FORT UNION
Historic Resource Study
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CHAPTER FIVE:
FORT UNION AND THE ARMY IN NEW MEXICO DURING THE CIVIL WAR (continued)

     Colonel Carson was ordered to begin his campaign against the Navajos on July 1, 1863. Three of the nine companies of the First New Mexico Volunteers which comprised his command were from the garrison at Fort Union. Provisions for the expedition were also from the supply depots at Fort Union. Captain Carey, depot commissary officer at Fort Union, was assigned to serve as the expedition quartermaster. [278] The details of the Navajo expedition, which lasted into the spring of 1864, and the additional roundup that followed are beyond the scope of Fort Union history. As the more than 8,000 Navajos surrendered and were placed on the reservation at Bosque Redondo with the Mescalero Apaches, troops from Fort Union assisted with the transfer of the captives, some of whom were brought to Fort Union before being sent on to the reservation. Provisions were sent from the depots at Fort Union to subsist the Indians until the Bureau of Indian Affairs could assume responsibility for them. Several plows were fabricated at the quartermaster shops at Fort Union to be used by the Navajos to prepare ground on their reservation to plant crops. Carleton often argued, regarding the Indians, that "you can feed them cheaper than you can fight them." [279]

     When Captain Plympton left Fort Union for Camp Easton, on August 4, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel William McMullen, First California Volunteer Infantry, became commanding officer at Fort Union. While on his way to Fort Union in July, McMullen's ambulance and escort were attacked by Indians near Paraje, a few miles south of Fort Craig. The Indians killed two soldiers, a surgeon and a private of the California Volunteers, and stole McMullen's horse. The Indians lost three killed and an unknown number wounded. Undoubtedly McMullen was relieved to reach the safe confines of Fort Union. There he found many other responsibilities besides watching out for Indians. [280]

     One of the first things McMullen reported to headquarters at Santa Fe was that there were no citizen prisoners in confinement at Fort Union. This may have been the first time since the Civil War began that civilians were not held in the guardhouse at the post. Because of reports that Indians were stealing sheep, cattle, and horses in the area, McMullen was directed to take "particular care" to protect livestock (public and private) within a 50-mile radius of Fort Union. A few days later Indians attacked herders working for the quartermaster depot near Fort Union and drove off 18 mules. Because of his own recent narrow escape, McMullen quickly complied with orders to provide an escort of one corporal and six privates for Major Wallen and his family from Fort Union to Denver. [281] Carleton later made it clear to McMullen that he had no jurisdiction over the supply and ordnance depots located at Fort Union, "except to defend" them "from any enemy whatever" (including fire and flood as well as Indians and thieves). [282]

     Troops at Fort Union were also expected to help maintain civil peace. In anticipation of civil disturbances (which were widely expected) at Las Vegas on election day, September 7, 1863, Carleton sent 20 soldiers under command of Captain Nicholas S. Davis, First California Volunteers and assistant quartermaster to Captain Craig at the depot, from Fort Union "to see that no citizen, of whatever party he may be, is improperly interfered with when he proceeds to the ballot box to deposit his vote." Anyone caught interfering with the election process was to be arrested and held "until further orders." Carleton hoped no arrests would be necessary and that the mere presence of the troops would prevent disruption. He asked Chief Justice Kirby Benedict to provide any advice he might have for Captain Davis on this assignment. [283] Apparently there was no trouble on election day.

     Carleton reorganized the department late in August 1863, establishing four districts which were mainly designed to facilitate the payment of troops. The district of Fort Union included that post and the ordnance depot and Forts Bascom, Sumner, and Stanton. [284] Carleton was always concerned about the lengthy delays between paydays and hoped to establish regular and efficient distribution of compensation to the troops. He was convinced that systematic payment was good for morale. He also believed that an adequate supply of provisions was helpful. He welcomed Captain William H. Bell, commissary department, as the commissary officer at the depot at Fort Union, to replace Captain Carey who was sent on the Navajo expedition, to oversee the distribution of rations to the troops in the department. [285]

