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Soon the Texans were within sight of the Stars and Stripes waving in the brisk winter winds over the rock and adobe walls of the Federal bastion. Sibley had hoped to provoke a battle on the level plain south of the fort where he could use his cavalry effectively. Edward Richard Sprigg Canby, a friend from the Mormon Expedition and the Navajo Campaign, was determined to defend the fort but hoping to avoid a pitched battle where he might be reliant on his hastily recruited New Mexico volunteers and his poorly trained and ill-equipped territorial militia.

He could assault the fort as suggested by some of his ofcers, but he feared a likely bloodbath that would cripple his army. He could bypass the fort, cross to the Rio Grandes east bank, and from a pedregal mesa shell the fort. Sibley decided to cross the river, bypass the fort, and reenter the valley just north of Mesa de la Contadero at Valverde ford, thus effectively disrupting all Union communications with the northern part of the territory. The plan was a dangerous gamble, but there were hardly alternatives. On February 19,. When a heavy Rebel artillery barrage caused considerable confusion in the Union ranks, Canby was forced to order a retreat.

Early on the morning of February 21, the advance guard of the Rebel army, led by Maj. Charles Lynn Pyron with men, was in the saddle reconnoitering the sandy road to Valverde. Approaching the Rio Grande, Pyron found that the Federals had anticipated his move and were in control of a leaess cottonwood grove along the east bank of the river. Without hesitation, the major ordered an attack on the Union forces in his front.

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Three times the Texans stormed the ford and three times they were driven off. By eleven oclock, the heavier Federal guns had driven the Texans from the bosque and an old riverbed that skirted the east bank. Sibley, who was either intoxicated, ill, or both, turned over command of the Army of New Mexico to Col. Tom Green, a hard-drinking and hardghting Mexican War veteran.

Two hours later, Colonel Canby arrived on the eld to the excited cheers of the Federals. Late in the afternoon, Colonel Green, by using a series of small sandhills along the east bank of the river as cover, ordered a furious charge against the Federal lines, especially a battery of artillery in the Union center commanded by a loyal and unwavering North Carolinian, Capt. Alexander MacRae. Although MacRaes battery poured a devastating re of round shot, grape, and shell into the charging Texans, the Rebels fell on the Union battery with a handto-hand savagery rarely seen in the annals of American military history.

The captured guns were dubbed the Valverde Battery and would remain the pride of the brigade for the remainder of the war. In this battle, the Sibley Brigade suffered casualties of which 72 men were killed, wounded, and 9 missing. Colonel Canbys Federals sustained losses of killed, wounded, and missing, a total of casualties. The adobe village of Socorro fell early on the morning of February 25, and by the afternoon of March 2, Sibleys. Eight days after the fall of Albuquerque, a Rebel advance rode into the adobe capital Santa Fe to nd the narrow streets of the once-thriving commercial center practically deserted; little food was available as well.

From his headquarters in Albuquerque, Sibley continued developing his plans to take Fort Union, the supply center for the U. Army in the Southwest and critical to the continuation of the campaign. On March 26, Major Pyron and a large reconnaissance force clashed with a column of hastily recruited Colorado Pikes Peakers commanded by Maj. John M. Chivington in the depths of Apache Canyon, only a few miles west of Glorieta Pass. Outanked and driven back, Pyron retreated only to be attacked a second and third time by the determined Coloradoans.

William R. Scurrys 4th Regiment and a battalion of Lt. William Steeles 7th Texas Cavalry, both at the village of Galisteo about twenty-ve miles south of Santa Fe, pushed across the rugged and broken landscape in the frigid winter darkness to join the fatigued Pyron at Johnsons Ranch at the mouth of Apache Canyon. When a Rebel reconnaissance the next morning failed to locate any Federals, Colonel Scurry pushed over 1, men and three pieces of artillery through Glorieta Pass, leaving a small force at Johnsons Ranch to guard the Confederate supply train.

