HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA,
CAMP ON THE RIO GRANDE ARIZ.,
Three and a half miles above Fort Thorn, August 8, 1862.
Brigadier General E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding Department of New Mexico, Santa Fe, N. Mex.:
GENERAL: Before arriving at Cooke's Wells I learned that there was not any water to speak of between that point and El Picacho, on the Rio Grande, 55 miles from Cooke's Wells and 6 miles above Mesilla. The Rio Grande had divided in the great flood and broken across the country, so as to leave the town of Mesilla on an island, difficult of access from the west, and that the facilities for grazing in the neighborhood from the west, and that the facilities for grazing in the neighborhood of Mesilla were bad. This information decided me to strike the Rio Grande at or near Fort Thorn, a distance of not less than 35 miles, nor more than 40, from Cooke's Wells, but destitute of water the whole way.
I arrived here last evening with two companies of cavalry and one of infantry, having left Cooke's Wells at 8 a. m. The other detachments-West's Willis, and Rigg's, a day apart -will reach this point, commencing with West's, to-morrow evening. I leave to-day for the San Diego Crossing, at the foot of the Jornada, and I shall pass the Rio Grande at that point.
I have this day written to Colonel Howe, that if they have not already left Fort Craig, to go up the river. The Colorado Volunteers can leave at once, agreeably with your Special Orders, Numbers 128, current series. I inclose for your information, in relation to sending some provisions to some destitute men, women, and children at the Pino Alto mines.
If I have authority to occupy posts in the northwestern portion of Texas, i. e., Fort Bliss and -, will you permit me to have my headquarters, say, at Hart's Mill, on the Rio Grande, some 3 miles above Fort Bliss?
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES H. CARLETON,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.
NOTE.-My command did not use tents in crossing the desert. I had a few (two to a company) when I left Tucson, but 13 of these were left to shelter the garrison at Fort Bowie, Apache Pass, Chiricahua Mountains. I have sent to Fort Yuma to have all the tents at that post repaired and sent on as soon as possible. Should I need them, can you lend me some?
I left Tucson July 23; stopped one day at the Cienega de Sauz, and four and a half at Ojo de la Vaca, and arrived here on the 7th.
J. H. C.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO,
Santa Fe, N. Mex., August 11, 1862.
Brigadier General JAMES H. CARLETON,
Commanding Column from California, District of Arizona:
GENERAL: I have just received your interesting communication of the 2nd instant and the accompanying papers.