What Flogging Was Like In 1854

From a 1854 entry in the previously unpublished journal of soldier James Stevenson, 1st Dragoons:

That winter a court martial was convened at the barracks to try a number of deserters, who were under guard, with ball and chains attached to their ankles.  They are found guilty and sentenced to receive fifty lashes each upon the bare back, to have the letter “D” branded upon the hip, and to be drummed out of the service.

When the day for the execution of the sentences arrived, the troops were drawn up in lines forming three sides of a square, to witness the punishment that might deter them from deserting.  It was the duty of the officer of the day to superintend the execution of the sentences.  A gun carriage was placed on the fourth or vacant side of the square so that all the troops could see, and each prisoner in his turn was lashed firmly to the wheel, having been previously stripped to the waist.  The drummer of the infantry and the buglers of the cavalry administered the stripes with a rawhide; and a more brutal exhibition I have never witnessed.  When a blow was struck which did not seem hard enough, the officer of the day would not count it, so some of the prisoners received sixty stripes instead of fifty.

When a man fainted under his punishment, restoratives were administered, and if the surgeon thought he could still stand it, he received his full allowance.  In one case, the surgeon pronounced a man physically unable to stand the punishment after being restored from a fainting fit, and he was led off with about thirty stripes.  When cut down from the wheel, their backs were rubbed with brine which, although said to be for their good, caused them dreadful suffering, if we could judge by their groans and cries.  After a few days’ medical treatment, the letter “D” was pricked into their skin with India ink, and, with shaven heads, they were marched around the parade ground, the soldiers standing in line to witness the performance.  The drums and fifes played the “Rogues’ March,” and a file of infantry, with bayonets at a charge, marched behind the culprits, and conducted them some distance beyond the limits of the barracks.  Thus ended the inhumane and humiliating spectacle; I can truly say that, instead of filling the hearts of the soldiers with fear and exercising a restraining influence over them, it only filled them with hatred for a service in which such brutal punishment was practiced, and produced a strong desire to get out of it in any way possible.  I do not blame the officers, for they were, as a rule, humane and gentlemanly in their treatment of the soldiers.  It was the fault of the system, and I am happy to say that it has since been done away with.

After the exhibition of cruelty, I was very anxious to get away from “garrison duty” and to enter upon the more dangerous, but vastly pleasanter duty, of “life upon the plains.”’

REPORT: Dragoon Expedition 1839

ARMY AND NAVY CHRONICLE, Vol. IX, No. 18, October 31, 1839 (Whole Number 263)

DRAGOON EXPEDITION.

Fort Leavenworth, Oct. 3, 1839.

Mr. Editor: During that portion of the year in which the prairie grass will sustain horses, it has been customary at this post to detach squadrons or troops, monthly, on a march of reconnaissance along the frontier, to the vicinity of those Indian tribes whose known propensities would lead to the supposition of their committing depredations upon the property of the whites, or of whom complaints had already been made of outrages actually committed. A short account of a March of this kind, of more than usual interest, made during the past month, to the Otoes and Missourias, may not be uninteresting to some of your readers.

In consequence of complaints made of the evil disposition manifested by the Otoes towards the whites, particularly in their conduct to the employés of the Government living among them. Col. Kearny, in immediate command of two squadrons of his regiment, left Fort Leavenworth on the 5th September, to visit them at their villages on the Great Platte river. The officers of the expedition were Col. Kearny, commanding; Major Wharton, Adjutant Thompson, Surgeon Macomb; Capt. Boone, commanding 1st squadron; Capt. Allen commanding 2d squadron; and Lieutenants Steen, Davidson, Chilton and Bowman.

Following, generally, the old ‘Council Bluffs” road, on the south side of the Missouri river, the troops moved leisurely onward, over a country luxuriant, picturesque, and at some points beautiful; the monotony of the march being varied by, at one time, the necessity of cutting down the abrupt banks of some prairie stream, to allow the passage of the wagons, and, at another, of turning from a direct course to head some hollow whose marshy bottom would bear neither man nor horse. In this manner, by easy marches, Wolfe river, the Great and Little Nemahaw, Table Creek, L’eau qui pleut, and many streams of lesser note being crossed, and the site (a most eligible one) for the new post on Table Creek having been visited, we finally stood upon the batiks of the Great Platte. This river, being low, was fordable by horses, but its bed abounding in quicksands rendered the crossing entirely impracticable to loaded wagons. An opportunity was thus offered of testing the utility of Capt. Lane’s admirable application of India rubber to purposes of military economy. A small box, of little weight, containing a boat capable of transporting about 1500 pounds weight across a rapid stream, having been brought with us, the cylinders were inflated and the boat launched. It is almost superfluous, after the many testimonials in its favor, to say that the boat answered all the purposes of its invention, uniting with an ease of management and a readiness of transportation, which must give it entire precedence over every other kind of ponton yet offered to the consideration of the military public. On the sandy beach of this river we found the bones of one of three dragoons who had been drowned a few months previous, while conducting to their tribe some Omahas taken prisoners by the Sacs. The now useless sword and belt and cartridge-box, lying with their owner’s remains, and marked with the letter of his company, and his number, identified the individual. The skeleton, having been placed in a box, was conveyed to our camp, and that evening buried with the honors of war.

The point of our destination having been reached, the Otoes were invited through their agent, Mr. Hamilton, to a council on the 16th. After a delay of unusual length, though at no time remarkable for punctuality, a long string of warriors, boys and women, gave notice of the approach of the nation. The whole assembly having halted a few hundred yards beyond our chain of sentinels, some twenty of the chief men, having dismounted, approached the encampment, and being led to the commanding officer, took their seats in council; on being told, however, that the whole nation were invited to hear what was, to be said to them, the greater portion of the people came forward, taking their stations in concentric circles around the council fire. Observing that, contrary to custom, the Indians had come into council armed, the commanding officer refused to have any thing to say to them while thus equipped, and directed them to lay aside weapons which he neither feared nor had come to contend against. This being done, Col. Kearnv addressed the council.

He told the Otoes that he was glad to see them ; he said he was the representative of their Great Father, the President, who had placed him in their vicinity to observe their conduct; that many reports of their

misconduct towards their white brethren had reached his ears, that as it would be hard to make a whole nation suffer for the acts of a few individuals, he should only punish the most prominent of those against whom complaints had been made; he called upon Kanzas Tunga (Big Kaw) to deliver to him some young men whom he named. (Three young men having been delivered to him, the commanding officer proceeded,) that as these young men had acted badly towards the whites, he intended to punish them before the nation, that it might be a lesson to them would all for the future not to molest the white man—that should the punishment then inflicted fail in producing the intended effect, and he should again hear com- plaints of their bad conduct, it would be as easy for him to visit them again as it had been them; in con elusion he advised them, in their difficulties, to seek counsel from their agent, who would always hear their complaints and assist them.

Kanzas Tunga, Waronisa, Le Voleur, and most of the leading men replied, generally admitting that

their young men had acted badly, but that they were not able to restrain them,” and two of the old chiefs, Waronisa and Le Voleur, offered themselves for punishment in place of the prisoners.   One fine looking young chief came forward, and under great excitement said, “My Father, I place myself among these prisoners, whatever punishment you inflict on them, let me undergo first.”” Cha-ra-to-rishe, or Chef Malade, the head chief of the Pawnees, who with a few of his chiefs, was present, reproached the

Otoes for their conduct, for their turbulence and internal discord; and for the murder of the only man

among them, Jotan [in April 1837]—told them he could manage his young men, and if the Otoe Chiefs could not do the same, they were unworthy the title.

The agent, Mr. Hamilton, now rose, and requested  Col. Kearny to give to him the prisoners, and not to

punish them: that he would be answerable for their future good conduct, and that he thought the nation

would be as much benefited by what had already passed, as if the punishment had actually been inflicted. To this request, after some consideration, the Colonel yielded, and addressed the Otoes again, saying, that as their peace-father had interceded for their young men, he had given them to him—that his intention had been to whip, not to kill, but to whip them there, publicly, before the whole nation, that all might know that they had been punished, and that should he ever have cause again to visit them for their misconduct, his ears would be closed to all solicitations from their agent.

Mr. Hamilton having then explained to the Otoes the pledges he had made in-their behalf, and restored the prisoners, advised them to conduct themselves in good faith towards the white people sent among them by their Great Father for their benefit, and to remember all that had been said to them. The council then dissolved. The Otoes had been much alarmed, and had probably expected that some of their people were – to be killed, or that some treachery was intended, and had accordingly come to the council prepared for the

worst, to fight if necessary, but with no intention of doing so unless forced by an attack by the troops. They were evidently much relieved by the result, and the lesson they have received in the firmness displayed by Col. Kearnv, together with the contempt for their prowess, and confidence in his own resources which he evinced in the council, will doubtless restrain them within proper limits for at least some years.

On the 17th the Missouri river was passed, the horses swimming it, and the camp for the night was formed at one of the Pottawattamie villages. These Indians having been invited to council on the following day, some dozen of their head chiefs appeared, and the commanding officer spoke to them of the invitation of the Government to enter into a new treaty with them or an exchange of their present lands for others lying on the south side of the Missouri. He advised them to accompany the agent of the Government, Capt. Gantt, to examine these lands, and explained to them the difference between living in a territory under the laws of the United States, and within the limits of a State enacting its own laws, and which would certainly extend its jurisdiction over such Indian tribes as might be embraced in its geographical boundaries: that in a few ???rs such would be their situation in their present residence ; he therefore would advise them, as their friend, to accede to the wishes of their Great Father, at least so far as to examine the country which he wished to give them in exchange for theirs. He concluded by saying he spoke to them as a friend, not as the authorized agent of the Government. The orator of the nation replied, simply, that heretofore their ears had been deaf to all words upon the subject of their removal, but that they had now heard the advice of their Father, they thanked him for it, they were glad to see him, and would always be glad to see him at their towns.

These Indians complain that a treaty has been made with them, which has only been partially fulfilled, and that therefore they are unwilling to enter into any new engagements with the Government.  There is truth and justice in the remark; and if it is really the wish to remove the Pottawattamies to the other side of the Missouri river, the stipulations of the late treaty should, at once, be complied with, or any attempt to institute a satisfactory negotiation for an exchange of lands may be considered futile. The command returned to Fort Leavenworth on the 25th September.

Soldier’s Story of Those Who Deserted Ft. Tejon For Gold

From the journal of soldier William Antes:

Arrived at Fort Tejon California on the 25th of June, 1855-we reached our destination-For Tejon, California. Here we encamped near company”A” first US Dragoons which we had come to join. In a few days we were joined to that company making it members 126 men. Our horses were taken care of and we had no duty to perform for three weeks. Lieut Sylvester Mowry and Lieut. Chandler left us to join their own proper commands. The officers at this post were Lieut. Col.Benjamin Beall, Captain John W.J Gardiner, Lieut Thomas Castor and B Second Lieut. John Pegram: Captain Kirkham, quartermaster and Doctor Tenbrock surgeon.Here the were building a large military post and most of the men were on extra duty. John Barry was put in the guard house upon on arrival here for pointing his gun at Lieut. Mowry. At this place desertions began in earnest.I have known as many as half a dozen to take French leave in a single night. The boys all seemed to have taken the gold fever. Some of the deserters were recaptured but many of them we never saw again. Those captured were generally punished by an imprisonment of a few days in the guard house. Our colonel did not want any prisoners and was once on the point of burning the guard house down. Our captain dissuaded him from this step.

Santa Fe Captured

HEADLINE


The steamer Little Missouri arrived last night from the Missouri.  An express had arrived at Fort Leavenworth, bringing the gratifying news of the entrance of General Kearney into Santa Fe, without the firing of a gun, or any opposition from the Mexicans whatever.
It appears from our correspondent’s letter, that after leaving Fort Bent, most of the ammunition wagons of the artillery were forced to put in oxen instead of the other animals; that the oxen had also given out, and it was with great difficulty the oxen proceeded onward.  Several hundred horses and mules were left behind the army, unable to follow.

The Diary of an Officer of the Army of the West [1st Lt. Christian Kribben, Captain Fischer’s Company B, Major Clark’s Missouri Volunteer Light Artillery Battalion.]