John P. Sloughs Pikes Peakers in a battle that has been called the Gettysburg of the West. Colonel Scurry, who had his cheek twice grazed by Federal minie balls and his. John S. Shropshire and Col. Henry Raguet had been mortally wounded in the nal hours of victory. Thirty-one of the dead Texans were buried in a shallow grave three hundred yards east of Pigeons Ranch with picks and shovels borrowed from the Federals who had returned to the battleeld under a ag of truce to gather their dead and wounded.

Early on the morning of the battle, Major Chivington had led Federals along the San Cristobal Trail and across the rugged heights of Rowe Mesa south of the Santa Fe Trail to attack and destroy the Confederate supply train containing the Rebels quartermaster stores, camp and garrison equipage, ordnance supplies, and personal belongings.

Fatigued, low on ammunition, and out of food, Scurry was left no alternative but to order a retreat to Santa Fe. For the next several days, his Rebels straggled into the narrow streets of the rock-and-adobe territorial capital. Some rode, some walked, and some hobbled in, the Santa Fe Weekly Gazette recorded. Rebel scouts brought word that Colonel Canby had left Fort Craig with a sizeable army and was advancing rapidly up the Rio Grande. Fearing the loss of additional supplies at Albuquerque, Sibley, who was drunk a large part of the time, ordered a retreat downriver.

Canby reached Albuquerque rst, however, but failed in several halfhearted sorties to overrun two companies of determined Confederates occupying the town. After burying six pieces of artillery, the Rebels commenced a retreat down the Rio Grande. Early on the morning of April 15, part of the Army of New Mexico was encamped at the village of Peralta when they were awakened by the crack of muskets and the sound of Union bugles in the distance.

A sharp ght. At two oclock in the afternoon, a suffocating dust storm swept down the valley, blanketing the two armies and encouraging General Canby to break contact with the Rebels. Realizing he could not sustain large numbers of Confederate prisoners and fearing heavy casualties, Canby was content to simply allow the Texans to escape down the Rio Grande. Retreating downriver and forced to abandon plans to attack and destroy Fort Craig, General Sibley, in a stormy meeting with his regimental commanders, decided to bypass the central Rio Grande Valley, Fort Craig, and the well-traversed Camino Real by taking a less secure and uncertain mountainous route west of the river.

With only their ries and ammunition, what was left of their animals, and what each man could carry on his back, the defeated Texans trudged off under the cover of darkness for the cactus-studded north end of the rugged Magdalena Mountains. Bypassing Fort Craig proved to be a painful experience for the fatigued and demoralized Confederates.

Battered and starved, for eight long days the men struggled across an almost trackless expanse of uncharted wilderness. Passing west of the Magdalena Mountains and along the eastern slopes of the blue-tinted San Mateo Mountains, the freezing and hungry army encountered what seemed to be an endless series of perilously deep canyons and steep, dry arroyos. During the arduous mile march, some of the men were forced to kill their oxen for food.

Others, as later chronicler William Davidson recalled, lived on antelope and bear meat. A Union patrol that traversed the route of the retreating Texans a week later reported a dismal path of death and devastation. Wrecked ambulances and carriages, burned caissons and wagons, dead horses and mules, harnesses, medicine, other valuable hospital supplies, camp equipage, and all kinds of personal items were strewn along the route. In one place the Federals found three of Sibleys dead soldiers half buried in the sand, and in another, a mans arm half eaten by wolves.

Even Col. William Steele, who was left behind in the Mesilla Valley, retreated when news came that a Federal column under Brig. James Carleton was advancing across the gran desierto from California. The departure of Steele and his last few Texans marked the end of Richmonds eeting hopes for an empire in the Southwest.

The retreat of the Sibley Brigade across the burning Chihuahuan desert of West Texas in the scorching summer of proved to be an ordeal of the rst magnitude, one that would be rmly etched in the minds of the boys in tattered homespun and butternut for the remainder of their lives. Simply surviving became the order of the day.

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With blistered feet and swollen tongues, the men in rags staggered ever eastward, nding the few watering holes in the region stuffed with putrid and decaying sheep and coyote carcasses courtesy of the hostile Mescalero Apaches. One resident of San Antonio, who had watched the Sibley Brigade march off to war in with drums beating and ags ying, and every man, from the General downward, condent of victory, saw the same men come straggling back on boot, broken, disorganized, and in an altogether deplorable condition.

