War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0035 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

want of time, as my instruction require that I leave for the Rio Grande the first opportunity, which will be in a day or two. I am in hopes that with some trouble in making the proper reconnaissances, better and shorter routes may be discovered hence to the gulf, and also from this section, say Tubac, to the Rio Grande. I am informed that sixty miles can be saved in distance by taking a route from Tubac to La Mesilla, instead of going via Tuscon and the present road, and over a superior road having wood, water, and grass at convenient distances. To sum up- both routes traveled by me to La Libertad are practicable for heavy freighting. Each possesses advantages over the other. The one via Altar possessed the advantage of passing through towns and settlements where all the requisites of water, fuel, forage, &c., are obtained in great abundance at short intervals, but the roads are not so level or so well adapted for very heavy loads as the route via Zazabe and the Paredones; which route, however, has no settlement whatever between the Mina Colorada and Zepeda's Ranch, fourteen miles from Altar, though, as before stated, the whole country is adapted for stock raising and for ranches, where considerable produce can be raised, should wells be dug and artificial dams be made. The difference in distance is in favor of the latter route, as by avoiding Altar and going direct to Pitiquito from Zepeda's Ranch, fourteen miles can be saved, thus reducing the distance on that route to 211.24 miles, while the route via the Altar River is 226.11 miles. It may not be amiss to state here that the rainy season usually commences in this latitude on or about the 24th of June, and continues during July, August, and part of September. About the middle of November the country is Sonora toward the gulf is visited with rains called las equipatas. The winter rains fall in December, January, and February. Snow is not infrequent in this territory in winter. Trains en route from La Libertad to Tuscon will require to be guarded against Apaches. That a military escort will be necessary I do not believe, provided teamsters and herders are armed, under a careful wagon-master, who will exact vigilance and obedience. Mexicans travel safely and herd their animals at night. At Libertad the danger from Indians is but very little. Apaches have been known to visit there only once. The Repoca and Ceres (or Seris) inhabit the coast to the south of the port. They depredate upon the settlements on the Sonora River generally, and when pursued cross to Tiburon Island, in the gulf. It is very unusual for them to come farther north than La Cienega. One man was left in charge of produce stored at Libertad for several months lately; so that if any settlement be formed at the port a military force will not, in my opinion, be required.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. FERGUSSON,

Major, First Cavalry California Volunteers.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, Ohio, February 1, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Referring to my letter of this date by Quartermaster-General Wright, if the necessity for more troops is probable. I have to advise the adoption of a uniform system of drafting. With this Ohio will,