tainable there having become exhausted, it was determined to occupy, with the whole army, the village of Manzano, intermediate between Fort Union, Albuquerque, and Fort Craig, and securing as a line of communication the road to Fort Stanton.
This plan was disconcerted, however, by the rapid and continuous expresses from Albuquerque, urging the necessity of re-enforcements to hold the place (the depot of all our supplies) against the advancing forces of Canby from Fort Craig.
The entire force was accordingly moved by forced marches in the direction of Albuquerque, arriving too late to encounter the enemy, but time enough to secure our limited supplies from the contingency of capture.
In our straightened circumstances the question now arose in my mind whether to evacuate the country or take the desperate chances of fighting the enemy in his stronghold (Union), for scant rations at the best. The course adopted was deemed the wisest.
On the morning of April 12 the evacuation commenced by the crossing of Scurry's (Fourth) regiment, the battalion of Steele's regiment, Pyron's command, and a part of the artillery, by ferry and ford, to the west bank of the river. Green's regiment was ordered to follow; but finding the ford to be difficult, he encamped for the night on the east bank, hoping to be able on the ensuing morning to find a better ford lower down the river.
Accordingly on the next day that officer proceeded with his regiment as low down as Peralta, opposite Los Lunas, the point at which I had halted the balance of the army to await his arrival.
In the mean time Canby, having formed a junction with a large force from Fort Union, debouched through a canon after night-fall to the neighborhood of the river, taking a commanding position in close proximity to Green's camp, and in the morning opened a furious, but harmless, cannonade.
On being notified of the critical situation of this detached portion of the army the whole disposable force at Los Lunas, reserving a sufficient guard for the train, was dispatched to its relief. The passage of the river by this force and the artillery was successfully effected, under the direction of Colonel Scurry.
Following shortly after with a portion of my staff to assume the immediate command, and having crossed the river, I was notified by several officers who had preceded me some hundred yards of the rapid approach of a large number of the enemy's cavalry. Finding myself completely cut off, I had no other alternative than to recross the river amid a shower of balls. The day was occupied at Peralta in ineffectual firing on both sides.
After night-fall I gave orders for the crossing of the whole army to the west bank of the river, which was effected without interruption or casualty, and on the next morning the march down the river was resumed. The enemy followed on the opposite bank, and both armies encamped in full view of each other, the river alone intervening.
The transportation and artillery had by this time become such an incumbrance on the heavy, sandy road, without forage or grass, that the abandonment of one or the other became inevitable. My original plan had been to push on by the river route in advance of the enemy, having the start of him two whole days from Albuquerque to Fort Craig, attack the weak garrison, and demolish the fort. This plan was defeated by Colonel Green not finding a crossing of the river at a convenient point.
Colonels Green and Scurry, with several other practical officers, here