ing the Department of New Mexico, I respectfully inclose his report* of the battle of Valverde, which took place near Fort Craig, on the 21st instant.
The colonel is sanguine that he will succeed in holding the enemy in check, but having been in the battle, and having succeeded in getting through the enemy's line from Craig on the night of the 22nd with the view of turning back any trains that may have been on the road, as well as to secure the public property on the river below Albuquerque, I may be allowed to express the opinion that I consider the colonel's situation as critical, and would most earnestly advise that no time be lost in sending re-enforcements to this country. Four regiments of infantry, some cavalry, and a battery of rifled cannon at least should be sent. The enemy numbers about 2,000 men, all mounted, and is expecting re-enforcements. He suffered severely in the battle, and is now encumbered with a large number of wounded. This may prevent him from moving up the river at present, but his foraging parties have already come within 60 miles of Albuquerque. No reliance can be placed on the New Mexican Volunteers or Militia, and I advise their being disbanded. They have a traditionary fear of the Texans, and will not face them in the field.
I will not anticipate Colonel Canby's detailed report, but I must say that he made every exertion to save Captain McRae's battery.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. L. DONALDSON,
Quartermaster, Brevet Major, Commanding Dist. Santa Fe.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SANTA FE,
Santa Fe, March 1, 1862.
General LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Tappan, of the Colorado Volunteers, informing me that General Hunter had ordered hes regiment immediately from Denver City to Santa Fe to re-enforce Colonel Canby, who, as you will see by his report, has had a severe conflict with the Texans near Fort Craig. This order of General Hunter is most seasonable, and may perhaps save the Territory. Colonel Tappan is stationed at Fort Wise with two companies of his regiment and a mounted company, the rest of the garrison being a regular company, under Lieutenant Warner. I have not hesitated to order Colonel Tappan to Santa Fe by special express to join the other companies of his regiment (seven) coming by way of Garland, and if Colonel Canby can hold the enemy in check for fifteen or twenty days I am in hopes of marching to his assistance with 1,000 men, 100 of whom will be regulars, under Captain Lewis, Fifth Infantry.
I have dates from Colonel Canby to the 25th instant. I sent a trusty messenger to him last night, urging him to delay the enemy as much as possible, and communicating the fact of a Colorado regiment being on the road to his relief. Nothing as yet has fallen into the hands of the enemy. When I left Craig, which I did the evening after the battle, Colonel Canby authorized me to use his name and to take such steps as I deemed best. If disaster happens to the colonel before re-enforcements arrive I shall throw myself into Union, but I need hardly urge the importance of at once putting en route to Union a force that will overwhelm the enemy.
*See Canby's report of February 22, on p. 487.