Other valuable documents were carelessly lost or destroyed. With the centennial of the war came the publication of rst-hand accounts of the New Mexico Campaign. Carefully scrutinized by historians, several journals and letters helped them reconstruct the disastrous events of that winter and spring. The principal author, a colorful and graphic storyteller, William Lott Davidson, had been a twenty-four-year-old private in Maj.

Davidson and Eliza Jane Lott. After the death of his mother when he was only fteen, Davidson relocated with his father to Texas, where the family rst settled near San Antonio before acquiring a plantation near Eagle Lake in Colorado County. So severe was the injury that the arrow had to be sawed out of the jawbone. James H. Brownes Bexar County Minute Men.

Davidson, was elected to the Texas secession convention and, when war erupted, raised his own battalion; he was killed in Louisiana in October, John Bankhead Magruder for somehow disobeying orders. Davidson was in Maj. Sherod Hunters Mosquito Fleet when volunteers, using sugar coolers for boats and with mufed oars, paddled down Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya River in darkness for eight hours to strike the rear of Brashear City on June 23, Davidson also saw action at Lafourche and Coxs Plantation, where he was again wounded.

Davidson recalled, perhaps exaggerating, how he was twice captured and taken to New Orleans but managed to escape and rejoin his company.

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Promoted to major, Davidson was at Monetts Ferry on April 23, , and in the bloody Battle of Yellow Bayou on May 18, , the last engagement of the Red River Campaign, where he was shot through the body and thigh and left on the battleeld for dead. Indeed, few Confederate soldiers endured more frequent wounds and greater stress upon mind and body during the war that Major Davidson.

After the war, Davidson returned to Columbus, where he married Jane Eliza Calder on June 26, , and helped care for two younger brothers. Resuming the practice of law, he was elected the public attorney for Fort Bend, Goliad, and Victoria Counties and served as district attorney of three different districts. The only published record at the time was Noels A Campaign from Santa Fe to the Mississippi, which was inaccurate and out of print.

Davidson was motivated to write his version of the New Mexico Campaign by Sharp Runnels Whitley, who had served as a private in Company F, 5th Regiment, and who began publishing a series of articles and letters relative to the activities of the men of the brigade in the Overton Sharp-Shooter, which he owned and edited in Rusk County. At the annual meeting of the brigade in Galveston in August, , Whitley announced that Davidson had consented to write a history of the brigade.

At the gathering of the old battle-scared heroes and hard looking old fellows the following year in Dallas, Whitley gave further notice that he would be publishing Davidsons history serially in the SharpShooter. Phil Fulcrod, who had been a second lieutenant in the artillery company of the 5th Texas, and W. As Davidson began to write the history, he also sought the assistance of the gray and aging Alfred B. Peticolas, who generously shared large portions of his detailed diary.

In his account of the retreat back to San Antonio, Davidson was also reliant on Noel. The history of the Sibley Brigade began to appear in the Sharp-Shooter on October 6, , and continued until September 20, Many of the events in New Mexico came to be exaggerated in the minds of the old veterans.

The Rebel advance on Capt. Magnied by the passage of time, the courage of the boys in gray at the Battle of Glorieta became equated with the heroic defense of the Spartans at Thermopylae in B. In the minds of the old veterans, the Civil War had become the greatest war in history, the ofcers of the Sibley Brigade the greatest ofcers of all time, and Brig.

S Canby the best and bravest general in the Union Army. Much of what Davidson wrote that does not directly relate to the New Mexico Campaign has been omitted from this collection. Other editorial changes, including the shortening of sentences and paragraphs, were also necessary. Moreover, large sections have been rearranged to place events in their proper chronological order.

Since the writings of Peticolas and Noel have been previously published, those portions, as well as the long lists of brigade personnel and casualty lists, have also been deleted. The Sharp-Shooter recollections furnish rich and often amusing details, providing a human and often humorous touch to the triumphs and suffering of the young Texans.

