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CUBERO, N.MEX., March 19, 1862
SIR: In making an official report of my entry into this place, &c., I will furnish a transcript of the notes handed me by men whom I have myself found to be sound.
NOTE 1.-- At 9 am, March 3, Dr. F.E. Kavenaugh, in command of three Americans, demanded of Capt. Francisco Aragon, U.S. Army, commanding military post of Cabrero, the surrender to him for the Confederate States of himself and command, consisting of Dr. Boyd, surgeon of post, 42 New Mexican soldiers, and 3 Americans, one of whom was Sergeant Wahl, bugler, U.S. Army, together with the post, and all stores, arms, ammunition and property of whatsoever description, belonging thereto. Captain Aragon was allowed ten minutes to decide whether he would peaceably comply with the demand or resist. At the expiration of the time, he not having returned an answer, one of Kavenaugh's party was sent to receive the arms, which were formally demanded. The following correspondence will show the formal surrender of the post to Dr. Kavenaugh and his regiment, to hold in the name of the Confederate States of America, which said correspondence I herewith inclose.
The amount of property turned over will be accurately shown by the quartermaster's invoices, which show a large and valuable lot of quartermaster's commissary, and ordnance stores. The surgery is also well supplied with valuable medicines, &c. There was not less than 60 arms and 3000 rounds turned over. Captain Aragon and company were furnished with arms and transportation sufficient to take and protect them to Albuquerque upon promise to deliver the Government property furnished them the Confederate States Army officer commanding there.
Upon taking command of the post Dr. Kavenaugh dispatched MR. Richmond Gillespie, one of his party, to take information to Albuquerque of the surrender of the post, and to procure assistance in holding it. This trip was performed by Mr. Gillespie greatly to his credit, having voluntarily risked his life a second time in passing through a most dangerous portion of hostile Indian country to a post where he was not certain but what he might fall into the hands of the enemy. The successful execution of this hazardous trip brought to the protection of the post Capt. A.S. Thurmond, C. S. Army, with 25 men of his command, arrived at Cuberi on March 5, at 2pm.
Next day the command was turned over to him by Dr. Kavenaugh. George Gardenheir, one of Dr. Kaenaugh's party, has rendered most valuable services as assistant quartermaster and commissary, working incessantly in saving and protecting property belonging to those defenses.
Mr. R.T. Thompson was not only at the capture of the post, but always, been truly Southern, being a Virginian by birth, and certainly his services were most efficient in carrying out the duties of adjutant, treating the enemy always with much leniency, but with the sternness and decision of a true Southern gentlemen.
In conversing with both friends and enemies I have found the above to be substantially true, yea, more than true, for such an act of bravery, under the circumstances, could not be expected from the number of men. Dr. Kavenaugh and Messrs. Thompson, Gillespie, and Gardenhier constituted the whole force in the side of the Confederate States, and they too, men who had been persecuted by the Federal Government. They were not only suspected but known to be friends of the Confederate States, consequently there was but one game to play, and they did play it with profit to the Confederate States and great credit to themselves. The game would be in other countries called bluff, though it was not intended so by them, although it had that effect.
Dr. Boyd is among us, a gentlemen of high medical attainments, and at this time doing valuable service as I have quite a number of cases of pleurisy in my company.
This at Cubrero, March 20.
Comdg. Co A, Third Regt., Sibley's Brig., Army of N. Mex.
To the OFFICER COMMANDING C. S. FORCES,
Albuquerque, N. Mex.
General Sibley remained in Albuquerque due to alleged illness and turned command of the Confederate troops over to Colonel Scurry. Scurry's instructions were to capture Fort Union- the principal Quartermaster Depot of the South- West for all supplies coming down the Sante Fe trail from Missouri. Fort Union was manned by 400 troops who were busy building fortifications for defense. Upon reaching Sante Fe, the Confederate flag was raised, but snow storms held up any further advance for two weeks. During this period, Fort Union was reinforced by the 1st Colorado Volunteers (950 men) known as the Pikes Peakers who made the trip through a blizzard from Denver in 13 days. Commanding them was Colonel John Slough who also assumed command of Fort Union and it's garrison due to his rank. Slough's orders from Canby were to protect Fort Union at all costs and not to start a major battle. Contrary to those orders, Slough thought the best place to defend Fort Union was on the road to Santa Fe, so he started down the road toward Glorieta Pass, with 1348 men- the Fort Union Garrison, the Colorado Volunteers and a company of the 4th New Mexico Volunteers.
