Following the 1855 Taos Riot by members of F Company, 1st Dragoons, the President of the United States ordered that two of the officers involved be court martialed. Lt. Robert Johnston was charged with not assisting in the suppression of the riot and tried in Santa Fe in February of 1856. A transcription of his court marial follows, after the jump.
Mathias Baker ran off from his prosperous New York home and joined the 1st Dragoons in 1845. He accompanied Stephen W. Kearny to Santa Fe in 1846. Returning to Ft. Leavenworth with Lt. John Love to rebuild the company, he writes of the trek back to the states. Baker accompanied Love to New Mexico in 1847, and in 1848, he fought with Company B at Santa Cruz de Rosales. Having superior writing skills, Baker was made Sergeant Major of the regiment On June 7, 1849, Baker died during the Cholera epidemic while at Ft. Leavenworth.
The letters were written by Baker while serving with Company B in the years 1846-1847. The first three are found in the Yale University archives. The last two letters are from the Missouri Historical Society. A more complete account of the adventures of Mathias Baker may be found infra under the heading of “Love’s Defeat”.