The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 422
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
forty miles from El Paso. In command of the fort and its four
hundred defenders was Major Isaac Lynde of the Seventh United
States Infantry who had thirty-four years of frontier service. As
the Texans approached, they heard shouts of men and the roll of
drums inside the fort, indicating that the Yankees were going to
make a fight of it. The Confederates decided not to attack and
pushed on to the town of Mesilla, about ten miles to the north-
west, only to look back and find the Federals in close pursuit.
Soon a respectable skirmish was underway as the opposing forces
cheered and peppered away at each other. Then Major Lynde,
fearing that Baylor had been reinforced, led his soldiers back to
Fort Fillmore. That night the Yankee force, including numerous
women and children and a variety of wagons, headed toward Fort
Stanton, but Baylor's Texans overtook them at San Augustine
Springs, about seventeen miles east of Fort Selden. Major Lynde
surrendered his exhausted and thirsty command almost immedi-
ately. The capture of Fort Fillmore launched a Confederate cam-
paign designed to conquer New Mexico and perhaps everything
to the Pacific Ocean. This campaign, directed by that maladroit
strategist and tactician, General Henry Hopkins Sibley, was highly
unsuccessful, and when the expeditionary force returned to Texas
in the spring of 1862, Southerners had to dismiss forever their
dream of a greater Confederacy.
Narrative of the Surrender of ... Fort Fillmore, one of the
rarest source works about the Civil War in Texas and New Mexico,
was written by a participant, a thirty-four-year-old Federal sur-
geon from Pennsylvania. McKee was extremely embittered by the
timorous manner in which Major Lynde conducted the sur-
render, and the young surgeon sought in his Narrative to impugn
Lynde as well as "to tell the truth irrespective of friend or foe."
McKee concluded that the dastardly Lynde was "an imbecile if
not a traitor" whose capitulation of Fort Fillmore would likely
be recorded as one of the most "suicidal," "cowardly," "pusillani-
mous," surrenders "in all history."
The work is not entirely invective; it includes an excellent
description of the topography around Fort Fillmore (McKee con-
sistently spells it Filmore), contains helpful maps, and has a lively
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/459/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.