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Sam R. Watkinss classic Civil War memoir, Co. Aytch, which was also marvelously avorful but partly apocryphal, Davidson and his comrades are natural storytellers who balance the horrors of war with an irrepressible sense of humor and a sharp eye for detail and general accuracy. Civil War in the Southwest is a living memoir of a courageous band of young and ambitious Texans who marched west to seek glory and renown but found only death and destruction in a barren, hostile, and foreboding land far from the home res of the Lone Star State.

Born in , while yet in its very infancy, it found that it not only had one of the richest and most powerful nations on earth to contend with, who had an unlimited supply of money, a grand army and a powerful navy, but every other nation on earth was disposed to give that nation all the secret assistance they could, and to frown upon the new born infant.

The United States had the entire world to recruit from; the Confederate States had to rely upon her sons alone. The leaders of our government were informed that there were many thousand stands of arms belonging to the United States government stored in the different forts of Arizona and New Mexico. They were also informed and believed it to be true, that if those territories were taken and held by our forces, many of the citizens there would ock to our standard and enlist under our banner. It is also a fact that had the southern arms taken possession of and held those territories, many good soldiers could have been obtained from there.

All the troops we got from there, however, were a few who were willing to abandon their property to be conscated by the U. It was hoped we could move secretly and rapidly from Texas and capture the different forts, take those arms, and leaving a sufcient force to hold those. Sterling] Price, and go on to join Gen. Robert E. Lee in Virginia. Had this plan been carried out, the result of the war might have been very different, for we would have had the services of some brave men that we did not get.

General Price would have received support and Lee would have had the assistance of as ne a brigade of as brave soldiers as ever went upon a battleeld and the Confederate States could have armed several thousand men that they were before unable to arm. To carry out this plan, Gen. H[enry] H[opkins] Sibley, in June, , was ordered to raise three regiments of cavalry and one battery of artillerythe men to furnish their own arms and horsesmarch to El Paso, take [Lt.

John Robert] Baylors regiment of four companies that were already there, and [Capt. Trevanion Theodore] Teels battery already there too, and capture the different forts and garrisons in Arizona and New Mexico, and secure the government arms and artillery there, and in accordance with this plan General Sibley in July, , called on all who wanted to volunteer to rendezvous at San Antonio, Texas. In the rst place, the recruitment was one that required great secrecy and dispatch, for the reason that the object was to appear there and capture those forts and take those arms before the enemy was aware of our intention.

Of course it stood to reason that if the enemy found out our intention, they would throw reinforcements in there to oppose us, and if they could not drive us out, they at least would remove the arms out of our reach. But our side seemed to act as if they thought our enemies had neither courage or discretion, for the papers were full of aming posters for months before we started, detailing particularly what our object was and our destination.

The consequence was, when after months of delay we did appear in New Mexico, we found an army twice as large as ours. This may be set down as cause No. We were ordered to rendezvous at San Antonio. By reference to the map of Texas we found that those troops who left Fort Worth, when they got to San Antonio, were further from El Paso than when they left home, and yet they had traveled two-thirds of the necessary distance to take them to El Paso. But the excuse was that it was necessary to concentrate there in order to procure transportation and organize.

They seemed to forget that one-half of the brigade had to come nearly as far as El Paso to get to San Antonio and they seemed to forget, too, that the brigade was composed of Texans inbred from their earliest boyhood to hardships, used to camping out and who would have thought nothing of taking their blankets, arms and provisions, and making the trip to El Paso, stopping occasionally at some of the posts they passed to replenish their supply of bread. The rst of August, , found us encamped on the Salado. This was under the plea of procuring transportation, but I have a very distinct recollection that we had to come back without transportation, so we might as well have started without it and when winter had set in and it became perfectly plain to all sensible men that our horses and teams could not make a trip of that sort on grass in mid-winter, we were ordered to take up the line of march for El Paso.

This may be put down as cause No. General Sibley, who was placed in command of the expedition, was an old Union army ofcer and we heard that he had the reputation in that army of being a brave and gallant ofcer, but no matter what he might have been in the old army, when he came to us he was the very last man on earth who ought to have been placed in command of that expedition.

