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prevented any effective resistance, and they were compelled to submit to the invasion, while waiting anxiously for the relief which they felt assured the Government would send.
At length the Governor of New Mexico, Henry Connelly, issued a vigorous and stirring proclamation, on the 9th of September, calling upon the citizens to enrol themselves for the defence of their homes against the invaders, who were coming to subdue them to the rule of the Texan authorities. He ordered an organization of the militia in the several counties of the State, and the Adjutant-General was instructed to carry the orders into effect.
On the 9th of November, New Mexico was constituted a military department, and Colonel E. R. S. Canby, of the United States army, was appointed to the command. Colonel Canby immediately entered upon his duties, and pushed his work with so much energy, that by the end of December he had retaken Forts Craig and Stanton. Federal forces also held Fort Massachusetts to the north, and Fort Union, on the southeast of Santa Fe, the capital of the Territory.
On the 2d of December, the Legislature assembled, and the Governor recommended the adoption of measures to secure the loyal adhesion of such of .the Indian tribes as had not been betrayed into the hands of the Confederate agents. While loyal to the Government in their sentiments, they found themselves apparently cut off from its protection and support, under the circumstances in which they were placed; and pressed on all sides, they were somewhat divided. While some remained loyal, and were willing to enlist in the Federal service, others joined the Confederates; but the great body desired to pursue a course which would be entirely neutral.
On the 30th of December, General Sibley, the rebel commander, issued a proclamation from his head-quarters, notifying the people that he took possession of New Mexico in behalf of, and for the benefit of the Confederate States. He declared, that "by geographical position, by similarity of institutions, by commercial interests, and by future destinies, New Mexico pertains to the Confederacy." General Sibley also declared the United States tax laws abolished.
BATTLE OP VALVENDE.
Febkuart 21, 1862.
Colonel Canby had no intention of remaining inactive while the rebel leader was thus earnestly endeavoring to persuade the people into willing submission to Confederate power, or of permitting him by an apparent triumph to exercise his authority for the subversion of the
legitimate government. He accordingly prepared for the important business of expelling him from the territory, determined to accomplish this, whatever effort it might involve. The rebels, on their way through the territory, followed the valley of the Rio Grande, and consequently would be obliged to pass Fort Craig. At this place Colonel Canby resolved to dispute their advance. His force was composed in part of United States regulars, and in part of New Mexican volunteers. With these he descended the river to meet the invaders. They were informed of his approach, and on the 19th crossed the river in order to take a position on the other side, from which they could shell the fort, and obtain command of the stream above it, by which movement they could cut off his communications. On the afternoon of the 19th, Colonel Canby ordered the detachments of the Fifth, Seventh and Tenth United States Infantry, under Captains Selden and Wingate, and Colonels Carson's and Pino's regiments of volunteers to cross the river and occupy an elevation opposite the fort, which would otherwise be appropriated by the rebels. On the afternoon of the 20th, Captain McRae's battery and the cavarly under Major Duncan were ordered to cross the river, and were brought into position. The enemy were thus cut off from the river, and suffered from want of water. Their mules were so much exhausted that it was found necessary to double the teams in order to draw the wagons; but this resort at last failed, and the animals gave out entirely. The rebels finding the desperate strait to which they were reduced, opened a heavy cannonade upon the Federal troops. Being protected by the elevations between them and the enemy, the Union troops suffered no injury, except one man, who was wounded by a fragment from a ball, which struck a rock, and was shattered by the blow. The night closed on the antagonists. About two hundred mules were captured by the Union scouts, and a number of wagons burned.
On the morning of the 21st, at about eight o'clock, Colonel Canby ordered Colonel Roberts, with his cavalry, Colonel Valdez's cavalry. Colonel Carson's volunteers, the regular infantry, and Captain McRae's and Lieutenant Hall's batteries to proceed up the west bank of the Rio Grande, and prevent the Texans from reaching the water, at the only point where the river was fordable by the sloping banks. This position was seven miles north of the fort, and when Colonel Roberts' command reached it, he found that the enemy had gained the water first. Colonel Roberts immediately opened his batteries upon them, on which they retreated with a loss of twenty-five or thirty killed, and one cannon. The gun was dismounted, spiked, and rendered unfit for use. Colonel Roberts then crossed the river, and held his position until the issue of the battle was decided.
