly of green Colorado volun- Texan victory was complete. Their teers, the whole commanded by Col. loss was reported by Scurry as 36 John P. Slough. The Rebel force killed and 60 wounded; but among actually present, under Col. W. R. the former were Majors Shropshire Scurry," was decidedly inferior in and Raguet, Capt. Buckholt, and numbers, but in nothing else. The Lt. Mills. During the fight, which narrowness of the cañon precluded lasted from noon until about 4 P. M., all flanking, enabling the Rebels to Maj. Chivington, of Colorado, with span it with a line of infantry, which four companies, gained the rear of instantly charged, with the Texan the Rebel position, and destroyed a yell, revolver and knife in either hand. part of their train, also a cannon, Our forces scarcely waited to be in which he spiked; when, learning that danger before breaking and flying in Slough was defeated, he decamped. the wildest confusion. In a few mo- Our total loss was reported at 23 mants, not a man of them remained killed and 50 wounded; while in a in sight of the Rebels.
skirmish with Pyron's cavalry, the Scurry halted, re-formed his men, morning before, Slough took 57 prisbrought up his guns, and fired a few oners, with a loss of only 15. shots to ascertain the position (if po- ! Sibley entered Santa Fé in triumph sition they still had) of his adversa- soon afterward, meeting no further ries, and then ordered Maj. Shrop-resistance. He collected there all shire, with his right, and Maj. Rag- that remained of his little army, and uet, with his left, to charge with cav- confiscated to its use whatever of alry and develop the new Federal provisions and clothing, of wagons line, while he would lead forward the and animals, he could lay hands on. center at the first sound of their guns. But he found the population, with Delay ensuing, he moved to the right few exceptions, indifferent or hostile, to ascertain its cause, and found that the resources of food and forage exShropshire had been killed. Imme-tremely limited, and his hold upon diately taking command of that wing, the country bounded by the range of he advanced and attacked—the left his guns. Never had heroic valor opening fire, and the center advanc- been persistently evinced to less puring, as he did so. Three batteries of pose. Before he had rested a month, 8 guns each opened a deadly fire of he found himself compelled to evacugrape, canister, and shell, as they ate his hard-won conquest, and retreat 14 March 24,
16 Col. Scurry, in his official report, de1 Representative from Texas in the XXXIIId clares that he had but 600 men present fit for Congress.
THE TEXANS ABANDON NEW MEXICO.
by forced marches to Albuquerque, that "sufficient funds in Confederate his depot, which Canby, advancing paper was provided them to meet from Fort Craig, was seriously threat every want, if it be negotiated;" ening. He reached it in time to save and honors the brothers Raphael his supplies, but only to realize more and Manuel Armijo—wealthy native completely the impossibility of attach- merchants—who, on his arrival at ing New Mexico to the Confederacy, Albuquerque, had boldly avowed or even of remaining in it. He evac- their sympathy with the Confederate nated it on the 12th of April, moving cause, and placed stores containing down both banks of the river to Los $200,000 worth of goods at his disLunal, thence to Peralto on the east posal. He states that, when he evacside, where he found Canby looking uated Albuquerque, they abandoned for him. Some fighting at long range luxurious homes to identify their ensued, with no serious results; but future fortunes with those of the Sibley, largely outnumbered, crossed Southern Confederacy, and considthe river during the night, and pur-erately adds, “I trust they will not sued his retreat down the west bank be forgotten in the final settlement." next morning, Canby moving almost In closing, Gen. Sibley expresses parallel with him on the east. The the unflattering conviction that, "extwo armies encamped at evening in cept for its political geographical poplain sight of each other.
sition, the Territory of New Mexico Sibley, in his weakened condition, is not worth a quarter of the blood evidently did not like this proximity. expended in its conquest;" and inti“In order," as he says in his re- mates that his soldiers would deciport, “ to avoid the contingency of dedly object to returning to that another general action in our then inhospitable, undesirable country. crippled condition,” he set his forces These and kindred considerations silently in motion soon after night- had induced his return to Fort Bliss, fall, not down the river, but over the Texas, and now impelled him to trackless mountains, through a des- meditate a movement without orders olate, waterless waste, abandoning still further down the country. most of his wagons, but packing Col. Canby wisely declined to run seven days' provisions on mules, and a race of starvation across those desthus giving his adversary the slip. olate mountains, in the rear of the Dragging his cannon by hand up flying foe, but returned to Santa Fé, and down the sides of most rugged whence his order, of even date" with mountains, he was ten days in ma- Sibley's official report, claims that king his way to a point on the river the latter had been “compelled to below, where supplies had been or- abandon a country he had endered to meet him, leaving his sick tered to conquer and occupy, leavand wounded in hospitals at Santa ing behind him, in dead and woundFé, Albuquerque, and Socorro, to fareed, and in sick and prisoners, oneas they might. He naïvely reports half of his original force.”
17 May 4, 1862.