War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0590 OPERATIONS IN TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ. Chapter XXI.

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at once sent Captain Fritz, First California Volunteer Cavalry, to Fort Fillmore, with a request to Colonel Steele to name any other captain General Canby had made prisoner in exchange for Captain McCleave; also proposing and exchange for the men taken with him, as well as an exchange for our expressman (Jones) and a Mr. John Lemon, of Mesilla, who was extremely kind to Captain McCleave during his confinement, and who had horses ready saddled and hid out for Jones's escape. He was ordered to be hung, and was taken to a tree for that purpose, but after hanging a Mr. Marshall, who was taken out with him, his execution was postponed. Captain Fritz will probably be back to-night, when I will at once send Captain McCleave with a party of 25 men through to Tucson. It is not safe for a less number to travel that road on account of the Indians, and even then with the utmost caution.

It is the desire of the colonel commanding to keep open communication between Tucson and the Rio Grande I would respectfully recommend that a company of infantry be stationed at Dragoon Spring and two companies at the Apache Pass. That corps would be far more effective against the Indians in the rugged mountains at the points above named than cavalry; besides, horses could not be kept it flesh on the dry grass alone; they would be utterly useless in two weeks' riding. At this season of the year sufficient water and of a good quality ain, four miles north of Ewell's Station. The spring is prominently marked by a large, white spot on the mountain, which is directly over the water.

The Rio Grande has been unusually high this summer, almost the entire bottom between Fort Craig and Mesilla being still overflowed. It is impossible at this time to approach Mesilla on the west side of the river, a new channel been washed out on that side of the town, through which the largest portion of the water flows; besides, the bottom for a long distance is overflowed, and, the soil being of a loose nature, animals mire down in attempting to get through it. This morning I sent Captain McCleave with a small party to examine the San Diego Crossing, 18 miles below here, to ascertain if the river can be forded at that point. The moment a crossing can be effected it is my intention, unless otherwise ordered by General Canby, to move on Mesilla and reoccupy Forts Fillmore and Bliss. When that is done the portion of the proclamation of the colonel commanding will not only have been carried out, but the sacred soil of Texas will have been invaded. Captain McCleave reports Colonel Steele with the rear of Sibley's brigade making hurried exertions to get away from Texas. He is pressing every team, both mule and oxen, he can find into service, compelling the owners (generally Mexicans) to take Confederate scrip in payment thereof. The same mode is resorted to by him in regard to provisions.

Captain Howland, Third U. S. Cavalry, in advance of his squadron, has just arrived; his command (100 men) will probably be here this evening. His horses are in shocking condition. Should we come up with Colonel Steele and a mounted charge be made, it must be done by the squadron of my regiment.

On the capture of Jones greatly-increased exertions were made by Colonel Steele to get away. Mesilla was evacuated, and Captain McCleave, who was at the time on parole to the limits of the town, immediately confined under a strong guard. Mr. White, of the Pima Vil-