THURSDAY, August 13 — Started at 12, M., Col. Doniphan’s regiment in sight as we left the camp.  We soon met the spy company, (Capt. Bent,) with. with his small party, had captured four Mexicans, well mounted and armed.  They summoned him and his party to surrender, but the Captain told them that he thought their safest plan was to surrender to him.  They prudently consented to do so.  They acknowledged themselves sent to ascertain who we were.  They were made prisoners.
One of the Mexicans who was taken day before yesterday, was disarmed and sent forward to his village, distant 24 miles, with letters and proclamations.  He promised to meet us to-morrow.  At 8 miles we came to the establishment of a Mr. Wells, an American.  He had an abundance of horses, mules and cattle.  With him was another American, who had been sent  from Santa Fe, by an american merchant of that place, to inform Gen. K. that the Mexicans were 10,000 strong, and had determined to meet us 15 miles this side of Santa Fe, at a deep ravine which they were fortifying.  He stated, as his opinion, that not more than 2,000 would be well armed; and also, that they had four pieces of cannon.
The Americans of Santa Fe and other towns, are very much alarmed for their safety.  The Mexicans tell them that if defeated, they will return to the towns and villages and take full vengeance on them.
As this news is communicated to us in a heavy rain, and we are encamping in the midst of it   No little excitement prevails in camp.  To retreat nine hundred miles is idle; (no one thinks of it,) and if they do meet us, as they have promised, we shall vindicate the character of the Saxon blood in death or victory.  Mark that! — Gen. Kearney is as cool as if walking to his office on a May morning to attend to his accustomed garrison duties, and all look to him as to a man who is to shed glory on the American name.  It is said here that Gov. Armijo is opposed to daylight, but is urged on by the rich men of the country; yet the latest accounts are that the rich are backward in lending their money.  But if ten thousand men are assembled, they must have furnished the means.  There is a Mr. Bondy living near this place.  He visited us and gave us a fat steer.  This is the first settlement we have met.  The place is called the ‘Moro”– Two beautiful mountain streams meet here, each of sufficient size for milling purposes.  The artillery came up at sundown.  At this place the road by the Simerone comes in.
FRIDAY, August 14. — Started at 7 o’clock; at four miles met four Mexicans sent by Gov. Armijo to Gen. K. with a letter.  They were dragoons, dressed in a roundabout and pants of light blue cloth similar to our own dragoons with a red stripe down the outer seam of the pants.  They all wore large Mexican hats; there was a Lieutenant, sergeant and two privates.  They made a very respectable appearance, but such soldiers cannot fight U. S. dragoons.  Their heavy horses and superior equipment will conquer them.  The four dragoons above spoken of, and those taken a day or two since, were set at large to-day.  The Colonel told them that he had come with a sufficient force to extend our laws over them.– That he came as their friend.  That he came to give protection alike to the poor man and the rich.  That, although he had the power to do as he pleased, still his orders were to treat all who remained at home in the peaceful pursuit of their business, as friends.  But that if found in arms against him, the vengeance of his government and army would be poured out upon them.  He told them that, not “an onion or a pepper would be taken from them without a full equivalent in cash; “that their persons, property and religion, would be respected.  That he would soon be in Santa Fe and that he hoped to meet Gov. Armijo and shake hands with him as a friend; but if that were denied him, he had a force sufficient to put down all opposition, and that he would certainly do it.  We are encamped at the Passes; at this place runs a small mountain stream, and near it a village containing, probably, 100 mud built houses.
There were three hundred mounted men here yesterday. They have all gone to Santa Fe, no doubt to join the main army, which is said to be 12,000 strong-2,000 well armed, four pieces of artillery (one six pounder taken from the Santa Fe prisoners). The other 10,000 are said to be armed with bows and arrows, slings and other weapons–the Mexican, dragoons report that Capt. Cook left Santa Fe with them, but as they got a change of horses, they outrode him. (The Captain had been sent from Bent’s Fort by Gen. Kearney with letters to Gov. Armijo)  He will be with us to-morrow. From white man who reside here, we learn, that the Governor exercises the most despotic way over the common people, aided by the priests. They say to such men as we have met, “go on such a road, ascertain where Cook and his men are, and return to me at such a time.” They furnish no means for the performance of the duty, and give no compensation. Yet no Mexican dare refuse, or fail to perform the duty. What a change will be effected  among these people when they are emancipated! If General Kearney succeeds  in this expedition without  inflicting any pain he will be the greatest man that has ever been in New Mexico.  There are extensive fields of corn near us cultivated by irrigation. After spring sets in there is no rain here till  August, when they have refreshing showers, and the grass begins to grow again. The rain of this season commenced about ten days since and grass is more abundant.  But for this, it would be impossible to take our animals to Santa Fe, probably not beyond this place. Gen. Kearney’s “good luck” still attends him. We have passed within the last two days, cattle and sheep enough to subsist the army all winter, and we have no fear of starving.
SATURDAY, Aug. 15.–Started at 7 A. M., and passed through the village.  The Col. was overtaken at this place my Major Swords from Fort Leavenworth, who brought him a commission as Brigadier General.
After having passed through the village the troops halted near it, while the Gen. addressed the Alcalde and people from the top of one of the houses.  He told them “that he came by order of the Government of the United States, to take possession of New Mexico, and to extend the laws of the United States over them.  That he had an ample force with him, and that another army would would soon join them.  that, in future, they were absolved from all allegiance to the Mexican government and Gov. Armijo, and must hold allegiance to the U. S. and to him as their Governor.  That for this allegiance, they would be protected by the U. S. Government from the Indians, (who are dreadful scourges to them,) and from all their enemies.  That he came to protect the poor man as well as the rich man.  That if they remained peaceably at home they would be considered good citizens, but if found fighting against him, they would be considered traitors and treated accordingly.”
He continued the Alcalde in his office, and told him to be governed by the laws of Mexico, for the present.
He stated to them that he had been well informed “that some of the priests had endeavored to make them believe that he was coming to destroy their religion and to inflict grievous wrongs upon them.”  This, he said, was false.  He told them that their persons, property and religion would not be interfered with.  Now, said he, under these circumstances, are you, “Mr. Alcalde, and you, two Captains of militia, willing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States.”  Two of them readily consented, but one of the Captains evaded the question.  The General demanded a categorical answer.  The Captain said, “yes,” but it was evident it was with a bad grace.  They then raised their hands and made the sigh of the cross with the thumb and finger, all present uncovering their heads, and the General in a solemn manner administered the following oath:  “You do swear to hold faithful allegiance to the United States, and to defend its government and laws against all its enemies, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” or words to the effect.  The General then said–“I will shake hands with them as good friends.”  When he came to the Captain, who did not seem to enter fully into the matter, he took him by the hand, and told the interpreter, “tell the man to look me in the eye.”  The General gave him one of his significant smiles, and with his keen eyes fixed firmly on him, seemed to say, “I know you are a rascal,”–(such, he no doubt was,)–but the others, I think, were honest.  He then told the people, (about two hundred,) I shake hands with our all, through your Alcalde, and hail you as good citizens of the United States; upon which they raised a general shout.  At this town are extensive fields of wheat and corn, cultivated by irrigation, from a beautiful creek.  the water is taken out on each side in canals, and spread over their fields.  It was a beautiful sight to see the clear mountain water rushing through these canals, and producing luxuriant field of corn and wheat, where rain so seldom falls.
Our camp was near these fields, and although sentinels were placed very near together, with strict orders to keep every animal out of them, yet some did get in, and some damage was done.  The General told the Alcalde that he had used every precaution to prevent “any interference with their crops,” yet “they had sustained some loss.”– He told him to examine the fields and ascertain what the damage was to each man, to send him a statement of it to Santa Fe, and that full compensation should be paid them.  they seemed delighted with this exemplification of equal justice–a thing not dreamed of in New Mexico, under the rule of Armijo.
News reached the General late last night, that we would have a fight to-day in one of the mountain gorges, and our movement has been in a strict military manner.  When passing through these narrow defiles, (where an enemy would be most formidable,) the word, “draw sabre,” was given, and we passed through at a fast trot.  But no enemy has been seen.  The infantry passed over the mountain to take them in rear.  We passed through several other villages, where the General assembled the inhabitants, and proceeded as with the first.  The two last appeared happy to be recognized as citizens of the United States, and were seen to embrace each other in token of their joy at the change of government.  At the last one, they brought forward their wives to receive the congratulations of the General.  (whose manner on such occasions is most happy,) and it was evident that his words had gladdened their hearts, for they smiled upon him in a manner which woman alone knows how to do.  We encamped at 4, P. M., in poor grass, having marched 17 miles.  Captain Cook met us to-day, from Santa Fe, and says Governor Armijo will meet us with an army.  He had been kindly treated while in Santa Fe, and smoked many a “segarrito” from the fair lips of the ladies.
The villages we have passed to-day are built of sun-burnt bricks.  The houses have flat roofs, covered with earth, and are dry and comfortable, from the absence of rain or moisture.  Each one has a church, and a grave yard, with high walls of sun-burnt brick.  There is more intelligence among them than I expected to find, and with a good government and protection from the Indians, they will become a happy people.
The Eutaws have recently stolen their stock and carried off several children.  Well may they hail this revolution as a blessing.  One of the Alcaldes to-day said, that God ruled the destinies of men, and that as we had come with a strong army among them to change their form of government, it must be right and he submitted cheerfully.  Major Swords and Lieutenant Gilman brought us the mail to the 19th July, and many a heart was made glad by tidings from wives, mothers, children, and dearly beloved ones.  There are plenty of cattle, sheep, and goats, in the country, and we shall fare well enough.
SUNDAY, August 16.–Started at the usual hour, and at seven miles came to the village of St. Miguel, built like the others, of sun burned brick, and with flat roofs.  After much delay, the Alcalde and Padre were found and presented to Gen. Kearney.  They received him politely, but it was evident they did not relish an interview with him.  this village contains a respectable church and about two or three hundred houses.  The General expressed a wish to ascend one of the houses, with the Priest and Alcalde, and to address the people of the town, informing them of the object of his mission.  After many evasions, delays, and useless speeches, the Padre made a speech, stating that “he was a Mexican, but should obey the laws that were placed over him for the time, but if the General should point all his cannon at his breast, he could not consent to go up there and address the people.”
The General very mildly told him, through the interpreter, Mr. Robideau, that he had not come to injure him, nor did he wish him to address the people.  He only wished him to go up there and hear him (the General) address them.  The Padre still fought shy, and commenced a long speech, which the General interrupted, and told him, he had no time  to listen to “useless remarks;” and repeated, that he only wanted him to go up and listen to his speech.  He consented.  The General made pretty much the same remarks to the Alcalde and people, that he had made to the people of the other villages.  He assured them that he had an ample force and would have possession of the country against all opposition, but gave them assurances of the friendship and protection of the United States,  He stated to them that this had never been given then by the government of Mexico; but that the United States were able and would certainly protect them, not only in their persons, property and religion, but against the cruel invasions of the Indians.  That they saw but a small part of the force that was at his disposal.  Many more troops were near him on another road, (some of which he showed them a mile or two distant.) and that another army would, probably, be through their village in three weeks.  After this, he said, Mr. Alcalde, are you willing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States.”  He replied that “he would prefer waiting till the General had taken possession of the capital.”  The General told him, :it was sufficient for him to know that he had possession of his village.”  He then consented, and with the usual formalities, he said, “You swear that you will hear true allegiance to the government of the United States of America?”  The Alcalde said, “Provided I can be protected in my religion.”  The General said, “I swear you shall be.”  He then continued,
and that you will defend her against all her enemies and opposes, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost? –Amen.”
The General then said, “I continue you as the Alcalde of this village; and require you , the inhabitants of this village, to obey him as such.  Your laws will be continued for the present, but as soon as I have time to examine them, if any change can be made that will be for your benefit, it shall be done.”  After shaking hands with them he left.  The Padre then invited him to his house, and gave him and his staff refreshments; and after sundry hugs, jokes, and professions of friendship, with an expression from the General, that “the better they became acquainted, the better friends they would be,” and an invitation to the Padre to visit him at Santa Fe, (which he promised) we left the village.  The Padre was evidently the ruling spirit of the village, and the Alcalde was under great restraint by his presence.  The visit to the priest, and the frank and friendly manner of the General, had the desired effect, and I believe they parted the best of friends, and have no doubt that the inhabitants of St. Miguel will soon be as good democrats as can be found in Missouri.
The Alcalde informed the General that 400 men left the village to join the Mexican army, but that 200 had returned home.
Soon after leaving this village, an express arrived from Santa Fe, informing the General that a large force would oppose his march 15 miles from the place, in a deep ravine.  It was headed by an individual known as Salazar; that Gen. Armijo refused to command them, and said he would defend the town.  The same information was soon after brought by Puebla Indians, who said there was a large force of their people among the Mexicans, armed with bows and arrows; that their people had been forced into the service, and that their chiefs would not permit them to take their guns.
As it is not more than two days march to Santa Fe, if we have a fight it will probably be to-morrow.  Marched 17 miles.
MONDAY, Aug. 17.– Started at the usual time.  Our picket guard took a prisoner, the son of the noted Salazar, well remembered by the Texan prisoners for his cruelties to them.  He stated that the Mexican army had left the cannon and gone home.  The General told him he would keep him a prisoner, and if he found that he had told him falsely he would hang him.  We soon met others from Santa Fe, who congratulated the General on his arrival in the country, and their deliverance from the tyrannical rule of Armijo.
They further said, that Armijo had taken one hundred dragoons and his cannon, and gone this morning towards Chihuahua.  We passed to day the ruins of the ancient town of Pecos.  I visited it with some Mexicans and an interpreter, who gave me a full account of it.  It was said to have been built long before the conquest.– It stands on an eminence.  The dwellings were built of small stones and mud; some of the buildings are still so far perfect as to show three full stories.  There were four rooms under ground, fifteen feet deep, and twenty-five feet across in a circular form.  In one of these rooms burned the “holy fire” which was kindled many centuries before the conquest; and when the Pecos Indians were converted to the Catholic faith, they still continued their own religious rites, and among them the “sacred fire,” which never ceased to burn till seven years since, when the village was broken up.  The population is probably one thousand.  the church is large, and although in ruins, was evidently a fine building.  It was built after the conquest.  The eastern roof of the main building is still good — it is filled with birds.  As we came in front of it the Mexicans took off their hats, and on entering the building did the dame.  The General learned to-day that Salazar had been in command at the cannon, and that he had passed around us and gone to St. Miguel, the town we passed yesterday.  the General sent him word that he had his son a prisoner, and would treat him well, if the father remained peaceable, but if he took up arms, or excited the people to resistance, he would hang him.
We encamped at 3 P.M. on the Pecos Creek, in excellent grass, where was a beautiful farm, well watered–distance to-day fifteen and three quarter miles.
An abundance of vegetables have been brought into camp this evening, and we have not fared better since we left Missouri.  Bread, coffee, and bacon are excellent articles of food, when accompanied with other little “fixings,” which ladies only can provide us with, but of themselves, after a few weeks, campaigners become a little tired.
An American gentleman has just arrived in camp from Santa Fe; he left at 12 M. to-day, and says that after the Governor’s abdication, the Alcaldes held a meeting and gravely discussed the propriety of tearing down the churches, to prevent their being converted into barracks, and that the American citizens interfered and assured them that they had nothing to fear on that subject, and thereby saved the churches.  A lady also sent for him this morning, and asked him if he did not think it advisable for her to leave the town, with her daughters, to save them from dishonor.  He advised her by all means to remain at home, and assured her that she and her daughters were in no danger from the approach of the army.
Most of the respectable people of the town have left, and many country people are going to town for protection.
TUESDAY, August 18th.–Started as usual, and at six miles came to the cannon, where the Mexican army had been assembled.  There had been 3,000 troops there, but it seems that the nearer we approached that the fewer they became, and when we passed through they had all gone.  The position they chose was near the lower end, and it was one of great strength.  the passage was not more than forty feet wide — in front, they had made an obstruction with timber, and beyond this at 300 yards distance, was an eminence in the road, on which their cannon had been placed; and it was thought by us, that their position was equal to 5,000 men.  We reached the hill which overlooks Santa Fe, at 5 P. M.  Major Clark’s artillery was put into line, and the mounted troops and infantry were marched through the town to the Palace, (as it is called,) on the public square, where the General and his staff dismounted, and were received by the acting Governor and other dignitaries, and conducted into a large room.  The General stated, in a few words, the object of his visit, and gave assurances of safety and protection to all unoffending citizens.  while this transpired, the stars and stripes were hoisted on the staff which is attached to the Palace, by Major Swords; and as soon as it was seen to wave above the buildings, it was hailed by a national salute from the batteries of Captains Fischer and Weightman, under the command of Major Clark.  While the Genral was proclaiming the conquest of New Mexico, as a part of the United States, the first gun was heard: “There,” said he, “my guns proclaim that the flag of the U. S. floats over this capital.”  The people appeared satisfied.  The General slept in the palace, (we democrats must call it the Governor’s house).  One company of dragoons was kept in the city as a guard, and the business of the day was ended.
Thus, in the short space of fifty days, has an army been marched nearly 900 miles, over a desert country, and conquered a province of 80,000 souls, without firing a gun–a success which may be attributed mainly to the skill and ability with which Gen. Kearney has managed this arduous and delicate business.  In explaining his object in coming into the country, and the kindness he felt for the inhabitants, he was mild and courteous; but then, (would add,) I claim the whole of New Mexico for the United States.  I put my hand on it from this moment, (bringing his hand firmly down on his thigh,) and demand obedience to its laws.
WEDNESDAY, August 19.–The general addressed the whole people to day more at length than he had  on other occasions, and took particular care to give them the most positive assurances of protection in their person, property, and religion.  Many families had fled on his approach, and he told their friends to bring them back, and to day to them that they would be more safe under his administration than they had ever been.  He stated, that in taking possession of New Mexico, he claimed the whole of it for the United States, without reference to the Rio Grande.  He absolved them from their allegiance to Mexico and Gov. Armijo, and proclaimed himself governor of New Mexico, and claimed them as citizens of the United States.
The acting Governor and Alcaldes then took the oath of allegiance to the United States, and the people, with a simultaneous shout, exclaimed, “Vive la General.“–The acting governor then addressed the people as follows;–
“John Baptist, Vigil and Alcalde, political and military Governor pro tem, of the department of New Mexico, to the inhabitants of Santa Fe, the capital thereof, greeting:  It having been out of my power, by all the exertions that I could put in practice, to calm the fears impressed on the inhabitants by the desertion of Gen Don Manuel Armijo and his soldiers, and what was most frightful, he having made them conceive, on the approach of the military forces of the government of the United States of North America to the capital, that said forces were composed of cruel and sanguinary savages, and for which many families have left their homes, to hide themselves in the desert–believing that no security, no protection of their lives or property was to be expected from the commander of said forces; and in order to appease these fears I thought it convenient and necessary to order ot be set up in the most public places, the proclamation of the chief of said forces, of which the following is its tenor.”  He then read the proclamation which Gen. K. had sent among the Mexicans in advance.
THURSDAY, Aug. 20, and FRIDAY, 21st.–The General sits in his room, and is constantly receiving visits from the officers of ex-Governor Armijo and others, who fled on his approach.  To all who remain quiet and peaceable he promises protection.  Many of then come into his presence very much disquieted, but he has the happy faculty of calming all their fears, and he is winning laurels among them daily.  Ex-Gov.Armijo has certainly fled.  The cannon he took from the place have been re-taken by Capt. Fischer, and will be here soon.  The gun taken from the Texan prisoners was left in a mountain, carriage destroyed; the gun, a brass six pounder, has been recovered.
SATURDAY, Aug. 22.–The General is still receiving visits and attending to matters and things which are referred to him.  Capt. Waldo, of the volunteers, is translating the few written laws which can be found.
SUNDAY, August 23.–The General and his staff, and some other officers, went to church to-day.  There are no seats in the church, except one for the governor, and a bench on which his subs sit.  Gen. K. occupied the former, and we the latter.  The rich and the ragged kneel, or sit on the floor, as best they can.  When the Priests were ready, the service commenced with a piece of music not unlike what I have heard at the theatre, and pretty well played.  This continued with different pieces of music till the ceremony was over.  After which, they escorted the General to his quarters with music.
There is evidently a large proportion of very Ignorant people here; and many of them seem to think, judging from their deportment, that they have no righs, and are bound to obey their superiors.  When our laws and institutions are established here, the resources of the country will be developed, and these people will become prosperous and happy.”
In addition to what is stated in the Diary, we have a letter from our regular correspondent, which we cannot find room for to day.  It bears date one day later — the 24th of August — and gives somewhat later news.  This part of the letter we copy:
“On to-morrow a body of troops will march towards Albuquerke, to take possession of that district.  It is supposed that a detachment of the army will also soon be sent to California.  The artillery, under Major Clark, is erecting fortifications in front of the town. The two companies under his command, commanded by Captains Fischer and Weightman, it is generally supposed, will be stationed here, supported by some other forces; Major Clark commanding the garrison.  These are the current reports, generally credited, although Gen. Kearney can hardly know for certain how the appearances of things may change, and what steps may become necessary to ensure a permanent tranquility in the province.
In conclusion, let me say that we have not lost any men in the artillery, nor have we any sick at the present time–that we are all as contented as we can possibly be, and burning with impatience to hear from our friends in St. Louis, and our brother soldiers in the south.”