     Because of the shortage of regular army troops in New Mexico, another regiment of New Mexico Volunteers was enlisted to help deal with the Indian problems in the territory. Major Henry R. Selden, Thirteenth Infantry, was selected to serve as colonel of the new regiment of infantry. Some of these troops were outfitted and trained at Fort Union. Lieutenant Colonel McMullen, apparently content with the way things were going at Fort Union, was shocked when he learned the results of a routine inspection of the post. Major Wallen, at the time serving as Carleton's inspector general, was examining all the posts in the department. He was not pleased with the situation he found at Fort Union. In addition to numerous shortcomings Wallen found, most of which were soon forwarded to McMullen, Wallen was furious about conditions at the fieldwork:

     "I cannot speak in flattering terms of the police of the post; the surroundings of the Field Work are exceedingly unmilitary. Camp followers have been allowed to build huts, pig, and calf pens, in close proximity to the ditches, and the military appearance of the work is almost entirely destroyed. I recommend that these objectionable features be removed & none of a similar character permmitted to exist at the post." [286]

     Carleton communicated the weaknesses to McMullen and recommended that steps be taken immediately to improve conditions. Among the numerous faults Wallen found were "dirty" arms in the mounted units, "bad" clothing, "unsoldierly" military bearing of the command, "indifferent" appearance of the troops, "lax" discipline, "loose" instruction of troops, "bad" accommodations at the hospital, "bad" sanitary conditions at the post, and "imperfect" policing of the facility. McMullen "seldom" inspected his command, "seldom" had the articles of war read to the troops, did not have recitations of regulations and tactics, did not require the officers and men to wear the prescribed uniforms, and permitted officers and men to use public animals for private business. McMullen was ordered to make all appropriate corrections, after which Major Wallen would again be sent to inspect the garrison. [287]

     McMullen was incensed, believed that Wallen was out to destroy his reputation for personal reasons, and tried to explain each criticism away. For example, he noted that the mounted troops had just arrived from field duty when they were inspected and had not been permitted time to clean their weapons nor themselves. Carleton, however, was not interested in excuses. He ordered McMullen to get things shaped up and stand another inspection. Fort Union was serving the department in an important supporting role, and Carleton wanted it done well.

     When needed, Carleton wanted the troops at Fort Union to be ready to take the field to deal with Indians. In December Anastacio Sandoval, of Santa Fe, reported that some 7,000 sheep he had under herders in the vicinity of Mesa Rica near the Canadian River in eastern New Mexico Territory had been stolen by Indians. A detachment from Fort Union was sent, accompanied by Sandoval, to recover the sheep. This may have been the same flock of sheep of which more than 5,000 were recovered by troops from Fort Sumner after a lengthy battle with Navajos (with heavy losses for the Indians; at least 12 killed and many more wounded) near the Pecos River some 35 miles north of Fort Sumner. [288]

     Carleton had other problems to contend with besides Indians. Early in 1864 he sent two ill men to Fort Union to be cared for until they could be sent eastward in the spring. One was "an insane soldier named Fitzgerald" of the First California Volunteers, who was to be sent to the military insane asylum in Washington, D.C. The other was a civilian, a Mr. Thornton (first name unknown) from Kentucky, whose illness was not identified but may also have been mental. He had been under the care of the surgeon at Franklin, Texas, since the Texans had been driven out in 1862. Of Thornton, Carleton stated, "we cannot turn him loose to perish." He was to be returned to his family and friends in Kentucky. Meanwhile, the commander at Fort Union was "personally" charged with seeing that the two were "properly, safely, and humanely cared for in all respects." [289] Such human tragedies provided distractions from the larger challenges of the times.

     While some of the tribes in New Mexico were being subjugated, some of the plains tribes began to increase their opposition along the routes of travel during 1864. Colonel Chivington notified the commanding officer at Fort Union, Lieutenant Colonel Francisco P. Abreu, First New Mexico Volunteers, who had temporally replaced McMullen, in April that "the long anticipated difficulties with the Indians . . . appear to have reached a crisis." [290] This added to the duties of the troops at Fort Union, who were primarily responsible for guarding the western portion of the supply line from the East. At the same time, however, Brigadier General Carleton reduced the garrison at Fort Union to utilize the recently-trained volunteers and a company of regular troops at other points in New Mexico. This was necessary because of the transfer of several companies from various posts to join a campaign against the Apaches in Arizona Territory. [291]