In the rst place, he had held the rank of major in the old army and his sudden promotion to the rank of a brigadier-general in the new army was more than he could stand, and being so elated at his promotion, he had not the prudence to keep his tongue still but gave it free rein and espoused all his plans, so that the enemy generally knew as much about his plans and intentions as he did himself.

Again, when General Sibley was placed in command of us, he was in the sear and yellow leaf of his life. He was too old, lazy and indolent, so that instead of exerting himself and trying to hunt up his transportation, he very patiently waited for it to hunt him up. An ordinary energetic man would have had everything ready by the rst of September.

General Sibley had formed too intimate an acquaintance with John Barley Corn and much of his time that should have been spent in organizing and starting his expedition was taken up in communion with that very potent individual. Sibley, by his long service in the old army, had acquired certain ideas and habits that he could not divest himself of.

He had to have an innumerable lot of tents and camp equipage, a long line of transportation and supply wagons, and that curse of all armiesa sutlers caravan. This might have all done very well if it had been a regular army of mercenary soldiers and had we have had eternity before us. But as time and speed were the essentials of success in this matter, his ideas did not suit, and so far as his sutlers were concerned, one-half of the members of that brigade could have bought out his entire sutler stock several times over.

All these things worked delay, and delay was the very thing that was to ruin us. At last, in the middle of November, we started moving west, our horses and teams living on grass, when it was well-known that our animals could hardly live through the winter without being worked at all. The consequence was to arrive in front of Fort Craig on the 15th of February , with no horses t for service and our teams scarcely able to travel.

If there was a single man in that brigade that did not know when we left San Antonio that our expedition would be a failure, that man was General Sibley, but none of us ever dreamed that it would be as disastrous as it really was. The result of that failure was the loss of wagons, 3, mules, and worse than all, 1, of as brave men as ever mustered on a battle eld, and for all this no good ever resulted in any way to our side.

Its true we fought some desperate battles, won every ght, and killed many of the enemy, but we never reaped the fruits of a single victory, and for this somebody is heavily to blame, and it could not be the men for they responded nobly to every call upon them and never failed to do what they were ordered.

Let future generations lay the blame where it belongs on the shoulders of General Sibley. But to make this cause more complete and to render disaster, defeat and failure certain, when we reached Fort Craig instead of taking it, we marched around it and left an army in our rear thus cutting off our own supplies and voluntarily placing ourselves between two armies. Another grand cause and this was not conned to General Sibley for many ofcers and men indulged in it, that contributed to our failure, was.

Had General Sibley been placed in command of a brigade of regulars to march in open country where supplies could be obtained, he might have become a great commander. But a campaign in mid-winter, over mountains that wagons could hardly pass, and where supplies could not be obtained, was a very different matter and did not seem to suit his turn of mind.

There were three, six-mule wagons furnished to each company, and the general regimental and medical headquarters were abundantly supplied with wagons and teams. It was the most complete and perfectly equipped brigade sent out by the Confederacy during the war and I do not believe one more thoroughly equipped was ever sent out by any nation, and for this General Sibley deserves credit. Our arms consisted mostly of double-barrel shotguns. They were not considered as army guns, but the truth is, just place plenty of courage behind a double-barrel shotgun and it will whip any one on earth.

After the organization was complete, and after everything was ready to start, we were kept laying around San Antonio for six weeks before we took up the line of march. Several times orders were issued for us to take up the line of march and we prepared to do so, but the orders were as often countermanded. The rst startling fact is that from this brigade there were made for gallantry one major general and ve brigadier generals, and one [ James] Reily recommended for appointment as a [brigadier] general but fell before he received it.

The second startling fact is that of the nine regimental eld ofcers in the three regiments that left San Antonio, every one except Lieutenant Colonel [Henry C. Five generals! Those words speak volumes. Had these generals come up by regular promotion upon the death or fall of a superior ofcer, and stayed in and over the brigade, it might not seem so extraordinary.