[From the St. Louis Republican, Sept. 25]

We published yesterday, exclusively, a very minute account of General Kearney’s march to Santa Fe, of his entrance into that capital of New Mexico, and of his taking possession, on behalf of the United States, of the entire department.
It would seem that General Armijo had actually 4,000 men at his command, but very badly armed; and that on the 16th they left for the place appointed as the battle ground.  When he got there, however, a council of his officers was called, and, “much to his satisfaction,” they refused to fight.  His second in Command, Colonel Archuletti, was exceeding valorous up to a late date, but very suddenly changed his entire views of the necessity of the quarrel.  Very soon after this determination, Gov Armijo turned his head towards Chihuahua, followed by a few dragoons.
It was supposed that General Kearney would nominate a Mexican for the office of Governor of the department, and appoint an American as Secretary.  All those in office, who were thought to be trustworthy, would, in all probability, be continued in their places.
Gen. Kearney, it was supposed, would leave a force of 2,000 men in Santa Fe, and march, in a short time, to California with a like number.
The traders who were overtaken by Gen. Kearney’s force, were close at hand, but it was believed that they would not be able to make sales of their goods in Mexico.  They would be compelled to make their way slowly down the Del Norte, awaiting the result of Gen. Wool’s movement against Chihuahua.
Lieut. C. Kribben, of the Artillery, had been appointed Judge Advocate, and was acting in that capacity in a Court Martial which had been some days in session.
CIVILIZATION IN SANTA FE.– A gentlemen attached to General Kearney’s expedition says, in a letter from Santa Fe to a brother in St. Louis…”This is the most miserable country I have ever seen.  The hovels the people live in are built of mud, one story high, and have no flooring.  They sleep on the ground, and have neither beds, tables, nor chairs.  In fact they burrow in the ground like prairie dogs.  We entered the city on the 18th of August, and took possession without firing a gun.”
(graphics courtesy United States Army Corps of Engineers. )

Bill Collecting and Other Gossip 1848

Trooper Philip Welsh has run up a sizable bill with the post sutler and the merchant asked Welsh’s company commander Captain Burgwin to extract payment. Unfortunately, the commanding officer died in battle at Taos. The sutler has requested that Lt. John Love find out whether the soldier paid the bill. Philip Welsh stayed in the army after the Mexican War and was found serving Company F at Cantonment Burgwin in 1855. While serving there he has lost his horse pistol and is being assessed $13.00 by the government for the weapon. “You’ll never get rich. You son of a bitch. You are in the Army now.”

Fort Scott MO

April 18, 1848

Lieut John Love

U S Army

Most Worthy old friend:

It is necessary for us to call on some friend to serve us, and as our acquaintance with you gives us claim on you, we respectfully ask this favor of you to learn from Philip Welch in some way if you can, if he ever paid a note to us for $66.28 dated about the 20th March 1844.  Which note was given to Capt. Burgwin the same year some time to collect.  He was so kind as to receive it and said it should be paid, to enable him to collect it he regulated his trade with Mr. Rice to $3.00 Per Month.  We are of the opinion that the Captain collected the amount and hope you can learn from Welch if he has or has not paid the amount &c.  Soldiers like he may plead payment had you not first said you have the note and want him to pay it and in this way he will say what has been done or what amount he has paid.  You will please do the best your can and write us so we can send a copy of your letter to his Capt. Burgwin’s Father.  Private Charles Lynch, late of Company A 1st Dragoons deserted from this post under the command of Capt Burbank and gave himself up at Fort Leavenworth and was not tried for desertion and afterwards sent to Santa Fee.  We certified it for Lieut Wallace on the Council of Administration.  This account was all created before and previous to his desertion which was the 7th May 1847, owing us Ninety Six dollar and Thirty Seven cents, ($96.37) and forwarded to Col. Wharton, and the Col. cannot Say but that he has forwarded it to Santa Fe &c.  This is a tricky man, if you do not know him, please collect it for us.  William Bushnell of the same company left here owing us Fifteen dollars ($15.00) and has, we learn, also gone to Santa Fee.  He is a good man and believe he will pay if he has not already done so—”you will certainly serve us much by giving us your kind ade [sic, aid] and assistance in these bothersome matters.  We shall enclose this letter to Col. C. Wharton and call his attention of the certificate.  Whether he has in his recollection or not forwarded to Santa Fee.  For this and all of your kindness we shall ever be thankful, and should you be able to give the wanted information as in the case of Welch please [indecipherable].

And if you should be able to make the collection, pay yourself and send us the balance to us in some shape through Col. Wharton.  We have but little news in the States to give at this date.  The county is quiet save the difficulties with Mexico, and all are on the look out for the ratification of the treaty by the Mexican congress—”the rupture or revolution is France may result [indecipherable] to the Old World, should it, it will be a very good thing for the United States.   The health of our county is generally good.  Col. Douglass your old friend is very well, and family, he has a fine daughter.  She commands much attention.  Your colt he aimed to race for you is Dead—”The loss of our mutual friends by the Mexican War is very great.  So many valuable lives lost—”our county is clad in Mourning—”You must meet with many Privations in Mexico.  You must be loansum [sic] news very old before you get it out to you—”Dr. W. Wammon is at this Post with his family.  He has two fine Daughters.  Mr. Bugg is absent to St. Louis with Lieut Wallace, our H. T. Wilson is married and flourishing at Scott.  He was married on the 28th of last September to a plane [sic] country Girl and if you were in the States, you should marry, and pleasant life to live, a step every good man should take.  We do not know who you may have about you that we knew, but would be pleased to be kindly remembered to youself, Capt. Grear and all of our acquaintans [sic] with you.

We have the honor to be your very

Sincere and obt Servts

Respectfully

Wilson & Bugg

Inspection Report and Muster Roll, Ft. Tejon 28 February 1859

Joseph Mansfield’s Inspection Report of Fort Tejon

Los Angeles, California

5 March 1859

Bvt. Major Irwin W. McDowell,

Asst. Adjt. Genl. – Head Quarters Army

Sir:

On the 18th February ulto., I left San Francisco, in the Overland mail coach, for Fort Tejon,  and reached there at daybreak of the 21st ulto. , and have now the honor to report to the General – in –Chief the result of my inspection of that post as follows.

Fort Tejon, from 21 Feb. to 3rd March:  The establishment of a Military post at the Tejon reservation,  so-called, was designated in 1854, at the time I made an inspection of this Department;  and General  Wool, then in command of the Department, desired me in connection with the Indian agent at that time E.F. Beale, an Assistant Quarter Master Captain Gordon, to select a suitable site for the same and we fixed on a site some 20 miles from this post, in the Valley near the Indian reservation; which was deemed a strategic, as well as a pleasant, and comfortable, and suitable, place.  At that time I could see no valid objection to it, and I have since my arrival at Tejon, visited again, and am of the same opinion still, and I believe it a much more suitable position than the present site.  The road through the canyon is better and nearer to Los Angeles.  Why it was not adopted as originally selected, I cannot say.

This post is situated in the Paso de Las Uvas, in latitude 34 -54’-40” and longitude 118-54’-01”, about six miles from the outlet into the Tulare or San Joaquin Valley, and about 2500 feet in vertical altitude above that Valley; and in consequence, is a cold, and damp, and unpleasant climate through the whole fall, winter and spring; and on the 1st and 2nd of this month, the ground was white with snow and ice, while in the reservation, the peach trees are in bloom and peas up.

There is no garden here, and no grazing of consequence for animals short of five miles.  There is, however, a good spring of water, and abundant oak for fuel.  It is particularly exposed to earthquakes , and every building is cracked by them; and on one occasion the gabled ends of two buildings were thrown down by earthquakes: in a few miles off, I saw an immense crack and crevice in the earth extending for many miles, caused recently by them.  Since the 1st November 1856 to the close of January 1st there have been many shocks.  In November 1856 three, –  in 1857  there were in January three severe shocks on the 8th, 20th, and 29th and many light every day from the 9th to the close of the month.   – February many shocks through the month, the hardest on the 10th, 11th and 28th. – March  27 shocks and one very severe on the 3rd. – April 22 shocks and one very severe on the 23rd. –  May 7th shocks very severe on the 15th, 19th, 20th and 26th. – June 11 shocks, one very severe on the 12th, and severe on the 2nd, 10th and 11th – July 18 shocks eight very severe. – August 12 shocks, two very severe on the 9th and 20th, two severe and eight slight.  – September1 heavy on the 22nd and slight. – September 1 heavy on the 22nd and 5 slight. – October 6 shocks, two of them heavy. – November 11 shocks, two heavy on the 20th and 30th and nine light. – December 5 shocks, one heavy on the 12th, and one extremely heavy on the 23rd.  In 1858, there were in January, three shocks, one severe on the 17th and slight on the 21st and 26th. – February 2 shocks, one heavy on the 2nd and one slight on the 8th. – March 4 shocks,  one heavy, on the 29th , and two slight on the 27th, and one on the 28th. – April 3 shocks, two heavy on the 3rd and six and one slight on the 5th. – May 3 shocks, one heavy, on the 19th, and two slight on the 20th and 27th and one on the 2nd. – June 2 shocks, one extremely heavy on the 15th, and one slight on the 14th. – July 2 shocks, one very heavy on the 21st. – August 3 shocks, two heavy on the 13th and one slight on the 8th. – September 4 shocks. – October 1 on the 6th. – November none. – December 1 tremendous one on the 19t. In 1859 in January one shock on the 22nd. – February, one shock on the 12th.  Thus showing the earthquakes to be continuous.  One person has been killed by the fall of an adobe building, and a cow has been swallowed up.

Th order e post is 374 miles from San Francisco, and 100 miles from Los Angeles, and all of its supplies are received through that place having first been landed at San Pedro, and transported 25 miles by land.  Thus 382 miles from Fort Yuma via Los Angeles, Temecula and Cariso Creek.

I think its site is unfortunately selected.  It should have been either north of this Canon de Las Uvas.  Yet it has ample drill grounds, and there has been much expenditure here in the construction of quarters that it seems now too late to change the location.

Quarters of the Troops &c

The plan hereunto appended, shows 5 buildings for offices; two for soldiers of the two Companies; one for Adjutant’s Office and Band; one for Hospital and Commissary; two for Quartermaster’s Offices, stores, and workshops;  and two supernumary buildings unfinished, all of adobe and shingled and ample.  In addition, two wooden buildings for guard and prison; four for stables, granary &c and a suttler store.  There seems to be no necessity for any more buildings for the present. If new stables be built on the spot indicated they should be frame buildings.

1st Regt. Dragoons and Command.

This is the headquarters of the 1sr Dragoons, and the regiment as well as the post,  inas been since the 21st of January, under the command of Lt. Col. B. L. Beall, who was absent temporarily at Los Angeles on my arrival in the morning of the 21st ulto. And did not return until the evening of the 23d. 1st Liet C. W. Ogle is adjutant of the regiment, as 1st Lieut. M.B. Davidson the Regimental Quaretrmaster, as well as Quartermaster and Commissary of the Post. Thw Sergeant Major of the Regiment is absent on furlough since 1st Dec. 1858. The Regimental Band is made up of 10 musicians of which one was in confinement, on on furlough and 3 sich.

Col. T.T. Fauntleroy absent on sick lave since the 21st October 1857, and extended to 1st May, next. Major Steen absent sick since the 17th May 1858. Major G.A. H. Blake on leave since the 17 January 1859 for 60 days. Capt. L, B. Northrup absent from the Regiment sick since 6th October 1839, over 19 years, and as I understand practicing physic in Charleston, S. Ca. and I wish to call attention of the General-in-Chief particularly to this matter: it is an injustice to the Army however pleasant it may be to Capt. Norhrop. There is provision made for the discharge, an pension to disabled soldiers; and a like provision should be made for a disabled officer. 2d Lieut G. F. Evans has been sick since the 30th October 1850, over eight years. Capt. T. W. Whittlesey absent sick since 21st August 1856,over 2 ½ years. – A retired list is indispensible, in order that there may be efficiency in the service, and those who perform the duty have the benefit of protection,

The Sergeant Major is the Clerk in the Adjutant’s Office, and the Regimental Books are neatly and well kept; and he is an efficient officer. Lieut Ogle is the recruiting officer, and has on hand 73 dolls on this account. He is also the Treasurer of the Regiment and has in his hands a Regimental fund of 353.97 dolls. The Regiment has also quite a Library of Books boxed up, not yet opened. The Companies of the Regiment are distributed as follows: K & B at this post; A & F at Fort Crook; C.E.I. H at Walla Walla; and D & G at Fort Buchanan. Lieut Col B. L. Beall altho’ in command of this Regt. and of this post, likewise has not recovered fromhis hurts, and is not in my opinion able to take the field, but can command here, at headquarters of the Regiment.

Strength of Command

In addition to the foregoing officers there are here on duty, Assist Surgeon P.G..S. TenBroeck since the 2d of January 1855, and he has been in the department since May 1854; and is an efficient officer, but has had the misfortune since my arrival here to dislocate his right shoulder by turning over his carriage down a precipice of the Canon. An ordnance sergeant who has been absent since the 24 January 1859.

The post ordnance was in a state of good preservation. It is mostly stored on the left over the Company store[room?]. There were two 12 lb mountain howitzers in serviceable order, with 17 fixed shells, 24 spherical case, 136 blank cartridges, 600 friction matches and 11 slow matches therefore.  Also 3000 blank revolver and 4000 blank musket cartridges; 4400 Musketoon and 2000 rifle and 15000 Sharps carbine and 3000 horse pistol and 1500 revolver ball cartridges. 26500 Sharps primers.

Capt. and Bvt. Major J. H. Carleton, Company K, 1st Dragoons, stationed here since 7 July 1858; 1st Lieut D. H. Hastings absent on sick leave at Carlisle, Penn, since the 12rh April last; 2d Liet A. B. Chapman on detached service to Los Angeles since the 16th February, and returned to the post again on the 28th.  A vacancy has occurred which will promote Lieut Chapman out of this company, and then it will be without a Lieutenant, as there is no prospect of Lieut Hastings return to the Company, a brevet 2d Lieut. should be attached to this Company, without delay, in order that 3 0officers to meet the demands of the service against Indians on the Mohave, and elsewhere. When I inspected this Company at Fort Union in 1q853, it was, as it will be soon, without subalterns; 4 sergeants, 2 corporals, 2 musicians, 1 farrier and 46 privates, of which 1 sick, 5 confined, 20 on extra duty. 52 horses.

This company is armed with the sabre, Sharps carbine, Colts belt pistol. In was in uniform except the cap of the old pattern, and was neat on inspection, and the arms in order, and the men appeared well. There was a deficiency of clothing of all kinds at the post; they were in want of drawers, socks, boots, shoes, caps, stable frocks, and the blue blouse. The horses were tolerable, and the horse equipments, generally worn out. There was a deficiency of horse shoes, except a few at the post of a large size suitable for Pennsylvania wagon horses. The Company is well quartered in a good adoby building shingled, with a good mess room. It had a library, and a very excellent set of mess furniture of Britannia ware; and a large company fund of 1177.79 doll. in cash. The Company ordnance and property is in a good state of preservation. Pertaining to this company are 85 Sharps carbines, 60 Colts belt pistols, 85 sabres, 5900 Sharps ball cartridges, 2400 Colts pistol ball cartridges, 2206 large caps, 1470 small caps, 4500 Sharps caps               . It had no valises, and but 12 serviceable canteens. The books are properly kept, and written up. There were 6 desertions in 1856—6 in 1857—16 in 1858. One laundress. It has an excellent orderly sergeant, and is in good discipline, was were commanded by Major Carleton, who has done much, and has a large amount of useful property for the men. At the time he took the Company of Col. Cooke in 1848, there was no Company fund, and now is probably the richest in the service. The Company bake their own bread, and as there is no garden here, consume all the flour.

I condemned to be dropped of this Company a large number of saddles, bridles, halters, camp equipage,                   . Those that might be of service in the Quartermasters Department I ordered turn in           , without receipt therefore.

Company B, 1st Dragoons, Capt. J.W. Davidson stationed here since July 1858; no 1st Lieutenant; 2d Lieut G. Davis.—4 serhgeants, 4 corporals, no musicians, 1 farrier, 48 privates of which 3 sick, 7 confined, 16 in extraa duty. –57 horses.

This Company is armed with the [M1833] sabre, Sharps carbine, Colts belt pistol. It was in uniform except for the cap of the old pattern. No sword knots—was neat on inspection, and appeared with arms in order. There was a deficiency of clothing of all kinds as stated for Company K—some had no stocks on. The Company is quartered in a good adoby building, shingled; but the mess, room and kitchen, not yet worked in; yet designed to match that of Company K; and a temporary one in use. There were no bunks yet made.

The Company ordnance and property were stored. At date there was no long forage on hand, and for the last 7 months they have had but half long forage; and the horses are daily herded on the scanty grass in the neighborhood within 8 miles. Pertaining to this there were 61 Sharps carbines, 1 Rifle, 57 Colts pistols, 85 sabres, 2570 Carbine ball cartridges, 3000 Sharps primers all serviceable.

I condemned to be turned in to the Arsenel at Benecia 6 Carbines and 2 Colts pistols and to be dropped a large number of saddles, bridles, valises       , and such saddles and bridles as might be of service to the Quartermaster’s department; ordered to be turned in to that Department, without receipt therefrom.

Stables and Forage

The horses of both companies were kept in temporary stables as indicated on the plan of fort Tejon hereunto appended. At date there was no long forage on hand, and for the last 7 months they have had but half long forage; and the horses are daily herded on the scanty grass in the neighborhood within 8 miles. Barley is had in abundance. If this post had been placed as originally selected, the horses could graze the whole winter in the Tulare Valley. Attached to the stables is a small granary and saddle horses and a smith’s shop. New stables of adobies have been commenced near the soldiers’ quarters; but suspended in consequence of the discharge of the civilian employees. These stables should not be erected of adobes. They should be frame buildings to resist the shocks of earthquakes; otherwise the roof might fall in and kill the horses. [I shall?] notify the General Commanding this Department accordingly.

Guard

The guard here is six strong and one non-commissioned officer. One sentinel is placed at the stables, and one at the guard house, which is a small wooden building. There is also a small wooden building along side of it to match, for a prison house in which there are 3 cells. There were 10 prisoners—7 undergoing sentences—3 waiting sentence—one minor offence. A new guard house has been mostly built of abodies as indicated on the plan, but not quite finished. It is my judgment too far off, but the work on it has been suspended. The present guard house I think preferable of the two.

Adjutant’s Office, Post Records, Band

The adjutant’s office is a good adoby building, shingled, and the records neatly kept by the Sergeant Major under Lieut. Ogle, the Adjutant of the post. The Band is quartered in the same building with a suitable kitchen and “      room.” The instruments and ordnance of the Band is in good order and state of preservation. Pertaining to the Band there are 21 Sharps carbines, 16 musketoons, ten Colts pistols, 8 holster pistols, 17 artillery sabres.

Asst. Surgeon Ten Broeck is the post Treasurer and has in his hands 15.25 dolls.

Temporarily attached to this post private Egene Lohn waiting opportunity to join his company at Fort Buchanan and private John A. Fulmer waiting result of trial.

Hospital

At the time of my arrival at this post Assist. Surgeon Ten Broeck was absent temporarily with Lt. Co. Beall in Los Angeles, since the 16th Feb, and returned on the evening of the 23rd, and I went thru the hospital a second time with him. There were but two sick in the hospital, one a recruit subject to fits and unable to do duty. There was a temporary Steward and one cook and attendant–A dispensary and a ward room, with several vacant rooms, and ample for the post.—No iron bedsteads—Supplies ample and nothing wanted—The records are well-kept—The building the north east and of a large aboby building shingled. The south west end being occupied by the Commissary. I regard this post as healthy.

Commissary Department

1st Lieut. H. B. Davidson of the 1st Dragoons has been acting commissary of subsistence since the 1st January 1859. His supplies are received from San Francisco, and ample and good for six months on hand, and were stored in a good adoby building shingled. This office is in the same building, and the sergeant major of the Regiment is his acting clerk, and one extra duty man as butcher              .  His beef cattle are selected at 30 dolls. No head to weight less than 400 pounds, and he pays 6 dolls. the head for mutton. His accounts and records are all properly kept. He was absent in Los Angeles on duty on my arrival, but returned on the 24th Feb. His returns for January are all ready to be forwarded and his accounts show a balance due to the U.S. on the 30th Jan. of 977.18 dolls; and expended since 233.69 dolls. and due the U.S. at date 745.49 dolls., which is in cash. The duty appears to be well performed. I condemned small articles of property to be dropped.