     Despite Chivington's warning, the outbreak of major warfare on the plains came later in 1864. Even so, there were raids on the supply trains beginning in April. A detachment from Fort Union was sent to accompany a supply train of commissary stores, traveling on the Mountain Route, into the post. They encountered no problems, and the supplies were soon unloaded at the depot. [292] Indians were not the only threat along the trail. A small New Mexican merchant train going to the States, owned by Manuel A. Otero, was surprised on May 21, 1864, near Cold Spring on the Cimarron Route by a party believed to be Texans. The attackers took approximately $10,000 in cash, the teamsters' provisions, weapons, some of their clothing, and 67 mules, leaving the wagons stranded. The party reached Fort Union on May 25 to report what had happened. The Texans had reportedly gone southeast toward a camp the teamsters believed to be some 10 days' travel away. [293] A few days later a New Mexican wagon train on the Fort Smith road, camped near Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle, was raided by what was believed to be the same outlaws. According to a member of that party, there were 48 attackers, "all Americans." They killed at least one of the herders with the train and headed south. [294]

     McMullen was directed to select 50 of his "best men" to investigate and, "if possible, overtake these robbers and recapture the property and money." They were to have the best horses available. Troops were also dispatched eastward from Fort Bascom to cut off the retreat of the bandits if they were heading for Texas. The response from Fort Union was incredibly slow in getting started, but on June 10 Captain Nicholas S. Davis, First California Volunteers, led 50 men from Fort Union with 100 rounds of ammunition each and rations for 40 days. Their supplies were carried in three six-mule army wagons and on six pack mules. [295]

     Captain Davis spent more than five weeks, traveling a distance of approximately 750 miles, searching for the robbers but found neither Texans nor Indians during that entire trip. The trail of the bandits had been obliterated by rains and all reports of them, received from New Mexicans on the plains, were either false or the troops were too many days behind to catch them. The troops from Fort Union did go to the Canadian River and follow it a considerable distance. They discovered the trail of the troops sent from Fort Bascom, which they followed until they realized they were on the trail of soldiers. Because he found no evidence of the raiding party going into Texas, Captain Davis concluded that they probably had gone to Kansas or Colorado Territory. [296] The identity of those who robbed Otero's train was not determined and Otero's property was not recovered. Additional troops were sent to Fort Union to provide better protection of the Santa Fe Trail, where Brigadier General Carleton understood "that the Indians of the plains are very troublesome and menace the safety of the trains coming to New Mexico." [297]

     Captain Davis was sent from Fort Union with 100 soldiers (50 infantrymen and 50 mounted troops), two mountain howitzers, and rations for 50 days to provide protection of the Cimarron Route as far as the Upper Crossing of the Arkansas River in Kansas. He was to provide whatever aid was required by wagon trains on that road. Carleton directed that Davis camp near the Upper Crossing and have "carte blanche" for this assignment. These troops, carrying 100 rounds of ammunition each and 50 rounds for the howitzers, left the fort on August 4. [298] At the same time, escorts were being provided for the mail coaches traveling the Mountain Route between Fort Union and Fort Lyon in Colorado Territory. The troops at Fort Larned, Kansas, were escorting the mails from Walnut Creek to Fort Lyon.

     Indian raids were increasing along the routes of transportation and in New Mexico. On August 1 two herders were killed and an estimated 6,000 sheep were driven off near Anton Chico. The next day, a few miles southeast of Chaparita and Hatch's Ranch, a party of approximately 60 Indians killed nine men, captured five herders, and took "several thousand" sheep and some cattle. Other reports of lost sheep placed the total at 10,000 to 15,000 head. Lieutenant Sullivan Heath, First California Volunteers, led a detachment of 25 soldiers from Fort Union to Hatch's Ranch and beyond to investigate and recover the livestock if possible. They found the Indians were heading down the Pecos several days ahead of them. Upon learning from a "Mexican" that troops had been sent from Fort Sumner to intercept the thieves, Heath returned to Fort Union. [299] The guilty parties were not caught.