After one o'clock Colonel Canby came upon the gi Dund with his staff, followed by Colonel Pino's regiment of volunteers, and took the command in person. Up to this time the fighting had been principally with the batteries. Captain McRae's battery occupied the left, and Lieutenant Hall's battery the right of the line. On the left flank, and within about a hundred yards of McRae's battery, was a piece of woods, where bodies of the enemy were seen to collect, but out of range of the guns. Two companies of regulars and two companies of volunteers were assigned to support this battery. Lieutenant Hall's guns were to be supported by the cavalry and Colonel Carson's volunteers.
Thus disposed, Colonel Canby intended to make an advance, when suddenly a brisk fire of musketry was opened towards the right of the field. This was entirely unexpected, but the object was soon discovered to be a ruse to divert attention from an attempt which was immediately made to take the batteries. Advancing to the front, in two divisions, the enemy rushed on and made their charges against the batteries in the most determined and gallant manner. The charge against Lieutenant Hall's battery was made by the cavalry, who dashed forward with an unbroken front, in the face of the destructive fire to which they were exposed. Standing true to their posts, the experienced gunners worked their pieces with such deadly effect, that the enemy was appalled by the carnage, and compelled to retire from the field.
The charge upon McRae's battery was made on foot, and was never surpassed for the cool and deliberate determination with which the rebel infantry pressed forward undismayed to their work. The iron hail belched forth from the guns swept through their ranks, opening a pathway through the columns, which closed up and moved onward, apparently heedless of the losses they sustained. Volley after volley from the batteries poured destruction on the advancing foe. But still they came on steadily Under the fire, pouring forth in return volley upon volley, and closing with their revolvers and bayonets, until the last brave man was shot down while standing faithfully by his gun. During all this time the New Mexicans remained inactive, and when once convinced of the danger they were in, fled in haste, leaving the thrice heroic McRae alone with his gunners, who fell one by one till he stood alone before the enemy. When this fearless man saw that he was utterly abandoned, he sat down, with sublime coolness, on one of his useless guns, with his face to the enemy, waiting for the glorious death which soon came to his relief. A ball struck him on the forehead, and he fell by the gun his courage had defended to the last.
Captain Plimpton's regulars stood their ground and fought until onehalf their number were wounded, or dead and dying on the field, when they were compelled to retire.
When the battery was lost, the day was decided in favor of the enemy, and the Federal forces retreated to Fort Craig.
Colonel Canby had in the engagment about 1,500 men, consisting of regulars and volunteers. The force of the enemy, under Colonel Steele, was from 1,500 to 2,000. Our loss, according to the best information, was 50 or 60 killed, and about 140 wounded. The loss of the enemywas estimated at from 100 to 200 killed and wounded. Captain Rossel, of the regulars, was taken by the Texans, his horse having been drowned in crossing the river.
THE BATTLE OP APAOHE CAN0N.
March 28, 1862.
The immediate consequence of the battle of Valvende was that the insurgents marched directly past Fort Craig, which for want of men and provisions they were powerless to invest or capture, direct on Albuquerque and Santa Fe, which fell into their power without resistance. Albuquerque was the depot of United States Government stores, most of which was removed on the advance of the insurgents, and the rest destroyed. The occupation of Santa Fe was followed by the proclamation of a provisional government, which however never entered into practical operation. Fort Craig still remained in the rebel rear, and Fort Union in the possession of the national troops, on the northeast, from which direction reinforcements might be expected. The policy of the insurgents was therefore either to capture Fort Union before relief could arrive, or maintain their position, isolating Fort Craig until that post should be compelled to surrender for want of supplies.
Meantime, news of the critical condition of affairs having reached the Colorado territory and Kansas, troops were at once organized to go to the relief of the threatened position* By forced marches, scarcely paralleled in history, a Colorado regiment 950 strong, under Colonel Hough, reached Fort Union on the 13th of March. Here he gathered around him all the troops available, or possible to obtain, and marched for Santa Fc, to give battle to the invaders. The latter moved their forces forward to meet him. The numbers on both sides were nearly equal—between 1,200 and 1,500. They met at a point called Apache Pass.
The main fight took place at Apache Canon, eighty miles from Fort Union, and twenty miles from Santa Fe. Three battalions, one under Major Chivington, one under Captain Lewis, and one under Captain Wynkoop, advanced to the canon, on the 28th, when the pickets reported no enemy in sight. The command then advanced, when shots