Quartermaster Department

1st Lieut. Davidson is also acting assistant quartermaster since the 1st January 1859.  The supplies of the Department seem to be ample, except in the items of clothing, horseshoes, and long forage.  Barley is had at 4-l/2 to 5 ½ the lb, and corn at 4 cents the lb. Hay at 40 dolls. the ton, when it is practicable to obtain it at all. Wood is cut by prisoners, and details, close at hand. The supplies generally come via Los Angeles. The sergeant major of the Regiment is his clerk, and 14 extra duty men at repairs.

One citizen putting up a power sawmill @ 100 dolls. and a ration, and one herder @ 60 dolls. and a ration. The saw mill has recently been brought down from the mountains, and is now being put up at the post, and the logs must be hauled to it, a good arrangement. He keeps 17 horses, 46 mules, 6 oxen, and has on his return 37 wagons, 2 ambulances, one mule cart. I condemned to be sold 16 irreparable wagons, and a large quantity of old harness tools that were worn out.

The monthly return for January has been forwarded. At the close of January there was due the U.S. 152.11 dolls. received since 10,000 dolls.; and expended since 1763.27 dolls.; leaving a balance due the U.S., on the 24th February, of 8389,34 dolls.; of which, there is the Department of Treasury at San Francisco 5859.13 dolls. , and 2530 dolls. in cash in a safe. The duties are well performed by Lieut. Davidson.

Payment of Troops

This post was last paid by Paymaster Ringgold to the 31st December 1858. They are generally paid from 2 to 4 months at a time. The paymaster has been here personally but 4 times in 2 years. The sutler sometimes pays for him. I regard this as a bad practice. Private Samuel S. Chaffee, a discharged soldier of K Company, has been waiting at San Bernanrdino for 6 months for his pay; and discharged soldiers have been payed off in San Francisco in consequence of no money here; all the result of public money for private purposes by a paymaster as I have never before reported.

Drills and Target Practice

On the 22d ulto Companies K & B were reviewed and inspected.  After which they were resolved into a squadron. I put Maj. Carlegton in command, in the absence of Lt. Cio. Beall at Los Angeles; and the following named officers to wit, Capt. J. W. Davidson, 1st Lieut. C. U. Ogle, 2d Lieut. B.F. Davis, each in succession took the squadron through the various movements and the sabre exercise with the exception of the charge, which, with little practice they had it was deemed advisable not to attempt, and finally Major Carleton drilled the squadron as skirmishers both as mounted and dismounted. The squadron was broken up, and each company fired at the targets 6’ x 22” mounted, with Sharps carbine at 100 yards, and Company K made X 1/3 hits and Company B 8 1/9 hits. They then fired at the same target 20 yards with Colts pistols and mounted, and Company K made X ½ hits and Company B 8 1/3 hits, and the exercises of the day were quite interesting. On the 23rd both Companies fired at the same target with Sharps carbines, on foot, at 100 yards; Company K made X ½ hits; at 200 yards x ½ hits; with Colts pistols at 30 yds. 2 ½ hits. Company B at the same distances made X ½ and x ½ and x 1/3 hits. The men fired at will. The reason that Company K made only 12 hits at 200 yds. Was in consequence of some of the cartridges of that Company not being made with sufficient powder for Sharps rifles, and not cutting off [in the breech]; some of them hung fire. It appears that one box of cartridges, sent by Capt. Callender of Ordnance from Benecia for Sharps carbine were small at the sacrifice of            in the use of fire arms, and, I shall write him accordingly to guard against experiments in an arm already          for certain ranges.

On the whole the military exercises were conducted by Major Carleton, and indicate a better state of military instruction and target firing in our service can be had if the rank and fire are properly instructed. These Companies have been practicing at the targets prepatory to taking the field on the Mojave River, and Major Carleton on the day of my arrival, paid three premiums out of company fund for the 3 best shots.

Sutler

Geo. Alexander is the sutler and is established as marked down on the plan of the post.

Indians

I visited the Agency on the reservation 20 miles from here, in the Tulare Valley, on the 28ulto and 1 March. There are about 1,000 Indians on the reserve, and about ten “Rancherias”. They have made some progress in civilization since I was here in 1854, but have lessoned in numbers. There are now many of them who live in permanent houses nof adobies, with chimineys;-plant a few acres of land—raise most kinds of vegetables—keep fowls, hogs, cattle, horse and will soon have peaches and other fruit. The wild grape grows abundantly.

The Agent, James Vineyard, was absent in Washington City. His wife and family were here, and I noticed some Indian squaws who used the needle and thread very well, and dressed as other women. There is no danger of these Indians making war on the white people, and I regard them as perfectly peaceable and well disposed. There are no wild Indians here.

I am Very Respectfully,

Your obt. St.

Jos. K. F. Mansfield

Col. And Inspector Gen’l

U.S.A.

Fort Tejon Muster Roll complied by George Stammerjohan

Muster Roll for Headquarters, Non-Commissioned Staff and Band,

Regimental Headquarters, 28 February, 1859

Colonel Thomas F. Fauntleroy           On leave for 6 Months

Lieut. Colonel Benjamin L. Beall     Comdg. Regt. & Post, Fort Tejon

Major George A. H. Blake                On Leave since January 17, 1859

Major Enoch Steen                           Absent sick since May 17, 1858

1st Lt. Charles H. Ogle                     Regt. Adjutant, Fort Tejon

1st Lt. Henry B. Davidson               Regt. Quartermaster, Fort Tejon

Headquarters Non-Commissioned Staff Enlisted                    At:

Sergt. Major Damuel R. I Sturgeon             May 25, 1855           Fort Reading, Ca. (re-enlistment)

Ordnance Sergt. Jone E. Kelly(a)                 May 31, 1856          Fort Orford (re-enlistment)

Regt. QM Sergt. William Duffy (a)              December 1, 1858   Fort Tejon (re-enlistment)

Chief Bugler Carl Caib                                   June 3, 1858            Nr. Los Angeles (re-enlisted)

Regimental Band

Bergman, Jacob                                              August 11, 1858       San Francisco

Burke, Patrick                                                 June 6, 1854            New York

Chatland, Edwin                                            February 2, 1855   Baltimore

Clarke, Charles                                              April 1856                Fort Union, N.M.

Ferrari, Giaciento                                         October 12, 1856     Philadelphia

Roesch, William                                            June 10, 1857          Fort Tejon

Stark, Dominick                                            September 1, 1858 Fort Tejon

Sugden, Reuben                                            October 1, 1858       Fort Tejon

Tierney, Edmund P.                                     December 7, 1858   San Francisco

No Buglers

Oliver, Francis, Farrier                                 Feb. 12 ’55                Ft. Filmore, N.M.

a. On furlough, each for six months.

Muster Roll for Company B

John W. Davidson, Captain, Commanding Company

Orren Chapman, 1st Lieut., Died at St.Louis 7 Jan. 1859

Benjamin F. Davis, 2d Lieut., with company for duty

The Company                                Enlisted:                                    At:

1st Sgt. Nathanial J. Pishon            August 13, ’56                                 Ft. Craig, N.M.

*Sgt. Minor C. Tuttle                       Aug. 26, ’56                                      Ft. Craig, N.M.

*Sgt. Jmes W. Strawbridge           July 18, ’58                                        Ft. Tejon

Sgt. Joseph E. Smith                      Feb. 1, ’55                                           Cleveland, Oh.

Corp. Michael Wheatley              May 4, ’55                                           New York City

*Corp. Frederick Fischer             Aug. 20, ’57                                        Ft. Buchanan, NMT

Corp. James McGuire                  Apr. 12, ’54                                         New York City

Corp.  John Yaiser                        Feb 15, ’56                                          Ft. Fillmore, NMT

No buglers

Frances Oliver, Farrier                 Feb. 12, ’55                                         Ft. Fillmore, NMT

Privates

Allen, Robert B.                                              Feb. 24, ’56              Ft. Filmore, N.M.

Arnold, John                                                   Sept.9, ’57                 Baltimore

Barnard, William                                           Nov. 16, ’57               Boston

Brunning, Heinrich                                       May 23, ’54               New York City

Butler, James                                                  May 19, ’54               New York, City

Beecher, George D.                                        Sept. 3, ’57               Harrisburg, Pa.

Betts, William                                                 June 1, ’54                New York City

**Buck, James                                                Jan. 2, ’56                Ft. Fillmore, NM

Bresler, John                                                  Oct. 15, ’58               San Francisco

Cantrell, James                                              Oct. 28, ’57               New York City

Carr, Joseph                                                   June 20, ’54             New York City

Carpenter, Asa                                              Aug 29, ’57                Boston, Mass.

Connolly, Patrick                                         June 21, ’54               New York

Coakley, Charles R.                                     June 12 ’54                Baltimore

Cowan, William                                           Dec. 20 ’54                Nashville, Tenn.

Culligan, Michael                                        April 19, ’55              Ft. Fillmore, NM

Chariasis, Michael                                      August 24, ’57           New York

Dean, James                                                Oct. 26, ’57                 New York

Dowd, John                                                 Aug. 26, ’55                Ft. Union, N.M.

Eldar, Adam                                                Aug. 22, ’55                Ft. Fillmore, N.M.

Faber, Henry                                               Apr. 17, ’54                 New York

Forest, Joseph Y.                                       Aug. 18, ’54                 Ft. Union, N.M.

Fogerty, John                                            March 23, ’55              Louisville, Ky.

Galleger, John                                          Feb. 15, ’56                   Ft. Fillmore, NM

*Hand, John                                             Sept. 9, ’54                  Ft Union, NM

Hade, Patrick                                           Dec. 1 ’57                      Ft. Buchanan, NM

Kriesalmayer, Henry                              Sept. 11 ’57                   Philadelphia

*** Lohmeyer, Frederick                      Dec 5 ’55                       Albuquerque, NM

* Maher, Edward                                    Feb. 1, ’56                     Ft. Thorn, NM

Miller, Henry                                           May 20, ’54                 New York City

Morrissey, John                                      June 8, ’54                  New York

* McCoy, Thomas                                   July 15 ’58                   Ft. Tejon

Moulton, Harrison                                 Sept. 8 ’57                   Philadelphia

****O’Meara, Edward                           Jan. 8 ’55                    Ft. Fillmore, NM

Ott, Heinrich                                          September 3, ’57        New York

Pryor, Robert                                         March 9 ’54                 New York

Phillip, George                                       Sept. 11 ’58                  San Francisco

Reynolds, William R.                           June 26, ’54                 New York City

Ross, James                                           Oct. 19, ’57                   Boston

Swiss, Henry                                         Feb. 23, ’53                   St. Louis

Scherrer, John E.                                 Sept. 27, ’53                  New York

Scharf, Anton                                        Mar. 16, ’53                  Ft. Fillmore, NM

Schafle, Francis P.                               Nov. 6, ’58                     San Francisco

Thomson, Theodore                            Sept 11, ’55                    Ft. Stanton, NM

Tower, John S.                                     Sept. 5, ’57                     Boston

Trouton, William                                 Aug. 24, ’57                   Philadelphia

Taylor, James                                       Jan. 25, ’59                   Fort Tejon

West, John A.                                       June 10, ’58                  Baltimore

Washington, George H.                     April 21 ’58                   San Francisco

*$2.00 additional each month for former service.

** $3.00 a month for 2d reenlistment

***German born Frederick Lohmeyer, enlisted, at age 24 years, in Company B at St Louis on April 19, 1847, discharged at Santa Fe on August 19, 1848.

****Edward O’Meara, former farrier of Co. F, who was court martialed for his participation in the 1855 riot in the Taos Plaza, see infra, was transferred to Co. B. Pvt. O’Meara was confined in the post jail at the time of this muster along with privates Beecher, Forest, Morrisey, Pryor and Washington.

Pvt. Miller – absent, sick Ft. Fillmore, since Oct. 16, ’55.

Pvts. Faber and Phillip, sick in post hospital.

Company K

James H. Carleton. Captain and Brevet Major, Comanding Company

David H. Hastings, 1st Lieut., Leave of Absence

Alfred B. Chapman, 2d Lieut.; Returned from detached duty of February 28, 1859, present for duty.

The Company:                                Enlisted:                                     At:

*William McCleave, 1st Sgt.         1 Oct ’55                                     Albuquerque, NM

*Sgt. Emil Fritz                               1 Jan. ’56                                   Albuquerque, NM

*Sgt. Gustav Brown                       1 Dec. ’57                                    Ft. Buchanan, NM

Sgt.  Thomas Yearwood                1 Apr. ’57                                    Calabaza, NM

Frederick Morris, Corp.                2 Sept. ’57                                  Ft. Buchanan, NM

Andrew J. Landers, Corp.            5 Feb. ’55                                    Knoxville, Tenn.

* Joseph Meyer, Bugler                12 Feb. ’56                                   Ft. Buchanan, NM

John W. Harris, Bugler                11 Dec. ’56                                   Albany, NY

*William Seyring, Farrier              1 Aug ’55                                    Albuquerque, NM

Privates

Batty, James  @                             18 Sept. ’55                                Albuquerque, NM

Buell, Sylvester                               5 Sept.   ’57                               Boston

Brannan, Michael                          7 Feb.   ’55                                Jefferson Battacks, Mo.