Learning of the Federal force hastening south from Denver to Fort Union, Scurry detached a force of 400 Confederates under the command of Major Pyron to investigate. On March 26, 1861, Pyron was scouting the western end of Glorieta Pass, called Apache Canyon when the Confederates ran into Slough's advance party of 415 men under the "Fighting Parson" Major John Chivington. Chivington attacked at once and drove the Confederates down the canyon, capturing dozens of Texans. Fearing the entire Confederate Brigade was near-by, Chivington halted and withdrew to Kozlowski's Ranch near Pecos. Pyron fell back to wood and water and sent to Scurry for help. Scurry put his two battalions on the road and embarked for an all night march through bitter cold reaching Pyron's position at dawn. An expected Federal assault did not take place on March 27th.
At Kozlowski's, Slough and Chivington decided on a plan of attack to take place on the 28th. Slough would take 2/3's of the troops, including all the artillery down the pass toward Santa Fe. Chivington would take his battalion of 113 men, guided by Lt. Col. J. Francisco Chavez of the New Mexico Volunteers over the shoulder of Glorieta Mesa on a 12 mile trail to attack the Confederate flank.
Scurry decided not to wait at Apache Canyon. He started almost all his force eastward through the pass, leaving his supply wagons with a small guard at Johnson's Ranch at the junction at Glorieta Pass and Apache Canyon. At mid- morning, he attacked Slough's lead elements near Pigeon Ranch, located on the Santa Fe trail. Both sides deployed their men in a long line, but Slough's line was shorter by 300 men.
Scurry's battalions attacked with great vigor but were met with equal vigor by the Coloradoans. Slough's men fell back to a better position, from which Slough tried unsuccessfully to send men around Scurry's right. Scurry kept pressure on the Federals while organizing a three pronged assault. It was during this assault that Abe Hanna who's journal was quoted previously was mortally wounded and Lieutenant John Shropshire telling his troops " Follow Me" took a shot to the head and was killed. The Confederate's attacked Slough's entire front, driving in the flanks and threatening the center. The Federals retreated and Scurry's men pursued, but were too exhausted from the all night march and 6 hour battle. Slough abandoned the field, leaving the Confederates in undisputed possession.
While the Confederates won the battle, the turning point of the campaign took place at Pigeon's Ranch. Chivington completely missed Scurry's flank, falling instead on the Confederate supply train parked in Apache Canyon. Rapelling down to the canyon floor, the lightly guarded 80 wagon train was captured and destroyed leaving Scurry with no ammunition, food, blankets or other supplies. Chivington returned to Kozlowski's and Slough's reunited command withdrew to Fort Union. Unable to sustain his men in the field, Scurry returned to Santa Fe. The Federal dead were buried at Fort Union. The Confederate officers except John Shropshire were placed in coffins and buried in Santa Fe. Shropshire due to his size would not fit in a coffin and was buried in a mass grave with the Confederate enlisted dead. This mass grave remained undiscovered for well over 100 years and was found by an man digging a foundation for his home. Shropshire was one of the few identifiable bodies and was removed to Kentucky for burial with his parents. The balance of confederate dead were taken to the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.
In Sante Fe, Scurry was joined by Sibley and there learned that Col Canby was marching north from Fort Craig to threaten Albuquerque. The balance of the Sibley Campaign will be continue after the following battle reports on Glorieta Pass:
Colonel John P Slough, a Denver attorney turned soldier, was commanding officer of the First Colorado Infantry. He dispatched his battle report to Colonel Edward S. Canby the day after the fight at Pigeon's Ranch
Kozlowski's Ranch, March 29, 1862
COLONEL: Learning from our spies that the enemy, about 1000 strong, were in the Apache Canon and at Johnson's Ranch beyond, I concluded to reconnoiter in force, with the view of ascertaining the position of the enemy and of harassing them as much as possible; hence left this place with my command, nearly 1300 strong, at 8 o'clock yesterday morning. To facilitate the reconnaissance I sent Maj. J.M. Chivington .....with about 430 officers and picked men, with instructions to push forward to Johnson's. With the remainder of the command I entered the canon, and had attained but a short distance when our pickets announced the enemy was near and had taken position in a thick grove of trees, with their line extending from mesa to mesa across the canon, and their battery, consisting of four pieces, placed in position. I at once detailed a considerable force of flankers, placed the batteries in position, and placed the cavalry...nearly all dismounted... and the remainder of the infantry in position to support the batteries.
Before the arrangement of my forces was completed the enemy opened fire upon us. The action began about 10 o'clock and continued until after 4 p.m. The character of the country was such as to make the engagement of the bushwacking kind. Hearing of the success of Major Chivington's command, and the object of our movement being successful, we fell back in order to our camp. Our loss in killed is probably 20...; in wounded probably 50...; in missing over 100. In addition we took some 25 prisoners and rendered unfit for service three pieces of their artillery. We took and destroyed their train of about 60 wagons, with their contents, consisting of ammunition, substence, forage, clothing, officer's baggage, etc....During the engagements the enemy made three attempts to take our batteries and were repelled in each with severe loss.
The strength of the enemy, as received from spies and prisoners, in the canon was altogether some 1200 or 1300, some 200 of whom were at or near Johnson's Ranch, and were engaged by Major Chivington's command. The officers and men behaved nobly. My thanks are due to my staff officers for the courage and ability with which they assisted me in conducting the engagement. As soon as all the details are ascertained I will send an official report of the engagement.
MARCH 28, 1862.-- Engagement at Glorieta, or Pigeon's Ranch, N. Mex.
Report of Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, C. S. Army
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque, N. Mex., March 31, 1862
GENERAL: I have the honor and the pleasure to report another victory.
After the battle of Valverde our advance was uninterrupted to this city. Here sufficient supplies were secured for sixty days, while from Cubero, a village 60 miles distant, large supplies have been drawn from the enemy's depot. We have been surrounded with every description of embarassment, general and individual. Whole trains had been abandoned, and scantily provided, as they had originally been, with blankets and clothing. the men had, without a murmer, given up the little left them. More than all this, on the representation of their officers that forage could not be procured with one accord the regiment agreed to be dismounted.
These preliminary facts are stated because it is due to the brave men under my command that they should be known and the hand- to -hand desperate contests duly noted.
The battle of Glorieta was fought March 28 by detached troops, under the command of Lieutenant- Colonel Scurry, and Federal forces, principally Pike's Peakers, under the command of Colonel Slough, the one having 1000 men and the other estimated at 1500 or 2000. Glorieta is a canon 23 miles east of Santa Fe.
Pending the battle the enemy detached a portion of his forces to attack and destroy our supply train which he succeeded in doing, thus crippling Colonel Scurry to such a degree that he was two days without provisions or blankets. The patient, uncomplaining endurance of our men is most remarkable and praiseworthy.
Our losses was 33 killed and 35 wounded. Among the killed are majors Ragnet and Shropshire and Captain Buckholts. Colonel Scurry had his cheek twice grazed by minie balls, and Major Pyron had his horse killed under him.
In consequence of the loss of his train Colonel Scurry has fallen back to Santa Fe.
I must have re-enforcements. The future operations of this army will be duly reported. Send me re-enforcements.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
General S. COOPER
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
MARCH 28, 1862.-- Engagement at Glorieta, or Pigeon's Ranch, N. Mex.
Reports of Col. W.R. Scurry, Fourth Texas Cavalry.
SANTA FE, N. MEX., March 30, 1862.
GENERAL: I arrived here this morning with my command and have taken quarters for the present in this city. I will in a short time give you an official account of the battle of Glorieta, which occured on the day before yesterday, in the Canon Glorieta, about 22 miles from the city, between the confederate troops under my command and the Federal forces, commanded by Colonel Slough, of the Colorado Volunteers, (Pike's Peakers), when another victory was added to a long list of Confederate triumphs.
The action commenced at about 11 o'clock and ended at 5:30, and, although every inch of the ground was well contested, we steadily drove them back until they were in full retreat our men pursuing until sheer exhaustion we were compelled to stop.
Our loss was 33 killed and I believe, 35 wounded. Among the killed was that brave soldier and accomplished officer Major Ragnet, the gallant and impetuous Major Shropshire, and the daring Captain Buckholts, all of whom fell gallantly leading the men around the foe. Major Pyron had his horse shot under him, and my own cheek was twice brushed by a Minie ball, each time just drawing blood, and my clothes torn in two places. I mentioned this simply to show how hot was the fire of the enemy when all the field officers upon the ground were either killed or touched. As soon as I can procure a full report of all the casualties I will forward them.
Our train was burned by a party who succeeded in passing undiscovered around the mountains to our rear. I regret to have to report that they fired upon and severely wounded Rev. L.H. Jones, our chaplin, of the Fourth Regiment. He was holding in his hand a white flag when fired upon.
The loss of the enemy was very severe, being over 75 killed and a large number wounded.
The loss of my supplies so crippled me that after burying my dead I was unable to follow up the victory. My men for two days went unfed and blanketless unmurmeringly. I was compelled to come here for something to eat.
At last accounts the Federals were still retiring towards Fort Union.
The men at the train blew up the limber box and spiked the 6- pounder I had left at the train, so that it was rendered useless, and the cart- burners left it.
Lieutenant Bennett writes for more ammunition. Please have it sent. As soon as I am fixed for it I wish to get after them again.
From three sources, all believed reliable, Canby left Craig on the 24th.
Yours, in haste,
P.S. -- I do not know if I write intelligently. I have not slept for three nights, and can scarcely hold my eyes open.
SANTA FE, N. MEX., March 31, 1862
MAJOR: Late on the afternoon of the 26th, while encamped at Gallisteo, an express from Major Pyron arrived, with the information that the major was engaged in a sharp conflict with a greatly superior force of the enemy, about 16 miles distant, and urging me to hasten to his relief. The critical condition of Major Pyron and his gallant comrades was made known to the command, and in about 10 minutes the column was formed and the order to march given. Our baggage train was sent forward under a guard of 100 men, under the command of Lieutenant Taylor, of the Seventh Regiment, to a point some six miles in the rear of Major Pyron's position, the main command marching directly across the mountains to the scene of conflict. It was due to the brave men making this cold night march to state that where the road over the mountain was too steep for the horses to drag the artillery they were unharnessed, and the men cheerfully pulled it over the difficulties of the way by hand.
About 3 o'clock in the morning we reached Major Pyrin's encampment at Johnson's Ranch, Canon Cito. There had been an agreed cessation of hostilities until 8 o'clock the next morning. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the courage of the officers and men engaged in the affair of the 26th.
As soon as daylight enabled me I made a thorough examination of the ground, and so formed the troops as to command every approach to the position we occupied, which was naturally a very strong one. The disposition of the troops was soon completed, and by 8 o'clock were ready to receive the expected attack.
In this position we remained until the next morning. The enemy still not making their appearance, I concluded to march forward and attack them. Leaving a small wagon guard, I marched in their direction with portions of nine companies of the Fourth Regiment, under their respective officers, Captains Hampton, Lesueur, Foard, Crosson, Giesecke, Alexander, Buckholts, Odell, and Lieutenant Holland, of company B, Captain Scarborough being unwell, four conpanies of the Seventh Regiment, under Captains Hoffman, Gardner, Wiggins and Adair, four companies of the Fifth Regiment, under Captains Shannon and Ragsdale and Lieuts. Oakes and Scott, three pieces of artillery, under Lieutenant Bradford, together with Captain Phillips' company of independent volunteers.
From details and other causes they were reduced until (all combined) they did not number over 600 men fit for duty. At about 6 miles from camp the advance guard gave notice that the enemy was near in force. I hastened in front to examine their position, and found they were about one mile west of Pigeon's Ranch, in Canon Glorieta. The mounted men who were marching in front were ordered to retire slowly to the rear, dismount, and come into action on foot. The artillery was pushed forward to a slight elevation in the canon and immediately opened fire. The infantry was rapidly deployed into line, extending across the canon from a fence on our left up into the pine forest on our right.
About the time these dispositions were made the enemy rapidly advanced in separate columns both upon our right and left. I dispatched Major Pyron to the right to check them in that direction, and placing the center in command of Major Ragnet I hastened with the remainder of the command to the left. A large body of infantry, availing themselves of a gulch that ran up the center of an inclosed field on our left, were moving under its cover past our left flank to the rear of our position. Crossing the fence on foot, we advanced over the clearing some 200 yards under heavy fire from the foe, and dashed into the gulch in their midst, pistol and knife in hand. For a few moments a most desperate and deadly hand- to- hand conflict raged along the gulch, when they broke before the steady courage of our men and fled in the wildest disorder and confusion.
Major Pyron was equally successful, and Major Ragnet with his force charged rapidly down the center. Lieutenant Bradford, of the artillery, had been wounded and borne from the field. There being no other officer of the artillery present, three guns, constituting our battery, had been hastily withdrawn before I was aware of it. Sending to the rear to have two of the guns brought back to the field a pause was made to reunite our forces, which had become somewhat scattered in the last re-encounter. When we were ready to advance the enemy had taken cover, and it was impossible to tell whether their main body was stationed behind a long adobe wall that ran across the canon or had taken position behind a large ledge of rocks in the rear. Private W.D. Kirk, of Captain Phillips' company, had taken charge of one of the guns, and Sergeant Patrick, of the artillery, another, and brought them to the ground.
While trying by the fire of these two guns to ascertain the locality of the enemy, Major Shropshire was sent to the right, with orders to move up among the pines until he should find the enemy, when he was to attack them on the flank. Major Ragnet, with similar orders, was dispatched to the left. I informed these gallant officers that as soon as the sound of their guns was heard I would charge in front with the remainder of the command. Sending Major Pyron to the assistance of Major Ragnet, and leaving instruction for the center to charge as the fire opened on the right, I passed in that direction to learn the cause of the delay in making the assault. I found that the gallant Major Shropshire had been killed. I took command of the right and immediately attacked the enemy who were at the ranch. Majors Ragnet and Pyron opened a galling fire upon their left from the rock on the mountainside, and the center charging down the road, the foe was driven from the ranch to the ledge of rocks before alluded to, where they made their final and most desperate stand. At this point three batteries of eight guns opened a furious fire of grape, canister, and shell upon our advancing troops.
Our brave soldiers, heedless of the storm, pressed on, determined if possible to take their battery. A heavy body of infantry, twice our number, interposed to save their guns. Here the conflict was terrible. Our officers and men, alike inspired with the inalterable determination to overcome every obstacle to the attainment of their objective, dashed among them. The right and center had united on the left. The intrepid Ragnet and the cool, calm, courageous Pyron had pushed forward among the rocks until the muzzles of the guns of the opposing forces passed each other. Inch by inch was the ground disputed, until the artillery of the enemy had time to escape with a number of their wagons. The infantry also broke ranks and fled from the field. So precipitate was their flight that they cut loose their teams and set fire to two of their wagons. The pursuit was kept up until forced to halt from extreme exhaustion of the men, who had been engaged for six hours in the hardest contested fight it had ever been my lot to witness. The enemy is now known to have numbered 1400 men, Pike's Peaker miners and regulars, the flower of the U.S. Army.
During the action a part of the enemy succeeded in reaching our rear, suprising the wagon guard, and burning our wagons, taking at the same time 16 prisoners. About this time a party of prisoners, whom I had sent to the rear, reached there, and informed them how the fight was going in front, whereupon they beat a hasty retreat, not, however, until the perpetration of two acts which the most barbarous savage of the plains would blush to own. One was the shooting and dangerously wounding of the Rev. L.H. Jones, chaplin of the Fourth Regiment, with a white flag in his hand, the other an order that the prisoners they had taken be shot in case they were attacked in their retreat. These instances go to prove that they have lost all sense of humanity in the insane hatred they bear to the citizens of the Confederacy, who have the manliness to arm in the defense of their country's independence.
We remained upon the battle- field during the day of the 29th to bury our dead and provide the comfort of the wounded, and then marched to Santa Fe, to procure supplies and transportation to replace those destroyed by the enemy.
Our loss was 36 killed and 60 wounded. Of the killed 24 were from the Fourth Regiment, 1 of the Fifth Regiment, 8 of the Seventh Regiment, and 1 of the artillery.
That of the enemy greatly exceeded this number, 44 of their dead being counted where the battle opened. Their killed must have considerably exceeded 100.
The country has to mourn the loss of four as brave and chivalrous officers as ever graced the ranks of any army. The gallant Major Trashier fell early, pressing upon the foe and cheering his men on. The brave and chivalrous Major Ragnet fell mortally wounded while engaged in the last and most desperate conflict of the day. He survived long enough to know and rejoice at our victory, and then died with loving messages upon his expiring lips. The brave, gallant Captain Buckholts and Lieutenant Mills conducted themselves with distinguished gallantry throughout the fight and fell near its close. Of the living it is only necessary to say all behaved with distinguished courage and daring.
This battle proves conclusively that few mistakes were made in the selection of the officers in this command. They were ever in the front, leading their men into the hotest of the fray. It is not too much to say that, even in the midst of this historic band, among whom instances of individual daring and personal prowess were constantly occurring, Major Pyron was distinguished by the calm intrepidity of his bearing. It is due to Adjt. Ellsberry R. Lane to bear teatimoney to the courage and activity he displayed in the discharge of his official duties, and to acknowledge my obligations for the manner in which he carried out my orders.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servent,
Colonel, Commanding Army of New Mexico.
Maj. A.M. Jackson
Assistant Adjutant- General, Army of New Mexico
While winning the Battle of Glorieta, the Confederates lost most of their horses and supplies, and had no recourse except to retreat. Sibley's plans to subsist on federal supplies and recruit Mexican Americans failed because of the deep distrust the New Mexicans had for the Texans.Further, Sibley's men considered him incompetant, a drunkard and a coward since he had not commanded in any of the battles they fought.
In order to remove the Confederates from Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Cols Slough and Canby coordinated efforts with Slough attacking Santa Fe with troops from Fort Union and Canby faking an attack with troops from Fort Craig on Albuquerque. By April 12, the Confederates evacuated Santa Fe and Albuquerque with whatever supplies they could find. Canby joined forces with the Federal troops from Fort Union and for the first time, Federal forces outnumbered the Confederates.The combined force followed the Confederates southward.
On April 15 , 20 miles south of Albuquerque, Canby suprised Sibley's straggling column at what came to be called the Battle (skirmish) of Peralta. The Confederates were Col. Green's Fifth Texas Mounted Volunteers, approximately 500 men, or about 1/3 of Sibley's force. Greens position was a strong one behind the adobe walls of New Mexico territorial Governor Connelly's mansion. An excerpt from Federal Lieut. Bell's diary describes what happened next. " Our attention was almost immediately diverted to the North, however, where a Confederate supply train approached Peralta from the direction of Albuquerque, Consisting of 7 heavily laden wagons, the train was escorted by a detachment of Texans with a mountain Howitzer. The Texans had to stop and defend themselves when the Federal troops charged within 50 feet of the wagons and cannon. One Union man was mortally wounded, and four Confederates were killed." Canby at mid- day sent separate columns under Cols Gabriel and Chivington around the north and west of Peralta to prevent re-inforcements.
At about 2 o'clock in the afternoon a dust storm arose during which the Confederates managed to escape, after setting fire to Connelly's mansion.
Peralta was to be the last Civil War Battle in New Mexico. Canby decided that both armies could not subsist on the meager rations of the region and permitted the Texans to escape.
Sibley detoured around Fort Craig through the rugged San Mateo mountains and reached the Mesilla valley with 1800 weary men. They marched on to Fort Bliss where they spent May and part of June gathering supplies and raiding north into New Mexico for the horses needed for their journey home to San Antonio. Thus ended the Disaster of Sibley's campaign.
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