War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0584 OPERATIONS IN TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO. Chapter VII.

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No. 22.

Washington, January 28, 1861.

I. Bvt. Major General David E. Twiggs, U. S. Army, is relieved from the command of the Department of Texas, and the command of that department is devolved upon Colonel Carlos A. Waite, First Infantry, who is assigned to duty according to his brevet rank.

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By order of the Secretary of War:




January 28, 1861.


Department of Texas, San Antonio, Tex.:

SIR: The intelligence communicated in Special Orders, No. 10, from Department Headquarters, and the many rumors in circulation, would seem to admonish every officer who has the care of public property to adopt such measures as may be necessary to protect it from lawless violence, so far as the means at his command will permit. In this view of my duties as commanding officer of a post, and for the purpose of making some defensive arrangements, I have deemed it proper to order the remainder of Captain Brackett's company to this place, without waiting for further instructions from your office. All the supplies for that company are drawn from this post, and the grazing in this vicinity is as good as that at Camp Ives. Captain Brackett's company has always been under the control of the commanding officer at this camp for all military operations, and I am not aware of any particular reason for keeping it at Camp Ives.

This camp is spread over much ground, and is the most ill-chosen and least defensible site I have ever seen selected for any military purposes. It is on ground that slopes down to Verde Creek, a stream that is fordable every few yards, and every part is exposed to the high ground on the other side, which is within short rifle range, and which completely commands it. To defend this position I have a company of cavalry armed with carbines-an arm of short range and not of much accuracy in firing. A body of riflemen, under the cover afforded on the opposite bank of the creek, a little beyond the range of our arms, could in a few hours kill a large number of our animals and inflict much injury on this command, while the troops would be comparatively powerless.

This camp can only be defended, without suffering much loss, by infantry, with the long-range musket or by having artillery. Not having infantry, I respectfully request that one or two pieces of artillery-say 6-pounders, or two mountain howitzers, with a supply of spherical-case, shot, canister, and round shot, together with the necessary implements (port-fire, slow-match, &c.)-may be sent here as early as practicable.

In making this application I assume that there is a probability, or at least a possibility, that a mob of reckless men may attempt to seize the public property here, the most valuable of which consists of fifty-three camels. I persume they are worth some $20,000. Whether there are any grounds for fearing an attack you know better than myself. In this isolated place we get but little correct information of what is passing