Cannon, Mchael                             7 Sept. ’57                                 New York

Crowley, Timothy                         15 Feb. ’55                                 Albuquerque, NM

Caskey, Samuel                             21 Oct. ’55                                 Albuquerque, NM

Creevy, William                              8 Oct. ’56                                Albuquerque, NM

Costellow, Thomas                       15 Mar. ’55                               Albuquerque, NM

Corringham, Thomas                    2 Feb. ’55                                Cleveland

Ennis, Thomas                               14 Jan. ’55                              Cincinnati

**Fitzsimmons, Thomas                23 Nov. ’55                            Albuquerque, NM

Fitzpatrick, John                             3 Sept. ’55                            Albuquerque, NM

Friedberg, Francis                           3 Aug. ’57                            Boston

**Gray, William                               1 July ’57                             Ft. Buchanan, NM

Glendmeyer, Frederick                 10 October ’57                     Baltimore

Henn, Andrew                                 20 March ’57                       Calabasas, N.M.

Hurley, Morris                                  8 Sept. ’57                          Boston

Herring, Robert B.                         20 Oct. ’57                           New York

*Johnson, Adam                             27 Dec. ’55                         Albuquerque, NM

Jones, Robert H.                              7 Feb. ’55                          Knoxville, Tenn.

Louish, James                                  17 Jan. ’56                         New York

*Maroon, Harvey                            21 Sept. ’57                        Ft. Buchanan, NM

* Mahan, Thomas                            28 Jan, ’56                        Albuquerque, NM

McNeal, Erastus                               20 Jan. ’55                       Columbus, Ohio

McDonald, John                              18 Aug. ’57                        Boston

Moore, Michael                                16 Nov. ’57                        Philadephia

Moody, Thomas                                20 Nov. ’57                       New York

Murphy, Hugh                                    4 Nov. ’57                        New York

Mullins, James                                   3 Nov. ’57                        Boston

Miller, Ebenezar                                7 Sept. ’57                        New York

*O’Carroll, John A.                          27 May ’58                        Ft. Yuma (Calif.)

Ogilivie, Henry                                  9 Sept. ’57                         New York

Papp, Frederick                                 9 Nov. ’57                         Richmond, Va.

*Quatman, Herman                         15 Nov. ’55                        Albuquerque, NM

Reinhart, Antony                             26 Aug, ’57                        New York

Richey, Hamilton                            26 Oct. ’57                         Philadelphia

Smythe, Henry                                17 Aug. ’57                         New Yrok

Smith, Abraham B,                        26 Oct. ’56                         San Francisco

Schaupp, Charles                            11 Nov. ’57                        New York

Tynon, Michael                                8 Feb. ’55                         St. Louis

Terrell, Rufus H.                             1 Sept. ’57                        Philadelphia

Taylor, Daniel                                 8 Oct. ’57                         New York

Thompson, James                        10 Oct. ’57                         New York

Tooney, Peter                                15 Oct. ’58                        San Francisco

Van Riper, Cornelius                   15 Feb. ’59                       Ft. Tejon

Zabel, Gustavus                             1 Aug ’55                         Albuquerque

* $2.00 a month as former service.

Deserted: Henry Tolman, enlisted 29 Oct. ’59 in Boston.

Confined in post jail: Buell, Johnson, Smythe, and Taylor.

Private John A. Fulton (aka Jacob Fulmer), was dropped from regimental rolls on 20 February 1859, as a deserter from Company H, 1st US Cavalry, Kansas Territory and dismissed from the service on 25 February 1859.

Co. F, 1st Dragoons at Churubusco

Company F, 1st Dragoons was commanded by Captain Phil Thompson, but recruited, trained and led in the field by Lieutenant Phil Kearny. Shortly before the war with Mexico, Phil Kearny wrote to his friend John Love from New York. June 7, 1846, to Lt. John Love of the 1st U.S. Dragoons. “I hope to heaven that you have not been as sorely persecuted…(thanks to Captain Cooke); poor me I am suffering under a spring’s renewal of it, on my asking a recall of my resignation they reappointed me rather against my express wishes, would have been [appointed] in the Rifles. It was a disgraceful affair for all concerned in it as war had come and [I] have, thank God, some feeling of pride in my regiment, if none for my country. I [would] gladly go through the strife [and] most willingly pledge my life for it’s glory, if we have but half a chance we will win it. A charger is pretty essential for a Dragoon as you and I may have to stem the battle’s tide together. I apply to you for your sympathies in obtaining a remount. If there is [one] within reach uncommon[ly], fine, powerful, fleet, and active beauty of a charger please purchase [it] for me. Get him for me as cheaply as you can. I only limit you to 200 dollars. If you succeed in obtaining for me a charger send him by a safe means, to Major Stewart, St. Louis. If you can arrange it make the draft payable in N. York sixty days after…or else thirty days as money is very scarce. I find that money due comes in very slowly, although due from rich houses. Remember me to Ewell if in your neighborhood. PS: a good horse is always of a good color, although I am rather more partial to grey, black, or chestnut. A roan is also a favorite color.”

Lieutenant Eugene McLean, 1st Infantry, described the unit as “a fine company of young men raised principally by Kearny who exerted himself in every way to fill the company.” It served as General Winfield Scott’s body guard during his invasion of the Valley of Mexico. (This is the same company, with different personnel, which would riot in Taos in 1855.) At Churubusco, on 20 Aug. 1847, the company was assigned by Gen. Scott to Col. David Harney. Following the defeat of Mexican infantry, the colonel ordered the troop to charge one of the fortified gates and the company, led by Capt. Philip Kearny boldly charged down the causeway towards on of the gates. Harney decided to call off the advance and had his bugler sound “recall.”

A company of dragoons were allotted two buglers. One to ride at the head of the column and the second bugler rode at the rear of the column, the latter’s role to relay orders sent from the rear. Unfortunately,  Company F had no bugler (its only bugler had been discharged due to illness in May of 1847) and, consequently, many of his men did not hear Harney’s bugle call sounding recall and continued in pursuit of fleeing Mexican soldiers. Reaching the gate, the company dismounted and attempted to carry a battery guarding the gate and, would have done so, had Col. Harney reinforced Kearny’s squadron and not have ordered a retreat.

On Nov 4, 1848, Keary wrote the following to fellow 1st Dragoon, Lt. John Love.

I understand that there are whispered rumors of rashness on my part to detract from what our troop did at Churubusco. My answer is, that those who investigate the matter will find far sooner cowardice, (of, at least, a moral nature), and stupid doltish incapacity on the part of Col. Harney, who interfered with our columns which he was too far in the rear to comprehend the position of. I hold Harney, who took the command out of my hands, responsible for sounding the “Recall” at all, or too late, [as when the head of it being committed, the foremost were left in the lurch.] From the first moment of seeing the “El Pinon,” and understanding the enemy’s double line of defences, I had determined, when opportunity offerred, to win distinction for ourselves, by ___?___ into the second line of defences, protected by their own fugitives. It was on the eve of accomplishing this, when I found the rear part of the column had been withdrawn. withdrawn.  The ordeal of [re]-calling a squadron of ho[rse] on a hard gravelled [zsic] avenue [[with?]] cries, in the [[turn]] around & confusion to boot!!! Lt. [Julian] May recalled the men from his rear.   Neither Ewell nor myself, nor Sergt. Reid ever saw or heard him. Thank God we are all young.  I may have another chance yet.  You would be surprised to find how little the loss of an arm incommodes me.  I heard from Ewell yesterday. He is at “Buckland, Prince William County, Virginia.”  See him if
you can. We old men of the First must rally warmly to each other. We are all getting  (young though we be) too old & form new friendships and god knows our late [ranks?] & [dearest?] ones have been decimated. I was very glad that Mrs. Stewert has seen you. Believe me, very Truly Yours
P. Kearny

War correspondent George Kendall of the New Orleans Picayune reported:

Captain Kearny’s Charge—”The charge of Kearny’s dragoons upon the flying masses of the Mexicans in the battle of Churubusco, is one of the most brilliant and decisive feats which has occurred in the war. As soon as our troops had carried the formidable tete de pont by which the avenue leading to the city was laid open to cavalry, Capt. Kearny’s dragoons rushed upon the yielding masses of Mexicans with an impetuosity and fury which made amends for the scantiness of their numbers, and bore them back in confusion upon the town. The enemy had upon the causeway a force in cavalry four-fold of ours, but the narrowness of the avenue prevented him from availing himself of this superiority, and reduced the conflict to those single-handed issues which the Mexicans must ever yield to our prowess. The audacity of the onset of Kearny’s troops struck dismay to the hosts which fled before them. The retreat became a confused rout, and the causeway was blocked by the entrangled masses of the enemy. But even through this obstacle the triumphant dragoons forced their way, trampling down those who escaped their relentless sabres. Scattering the foe before them, the dragoons came at last within reach of the formidable batteries which defended the gates of the city, and a murderous fire was opened upon them, which was even more terrible to the fugitive Mexicans than the dragoons. The latter continued their pursuit up to the gates of the city, and were shot downmade prisoners upon the very parapets of its defences. This was the moment, if ever, that Gen. Scott might have entered the city, had the instant possession of it conformed to his preconceived design. Already had the inhabitants of the town set up the cry that the Americans were upon them, and the whole population was stricken defenceless by panic terrors. But the dragoons were recalled from the pursuit, and the survivors of that desperate charge withdrew covered with wounds and with honors.

In every narration of the events of Churubusco, we have seen the charge and pursuit by Kearny’s dragoons, commemorated and applauded; but it appears to have impressed the Mexicans far more than the popular mind of our own countrymen. In various letters we have seen written by them from the capital, they speak of the audacity of the dragoons as terrible and almost supernatural. New Orleans Picayune, Nov. 21, 1847

Kendall later wrote that if Kearny “had ben supported by a hundred resolute men , the garita of San Antonio Abad might have been held. A single infantry regiment, supported by a light battery, might even had entered the capital and taken possession of the grand plaza and National Palace, for Santa Ana could not have rallied a formation sufficiently strong to resist such a force. (Kendall, History of Mexican War, 723.)

Killed:
1. Pvt. Patrick Mart, Co. F, 1st Dragoons.
2. Pvt. McBrophy, Co. F, 1st Dragoons.
3. Pvt. James McDonald, Co. F, 1st Dragoons.
4. Pvt. John Ritter, Co. F, 1st Dragoons.
5. Capt. Seth B. Thornton, Co. F, 2d Dragoons.
6. Pvt. Edward Curtis, Co. G, 3d Dragoons.
7. Pvt. Augustus Delsol, Co. G, 3d Dragoons.
8. Pvt. George DeDuve, Co. G, 3d Dragoons.

Wounded:
1. Capt. Philip Kearny, Co. F, 1st Dragoons, se-verely, lost left arm.
2. Lieut. Lorimer Graham, 10th Infantry attached to 1st Dragoons, severely.
3. Capt. A. T. McReynolds, Co. K, 3d Dragoons, severely.
4. Private Cowden, Co. K, 3d Dragoons,.

At Puebla, Capt. Kearny wrote to General Scott and requested that thirty men and two buglers be added to his depleted squadron.

Puebla July 2nd 1847

Dear Sir:

I have the honour to request that on the arrival of any detachment of recruits that my company be filled to the full number allowed by the Law.  My troop is at present 80 men strong, of whom 74 are present.

I have the honour to make this request on the grounds of my Company having been filled 111 men, that they had been recruited by extra exertions on my part, and that I was reduced to the number of 81 by order of the Adjutant General, & that now there being authority to fill the dragoon companies to the full limit of the Law, in justice the same number of men should be restored to my that were formerly taken from my command.

My troop is an isolated one from the regiment.  The full company makes a complete squadron and I am most probably one of the squadron (or first five) captains in my own Regiment, although ranked by all but one of the 2nd Drag. Captains present, although older in service than Capt Hardee, Merrill, of Sibley, three of the 2nd Drag. Captains serving with the army.

If these men are granted to me, not a moment shall be lost in rendering them as efficient as possible.  My present troop is well drilled.  I will not feel the effects of this number [of recruits] being thrown in with them.

I am, Sir, Very Truly Yr. Obdt. Servt.

P. Kearny Jr., Capt. 1st Drgs, F Compy

[To:] Capt. H. L. Scott, A. A. Adjt. Genl.

P.S. I would respectfully [illegible] to my previous request for Trumpeters for my troop.  I have none at present.  Respectfully, P. Kearny, Capt. 1st Drgs, Compy F

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kearny lost the use of his left arm due to his wounds and bitterly wrote to his friend, Lt. John Love, of his anger at Harney.

In the ensuing months, I shall be posting material on this charge. The first item is a summary of the company’s muster roll written just over two months after the battle. Note that the company was primarily composed of recent enlistees.

Lt. Richard Ewell rode with Kearny that fateful day. Here is a portion of a letter he wrote to his brother describing the charge.

