War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0605 Chapter XXI. AFFAIR AT SOCORRO, N. MEX.

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ment New Mexico Militia which, under command of Colonel Nicolas Pino, left Fort Craig the night of February 22 last:

The morning of the 24th said detachment, consisting of 280 men, passed trough Socorro en route to Polvadera. Not far from Limitar we met Lieutenant Cooley, with letters from General O. P. Hovey, ordering Colonel Pino to fall back on Socorro, and to station his militiamen at or below said place. A halt was made to refresh our animals, and early in the afternoon Second Major Rivera, with a file of deserted volunteers and militiamen whom we had picked up on the road the day before, started for Polvadera, while the detachment countermarched to Socorro. Lieutenant-Colonel Baca and myself went ahead and selected the place where to established quarters. As soon as our detachment arrived Colonel Pino ordered an advance guard of 14 mounted men, under Captain Gutierrez, below the town, and the animals were to be sent to graze under a strong guard, but had scarcely gone five minutes when Captain Gutierrez sent world that a picket of the enemy, was approaching. By this time it grew dark. Colonel Pino ordered out two companies afoot, with Lieutenant-Colonel Baca, to reconnoiter the force of the advancing enemy. At the same time our animals were ordered back and to be guarded in a corral near by. Immediately below the town, under the cover of some adobe walls, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca had posted his two companies, when Captain Gutierrez pointed out to him the place where the enemy's advance guard were ambushed. Lieutenant-Colonel Baca ordered Captain Gutierrez to dislodge them. The Gutierrez picket had moved on a short distance when the Texans fired a shot, whereupon Lieutenant-Colonel Baca's party discharged their rifles in the direction whence they saw the flash of the enemy's gun. This made the Texan picket retreat to their main body, and Lieutenant-Colonel Baca came back to our headquarters and reported the above-stated facts to Colonel Pino, who ordered the different captains under his command to keep their men under arms and to be ready for immediate action. Small parties of our men were sent to cover such points as appeared most important.

Meantime a part of the Texans, under Lieutenant-Colonel McNeill, had taken position on an elevation southwest of Socorro, while Captain Frazier went around the town and intercepted the road north. It was about 8 p. m. the enemy fired a cannon-ball over the town, and from that moment our men began to desert and to hide themselves away. I sent Ygn Montoya to Camp Connelly with a note, addressed to the commanding officer there, asking for re-enforcements. Accompanied by Adjutant Gonzales I visited the houses of some of the influential Mexicans, and tried my best to make them take up arms in defense of their Government, their homes, and firesides. Vain endeavor! No one responded to the call. Don Pedro Baca went even so far as to say that the United States Government was curse to this Territory, and if the Texans would take and keep possession of New Mexico the change could only be for the better.

I went back to headquarters, and having reported to Colonel Pino the revolting ingratitude of Don Pedro and the stupid indifference of other citizens, the alcalde of Socorro made his appearance, and told us that a Texan officer who came to his house had sent him to bring about an interview with our commanding officer. Colonel Pino sent me to see who the Texan officer was and to find out his intentions. The alcalde conducted me to a house not far from the church, where I found Lieutenant Simmons, who told me that by order of