Today in History:

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

Page 8(Official Records Volume 4)


for several hours. On arriving at the mouth of the cannon I assumed command of the cavalry force, consisting of Companies F, B, and I, and a part of G, Mounted Rifles-70 men strong. The Texans, under Colonel Baylor and Major Waller, and about 320 strong (all cavalry), with some dismounted men, and what seemed to be a couple of pieces of artillery, at this time debouched from behind the point hill below me to the left, and captured the beef cattle and my two wagons. I deployed 50 men as skirmishers, with 20 men as a reserve; but finding that I was entirely outflanked, I formed column of sections and prepared to charge with drawn pistols.

Before doing this I sent back word to Major Lynde, by an intelligent man, the exact state of affairs. He brought back word to protect the wagons, if possible, and then to fall back on the main camp. As most of the men had thrown away their muskets and gone to the front, I retreated slowly and in good order, forming in line three times, and keeping the Texans in check by causing them also to form line. On arriving at the crest of the Pass I galloped into camp and reported myself to Major Lynde as ready for action, and asked where I should take position. Part of the infantry companies were already formed and men were rapidly falling into ranks. Major Lynde told me to dismount and water my men and horses. As we had been twenty-four hors without water I did so, and was ready in fifteen minutes for duty.

The Texans then began to form on the plateau a quarter of a mile in our rear, and I saw Lieutenant Brooks ride out towards them. Major Lynde at this time sent me word that I could leave for Fort Stanton, my men Colonel Baylor had arrived, the surrender had been agreed upon by Major Lynde and himself without consulting a single officer, and I was ordered by Major Lynde not to attempt to escape. Upon being informed of the surrender, every officer in the command protested against it; but it was of no avail, and the command of seven companies of the Seventh U. S. Infantry and three companies of Rifles were voluntarily surrendered without striking a blow. After great suffering for want of water we were marched to Las Cruces, when our horses, arms, transportation, &c., were turned over to the Texans.

We left Las Cruces on the 2nd instant and arrived here this morning. The Seventh Infantry were to leave on the 3rd, and will probably be here to-morrow. I respectfully state that charges against Major Lynde, under the fifty-second and ninety-ninth Articles of War, have been preferred, and are now in the hands of Captain Potter, commanding Seventh Regiment.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALFRED GIBBS, Captain, U. S. Rifles, Commanding Squadron.

Colonel E. R. S. CANBY, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, Commanding Dep't New Mexico, Through Captain R. M. Morris, Commanding Fort Craig, N. Mex.

FORT UNION, N. MEX., August 29, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report my arrival at this post on yesterday with three paroled officers and the detachment of Mounted Rifles included in the surrender of the 27th ultimo. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 23rd, 24th, and