War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0579 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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First New Mexico Vols., en route to Fort Stanton, N. Mex.:

COLONEL: Inclosed you will find a confidential communication to Colonel West, commanding the District of Arizona; it is dated the 11th instant, and directs him to send two expeditions against the Mescalero Indians, starting them on the 15th of next month. I desire you to send one of your mounted companies down to the junction of the Rio Hondo with the Pecos, to act as an outpost to this country, to keep scouts well down the river toward Delaware Creek, to see that no force advances up the Pecos from the direction of Fort Lancaster, in Texas, without your having timely notice of the fact, so that you can send me word.

As your scouts from this company come near the mouth of the Penasco they will doubtless find plenty of Mescaleros. It was near that point where Captain [H. W.] Stanton was killed by them. In this case you could, if you thought it advisable, move the company down to the mouth of the Penasco, to produce an impression upon the Indians; at the same time [guard] the approaches to New Mexico by the way of the Pecos; but under no circumstances will it leave the valley of the river unwatched. The other three companies you can divide as you please, but with these you will make war upon the Mescaleros and upon all other Indians you may find in the Mescalero country, until further orders. All Indian men of that tribe are to be killed whenever and wherever you can find them; the women and children will not be harmed, but you will take them prisoners and feed them at Fort Stanton until you receive other instructions about them. If the Indians send in a flag and desire to treat for peace say to the bearer that when the people of New Mexico were attacked by the Texans the Mescaleros broke their treaty of peace and murdered innocent people and run off their stock; that now our hands are untied and you have been sent to punish them for their treachery and their crimes; that you have no power to make peace; that you are there to kill them whenever you find them; that if they beg for peace their chiefs and 20 of their principal men must come to Santa Fe to have a talk here; but tell them fairly and frankly that you will keep after their people and slay them until you receive orders to desist from these headquarters; that this making of treaties for them to break whenever they have an interest in breaking them will not be done any more; that that time has passed by; that we have no faith in their promises; that we believe if we kill some of their men in fair open war they will be apt to remember that it will be better for them to remain at peace than to be at war. I trust that this severity, in the long run, will be the most humane course that could be pursued toward these Indians.

You observe that there is a large force helping you. I do not wish to tie your hands by instructions. The whole duty can be summed up in a few words: The Indians are to be soundly whipped, without parleys or councils except as above. Be careful not to mistake the troops from below for Texans. If a force of rebels come you know how to annoy it-how to stir up their camps and stock by night; how to lay waste the prairies by fire; how to make the country very warm for them and the road a difficult one. Do this, and keep me advised of all you do.

I am, colonel, respectfully, your friend,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.