Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 49 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
guard house and saw Colonel Baylor with less than
three hundred poorly armed Texans start on his march
to capture Fort Fillmore, then garrisoned by seven
hufidred and fifty regular troops, the flower of the
United States army, and I knew and said that he would
succeed. That history is a short one. Baylor took
possession of the town of Mesilla unopposed, Major
Lynde made a show of attempting to dislodge him, and
a skirmish ensued in which Lieutenant McNally, not
yet knowing that it was only mimic war, exposed himself
and was wounded.
Lynde retreated in good order(?) and that night abandoned
the post and fled in the direction of Fort Stanton.
A show was made of destroying the stores at the post,
but very little damage was done. All was confusion and
denioralization. A patriotic quartermaster, Lieutenant
Plummer, left some government drafts in his pockets at
his quarters. These were sent to Washington indirectly
by the rebels, and the money collected.
The command marched, or straggled, to San Augustine
Springs, eighteen miles east of Fillmore, where
being overtaken by Colonel Baylor with about two hundred
men, they surrendered unconditionally without
firing a gun. No sooner was the surrender an accomplished
fact than the same subordinate officers who had
aided to bring it about, some by indifference, some by
sympathy and some by treachery, united in charging the
whole responsibility upon poor old Lynde.
Major Lynde was dismissed from the service, but
was reinstated after the war. He was not treacherous,
he was weak, and he was deceived to his ruin and the
disgrace of his flag. I have never doubted but that had
he been properly supported and encouraged the result
would have been different. Of his subalterns some re
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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/m1/49/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .