Numbers 3. Report of Surg. James M. McNulty, U. S. Army, Acting Medical Inspector.
SANTA FE, N. MEX., October -, 1863.
Brigadier General W. A. HAMMOND,
Surgeon-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Agreeably to the wish conveyed in your letter of July 27, 1863, I send you the following history of that portion of the California Volunteers known as the Column from California.
The march of this column from the Pacific Ocean to the Rio Grande is some what remarkable, from the fact that almost the entire distance is a desert waste, with great scarcity of water and that of the worst quality.
Men marching day after day through the burning sands and nearly suffocated with alkali dust required to be made of stern stuff-of such were the men composing this column. Men inured to mountain life in California, pioneers and miners; men self-reliant and enduring; men equal to any emergency, if guided by a firm hand and clear head. That they were equal to a great emergency is evinced by the fact that they conquered vast deserts, and accomplished a march not equaled in modern times, traversing a distance of nearly a thousand miles and almost the entire route, over a sterile waste.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES M. McNULTY,
Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers, Acting Medical Inspector.
On the 22nd of July, 1861, the President of the United States approved "An act to authorize the employment of volunteers to aid in enforcing the laws and protecting public property." Under this act was raised in California one regiment of infantry and five companies of cavalry. These were called respectively the First Infantry and First Cavalry, California Volunteers. The troops were raised for the protection of the Overland Mail Route between California and the Eastern States, by way of Salt Lake City. The force was placed under the command of Bvt. Major James H. Carleton, First U. S. Cavalry, with the rank of colonel.
The regiment rendezvoused at Oakland, opposite San Francisco, Cal. During the latter part of August and the month of September they had acquired nearly their full complement of men. Active preparations were making to put the command in the best condition for active field service, and by the 1st of October everything was in readiness for the movement of the troops. About this time the spirit of rebellion became manifest in California. "Treason stalked abroad." In the southern part of the State an open rupture was apprehended. In consequence of this condition of affairs the command of Colonel Carleton was diverted from its original destination by General Sumner, department commander, and moved to the infected district. About the 1st of October the troops moved down the coast and formed a camp near Los Angeles, called Camp Latham.
On the 14th three companies of the First Cavalry, California Volunteers, under the command of Major Eyre, of the same regiment, were ordered to relieve the regular troops stationed at San Bernardino This place was the hot-bed of secessionism in California. On the same day orders were received to send three companies of the First Infantry, Cal-