     During August 1864 the Kiowas and Comanches increased their raids. As Captain Davis marched his command to the Arkansas, he met or overtook several wagon trains that had been victims of attacks. Indians had killed five Americans with a wagon train near Lower Spring on the Cimarron Route in southwest Kansas and took five wagons belonging to a Mr. Allison (first name unknown). The remains of the dead teamsters at Lower Spring were buried by Davis's troops. Another train had 130 mules stolen. The wagonmaster of a government contract train had been killed, and all the oxen stolen. Other trains had lost about 100 additional oxen to the Indians. [300]

     Carleton ordered an additional 100 troops from Fort Union, under command of Major Joseph Updegraff, Ninth Infantry, with rations for 60 days to establish a camp near the Lower Spring. Captain Bergmann, with 50 troops of the First New Mexico Volunteer Cavalry from Fort Bascom and 30 infantrymen from Fort Union, was directed to encamp near Upper Cimarron Spring (also known as Enchanted Spring and Flag Spring) as additional protection for the Cimarron Route. Assistant Surgeon Harvey E. Brown was sent with Updegraff to attend the sick and wounded of his, Captain Bergmann's, and Captain Davis's commands. A regular system of communication was to be established among the three camps. [301] Bergmann's command left Fort Union on September 3, and Updegraff started from there two days later. Davis, situated on the Arkansas River, encouraged westbound wagon trains to follow the Mountain Route and provided protection to Fort Lyon for those who agreed. Captain Davis, joined by a company of troops that had been sent out from Fort Larned after hearing of the attack at Lower Spring, accompanied the eastbound trains that had joined him along the way as far as Fort Larned. From there he escorted the westbound trains back toward Fort Union. On September 20 Davis's command, "escorting a large number of citizen & government wagons" joined Updegraff's camp at Lower Spring. Additional protection was provided by troops from Fort Larned, who escorted supply trains westward from that point until they met up with troops from Fort Union. [302]

     Because the garrison at Fort Lyon was insufficient to provide the needed protection along the Mountain Route for supply trains, Carleton sent two companies of the New Mexico Volunteers to serve along that road in Colorado Territory. [303] These were in addition to the regular escorts provided for the mail parties. Since the Colorado Volunteers had come to the aid of New Mexico during the Texan invasion, Carleton was returning the favor in this way. All the troops that could be spared from New Mexico were out on the two main routes of the Santa Fe Trail. They all carried supplies from the depots at Fort Un ion. [304]

     Carleton renewed his request for more troops to be sent to New Mexico, where the enlistment terms of many volunteers were expiring. Many of the California Volunteers, whom Carleton had led to New Mexico during 1862 and who had contributed greatly to the defense of the department, were being mustered out of the service. Lieutenant Colonel McMullen gave up the command of Fort Union on September 1, 1864, because his term expired. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Abreu, New Mexico Volunteers, who had served as temporary commander when McMullen was absent from the post on other assignments. Abreu was superseded by Colonel Selden, First New Mexico Volunteer Infantry, when he arrived at Fort Union on September 26. [305] Some of the New Mexico Volunteers were also nearing the completion of their enlistment. Three companies were transferred from Fort Craig to Fort Union to assist with "the hostilities of the Indians of the plains." [306]

Kit Carson
Kit Carson, courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

     Carleton informed Adjutant General Thomas that 2,000 "efficient men from the States" would make it possible to deal effectively with the Kiowas and Comanches. He asked for the Second Regiment of Colorado Volunteers as part of the reinforcements. He assured Thomas that, "once we can get all our supplies in, and get the merchants trains off the road, we can commence upon the Indians in earnest." For emphasis, he reiterated that his first concern was defensive, "the preservation of the trains." "When they are secure," he repeated, "the offensive may be begun in earnest." [307] To lead that offensive, Carleton turned to his reliable Indian campaigner, Colonel Carson.

     He asked Carson, a former Indian agent for the Utes, to recruit a band of that tribe from their reservation to join the troops in a march against the Kiowas and Comanches in the autumn. Carson would, of course, be in command of that expedition, to be organized and outfitted at Fort Union and, from there, proceed to Fort Bascom to begin the journey in search of the Kiowa and Comanche villages. The commander at Fort Bascom, Captain Charles Deus, First New Mexico Volunteers, reported that large parties of Kiowas and Comanches were located east of that post. They were expected to establish winter camps in the Texas panhandle. Soon after Colonel Selden took command of Fort Union, Lieutenant Colonel Abreu was sent from Fort Union to take command of Fort Bascom and report "all information you can learn of the whereabouts and probable numbers" of the Kiowas and Comanches. [308]