But the generals with the exception of Green and Hardeman, were promoted for gallantry while in the brigade and sent to command other brigades. But we must recollect that this brigade was composed of volunteers from the very ower of the chivalry of Texas and that when Texas called on them, these men left their homes, property, and loved ones, their wives, children, mothers, [and] sweethearts and went into the ranks of their struggling countrymen to uphold their honor and sustain their cause.

No selsh motives actuated them but they enlisted for the war solely for their countrys good. These were the words that carried joy and gladness to the hearts of the members of the Sibley Brigade, uttered about the middle of November, They had enlisted for the war fully bent on doing all in their power to carry the Southern cross to victory, and to make the Confederate States a free sovereign and independent nation.

Most of them were boys ranging in age from eighteen to twenty-three years, and fully expecting to whip the whole United States in time to be at home for the Christmas dinner. But contrary to their expectation they had been compelled to lay around San Antonio for several weary, tedious months, waiting for orders to march, and now at last those orders had come and overowed their souls with joy.

It is true, that the boys while waiting in camp seemed to be contented, but the Confederate soldier had a way of taking things as they come and making the best of everything, and whether his bed was mother earth with the stars of heaven for a covering, or whether he slept in luxury and ease on feather beds and downy pillows in magnicent palaces, whether he was in a palace or a hovel, whether he was eating magnicent dinners of the very fat of the land, or dining on parched corn and cold water, whether he was arrayed in a costume betting a Broadway dude or clothes in rags and tatters scarcely sufcient to hide his skin, whether warmly sheltered from the bleak winds of winter, or exposed to the most chilling blast, whether lying in.

He was to carry aloft the ag of the South amid the din of battle, the roar of cannon, and the crash of musketry. So while the boys had been kept a long time around San Antonio, they had taken the matter coolly and made the most of it by enjoying themselves the best they could by visiting San Antonio and the neighbors around, and I have heard it stated that some of them found sweethearts in that section and spent a good deal of time with them. I do not know how true that was, as my own experience in the sweetheart business has been very limited, but Im inclined to believe that it is one of the easiest things in the world for a fellow to love a pretty girl.


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In fact, I never could see how he could help it, but getting that pretty girl to love a fellow, it seems to me would be the rub. But the orders had at last come, and now they had to bid good-bye to San Antonio and their sweetheartsif they had any. When the orders came the brigade was drawn up in line, the 4th Regiment, Colonel Reily commanding, was on the right, then Lt. At last we were to have a chance to contribute our share in covering the Confederate arms with glory. The next day we marched to San Antonio. There were thirty companies of cavalry, the nest dressed and equipped body of men that ever left this or any other state.

They were nely mounted, well armed, splendidly supplied with blankets, their whole outt perfect and complete, three thousand of the noblest sons Texas ever had, all in good health and ne spirits and all eager for the fray. I see them now, those noblemen, leaving home, family, friends, re-sidemany never to returnat the call of their country to peril their lives for her sake.

The Southern soldier who was half-clad, ragged and bare-footed, considered himself fortunate to get a half-ration of blue beef and a piece of our dough without shortening of any sort and cooked by wrapping it around his ramrod and holding it over the re. His only pay was a piece of. The orders of the march were as follows: 1st.

The 4th Regiment with Lieutenant Reilys section of artillery was to take the advance, marching one day in advance. The 5th Regiment with Lieutenant Fulcrods section of artillery was to follow one day in the rear of the 4th Regiment. The 7th Regiment with Lieutenant Woods section of artillery was to follow one day in rear of the 5th Regiment. But as each regiment had about thirty wagons with six mules to each, the line of march was such that water and grass could not be had in sufcient quantities for so large a body of men and horses and the regiments were afterwards subdivided into three detachments each and in that way the march was conducted to El Paso.

As the history of the march of one of the detachments is the history of all, we will follow the one that the writer was with, Companies A, B, C, and D of the 5th. Colonel Green in person accompanying this detachment. There was, however, a detachment of three companies of the 5th ahead of us and the other three followed behind us. The rst day from San Antonio we marched fteen miles to San Lucas Spring, a very large spring bubbling out of the ground just to the left of the road.