Vera Cruz,

November 25, 1847

Captain Kearny was ordered at the close of the fight [at Churubusco] to follow the Mexicans down the the avenue along which thousands of them were retreating. We overtook them about a seventh of a mile from the city gates and I rather think they suffered somewhat. The gate was a good deal obstructed and we pushed them so rapidly that they got into the water on each side of the road. They began firing upon us, and to some effect, too, When we approached the gate, I saw the crowd before us open as if by one movement and I sa a piece of artillery frowning over the works. Captain Kearny had given orders to dismount in such a case and carry the works, but when I looked around, to my horror, I found the Dragoons retiring some distance in the rear. There were three companies in all. Captain Kearny’s leading. Colornel Harney had ordered the recall to be sounded in the rear. AS it took some time for the information to get to the head of the column, they had not being able to hear in all the noise and confusion, we were engaged while the rear was retreating. Colonel Harney had refused to lead the charge and, of course, should not have interferred as it was out of his power to control after we passed him. Only a miracle saved Captain Kearny and myself. He lost his arm by a grape shot after (so great was the confusion) getting in and out of the works. I had two horse shot, one by a musket by the side of the road, the other by a canister shot through the neck. The second was able to bring me back at a walk. Captain Kearny and I came back from the presence of the Mexican four or five hundred yards without further molestation of our troops.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________


August 24, 1847

Sir: As I was not wounded until the last of the action of the 20th, I have the honor to report of the movements of my squadron (Ftroop of the 1st, and K of the 3d regiments, dragoons.) Twenty-five men under Lieutenant Ewell, myself attending, accompanied the general-in-chief to the redoubt at Contreras, captured a short time previously. At Cayoacan, coming up to the head of our pursuing column, I was sent with my dragoons and some twenty riflemen under Lieutenant Gibbs, mounted on horses taken from the enemy, to cover Captain Lee, of the engineers, on a reconnaissance towards San Antonio. This place was found to be in possession of General Worth and, his comumns rapidly following up the victory.

Returning without delay to the general-in-chief, I was joined by the rest of the squadron, which had been rapidly and efficiently brought up by Captain McReynolds of the 3d dragoons, and received orders to report to General Pillow, and to join in the attack going on on the right; the ground immediately in front was found to be impracticable for cavalry action. During the carrying of the village and redoubt of Churubusco, I moved to the right, hoping to make a diversion and get on the road to the rear, but, finding this impossible, returned to my former position.

After the enemy’s works were carried, I was ordered to charge down the road towards the city, after the rereating enemy. On the route I was joined by Colonel Harney with several companies of the 2d dragoons; he assumed command, and directed me with my three troops of dragoons, to place myself and command at the head of the cavalry column; the Mexicans were overtaken soon after we entered on the causeway, bout three-fourths of a mile from the city, and suffered a severe slaughter up to the very gates.

Understanding that a battery was on the end of the causeway next [to] the town, I communicated through Lieutenant Steele, A.A.A. General, to Colonel Harney my firm intention to charge it, trusting to their panic to enter with the fugitives. Myself, Lieutenant Steele, and Lieutenant Ewell, together with some dragoons whose horses were over excited, were considerably ahead of the main body, coming full on the redoubt, when the enemy opened a fire of grape upon us, amongst the fugitives, and I gave the command to the men around me to dismount and carry it, presuming that the movement would be observed and followed by the rest of the column. This movement not being understood by our men, and the recall which had been sounded and imperfectly heard from the rear, caused them to halt and retire, but in creditable order.

On having been sent to combine with the attack on the right, I was joined by Captain Duperu, with his company of the 3d dragoons, who accompanied me throughout the rest of day, and behaved very handsomely under such fire as we had passed through.

Company F, of the 1st dragoons, was the leading one on the causeway, and which explains its severe loss.

I have particularly to mention the gallant conduct of Lieutenant Steele, who was constantly at the head of the column, and of Lieutenant Ewell, who had two horses shot under him, immediately at the barricade, and whose conduct in our previous affair of the squadron on the 18th instant, was most conspicuous; also Lieutenant L. Graham, who was wounded, deserves my thanks for his efficiency on this day, as well as the handsome manner of heading a detachment of the company against superior odds on the 12th instant.

Captain McReynolds, acting as second captain of the squadron. was throughout the day every way active, and active, and suffered by  a severe wound in his arm.

But it is to the non-commissioned officers and privates that credit is more particularly due for their conduct here and elsewhere.

Statement of loss on the 20th instant.

Captain Kearny, loss of arm.

Captain McReynolds, wounded severely.

Lieutenant L. Graham, wounded slightly.

Five privates, company F, 1st dragoons, killed.

Fuve horses, company F, 1st dragoons, killed.

I am sir, very respectively your obedient servant.

P. Kearny, Jr.

Capt. 1st Drag, Com’g. 1st Squad, 2d Bat., Cav. Brig.. Lt. Col. Moore, 3d Reg Drag., Com’g 2d Bat. Cav. Brig.


Muster Roll of Company F of the First Dragoons, Mexico City, October 31, 1847
Capt. Philip Kearny, Jr.    Sick
1st Lt. A. Buford                 Absent. Never Joined. Place and duty not known.
1st Lt. Richard Ewell         Commanding Company.
2d Lt. Oren Chapman       Joined from duty 2d Drags. 5 Sept.
1st Sgt. David Reed            9 Jan. 46, Ft. Leavenworth
Sgt. Henry Hence         23 Nov. 46,  —œ            —œ                          Sick
Sgt. Fleming Megan       8 Aug. —™46, Terre Haute    Sick, Pueblo, Mexico, since 8 Aug.
Corp. James Clark          7 Sept. 46, St Louis
Corp. John Perkins        8 Aug. 46, Shelbyville
Corp. Wm Anderson    28 Aug. 46, St Louis
Bugler Joe Hodgson     25 Sept. 47, Joined City of Mexico
Farrier George Thompson 12 Jan. 44, Ft. Scott,  $2.00 stoppage garrison ct martial
Daniel Alaways              21 Aug 46, Chilicotte
John Alaways                   ”     ”    ”               ”                Sick, Pueblo, Mexico, since 8 Aug.
Joseph Aleut                  21 July 46. St Louis
John Askins                     8 Aug. 46, Shelbyville     Detached service, since 31 Oct.
Allen Bullard                  13 Aug. 46, Terre Harte
Michael Brophy     20 Apr. 46, Rayado,         Joined company prisoner exch. Sept. 3
Thomas Bryant             5 Aug 46, St Louis,     Sick, Pueblo, Mexico since 8 Aug.
Morris Kane                  18 Sept. 46,  ”    ”
Hugh Call                       16 Oct. 46, near St Louis
Peter Christman          6 Dec. 43,  St Louis,     Sick; stoppage for wool infy coat, $2.28
Alonzo Clark              16 May 47, Jalapa, Mexico,     joined during march.
James Curley              18 July, 46, St Louis
Eleazor Dort                10 Aug. 46, Terre Haute
William Donovan       29 Aug., St Louis                           Daily duty
David Dunton           9 Dec. 46, Saltillo, Mex.                 Daily Duty
Samuel Flint             14 July, 46, Chilicotte
Philip Frankenberg  6 Aug. 46, Ft. Leavenworth            Sick, Puebla, Mex., since 8 Aug.
Charles Graman       10 Aug. 46, Terre Haute            Sick
David Giesler               21 July 46, Chillicothe
Andrew Gillespie       26    ”      ”       ”
James Grace                 16 June 46, Ft. Leavenworth
Jacob Grant                  5 July 46, Jefferson Barracks       Sick Puebla, Mex. Since 25 May
Augustus Gruber       6 July 46, Fort Leavenworth           Sick, Puebla, Mex., since 8 Aug.
Thomas Hall                5 July 46, Jefferson Barracks       Sgt. until 29 October.
John Harper               28 July 46, Chillicote                        Stoppage pistol $7.50.
Patrick Hart               4 August 46, St Louis; Joined Tabacayo 5 Sept. prisoner exch.
Michael Henry         12 Sept. 46, Philadelphia; Joined from desertion 16 Feb 47.
Thomas Hewitt       27 Aug. 46, Terre Haute                    Sick, Puebla, Mex., since 8 Aug.
Henry Hoffman       14 Jan. 46, Dayton                  Sick
Martin Howard       11 Aug. 46, Terre Haute                   Sick, Puebla, Mex., since 8 Aug.
John Howell                6 Feb. 46, Ft. Leavenworth; Stoppage flannel shirt and pistol
William Jeffers         19 Oct. 46, New Orleans
John Kaler                   4 June 46, St. Louis
John Keckler             17 Aug. 46, Chillicote
Levi Kimball               1 June 46, Sackett’s Harbor       Detached Service since 31st Oct.
Antone Lange              14 Aug. 46, StLouis                     Daily duty.
William Martin          8 Aug. 46, Terre Haute
Persaruis Maypelle 25  July 46, St. Louis
John Moore               10 Aug, 46, Terre Haute
Wm McAllister          17 Aug. 46, Covington, Ind.  Stoppage for 1 blanket $2.22.
Wm McCrea               19 Aug. 46, Roseau, Ind.         Daily duty.
John McDonald        19 Aug. 46, Chillicote   Stoppage for pistol $7.50.
Anthony Pulver           7 Dec. 46, Corpus Christi; Detached service since 31 October.
Charles Prother         10 Aug. 46, Terre Haute
Christian Ranner      10 Aug. 46, Terre Haute
John Roberts               1 April 47. Vera Cruz    Sick at Puebla since 8 August.
Frederick Rodewald 16 Aug 46, St Louis                   Sick at Puebla since 8 August.
William See                15 Aug. 46, Terre Haute    Detached service since 31 Oct.
John Smith                 10 Aug. 46,   ”         ”
John W Smith             ”     ”       ”     ”          ”                  Stoppage flannel shirt $1.30.
Robert Stewart            8    ”       ”     ”          ”
James H Stevens         1 Apr.  46, Vera Cruz.
Daniel Suter                 6 Aug. 46, Ft. Leavenworth; Daily duty.
Clinton Thompson     14 Aug. 46, Terre Haute              Sick at Puebla since 8 August.
Harvey Thompson      4 Aug. 46, Shelbyville; Daily duty.
James Thompson       8 Aug. 46,    ”   ; Sick at Puebla since 8 August.
John Walkes                 24 Aug. 46, St. Louis; Sick
Joseph Westgenes       17 Aug. 46,  ”      ”          ”   ; Sick, Puebla since 8 August.
Robert Whitener         27 Jan. 41, Ft. Crawford; Sick Perote, since 25 May.
Andrew Whitley          31 July 46, Geldon, Ind.
William Wilson           25 Sept. 46, Jefferson Bks.
Robert Wright              8 Aug. 46, Terre Haute.

RECRUITMENT ADVERTISEMENT

The Army maintained recruiting stations through out the Midwest, South and East. The New York Sun for March 13, 1855, featured the following advertisement seeking troops for mounted and infantry regiments:

Captured Mexican Items at Santa Cruz de Rosales

Following the capture of the town of Santa Cruz de Rosales in 1848, the Army inventoried the captured Mexican ordnance. Below is a copy of this report.

City of Chihuahua
March 26, 1848

The Board met pursuant to the foregoing orders, and soon after the
reception of the captured property, as was practicable, and up to the
present time have been busy in assorting and taking inventories of
said property, which they find to be as follows (incl.(?) accompanying
list or inventory as marked “A”).

All the large guns are more or less injured by firing, and some of
them badly cast, full of flaws and honeycombs. The majority of the
muskets and escopetas are in bad order, broken locks and stocks, bent
barrels &c. Three of the muskets are very much injured in the stock
by shot, or shell, of one, the entire stock is gone. The muskets, and
in fact all of the cartridges, are badly made, and only valuable for
the amount of powder they contain. The shells, strap shot, balls, and
canister, are as a general thing very badly made and would be apt to
greatly damage a good piece if fired from one.

One reference to the list, it will be found that there are
eleven large boxes of powder, this is supposed to be for cannons, as
also the five bags. Ten of the kegs contain very fine powder,
supposed to be for rifles, and the remainder for muskets. Having no
means to ascertain the weight, the amount in bulk only is first put
down as it appeared before the Board.

The horses are all small, poor, and weak, and many of the mules are
equally in as bad condition, none of them being fit for present use,
and scarcely any will ever be capable of hard service.

The saddles are of Spanish pattern and much out of order in their
present state worthless.

Of the drums, three are without heads or have but one, and the others
are so heavy and unwieldy as to be almost or quite unserviceable.

The articles, not having (sic) innumerated, are generally
in very good condition, and might, if necessary, be put to immediate
use.

The above is respectfully submitted as a report of the proceedings of
the Board, which, having no further business before it, adjourns sin
die.

B.L. Beall,
Major 1st Dragoons

“A”

A LIST OF ORDNANCE STORES &c. TAKEN AT THE SIEGE OF SANTA CRUZ DE
ROSALES, MEXICO, MARCH 16, 1848

2 Two 32-Lb. Brass Howitzers

1 One 10-Lb. Brass Cannon by Measurement

1 One 8-Lb. ” ” ” ”

1 One 4-Lb. ” ” ” ”

2 Three Swivels

7 Seven Wall Pieces

1 One Double-Barrel Wall Piece

392 Three Hundred and Ninety-Two Muskets

281 Two Hundred and Eighty-One Musket Bayonets

99 Ninety-Nine Cartridge Boxes & Belts

80 Eighty Escopetas

27 Twenty-Seven Service Rifles

78 Pistols

35 Sabres

122 One Hundred and Twenty-Two Lances Complete

142 One Hundred and Forty-Two Lance Heads and Ferrules

150 ________ Lance Straps

145 Shafts for Lances

6 Six Wipers for Wall Pieces

11 Eleven Large Boxes of Powder

23 Twenty-Three Kegs of Powder

5 Five Bags of Powder

58 Fifty-Eight Cartridges for 32-Lb. Howitzer

72 Seventy-Two Cartridges for 9-Lb. Gun

2600 Twenty-Six Hundred Musket Cartridges

7 Seven Bunches Signal Rockets

9 Nine 32 Lb Grenades

9 Nine 24 lb Shells

4 Four 32 lb Shells

75 Seventy-Five 4 lb Shells

7 Seven 3 lb Strap Shot

24 Twenty-Four 6 lb Strap Shot

4 Four 12 lb Strap Shot

103 One-Hundred and Three 4lb Balls

50 Fifty 3 lb Balls

76 Seventy-Six Cases 32 lb Canister

116 One-Hundred Sixteen Cases 3 lb Canister

1 One Lot Canister for Wall Piece

1 One Lot Balls for Wall Piece

1 One Lot Musket Balls

1 One Ten Ball Roller

10 Ten Bullet Molds

7 Seven Rifle Locks

1 One Lot Gun Flints

11 Eleven Sponges

2 Two Worms

6 Six Hand Spikes

1 One Treatment Scale

A List of Quarter Master Property Captured at the Siege of Santa Cruz
de Rosales, Mexico, March 16th 1848.

