sent off in advance, and the enemy captured nothing or very little. Under this state of things I saw that my presence out of the capital would be of no further utility, and therefore came in company with a few militia officers, and arrived here on the 27th of February.
Colonel Canby is, or was at last accounts (25th), still at Craig. The enemy had not attacked the fort, as was expected, but had crossed to the west side of the river, and was encamped 8 miles in advance of the fort. It is supposed that Colonel Canby will attack him so soon as he leaves the strong position he occupies, and his forces are quite sufficient to defeat the enemy. He has yet 1,000 regular troops, with five pieces of artillery, among them two 24-pounder howitzers, and a volunteer force of not less than 1,500 men. His stock is in much better condition than that of the enemy, and we are expecting the result of a decisive action daily.
The advance party of the enemy mentioned had not progressed farther at last accounts than the depot of provisions spoken of before. Whether they will continue to advance with their small number will be known in a short time. Albuquerque is defenseless as to any armed force in that place, and if the enemy advance it is very likely that they will succeed in taking that place. All the Government stores have been removed however, and are far on their way to this place and to Fort Union. We are making some efforts here to repel any small force that may arrive in advance, and we will be able to do so; but all will be determined by the result of the operations of Colonel Canby upon the enemy. If he defeats him, or even be not routed and dispersed by the enemy, we will be able to expel the invaders from the Territory.
Our loss consisted of 46 killed and 160 wounded.* Among the former were several valuable officers. Captain McRae, commanding the battery, died at his guns, with one or two other officers. The 80 men at the battery defended it with a heroic valor worthy of better success, of whom 43 were either killed or wounded. The loss of the enemy, it is ascertained by deserters from their camp, was very large-at least 300 killed, and the wounded in proportion. The deserters say that a consultation was held two days after the battle in regard to an attack upon the fort, and that the more daring officers were in favor of an attack, but that the men utterly refused to put their lives in such imminent danger, which would lead to certain defeat and dispersion of the whole invading force. There was some talk of their trying to effect a retreat, as it was thought that the conquest of the Territory could never be effected by the force then in the Territory.
I have been absent from the capital one month, and am sorry to be able to give no better account of the operations of our army. I had anticipated a very different result. Through the official reports you will be informed more in detail as to the cause of our repulse.
March 2. An express has just arrived, giving information that nearly or quite the whole force of the Texans are no their march up the river and have reached the town of Socorro. No news of Colonel Canby having moved from Craig. Under these circumstances Major Donaldson, commander of this district, has ordered all the Government stores from this place to Union, and most likely will leave himself with the three companies of troops that have arrived here within the last two days. Should this be the case I shall follow him to Union, and even to the States,
*But see p. 493.