On the next day we crossed the Medina River, marched through the town of Castroville, and camped about half way between Castroville and the Hondo, where we had an abundant supply of wood but no water and but little grass. We crossed the Hondo at a little settlement then called Aberdeen, marched through the town of DHanis on the Seco, crossed and camped on it where we had an abundant supply of wood, water and grass, considering the season.


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There was no timber to shield us and the wind swept at us, and the boys on guard at night must have had a hard time pacing their beats on. We were tasting the bitter delights and mournful realities of a soldiers life. We are now for the rst time beginning to nd out that we are engaged in no childs play. Yet we are one and all determined to sustain the honor of the great State of Texas or die in the attempt. From here we moved to Fort Clark, passing a very large spring that seemed to come up out of a rock and form a large basin where the water was as clear as crystal.

It has been twenty-six years since these things occurred, and I am writing from memory. All my notes were destroyed when the enemy burned our camp equipage and wagons at Glorieta. At this cave we camped two days, and the boys ransacked the cave very thoroughly. This seemed to be a peculiar characteristic of the Confederate soldier.

He would march all day and ransack the whole country for ten miles round his camp at night. In fact, some malicious people charged upon him that he would ght all day and steal pigs, chickens and turkeys all night. Some even said that he did not stop at pigs, chickens and turkeys but that bee-gums, sheep, goats, or even old ganders along his line of march stood no show.

But I rather think this was a slander, as the whole world, and everybody in the South knows that the Confederate soldier was a paragon of honesty and proper conduct and would no more interfere with swine and poultry along his line of march, unless under very extraordinary circumstances, than the devil would touch holy water. From the Painted Cave we marched to the Pecos, passing an old stage stand on the route. Leaving old Fort Lancaster on our left we marched up the Pecos to the Horse Head crossing, where we crossed, thence we continued up the valley of the Pecos until we left the valley and marched to Fort Stockton.

While at these water holes, a. Here we rested two days as we had the refreshing prospect before us of another long march for water. This we also made in one night and two days although we did not march all night either night. Here our guide informed us that we were miles from the Rio Grande, and that there were but two watering places along the old military route, Van Horns Wells, ninety miles off, and Eagle Springs, twenty miles farther, and that neither of these would afford sufcient water for our purposes, that we had to divide into small squads and go forward a few at a time.

A wagon had never traveled over it, but he felt certain that he could pilot us through. Colonel Green told him to strike out and hed follow. We struck above the old trail through the mountains, and after awhile we came to a clear pretty stream, with plenty of grass, but wood was awful scarce and we had to dig for roots to make re.

Here we rested two days and marched over to the other creek where we camped. The next morning Colonel Green ordered the writer to take twenty men and go forward with the guide, whose name was Dunn, and survey a route for the army to pass through the mountains into the Rio Grande Valley. Here we limited ourselves to three swallows of water each, as we knew that our water had to last until the next evening. We then mounted our horses and marched steadily until after sunset before we camped. Here we ate our cold supper, took three more swallows of water, made no re, picketed our horses, placed out our guards and went to sleep.

About 1 oclock the Indians made a dash upon us, evidently with the intention of stampeding our. The next morning we ate our cold breakfast. Oh, how bad we wanted a cup of coffee that morning but we took three more swallows of water and started on the march before sunrise. We marched steadily until 12 oclock, halted, rested one hour, ate our dinner, and drank three more swallows of water.

About 4 oclock in the evening we entered a canyon which we followed down until it struck the Rio Grande. We all drank what water we had in our canteens. It was dark when we got to the Rio Grande. Here our guide told us that we had missed the canyon that he wanted the army to come down. It had been perfectly plain to us all the time that wagons could not come down the canyon we did, and that some of us would have to go back up a canyon he would put us in the next morning and turn the army into that. This latter canyon ran into the Rio Grande right at Fort Quitman.

Just about the time I was beginning to despair, thinking I had a long gallop over the prairie to turn them, we saw the column turn towards us. They did not get to us until late in the evening and it was too late to make the river, so we remained there until the next morning. This route the boys denominated Dunns Cut Off. Here I quit the position of quartermaster sergeant and went back to my company.