98 Ninety-Eight Horses

66 Sixty-Six Mules

7 Seven Wagons

52 Sets of Harnesses, four collars wanting

9 Nine Pack Saddles

35 Thirty-Five Spanish Bridle Bits

32 Thirty-Two Sets Spanish Saddle Rigging

1 One Bulk ” ” ”

35 Thirty-Five Buckles

7 Seven [Screw} Drivers

43 Forty-Three Files

8 Eight Hammers

4 Four Vices

2 Two Wrenches

1 One Grinding Stone

65 Sixty-Five Edge Tools

13 Thirteen Augers

18 Eighteen Saws

3 Three Screw Plates

2 Two Anvils

10 Ten Pounds Rod Steel

2 Two Boxes Tin

2 Two Boxes Shoes

8 Eight Boxes Blue Clothe

1 Lot Printing Type

1 Lot Duct Parts

1 Lot Rosin

2 Lots Steel Yards

12 Twelve Empty Boxes

11 Eleven Boxes Cigarilos

Lt. David Bell's Letter

Lt. David Bell, of the 2d Dragoons had engaged in several skirmishes with the Utes and Jicarilla Apaches. When he heard of the attempts to cover up Lt. John Davidson’s defeat at Cieneguilla in 1854, Bell could not contain himself  and wrote the following letter to a West Point classmate condemning Davidson’s action.

In 1855, a furious Davidson asked for and received a Court of Inquiry which whitewashed his defeat. Recent archaeological studies performed by David Johnson of the US Forest Service have much vindicated many of Lt. Bell’s claims.

Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
December 27th, 1854

Dear William [Lt. Robert Williams]:

The mail from N.M. arrived here two days since and I was truly gratified to hear from you. The mail was delayed several days, as the contractors have succeeded in disproving one of the received axioms of geometry, namely that —œa straight line is the shortest distance between two points,— and consequently instead of bringing our mail direct from Independence, they cross the river at Liberty to go to Weston and proceed to this place. As the ice has been running in the river for some days, they were unable to do this and I finally sent a sergeant for the mail and got it after being made annoyed by a delay of several days.

You speak of Lieut. J.W. Davidson of your Regt. and his course and situation to his fight &c. Now as Davidson is an officer of your Regiment, I am perfectly willing that he should see anything I write about him and if you think proper, I am perfectly willing you should show him any letter, for I would scorn to say behind his back that I would not report to himself, and indicate in the proper manner, as this is a subject affecting a member of your Regiment. I will give you my opinion in full, which however you will find to be that of officers at your own post.

On the evening of the 21st of March, Lieut. Davidson at Fort Union from Taos (?) where he had left his Company and reported to Col. Cooke for instructions. I was present when he arrived, and afterwards during several conversations between him and Col. Cooke in relation to the Indians, their mode of and ability for war &c. Col. Cooke and myself occupied the same house, and Lieut. D was our guest. He stated that on his way from Cantonment Burgwin to Fort Union, where he had been ordered by Col. Cooke, he met the Apaches in a canyon between the former place and Moro, that he had halted his command and, with Col. Brooks, had a talk with them; he described them as being overwhelmed with fear and protesting that they desired peace, stating also that he had made advantageous dispositions for battle in case they exhibited any signs of insolence or hostility. He also commented upon the miserable quality of their arms, and their mean, shrinking deportment, at the same time averring that he was sorry they did not show some signs of hostility, for that if they had, he would have —œwiped them out—. In the same conversation, he stated that the number of warriors counted at the time amounted to one hundred and seven. When informed that these same Indians had, two weeks previously, when attacked by a command of Dragoons, evinced anything but a cowardly spirit; he reiterated his assertion, for rather brash, as to what he could do with them. On the 22nd instant, I went on a scout down the Canadian and across to Anton Chico, and returned to Fort Union on the 29th. Lieuts. Sturgis and Moore, who left Ft. U. on the 21st and kept further to the east, returned on the 30th. On the 31st an express arrived at Ft. U. from Cant. Burgwin, with a communication from Maj. Blake giving an exaggerated account of the fight at Cieneguilla. In justice to Maj. Blake, however, I will state that the exaggerated account of the affair was founded upon data furnished by Lieut. D. himself. In a few hours, we were en route for Cant. Burgwin, where we arrived on the 1st of April.
Davidson met our command near his quarters, and in reply to some question from Col. Cooke, which was met with much apparent concern as to the result of the affair of the preceding day, he said, in a self-confident and positive tone, that he had —œkilled fifty or sixty Indians.— This was asserted as a fact. I was present. Lt. D. left Cant. B. on the 2nd instant under orders from Major Blake, to follow and watch the movement of the Apaches, but to avoid if possible bringing on an action— He marched a portion of the night and on the morning of the 30th sent a guide with two men, to ford on the Rio Grande below Cieneguilla, to ascertain if the Indians had crossed the river.

A trail was afterwards discovered leading up a hill, the advance guard was sent to reconnoiter the position of the Indians, and some returned saying that when they arrived at the camp which was on the top of a hill, the Indians had leveled their rifles upon them. Upon being thus informed, Lt. D. says he cursed the corporal and demanded to know of him why he had not fired upon them with his revolver. The corporal also reported that the Indians told him (in Spanish) to —œcome on.— Lt. D. now dismounted his command in a canyon, divided it into two platoons, and advanced upon the Indian camp which contained the families and now was to fulfill the prediction about —œwiping them out—.
It is at least doubtful who fired first, but what matters it? Was not the advance upon the Camp in a hostile attitude a bona fide attack? Nobody would doubt it particularly if his position was that of the Indians and Lt. D. would have been one of the last to do so. If he had been under the command of almost any officer other than Maj. Blake he would have been tried for disobedience of orders. Again let me look at the manner in which the affair was conducted.

The command advanced in two platoons as nearly in line as the nature of the ground and other circumstances would admit. This was the most unmilitary as well as the most exposed order possible–it could not be expected that a display of numbers would intimidate the Indians while a large mark was thus presented to their concentrated fire. This is no labored scientific delusion—”a non-commissioned officer who would not have appreciated it upon this ground should have been reduced for incapacity. But if exception is taken to this mode of approaching a crouching and concealed [enemy] for what are we to think of the second attempt to go up a steep hill each man leading his horse. The horses alarmed by the noises and confusion of the fight would refuse to advance and the men would struggle with them unwilling to abandon them and thus instead of using their weapons would fall victims to the fire of a concealed enemy.

An attack could not be made mounted and to attempt to lead the horses would expose the men. What was then to be done? To abandon the horses of course. This ill-advised and unfortunate attack arrived at the top of the hill, leaving behind it those who are killed or wounded, and now the command is given —œMount men a save yourselves.— This Lt. does not or did not deny. This order was calculated to strike terror to heart of the bravest soldier, for he would know that nothing but the utmost exertion could prevent his falling a prey to the merciless savage. This order was alone was sufficient to panic a command. The consequence was a disorderly flight over ground of the difficulties of which the Indians well knew how to take advantage. Every other consideration was forgotten in that of personal safety and hence the entire abandonment of arms & etc. Every man expended his energies to save his own life while he abandoned his wounded comrades to be butchered. I have conversed with Major Blake, Maj. Thompson and Mr. Quinn all of whom visited Cieneguilla the next day and the result of their stories is this that 5 men only were found dead upon the side of the hill up which Davidson advanced, and it is by no means certain they were dead when the retreat was ordered, while 14 men formed on the hill side down which the flight took place, and two other dead in the ravine below. This cannot be denied, and it proves that a command of 57 Dragoons retreated without an attempt to preserve order, when they had lost 5 of their number. Davidson says in his official report which I read there were nearly 250 or 300 Apaches and Utah warriors in the fight he fought for three hours and had every reason to believe he killed a large number of Indians. In the first place there were no Utahs & secondly there were not more than 130 warriors (Apaches) in it, as Carson or any person who followed them will tell you. If 50 or 60 of them been killed the rest must have been wounded if any amt of usual proportion between killed and wounded obtained. As to fighting [for] 3 hours that is the most ridiculously absurd assertion in the whole report. A cartridge box (cavalry) holds some 30 to 50 cartridges. How long would it take a man to fire this number assuming that he fired all of them? But in the excitement of action most men will lose a large portion of their ammunition. I think that any reasonable man will agree that Davidson—™s fight have lasted 30 minutes, his assertion to the contrary notwithstanding. In regard to the probable number of killed I forgot to say that it is a probable fact that the number of lodges after the flight was the same as before and we were informed in every Mexican settlement through which we passed in the pursuit, that the Indians said they had lost only two men in the battle. I could pass over most of the things and sincerely sympathize with
Davidson in his misfortune, but when an attempt is made to transform an unskillful attack, a feeble resistance, a disastrous flight, the combined consequences of which entailed upon others days of toil and night of suffering and present that to the world as a glorious triumph. I do not consider it my duty longer to be silent for I am one of those who suffered from these misguided monuments. However, others may regard the matter I cannot but think remaining silent is very near akin to countenancing tacitly a gross imposture. The correspondence recently published in the Santa Fe Gazette, between Lieut. D and Mr. Davis, should silence all who are cognizant of the facts any feeling of forbearance towards the former he attempts to make capital out of what he knows to be an error and wishes to force upon the public what he did not himself believe. There is one other circumstance of which you are probably not aware. Last winter Davidson preferred charges against Major Blake—”they were of a very grave nature. A few days after the affair at Cieneguilla the major made some remark to the effect that D. had done as could be expected, when D. instantly offered to withdraw the charges although if xxx Maj. B. had signed a false certificate etc. All of which I was prepared to prove. I am also acknowledge himself that Maj. could have presented him —œwith a single word— —“hence the spirit of martial concession. If D. had sustained no feat why did he offer gratuitously to withdraw these charges? But there is another fact where Davidson—™s conduct was assailed and he talked so loudly about asking for a Court of Inquiry why did he change his tone so suddenly when he found it very easy to get the Court and he was even recommended from persons whom he pretended to seek advise. In conclusion I will again say that you are entirely free to show my letter to Davidson or any of his friends for it contains not only my convictions also drawn from unmitigated facts.

We have no news of importance except that there now seems a strong probability that some new regiments will be raised this winter. How many we have no idea but if Congress acts upon the suggestions of the President and Secty. of War it would be very natural to suppose they would raise the force recommended as indispensable. I hope they will for without we have no prospect keeping our [red?] buttons within any reasonable bounds. I have applied for promotion in a new regiment but without much hope of getting it. I will however use what little political influence I can muster for that purpose. I applied to Col. Cooke a few days since for a statement in reference to my standing in my regiment, services, capabilities, etc. And when I received what was willingly handed me an hour or two afterwards, I was almost at a loss to make out my own identity. I had no idea I was half as alone as the Col. made me out and my modesty would hardly allow me to make use of a description by which perhaps I might more afterwards be recognized. The [appropriation?] Bill is expected to pass–it is thought that the new phase under which it will be presented will be of advantage to it. I speak in pay and to the limitation of time. The pay Bill will too come up and as it appears as a fixed fact that Members of Congress are going to raise their own pay [, so] I don—™t see how they can get over giving us a little more.

The Sioux War now seems determined upon. We have it from Genl Scott himself. It is still doubtful what troops will be sent out. The 2d Inftry and our companies of Drags, with one or two companies will go of course and if there is an addition to the Army it is expected that the whole 2d Drags will be ordered out in which case we will have a lively time of it. The Indians are reported as being very hostile and confident in their numbers. I think however with a Battery or two and a regiment of Drags we will rather worst them in a pitched battle. We have not received any more recruits, a detachment was ordered here but the order came so late that navigation had closed. It is probable however that they will reach us from St. Louis. Our Hd. Qts. has not yet arrived but we expect them soon. There is very little pretension to gaiety or even sociability here. No parties or amusement. Besides I have been sick ever since I came here and am so badly broken up by Rheumatism that I can scarcely hobble about.

Robertson received your letter addressed to him at Jefferson Bks. and will write you. He, Polk, Haight & etc. send their love.

You must have had quite a lonely time during the absence of the ladies on a visit to Ft. Filmore. I would give anything to be a Ft. Union for a few days. This place is intolerably stupid. My time principally spent in reading. I have been duly engaged for the last two months in the study of some French military works from which I have derived much pleasure and I think some useful knowledge too. I have poured over them for whole nights when my rheumatism would not let me sleep.

I have now three or four other letters to write to Fort Union. It is now late and I must get them in the post office tomorrow morning. So I will have to conclude. My love to Byrne, McCook & Magruder. Remember me to all my friends at your post and don—™t forget to write by every mail.

Yours very truly,

D. Bell

P.S. Buford has been ordered to his company and Oakes and Garnett detailed on duty at the Cavalry depot. B. has not arrived here yet.

D.B.