War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0233 Chapter XXXVIII. OPERATIONS AGAINST NAVAJO INDIANS, N. MEX.

Search Civil War Official Records




Camp at Pueblo Colorado, N. Mex., July 24, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to General Orders, Numbers 15, current series, Headquarters Department of New Mexico, I left camp near Los Lunas, N. Mex., July 7, 1863, en route to Pueblo Colorado, N. Mex., with Companies D, K, L, and M, First New Mexico Volunteers, the only companies of the expedition which had arrived at the place of rendezvous up to that time.

I arrived at Fort Wingate on the 10th instant, where I remained three days receiving supplies and some necessary articles of outfit for my command. Having ascertained that there were two trains with supplies for my command shortly to arrive at this post, I directed that Companies B and C, First New Mexico Volunteers, should remain at the post until their arrival, to escort them to the depot. They have not yet joined. Left Fort Wingate on the 14th, and arrived at Ojo-del Oso on the night of the 16th. Owing to a scarcity of water on the route, my animals suffered a good deal, and many of the mules were completely broken down and unable to travel. I therefore concluded to give them a rest, and remained in camp on the 17th, 18th, and until 2.30 p. m. on the 19th instant. There were two small fields of wheat near to the camp, which I had fed to the animals. On the 17th, I found some wheat at a spring about 2 miles west of camp, which I sent for. The wheat found at the camp and at the west spring amounted to about 40,000 pounds, and, with the grass, which at this place was abundant and of good quality, put my animals in good condition.

I was at this place on the 19th by Captain [Asa B.] Carey, chief quartermaster, and Lieutenant Cook, chief commissary, with a supply train, escorted by Captain Sena's company, C, First New Mexico Volunteers, but as his animals also needed rest, I left him behind for this purpose. I arrived with my command at Fort Defiance on the 20th instant, where I found a large quantity of wheat, say 100,000 pounds, which was also fed to the public animals. The Utah Indians had preceded us on this day' march; killed 1 man (Navajo), and captured 20 sheep. Shortly after encamping, I was joined by 19 Ute warriors, who had been operating against the Navajos on their own account. They report having met a party of Utes returning to their country, having 11 captives, women and children; and that there are tow other parties now in this country; they themselves saw on Navajos. I have hired 5 of this party as spies. I remained at Fort Defiance on the 21st. On the 22nd I left for this place with the board appointed to select a site for Fort Canby, taking with me the field and staff, and 70 men of the command, and the Ute Indians. About one-third the distance from Defiance, I left the commandant pushed on with the Utes. When about 9 miles from this point, and on the Rio de Pueblo Colorado, we came on a small party of navajos, and killed 3 men. From a Pah Ute woman captured, I ascertained that a strong party of Navajos, with a large herd of sheep, cattle, and horses, were at a pond of water about 35 miles west of here, and wold remain there all night. I immediately determined to pursue them with the command as soon as possible after its arrival. It reached here about 5 p. m., and at 7.30 p. m. I started. At 5 o'clock next morning, 23d, I arrived at the water only to find that the Navajos with their stock had left the previous evening. I followed their trail for two hours, and until many of the horses had given out, and only