War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0511 Chapter XXI. ENGAGEMENT OF VALVERDE, N. MEX.

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came forward and proposed, in order to avoid the contingency of another general action in our then crippled condition, that a route through the mountains, avoiding Fort Craig and striking the river below that point, should be pursued, they undertaking with their respective commands TO push the artillery through at all hazards and at any expenditure of toil and labor. Major Bethel Coopwood, who had familiarized himself with the country, undertook the difficult and responsible task of guiding the army through this mountainous, trackless waste.

The arguments presented in favor of this course were potent. Besides having the advantage of grass and a firm road, with very little difference in distance, the enemy wound be completely mystified, as afterwards proved to be the case. Accordingly, all the wagons which could possibly by dispensed with were ordered to be abandoned on the ground, seven days' provisions to be packed on mules, and the entire force put in march after night-fall. The route was a difficult and most hazardous one, both in respect to its practicability and supply of water. The successful accomplishment of the march not only proved the sagacity of our guide, but the pledge of Colonel Scurry that the guns should be put over every obstacle, however formidable, by this regiment, was nobly fulfilled. Not a murmur escaped the lips of these brave boys. Descents into and ascents out of the deepest canons, which a single horseman would have sought for miles to avoid, were undertaken and accomplished with a cheerfulness and ability which were the admiration and praise of the whole army. Thus in ten days, with seven days' rations, a point on the river where supplies had been ordered forward was reached. The river, which was rising rapidly, was safely crossed to the east bank, under the direction of Colonel Green, and at this moment, I am happy to repeat, the whole force is comfortably quartered in the villages extending from Dona Ana to this place.

My chief regret in making this retrograde movement was the necessity of leaving hospitals at Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Socorro. Everything, however, was provided for the comfort of the sick, and sufficient funds, in Confederate paper, provided them to meet every want, if it be negotiated. It has been almost impossible to procure specie upon any terms. One thousands dollars is all I have been able to procure for the use of hospitals and for secret service. The ricos, or wealthy citizens of New Mexico, had been completely drained by the Federal powers, and, adhering to hem, had become absolute followers of their army for dear life and their invested dollars. Politically they have no distinct sentiment or opinion on the vital question at issued. Power and interest alone control the expression of their sympathies. Two noble and notable exceptions to this rule were found in the brothers Rafael and Manuel Armijo, the wealthiest and most respectable native merchants of New Mexico. The latter had been pressed into the militia, and was compulsorily present in the action at Valverde. On our arrival at Albuquerque they came forward boldly and protested their sympathy with our cause, placing their stores, containing goods amounting to $200,000, at the disposal of my troops.

When the necessity for evacuating the country became inevitable, these two gentlemen abandoned luxurious homes and well-filled store-houses to join their fate to the Southern Confederacy. I trust they will not be forgotten in the final settlement.

In concluding this report, already extended beyond my anticipations, it is proper that I should express the conviction, determined by some experience, that, except for its political geographical position, the Territory of New Mexico is not worth a quarter of the blood and treasure