     Carleton requested of the adjutant general that no peace be made with the plains tribes "until they are soundly whipped." Even though representatives of some tribes were asking for peace, Carleton advised that "the winter time is the time to make war upon them. They are then in large villages, obliged to keep on streams where grass and timber can be found, and being encumbered by their families and by their stores of food, are easily overtaken." The Indians, he declared, "know this" and will make a peace that will last only until spring, predicting they "will be sure to commence their depredations upon the trains the moment the winter has gone by." Carleton asked for reinforcements, if possible, to join the upcoming campaign. [309]

     As the arrangements were made for the campaign, Carleton expressed every confidence in Carson. "I believe," he wrote to Carson, "you will have big luck." At Fort Union, two mountain howitzers were prepared for field service (an important decision as events were to prove). Carson brought the Ute and Jicarilla Apache recruits to Maxwell's Ranch on the Cimarron (present Cimarron, New Mexico) where they were supplied with clothing and blankets as well as arms and ammunition from the depots at Fort Union. The troops for the campaign gathered at Fort Union, where Captain Shoemaker was directed to issue everything required "to fit out troops now preparing for active field service at Fort Union." [310]

     There was hope that a force would march from Fort Larned, at the same time Carson took the field, to pursue the Kiowas and Comanches. [311] Carleton believed it would "disconcert them, finding troops coming from different directions." For Carson's column, Carleton had approximately 350 soldiers and 75 Indian auxiliaries. Lieutenant Colonel Abreu was to command the infantry, and Major McCleave was responsible for the mounted units. Lieutenant Charles Haberkorn, First New Mexico Volunteers, was in charge of the Indian allies. The surgeon was George S. Courtright. The entire command was to "concentrate at once at Fort Bascom, and have that post as their base of operations." All Comancheros were to be prohibited from going to the plains where they might warn the Indians about the campaign. Frank DeLisle, a noted scout and guide who was on the Cimarron Route with Captain Bergmann, was to join Carson at Fort Bascom as chief scout. Carson was to do whatever was necessary to inflict punishment "for the atrocities they have already committed." His directions to Carson were clear: "You know where to find the Indians; you know what atrocities they have committed; you know how to punish them. The means and men are placed at your disposal to do it, and now all the rest is left with you." [312]

     Carson's column left Fort Bascom on November 12, 1864, heading for old Fort Adobe (the remains of which were commonly called Adobe Walls), an abandoned trading post built by Bent, St. Vrain & Co. in 1845-1846 north of the Canadian River in the central panhandle of Texas. There Carson planned to leave his wagon train of supplies and proceed with pack mules to attack the Kiowas and Comanches in their winter camps. The column encountered their enemy a few miles before reaching Adobe Walls and attacked a Kiowa village of about 150 lodges early in the morning of November 25. The Kiowas were driven from their camp and took a stand at Adobe Walls, where they were dislodged by artillery fire. Carson then occupied the old trading post. The Kiowas secured reinforcements from Kiowa and Comanche camps farther down the Canadian River, and came back to attempt to surround Carson and cut him off from his supply train and the abandoned Kiowa village. [313]

     Surgeon Courtright set up his hospital within the old fort, behind the remains of adobe walls which he recalled as being "between three and four feet high." He estimated that 3,000 Kiowas and Comanches were in the vicinity, odds of more than ten to one (part of Carson's force had been left with the supply train). With the aid of the mountain howitzers, Carson broke away from Adobe Walls and, after a bitter contest, burned the captured Kiowa village. At that point, near sunset, the Kiowas and their comrades fled from the scene. Carson returned his troops to the supply train, which had been left with a guard of infantrymen. Without the artillery, given the overwhelming number of Indians faced, Carson's command would probably have been wiped out during the engagement. [314] He reported losses of two soldiers and one Indian ally killed, ten soldiers and five Indian allies wounded, and many horses wounded. He estimated the Kiowa losses at not less than 60 killed and wounded. Courtright estimated the enemy losses at "nearly 100 killed and 150 wounded."

     Because his horses were "broken down" and the enemy had scattered in all directions, Carson started back to Fort Bascom on November 27. The column returned to Bascom on December 20, ending the campaign. Carson was permitted to go to his home at Taos. Many of the troops were sent to quarters at Fort Union. [315] The destruction of the Kiowa village was a serious blow because of the approaching winter, but the Kiowas and Comanches had not been punished as Carleton hoped. [316] They would continue to raid along the supply lines to New Mexico for several more years. Carson had not been provided sufficient manpower and equipment to overhaul the plains tribes as his troops had done the Mescalero Apaches and the Navajos. Even so, the Adobe Walls campaign of 1864 was an important contribution to the defense of the Department of New Mexico and its routes of supply during the Civil War. Fort Union had been a integral part of the operation, providing equipment and supplies for the troops in the field.

