War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0501 Chapter XXI. ENGAGEMENT OF VALVERDE, N. MEX.

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whenever I should discover that a general movement was being made against the enemy's right. I was finally informed by one of my messengers that the request was granted; but it is proper to state that I have since been informed by Colonel Roberts that the received no such request.

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It only remains for me to say that during the whole of the day I was nobly supported by all the officers and men under my command.

The conduct of Captains Morris, Howland, Tilford, and Treacy, commanding companies, and Lieutenant Falvey, Texter, Wall, and Ewing was characterized by the greatest zeal and coolness.

Lieutenant Claflin also obeyed the orders given him with alacrity, but before the most important events of the day occurred he had been detached from my command.

The conduct and deportment of the non-commissioned officers and men were equally commendable.

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

THOMAS DUNCAN,

Major, Third U. S. Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.

Acting Second Lieutenant C. MEINHOLD, Third U. S. Cavalry,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. SOUTHERN MILITARY DIST., DEPT. OF N. MEX.,

Fort Craig, N. Mex., March 8, 1862.

MAJOR: I have received your report, corrected, as you state, in accordance with the suggestion contained in my letter of the 5th instant. You have not, however, in that alternation removed the clear repugnancy of your statement that-

After the arrival of our infantry, and before Colonel Canby had reached the field, I sent several messengers to Colonel Roberts, requesting authority to move my whole force through the timber to our right, &c.

That position through the timber to your right is the very one I had repeatedly ordered you to take and hold, and you had three times justified your non-execution of the order by saying your force was insufficient, the ground did not permit it, &c. From the beginning of the action I was directing all my forces to drive the enemy from his position in this bosque and to move McRae's battery to that point, as I knew that the position enfiladed the line of sand drift and commanded every position on the field where the Confederate could find shelter and prepare any plan of battle.

The contradiction of your report, major, is this: That you sent several messages to me requesting permission to take position where I had repeatedly ordered you [to] go, and you had as often declined even to make the attempt. An officer must have strong reasons for any justification of non-execution of orders on the field of battle, and I am constrained to confess that after a good deal of reflection I am convinced that, had you attacked vigorously with all your force after I re-enforced you with Brotherton's company of bayonets, you would have carried and held the enemy's left with little loss, and the subsequent misfortunes of the day would not have occurred.

I will thank you for the names of the messengers you sent me with