War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0601 Chapter XXI. THE CALIFORNIA COLUMN.

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nel Eyre, of the First Cavalry, California Volunteers, with 140 men. This was the advance guard of the column. With the exception of frequent skirmishing with Indians and the loss of 3 men killed and several wounded at Apache Pass, the party met with no other enemy before reaching the Rio Grande.

Apache Pass is about midway between Tucson and the river. The pass is through a spur of the Chiricahua Mountains, about 3 1/2 or 4 miles long. In this pass is a fine spring of water, and a favorite haunt of the Indians. A company of infantry and a part of a company of cavalry, with two mountain howitzers, fought the Indians at this spring for four hours. A number of the savages were killed in the fight. Our loss was 3 killed and several wounded. On either side of this pass extends a plain from 30 to 40 miles in width. The Indians can see parties approach and lay in wait for them.

On the 17th of July, preparations for the movements of the command having been completed, General Carleton issued the following general order:*

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No report had been received from Colonel Eyre. The strength and locality of the Confederates was unknown; consequently the column was kept well in hand, the companies marching only one day apart.

For a description of the country I quote from the notes of Colonel Eyre.+

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As soon as the arrival of Colonel Eyre on the river was known the Texans made a hasty flight. Their army was completely demoralized, and Colonel Eyre's force magnified fourfold. What they could not carry with them they destroyed. One hundred and fifty sick and wounded were left in hospital at Franklin, Tex., and above.

Colonel Eyre crossed the river near Fort Thorn and pushed down toward the retreating rebels. He entered Las Cruces, opposite Mesilla, and raised our national colors. Franklin was also occupied by a detachment of his command. General Carleton, with the head of the column, reached the river on the 8th of August, the time consumed in the march being eighteen days. The sight of this beautiful stream after the many days of toil and suffering gladdened the hearts of all. The last day's march was particularly severe; over 40 miles had been made by the infantry without water without a murmur. The desert had been conquered, and the command arrived on the river in good fighting condition. No deaths had occurred between Tucson and the river, and but few remained on the sick list.

General Carleton crossed the river at the point where Colonel Eyre crossed. The river was so high that it could not be forded, and the only boats were two small scows, made by Colonel Eyre. First the animals were swum over. This was successfully accomplished; none were lost. A rope was attached to both sides of the boats and extended to either bank of the river. A number of men were stationed on both flanks. By this means they were enabled to pull the boat from shore to shore, being constantly in the water. The wagons were unloaded; their contents ferried across in the boats, which hauled across by ropes. In this manner each command as it came up was crossed in safety. Nothing was lost or injured.

General Carleton moved the column down the river as far as Las


*See inclosure G to Carleton's report, p. 555.

+Surgeon McNulty here quotes Eyre's entire report of July 6, see p. 585.