Today in History:

6 Series I Volume IV- Serial 4 - Operations in the South and West

Page 6(Official Records Volume 4)


water for the suffering men in the rear. When I had nearly reached the Springs word was brought me that a mounted force was approaching in our rear; but it was believed to be Captain Gibbs, R. M. R., with his command, and soon after that supposition was confirmed by another express.

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

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

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

Inclosed is a copy of the terms of surrender.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. LYNDE, Major, Seventh Infantry.

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