War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0591 Chapter XXI. THE CALIFORNIA COLUMN.

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lages, has been released, and will probably be here with the return of Captain Fritz.

The horses are out grazing (under a strong guard) from daybreak until dark, then tied up to the picket line, with as much grass as they can eat during the night. They are doing very well, but have not yet recovered from the effects of the very distressing march from Tucson here.

Captain McCleave has just returned, and reports the road down the river almost impassable for loaded wagons and the rive swimming at the crossing.

July 9 [7th?] sent Captain McCleave, with an escort and two wagons, to Fort Craig for supplies.

The squadron of Third U. S. Cavalry (100 strong) arrived and gone into quarters at this post.

Captain Fritz returned this evening, having effected an exchange for Captain McCleave and the others named in my communication to Colonel Steele, a copy* of which is herewith inclosed. Two lieutenants were given in exchange for Captain McCleave, as Colonel Steele affected to know of no captain of theirs for that purpose, although there are a number. His real object was to exchange for officers of his own regiment only.

About 6 o'clock this evening an express arrived from Captain McCleave, informing me of an attack on his party, as they were moving up the river, by the Navajoes, 60 or 70 strong; that he had made camp, but was being surrounded by them. I immediately sent Captain Howland, with Lieutenant Baldwin and 40 men, to his relief.

I forward herewith, for the information of the colonel commanding, all communications* received or written by me since my arrival on the Rio Grande.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, First Cal. Vol. Cavalry, Commanding

Lieutenant BENJ. C. CUTLER,

A. A. A. G., Column from California, Tucson, Ariz.


Fort Thorn, Ariz., July 14, 1862.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the arrival here on yesterday of another express from Colonel Canby, the second one alluded to in Colonel Chivington's communication of the 7th instant.

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I leave here to-morrow morning with my command for Mesilla. On examination found the road from here to Rough and Ready Station impracticable, and have determined to make a road to the San Diego Crossing, and then pass the river on a raft, which I am now having made for that purpose, and which will be floated down to the crossing. The road on the east of the river from San Diego to Mesilla is good. It is my determination, unless otherwise ordered, to hoist the national colors over Mesilla and Forts Fillmore and Bliss before the end of the present month.

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* Not found.