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11 Series I Volume L-II Serial 106 - Pacific Part II

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Page 11 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

from the Rio Grande, and to protect forage and other supplies for the main column until it shall advance. You also go to observe the road and to form a support for Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre in case he falls back. Unless immediately menaced by the enemy, you must send out scouts fifty or more miles toward the Rio Grande to keep you informed of his movements. You are to keep the general commanding informed of those movements. Be ready to fight at all times, night or day, and if attacked you are not to surrender on any terms. Your march to your destination will perhaps be attended by some difficulties in regard to water. The late rains may have obviated these and rendered the precautions now suggested unnecessary. From the San Pedro east, at Dragoon Springs and Ewell Station, it will be well that your train and command should not arrive together. You should push on with the infantry and train and two or three cavalrymen for express, and when you are ready to resume your march, or if no objection exists to the cavalry and battery and cattle coming up, send back your express for them. Reunite your force whenever the supply of water will permit, and at every camp where there is water exert yourself to improve the supply and leave it in the best possible condition for the advance of the column behind you. If necessary, you must employ your men at night in this duty. Your next and scarcely less formidable enemy will be the Indians. You have only to imagine the strait to which your command will be reduced if your cattle or animals, or both, are run off by them to make you unusually vigilant to prevent it. A collision with the Indians cannot possibly result to our advantage, and you will avoid it, and caution all your men to do so until they become the aggressors. You must not enter any passes or canons with your command, train, and cattle, either for water or on the march, until you have secured yourself against attack. This you, must accomplish by an advance reconnoitering party, and by flankers thrown out on each side of such passes, who either can signal to you that they are unoccupied by Indians or drive them from their position. No Indian enemy is likely by foour command. If he does it by stratagem you will be held to the most strict accountability. Of the forage intrusted to you, one full ration can be issued to the cavalry at the cienega, thirty miles from here. Thence to your destination your train and artillery mules can be fed full rations. For the train's return, supply it with half rations of grain to this post. All other consumption of grain is strictly prohibited, and you will preserve the residue at your station, as above instructed. As soon as practicable, keeping one wagon for post purposes, you will dispatch your train on its return to this post under a suitable cavalry escort to accompany it as far as the San Pedro; thence the teamsters will be its only protection and the escort will rejoin you. You must exact vigilance from your teamsters while in your company, and enjoin it strictly when they shall be separated from you. Inclosed herewith is an itinerary* drafted from the overland mail table, which may be of service to you. Certain definite instructions are herein communicated to you. They are not to be deviated from, but they do not embrace much that is left to your intelligence and the exercise of such soldierly qualities as shall contribute to and insure the success of the duties intrusted to you to fulfill. You will doubtless the delicacy ofyour mission and its importance to the column of which your command forms a part, and you must remember the consequence to others of failure.

J. R. WEST,

Lieutenant-Colonel First Infantry California Volunteers, Commanding

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*Not found.

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Page 11 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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