War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0250 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

AUGUST 20-DECEMBER 16, 1863.-Operating against Navajo Indians in New Mexico.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.-Colonel Christopher Carson, First New Mexico Cavalry.

Numbers 2.-Captain Rafael Chacon, First New Mexico Cavalry.

Numbers 3.-Captain Joseph P. Hargrave, First California Infantry.

Numbers 4.-Major Henry D. Wallen, Seventh U. S. Infantry.

Numbers 1. Reports of Colonel Christopher Carson, First New Mexico Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS NAVAJO EXPEDITION,

Fort Canby, N. Mex., August 31, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for information of the general commanding, that, on the morning of the 20th instant, the command left Pueblo Colorado to make an examination of the country north of that place, including the neighborhood of the Canon de Chelly. About 5 miles from camp found and destroyed about 10 acres of good corn; at the night camp, some 10 miles farther, found a patch of corn, which was fed to the animals.

On the 21st instant, returned on the route of the previous day, about 2 miles, to the Canon Cito de los Trigos, which I had explored the night previous. This canon runs to northeast and southwest, with a small stream of clear water running through it; its sides are nearly perpendicular, averaging 150 feet high; it width about 300 feet; it is about 3 miles in length; fund large quantities of pumpkins and beans, the latter quite ripe, and about 50 acres of corn. Left this canon about 4 o'clock p. m., and returned to the camp of the 20th, taking with me packed on the animals all the grain not previously consumed by them or destroyed by the command. When leaving the canon, I secreted 25 men, under Captain Pfeiffer, in two parties, believing that the Indians who owned this farm would return as soon as the troops had left. In this I was not disappointed, as but a short time elapsed before 2 Indians came to the fields. They were allowed to pass the first party, but, before getting in range of the second party, in fired on them. They were now between the tow parties, when a chase ensued, and, although badly wounded, I am sorry to say the Indians escaped.

While en route on the 22d, discovered the bodies of 2 Indians killed by a party of Utes some short time since. About 10 o'clock a. m., the command arrived at a large bottom, containing not less than 100 acres of as fine corn as I have ever seen. Here I determined to encamp, that I might have it destroyed. Just as the advance guard reached the cornfield, they discovered a Navajo, whom they pursued and killed. He slightly wounded 1 horse, with an arrow, in the neck. Lieutenant Fitch was in charge of the guard.

At 8 a. m. on the 23d, arrived at the west opening of Canon de Chelly, but could find no water; about 12 miles farther found abundance of running water and good grass, and encamped. I made a careful examination of the country on this day's march, particularly in the immediately neighborhood of Canon de Chelly, and am satisfied that there are very few Indians in the canon, and these of the very poorest. They have no stock, and were depending entirely for subsistence on the corn destroyed by my command on the previous day, the loss of which will