Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 54 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
were compelled to retire, which they did in good order.
Meantime our two Colorado companies had done good
service on our left. They were dressed in gray like our
militia, and the Texans, mistaking them for Mexicans,
charged them recklessly. The Colorado men reserved
their fire for close quarters, and emptied many saddles
at the first fire. The remainder retired in disorder.
The New Mexican volunteers were keeping the enemy
from the water and skirmishing briskly at times. There
was now, at 2 o'clock p. m., a lull in the fighting. Some
ofus had lunch and talked of the prospects. So far all
was favorable to us except the repulse of Selden.
We had kept them from the water, McRae had beaten
their battery, and the Coloradans had gained an advantage.
We were well posted and provided; their animals
and men were weary and without water-they
could not retreat; they must surrender or starve or fight
quickly and desperately. During this lull Roberts
crossed our battery to the east bank and placed Selden
in support of it.
At 3 o'clock that afternoon General Canby appeared
on the field and was received with cheers by the troops.
After a brief consultation with Roberts;he advanced our
battery about five hundred yards, withdrew Selden from
its support, leaving only two companies to protect it,
and opened fire. Carson's Mexican regiment had been
moved to our right and advanced, and with one company
of regulars repulsed a charge of Texas cavalry
with some loss. I observed Carson closely. He walked
up and down his line, quietly encouraging his men
with such words as "Firme, muchachos, firme" (steady,
boys, be firm).
The Texans now rapidly concentrated all their available
force at the foot of the hills in front of our battery
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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/m1/54/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .