Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 51 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
know the country, and, the weather being cloudy, we
were lost in the mountains. When the sun came out
we traveled west, knowing that we must strike the
river somewhere. The fifth morning out from El Paso
we heard the band play guard mount at Fort Craig, and
rising a little hill my heart was gladdened by the sight
of the flag of my country.
This post, Fort Craig, was then commanded by Col.
B. S. Roberts, of the regular army, a brave and true soldier,
who was concentrating a force to resist General
Sibley, who was then (December, I86I) en route from
San Antonio with a force of thirty-five hundred Texans
to capture and hold New Mexico. Colonel Roberts
received me very kindly, and after I had made a written
report of what I had seen and learned, offered to procure
me a captain's commission in the New Mexican
volunteers (Kit Carson's regiment) or to get me a
commission as first lieutenant and place me on his staff
as aide-de-camp. I chose the latter.
Early in February, 1862, General Sibley arrived before
Fort Craig with his whole force and a battery of six
guns, Major Teel's. Roberts had collected, to oppose
him, one thousand regulars, two regiments of Mexican
volunteers (natives), under Colonels Carson and Peno,
and two companies of Colorado volunteers. Two companies
of our infantry had been detached and trained to
a battery of six guns, under the brave, unfortunate Captain
McRae. On a Sunday evening the Texans appeared
in force in front of the post, and we marched
out-to fight them in the plain, but they retired.
That night they crossed to the east bank of the Rio
Grande, below Fort Craig, and next morning commenced
to pass round the post by a road which our engineers had
declared impassable. Their advance reached the river
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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/m1/51/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .