War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0565 Chapter XXI. THE CALIFORNIA COLUMN.

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under whose orders they may have been operating; but it is expected that they will be withdrawn as soon as the position they may occupy comes within the control of the proper commander of the department.

By order of the Secretary of War:




AUGUST 10, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded. I have supposed that General Orders, Numbers 29, of 1862, applied to troops passing through, even temporarily within, the limits of a department to which they did not belong, but it will be seen that General Wright has given it a more extended application.

This is not immediately material, as no question of command or personal consideration will be allowed by me to interfere with the interests of the service. It is proper, however, that its status should be fixed by superior authority.

It this force is to return to the Department of the Pacific, that fact will modify materially the recommendations made in my report of the 6th instant.


Santa Fe, N. Mex., September 20, 1862.

COLONEL: I wrote to you on July 22, informing you of all the important events connected with the Column from California from June 18 to that date. I then inclosed copies of General Orders, Nos. 10 and 11, from these headquarters, which prescribed the manner in which the column should march across the desert from Tucson to the Rio Grande.

I left Tucson myself on July 23; passed Colonel West, with most of the troops encamped on the San Pedro, on the 24th, and led the advance of the column from that point to Las Cruces, N. Mex., with one company of infantry and two of cavalry. From the hostile attitude of the Chiricahua Indians, I found it indispensably necessary to establish a post in what is known as Apache Pass. It is known as Fort Bowie, and garrisoned by 100 rank and file of the Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, and 13 rank and file of Company A, First California Volunteer Cavalry. This post commands the water in that pass. Around this water the Indians have been in the habit of lying in ambush and shooting troops and travelers as they came to drink. In this way they killed 3 of Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre's command, and in attempting to keep Captain Roberts' First California Volunteer Infantry away from the spring a fight ensued, in which Captain Roberts had 2 men killed and 2 wounded. Captain Roberts reports that the Indians lost 10 killed. In this affair the men of Captain Roberts' company are reported as behaving with great gallantry.

Two miles beyond Apache Pass I found the remains of 9 white men, who had been murdered by the Indians. They were a party traveling from the Pino Alto mines to California. One of them had been burned at the stake; we saw the charred bones and the burnt ends of the rope by which he had been tried. The remains of 7 of these men were buried on that spot.

From the Rio de Sauz to Ojo de la Vaca there was a great dearth of water. At the latter place I addressed a letter to General Canby, giv-