Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 53 of 163
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THE BATTLE OF VALVERDE.
This peaceful valley, which had scarcely before echoed
to the report of the sportsman's fowling piece, was now
to resound to the thunders of artillery and become the
scene of bloody conflict. The west bank of the river
where we first took position, was an open, level plain.
The Texans had advanced their battery and support into
a clump of trees about three hundred yards from the
bank of the river and almost in the shadow of the mountain.
They were in position when McRae arrived. McRae
unlimbered on the very brink of the river, and this
fierce artillery duel commenced. It did not last more
than thirty minutes.
Though McRae's loss was heavy, his victory was complete.
Teel's battery was rendered useless for that day.
When the artillery fight was nearly over Roberts sent
me across the river with an order to Capt. David H.
Brotherton to charge the enemy's battery with his two
companies of infantry, and to bring Major Duncan's cavalry
to his support. Brotherton prepared to obey
promptly, but as Duncan refused to obey the order I
took the responsibility of recalling Brotherton and was
commended for so doing. The enemy had now advanced
toward the river in force, and Roberts ordered Selden
with his infantry to cross the river, advance into the
wood and attack with the bayonet if necessary. The
men received the order with a shout and plunged into
the river, which was cold and reached up to their armpits.
Right gallantly did they obey the order, but they
encountered double their number, strongly posted, and
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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/m1/53/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .