Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 41 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
I then returned to El Paso and settled my affairs preparatory
to going to Santa Fe to take part with the
Union people. There was then residing at El Paso a
Col. Phil Herbert, who had been a member of Congress
from California, but who, on account of bad conduct or
misfortune, had left the State under a cloud. Having
never seen anything in the conduct of this gentleman
that was not honorable, generous and brave, it is not for
me to speak of his supposed faults. He was an enthusiastic
rebel, but my personal friend. When the stage
coach was ready to start I took this man aside and confided
to him where I was going, and why I was going.
He approved of my determination and wished me personal
success. I passed Fort Fillmore again en route to
Santa Fe, July I, I86I, and met Dr. Cooper McKee, the
post surgeon, whom I knew well, and appealed to him to
do something to prevent the surrender of the post. He
appeared displeased at my remarks about his brother
officers, and said that their sympathies or intentions
were not his business, nor mine.
I met at the post another young army surgeon, Dr.
Alden, who had lately arrived from Santa Fe. I found
him as enthusiastic and as distrustful of the officers as
myself. He told me he had thought of sending a private
express to General Canby, advising him of the danger,
but as I was going he would intrust it to me. He
promised to meet me next day in Mesilla, and did so,
but such was the feeling against Union men that this
United States officer, almost under the guns of his post,
did not dare to speak to me on the street, but beckoned
me to an outhouse, where he privately handed me a
letter to Lieutenant Anderson, Canby's adjutant.
I then called upon Dr. M. Steck, a loyal man, who
was Indian agent, and received from him some encour
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/41/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .