War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0599 Chapter XXI. THE CALIFORNIA COLUMN.

Search Civil War Official Records

ing. About 8 miles from Rincon a mesa covered with cactus and mesquite is reached; traveling improves. Course, southwest and south by east.

Our troops entered and occupied Tucson without firing a shot. At our approach the Texans made a precipitate retreat. Colonel Carleton determined to collect the troops at this point for rest, drill, &c. Men and animals required rest; wagons wanted repairing. The dryness of the atmosphere and the intolerable heat had shrunk them to the point of falling to pieces. Communication was opened with Sonora for the purchase of flour, grain, &c.

In the first of June all the troops composing the column were in and about Tucson, with the exception of a part of the Fifth Infantry, left to garrison Forts Yuma and Barrett. There is another and more direct road leading from the Pima Villages to Tucson. This road was taken by Lieutenant Shinn and two companies of infantry., A description of the road by Lieutenant Shinn is appended.



Tucson, Ariz., June 16, 1862.

The following itinerary of the marches from Fort Barrett (Pima Villages) to Tucson, Ariz., via Picacho Mountain, made by Captain Shinn, Third Artillery, U. S. Army, is published for the information of all concerned:

June 1, left camp at Fort Barrett at 4.15 p. m., with battery, one ambulance, one water and eight transportation wagons (loaded to 3, 600 pounds with ammunition, flour, and forage), 87 men, and 153 animals. Road on Gila River fine for transportation of heavily-loaned wagons. No water; no grass; vegetation mesquite and greasewood. At Sacaton Station very dirty; encamped on river at 8 p. m.; 11.8 miles.

June 2, filled water-tank (600 gallons), and left camp at Sacaton at 4.20 p. m. Road leaves the river and sweeps round from southern by south to south by east, with gradually ascending slope to summit, 5 1\2 miles between mountain spur and detached peak on left, 2 miles of road dusty, then soil changes from the alkali dust of Gila River bottom to mixture of sand and gravel, very hand and quite smooth. From summit Casa Grande in sight on desert to left and the Picacho straight ahead south by least 31 miles; desert continues to Oneida Station; road continues good; at 8 miles gravel replaced by hard alkali clay; vegetation, mesquite, greasewood, and cactus; no water or grass on road; wood plenty and sufficient for cooking near Oneida Station, which is one the left; well on the right of road; depth 29 feet, with 5 feet of water; encamped there at 7.45 p. m.; train all in 10 minutes later.

One hundred and seventy-five buckets (equal to 700 gallons) was taken from the well, at the rate of 10 gallons per minute, apparently without diminishing the supply.

The water is excellent, cold, and sweet; the best this side of Fort Yuma; arrived and departed during the night; found no grass near station; 11.1 miles.

June 3, left camp at 4 a. m. Old marks of surface water show a gradual rise of the desert toward Blue Station; road for marching; very little sand. At 6 miles halted from 5. 45 to 6.45 for grass, which may be found in considerable quantity 100 yards to the left of road in the belt of mesquite or arroyo leading east from that point, and said to extend 4 or 5 miles in the same direction; obtained sufficient for a good night's feed. This grass in gramma, with some little gaeta. The gaeta was also observed on the left of the road 1 mile farther on; no water; vegetation, desert plants, mesquite, and greasewood. Arrived and encamped at Blue Water Station at 7.45 a. m.; well (69 feet in depth, with 2 1/2 feet of water) and station both on right of road; drew water at the rate of 6 gallons per minute for 1 3/4 hours; watered 90 horses at same time, 4 gallons each; mules in the p. m. and horses again in the p. m. Took from this well in ten hours over 1,600 gallons of water and left the depth of water as found. It will probably afford, 4,000 gallons of water, in twenty-four hours; quality good and water cool. At 4 p. m. sent a detachment forward to clean out well at the point of mountain; wood plenty; some gramma and a little gaeta reported to exist in the mesquite 500 yards northwest of the station; 9.7 miles.

June 4, left Blue Water Station at 2. 10 a. m. and expected to march to Tucson, 54 miles, in the next twenty hours, as there is no water on the road, and not enough with company to encamp on; some wagons loaded with 3,600 pounds; morning quite cool and very fine for marching; for marching; road continues to rise to the Picacho; at 4. 40 a. m. 9.6 miles from Blue Water; soil, clay, water-washed, and very hard and smooth, extends for miles on either side of the road; considerable dry gramma pass in the immediate vicinity and mesquite sparde. At 13.9 miles passed graves of Lieutenant Barrett and two soldiers on the left of road. The chalcos or water-holes, now dry,