War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0557 Chapter XXI. THE CALIFORNIA COLUMN.

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additional to those he is required to perform as chief commissary of this column. He is also empowered to make estimates of all funds necessary to be used in the quartermaster's department and subsistence department, so far as the wants and subsistence department, so far as the wants and necessities of those departments may be concerned direct to the proper officers at the headquarters Department of the Pacific. Major Ferguson will disburse and direct these funds when received to the best interests of the public service, having reference first to having on hand an adequate supply of all articles of prime necessity, such as food and forage; likewise all that insure mobility to the column by having its means of transportation always in as good repair as practicable.

III. Great vigilance will be exercised by Major Ferguson to see that no successful attack is made on his trains within his district by secessionists or Indians. The troops in the district are to be kept in fighting condition, and the public animals and public stores so carefully guarded as to secure loss by surprise or by depredation and secure against destruction by fire or by flood.

By command of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER,

First Lieutenant, First Cal. Vol. Inf., A. A. A. G.

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA,

Ojo de la Vaca, Ariz., August 2, 1862.

GENERAL: General George Wright, U. S. Army, commanding the Department of the Pacific, recommended to the General-in-Chief that a force from California, to consist of a battery of four guns (Company A, U. S. Third Artillery), the First Regiment of Infantry California Volunteers, and five companies of the First Cavalry California Volunteers, should cross the Yuma and Colorado Deserts, and recapture the posts in Arizona and Southern New Mexico, then supposed to be in the hands of the rebels, and open the Southern Overland Mail Route. These recommendations or suggestions were approved by the General-in-Chief, and arrangements were, set on foot them into effect. But what with unprecedented floods in California and uncommon drought on the Yuma and Colorado Deserts, and other serious difficulties which had to be encountered, it has been quite impossible to bring forward the force above indicated in a fighting condition at an earlier date than the present.

I was baffled in every effort I attempted to communicate with you. My first note, marked A, after many days came back to me, the messenger not being able to ascend the Salt Fork of the Gila on account of high water. My second note, marked D, after several days was returned from Sonora, as the Mexican expressmen were too much afraid to encounter the dangers of the journey Chihuahua to El Paso and so on to your headquarters. Of the 3 men whom I sent with my third notes, marked C and D, 2 were killed by the Apache Indians near the Chiricahua Mountains on the evening of the 18th of June last. The third, after a miraculous escape and a perilous ride, arrived on the Rio Grande at sunset on the evening of the 20th, 160 miles from where his companions were murdered. Here, in an exhausted, half-delirious state, he was captured by secessionists, and together with his dispatches, taken to Colonel Steele, C. S. Army. On the 17th of June I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, California Volun-