Today in History:

1055 Series I Volume XXXIV-I Serial 61 - Red River Campaign Part I


Tio Cano, and Cotitlo, thence to Como se Llama to form a junction with Lieutenant-Colonel Showalter. We remained at that point a day to dry beef, and selected the best horses, sending the others to Edinburg under Captain Davis. We then moved to the Paso del Gigante, on the Arroyo Colorado, and thence to the road from Rio Grande City to Brownsville, striking it between the Carricitos and the Rucias Ranches, 24 miles from Brownsville, about 10 a. m. on the 25th day June. Lieutenant-Colonel Fisher was sent with a small party to reconnoiter the Carricitos Ranch. Meantime some Mexicans were captured, and previous information of the locality of the enemy verified. I immediately moved upon the rancho of Las Rucias by an obscure trail through the chaparral, and arrived within a few hundred yards of the enemy without being discovered. They had no pickets on the Brownsville end of the road. Captain Dunn was sent forward with a small party to fell of the enemy, and found them much nearer than was anticipated. A brisk fire was opened, and Captain Dunn charged upn largely superior numbers. He fell very soon. Captain Cristoval Benavides had his horse killed under him, Lieutenant Gardiner, of the artillery, also; Sergeant Cockered, of Showalter's command, and Hijenio Sanchez, of Benavides' battalion, were killed. Colonel Showalter promptly supported the advance, and carried his men into action gallantly. The Yankees occupied the jacals (Mexican houses), a large brick building, and fought from the cover of a large pile of bricks. They also had the advantage of heavy fences. Very soon after Showalter engaged, Cater's and Benavides' battalions were led in, and the Yankees were driven from all their covers. They fell back to the bank of a large laguna, and maintained a heavy fire, which was replied to, but with little effect. I directed Captain Refugio Benavides to lead his battalion behind a fence to the bank of the laguna and turn the right flank of the enemy and command the ground in rear of the houses. He misunderstood the order, and moved to the extreme right and attempted to turn their left flank by two charges on horse, which were not effective, because he could not enter the laguna. Showalter and Cater charged them in front on foot, and was joined by Benavides, whose command dismounted. Thirty-six of the enemy surrendered. A good many escaped across the laguna, many of them wounded. Some of them crossed the Rio Grande and secreted themselves in the cane. The force of the enemy was over 100, and consisted of Companies A and C of Davis' renegade cavalry, commanded by Captain Temple. We had the advantage in numbers, having about 250 engaged out of 400, but they had it greatly in arms and position. Their loss was some 20 killed, 10 or 20 wounded, and 36 prisoners. Those wounded in the laguna were drowned. Lieutenant Zoeller is said by the prisoners to have been killed. Captain Temple left early. The prisoners are nearly all renegades, and had been made to believe they would receive no quarter, and hence their desperate resistance.

Our loss was 3 killed and 4 wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Showalter, Captain Refugio Benavides, and Captain Cater acted well. Captain Cristoval Benavides, Captain Ferrill, and Lieutenant Gardiner deserve credit for gallant conduct. Lieutenant Coulter, of Captain Theodore Anderson's company, Cater's battalion, was wounded in the last charge in front of the line. All acted well. Gidding's battalion did not reach the scene of action until the skirmish had almost closed. They were formed and led in, but found but little to do.

We captured 2 wagons and teams complete, 28 horses, which were