We had marched miles facing the north wind in the middle of winter. Our teams were worn down until they could hardly walk and our horses were not much better, but we have plenty of corn now. We were in winter camp with everything comfortable around us on this Christmas Eve.

How we sat around our re and laugh at the 7th Regiment. Well, old fellows, we are sorry for you but we had to bear it, so you will have to pull through. We would like to have you here tomorrow to take a Christmas dinner with us, but you see you would be a lot of soldiers and go to campaigning in the dead of winter, and now you see what a x you are in. Pleasant, isnt it? But pshaw! You havent seen anything yet to what you are going to see. Ill tell you something else, too, Colonel Baylor is here. Hes just had a ght with the Yanks and his boys behaved splendidly. He and the Yanks have been exchanging compliments and threatening to hurt each other for the past eight months, and the other day they tried each other on and Baylor and his men got away with them.

Well think of you tomorrow over our dinner. Well take a few mouthfuls for you, well drink a little wine to your health, and when you get up, well give you a good, big hearty cheer. Which started with initial success, but ended in failure when the supplies were destroyed, preventing Sibley from capturing the Fort Union supplies in Mora.

Anyways, anybody know any diaries or first hand accounts to read? Membership has it privileges!

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To remove this ad: Register NOW! Legion Para Captain Retired Moderator. Aug 29, Joined Jul 12, Messages 6, These is some very interesting information both published and unpublished. Some of it tucked away in university archives and historical societies. I suggest you do a Google search. Thompson Editor , Donald S. Frazier Goodreads Author Frazier In and , in the vast deserts and rugged mountains of the Southwest, eighteen hundred miles from Washington and Richmond, the Civil War raged in a struggle that could have decided the fate of the nation. In the summer and fall of , Gen.

Henry Hopkins Sibley raised a brigade of young and zealous Texans to invade New Mexico Territory as a step toward the conquest of Colorado and California and the creation of a Confederate empire in the Southwest. Of the Sibley Brigade's sixteen major battles during the war, their most excruciating experiences came during the ill-fated New Mexico Campaign.

Civil War in the Southwest tells the dramatic story of that campaign in the words of some of the actual participants. Written "to set the record straight," these veterans' stories provide colorful accounts of the bloody battles of Valverde, Glorieta, and Peralta, as well as details of the soldiers' tragic and painful retreat back to Texas in the summer of With his extensive knowledge of Sibley's campaign, Thompson has provided context for the eyewitness accounts-and corrections where needed-to produce a campaign history that is intimate and passionate, yet accurate in the smallest detail.

History readers will find much to ponder in these unique first-person recollections of a campaign that, had it succeeded, would have radically altered the history of the Southern Confederacy and the United States. Forum Host. Joined Nov 20, Messages 7, Location Texas. The above mentioned book is a good one. Frazier if you haven't read it. Aug 30, Joined Aug 25, Messages 15, The far west was a side show for both sides.

It appears to me that the war could neither be won in the far west or lost in the far west. The real impact of the war in the far west was how it would have changed things if the Confederacy had found a way to win the war. Just how well the use of a slave labor based economic system would have worked in California or Colorado is open to discussion. Including areas in an independent Confederacy where the use of slavery was limited could turn out to be a problem.

If the goal of the Confederacy was to keep slavery legal forever, then including areas were slavery might struggle or die out in the next years would be a threat to the Confederacy as a whole. Desert Kid Sergeant Major Aug 30, Joined Dec 3, Messages 2, Location Arizona.

I'm still praying for the day somebody writes something about Captain Sherod Hunter. Joined Apr 7, Messages An excellent book covering Sibley's campaign from end to end. Peticolas served in the Fourth Mounted Volunteers, and besides writing the journal made a number of sketches to illustrate it. Good Luck with the Search, Dave.

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Sep 1, Thanks for the shoutout, AUG! When I get home this afternoon, I will definitely contribute to this thread. Desert Kid said:. Products of this store will be shipped directly from the US to your country.

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