War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0568 OPERATIONS IN TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO. Chapter VII.

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troops should leave the State, were met by a force under command of Colonel Earl Van Dorn, of the Southern Confederacy and made prisoners of war. This occurred on the 9th instant, at San Lucas Spring, fifteen miles west of San Antonio. The force under my command, comprising the garrison of Forts Bliss, Quitman, and Davis, amounted to an aggregate, when leaving the latter post, of 320. This embraces ten officers, two hospital stewards, and twelve musicians. Colonel Bomford, Sixth Infantry, was also with the command. On the day of surrender my command numbered 270 bayonets, being thus reduced by sickness, desertions, and stragglers (some of whom have since joined) who remained at Castroville from drunkenness or other causes. The force opposed to me numbered, as (then variously estimated at from 1,500 to 1,700 men) since ascertained to be, was 1,370 aggregate, the total being 848 cavalry, 361 infantry, and 95 artillery, with six field pieces.

When the demand for a surrender was made, I was told that the force opposed to me was "overwhelming." I had halted in a good position for defense, and could have been overpowered only by a greatly superior force; and as none such was before me, I declined to surrender without the preparation of such force. It was on the march, and soon came in sight, but I was not satisfied of its strength until an officer of my command was permitted to examine and report to me the character and probable number of the forces. Upon his report I deemed resistance utterly hopeless, and therefore surrendered. My command is now encamped near the head of the San Antonio River, awaiting the orders of President Davis, to whom a messenger has been dispatched by Colonel Van Dorn. The officers on duty with the command were Captain Blake, Lieutenants Bliss, Lazelle, Peck, Frank, Van Horn, and W. G. Jones, Eighth Infantry; Lieutenant Freedley, Third Infantry, and Assistant Surgeon Peters, Medical Department. A more detailed report will be made as soon as practicable.

I am, sir, yours respectfully,


Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

Colonel L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.


SIR: In connection with the report which I have this day forwarded, relating to the surrender of the battalion of the Eighth Infantry under my command to the forces of the Confederate States of America, near this place, I also present the following details of the latter part of the march, and the circumstances which determined that surrender.

This report was not transmitted with the other, as it is extremely uncertain whether any reports of an official character are permitted to pass through the post-office here or those elsewhere in the South.

On leaving Fort Bliss sufficient transportation could be procured to carry subsistence for only forty days, in which time it was expected the command would reach San Antonio, making some little allowance for detentions by the way.

At Forts Quitman and Davis stores were taken to last the commands from those posts to San Antonio, not being able to carry more with the transportation at hand. From Camp Hudson to Fort Clark persons were occasionally seen on the road who appeared to be watching our movements, but they said they belonged to rangers who had been on a scout.