HEADQUARTERS EASTERN DISTRICT, Fort Union, N. Mex., March 22, 1862.
Colonel J. P. SLOUGH,
First Colorado Regiment:
SIR: Although I had organized and transferrd to you all the available troops in this district previous to the receipt of the dispatch from Colonel Canby dated the 16th instant, yet you are aware it was done to carry out plans approved by that officer for the relief of and junction with his forces, to the end that when united the entire force should be used to drive the enemy from the Territory. Colonel Canby's dispatch of the 16th instant directs that the movement from here be delayed until further instructions from him, and urges the maintenance of this post at all hazards as of vital importance to all. I fully coincide with him his was views regarding this post. If, therefore, you are determined on moving toward the enemy, I request that you will do so with your own regiment,one section of Captain Ritter's battery, and one section of Lieutenant Claflin's battery, and the regular cavalry now in your front. The remaining sections of Ritter's and Claflin's batteries and the command of Captain W. H. Lewis are in my opinion the least force required to garrison this post securely,and I request that they be directed to report to me. Even this force will not be sufficient for the purpose should you meet with disaster or advance so far as to render it impossible to return promptly to my relief in case I am attacked by the enemy.
Hoping that you coincide with me in these views, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. R. PAUL,
Colonel Fourth N. Mex. Vols., Commanding Eastern District.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN DIVISION, Fort Union, N. Mex., March 22, 1862.
Colonel G. R. PAUL,
Commanding Eastern Dist., Fort Union, N. Mex.:
SIR: I am instructed by Colonel Slough to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, and to state in reply that the instructions of Colonel Canby are not only to protect Fort Union, but also to harass the enemy. By moving the command to or near Bernal Springs both ends can be accomplished,and as the command will be between the enemy and Fort Union, the latter is as much protected as if the troops remained here. By being at the Springs we can better operate for the double purpose of harassing the enemy and protecting Santa Fe from depredation.
If the enemy at San Antion are no stronger than reported by Captain Walker, the troops under my command will be sufficient to control their action and to defeat them in case of an attack.
Thinking that the command assigned by you can be spared for the purpose named, the colonel commanding cannot consent to leave any portion behind.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Seventh Infantry, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.