War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0606 OPERATIONS IN TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ. Chapter XXI.

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Colonel McNeill he had come to ask the unconditional surrender of the town; moreover, he manifested the desire to speak to Colonel Pino himself. I replied that, although only an inferior militia officer, I could assure him that Colonel Pino would not listen to such a demand, and that if he had no other business with my colonel he could save himself the trouble of going to our headquarters; but as Lieutenant Simmons again expressed his wish to see Colonel Pino, I conducted him to our quarters. Here the Texan messenger made the same request as he had stated to me, and Colonel Pino answered about in the same way as I had anticipated, when Lieutenant Simmons added that Colonel McNeill would be sorry to attack Socorro and sacrifice the lives of innocent families; to which Colonel Pino replied that he was as anxious to spare the innocent families as Colonel McNeill could be, and that at daybreak he (Colonel Pino) would meet the Texans and give them battle in the plain south of Socorro. Lieutenant Simmons promised to inform Colonel McNeill of that proposition and to return his answer. I mounted my horse to accompany the Texan officer through our pickets, but our pickets had disappeared, and the enemy's pickets extended to the very houses of Socorro. At a short distance I met several Texan officers, and among them Colonel McNeill, who, after having listened to Lieutenant Simmons' report, went with me to our headquarters. At the conference which now commenced Colonel Pino, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca, and myself attended from our side, and Lieutenant-Colonel McNeill, Major Ragnet, and Interpreter Stewart from the rebels. Colonel Pino repeated he was willing not to expose the town, but to fight next morning in the open field. Colonel McNeill wanted to take possession of the town at once. Our object was to gain time, as we expected that on my message to the commander of Camp Connelly, Governor Connelly, General Hovey, and Adjutant-General Clever, who at the time were at Polvadera, would come to our relief with the volunteers stationed at that place. The discussion between Pino and McNeill was interrupted by some of our officers, who wanted to speak to Colonel Pino alone. The latter went out, returned after a few minutes, and then taking me aside ordered me to inquire into the state of affairs at the quarters, inasmuch as the officers complained that all their men had absconded. At the principal door of the quarters I found Captain Mercedes Sanchez as sentinel, which place he had taken, he told me, because the militiamen on guard had abandoned their posts and no soldiers were left to replace the sentinel. Inside I met Capts. Ramon Sena y Rivera and Cruz Gutierrez, Lieutenants Garcia, Herrera, Homberger, Ortiz y Tafoya, Sergeant Martinez, and several others, amounting to 37 persons in all. This deplorable state of things I reported to Colonel Pino, and then the conference was continued. Colonel McNeill would not wait until next morning, he said, because he knew he had the advantage at that moment; but if Colonel Pino could give his word of honor that we had not written to anybody or otherwise given notice of the approach of the Confederates, in such case he would consent that hostilities should not be commenced until daylight. As Colonel Pino replied indirectly the conference was considered concluded.

Colonel McNeill had invited Colonel Pino several times to visit his camp and persuade himself that the Confederates largely outnumbered us, and Colonel Pino now determined to go. Colonel Pino, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca, and myself rode along with our visitors, and after having looked at the long line of rebels and seeing that no relief came from Camp Connelly, then, at 2 a. m. April 25, Colonel Pino surrendered.