of New Mexico has been daily growing from bad to worse. All the militia and a large number of the volunteers (natives) who were called into the service of the United States have deserted and taken to the mountains. A general system of robbery and plunder seems to be the order of the day. There is a general panic in the country, and people are flying from their homes.
Communication with Colonel Canby at Fort Craig has been nearly cut off, and since the 27th of February, 1862, nothing whatever has been heard from him. On the 27th he dispatched Captains Lord and Howland, each with 50 mounted men, to observe the enemy and to communicate with Major J. L. Donaldson, commanding the Santa Fe District, directing him to go to his relief. This order was doubtless given under the belief that regiments of Kansas Volunteers had arrived in the Territory. Major Donaldson, however, had no sufficient force either to go to Colonel Canby's relief or even to hold Santa Fe. He therefore sent all public property that could be transported to this post, and abandoned Santa Fe. His report is herein inclosed.* The supplies reached Fort Union safely. Under these circumstances, as the senior officer, I assumed command of all troops, posts, and depots in the department not immediately under command of Colonel Canby, and ordered Major Donaldson to march all his-forces to this post.
The main body of the enemy, about 2,000 strong, is at Albuquerque, N. Mex., and a strong force is near Fort Craig, watching Colonel Canby's movements. I am now organizing a column to march against the enemy and form a junction with Colonel Canby. Should this expedition prove successful-of which I entertain no doubt-the Territory will be saved to the United States; but should it fail, the country will be lost. In either case I cannot too strongly urge the absolute necessity for a re-enforcement of 4,000 men, two batteries of rifled cannon, and six siege pieces. Major J. L. Donaldson, whom I have ordered to Washington to represent the interests and wants of the department, will enter more fully into details.
On the arrival of Colonel Slough, with his regiment of Colorado Volunteers, I had the mortification to discover that his commission was senior to mine, and thus I am deprived of a command which I had taken so much pains to organize and with which I expected to reap laurels. Thus, also, an officer of only six months' service, and without experience, takes precedence of one of many years' service, and who has frequently been tried in battle. It is as little as I can ask of the War Department for past and present service to give me such rank as will prevent in future such mortifications. I therefore ask for the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
G. R. PAUL,
Colonel Fourth Regiment N. Mex. Vols., Commanding East. Dist.
NOTE.-At a late hour last night the two inclosed notes were received from Colonel Canby, the express, after many narrow escapes, having made his way safely through the enemy's lines. I also inclose the copy of a letter received by Dr. Baily from Dr. Norris.
G. R. P.
FORT CRAIG, N. MEX., March 5, 1862.
DOCTOR: I am not yet prepared to make my official report, and I
*See p. 527.