     At Fort Union, on November 25 (the same day of Carson's engagement at Adobe Walls), the commanding officer's quarters were destroyed by fire. Colonel Selden reported that the fire started in a room occupied by a guest, where a servant had placed "too much fire upon the hearth." There was no adequate water supply at the post for fighting a fire. Every effort was made by the men of the garrison "to extinguish the flames," but the entire building was destroyed. Selden had permitted three other officers to occupy rooms in his building, and they all lost their quarters, too. Other rooms at the post had to be pressed into service for the unfortunate officers. [317]

     A few days after the fire and the battle at Adobe Walls, Colonel Chivington led his infamous attack on the Cheyenne and Arapaho village of "peaceful" Indians located on Sand Creek in Colorado Territory. It was clear that the overland trails were not going to be safe in 1865. In January Carleton began to concentrate troops at Fort Union in preparation for guarding the routes between Fort Union and the Arkansas River early in the spring. He planned to send troops to encamp at Lower Cimarron Spring, Cold Spring, Rabbit Ear Creek, and Whetstone Creek, from which points they could assist supply trains from the Arkansas to Fort Union. Carleton requested Major General Samuel R. Curtis, commanding the Department of Kansas, to provide similar protection from Fort Larned westward. Without such action, Carleton predicted "there will be many lives sacrificed, and much property destroyed." [318]

     Indians were probably far from the minds of the troops at Fort Union when they celebrated the opening of 1865 with a gala event designed to escape from the conditions and isolation of their situation. Paymaster Simon Rufus Marston, a native of New Hampshire, was "shocked" when he arrived at Fort Union on the evening of Sunday, January 1, 1865, "to find a Baile in full blast." His shock was apparently because it was Sunday, a day his New England upbringing held sacred from such profane indulgences. He described the event: "In one of the largest rooms of the Q. M. department Co. A 5th U.S. Infantry were giving the most brilliant baile of the season. Senoritas gorgeously arrayed and gallant Senors ready to do or die, were tripping the light fantastic toe beneath the protecting folds of the star spangled banner." The only "excuse for such hilarity," Marston discovered, was that it was "New Years day." [319] Marston undoubtedly called upon Post Commander Selden while he was at the post.

     Selden died at Fort Union on February 2, 1865, and was buried in the post cemetery the following day. The cause of his death given only as "sickness," and he was apparently ill and unable to perform his duties for at least two weeks before his demise. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Abreu, who took command of Fort Union and was also promoted to the rank of colonel. [320] Despite the loss and change of command at Fort Union, Carleton continued to plan how the troops stationed there would make the Santa Fe Trail safe for travelers in 1865.

     Because it appeared that no wagon train would be secure without military protection, Carleton announced that a company of troops would leave Fort Union on the first and fifteenth of each month, beginning March 1, to escort all parties wishing to cross the plains as far as Fort Larned or until troops from Fort Larned were met on the way. The escorts would alternate between the Mountain and Cimarron routes, the companies leaving on the first of each month taking the former and those on the fifteenth following the later. The same troops would escort westbound caravans on their return to Fort Union. All travelers were invited to accompany the soldiers. [321] Carleton requested General Curtis to start similar escorts from Fort Larned on the same dates and that the escorts return to their respective posts from whatever point they met on the trail. [322]

     The importance of such arrangements was supported by rumors of increasing Indian threats to the Cimarron Route. According to some Comanches who came to Fort Bascom in March, the Kiowas, Plains Apaches, Cheyennes, and Arapahos were combining "to waylay all trains on the Cimarron route . . . in a very short time." [323] Carleton was confident that his plans would prevent the success of such endeavors, should they in fact occur. "We must not have the commerce of the country stopped by rumors," he declared. "We must go ahead; and, if worse comes to worst, fight it out." [324] Although Carleton was confident the soldiers would be victorious in such a conflict, he was disappointed in efforts being made, especially at Fort Union, to keep the troops prepared for battle.

     When Colonel Nelson H. Davis, assistant inspector general, completed his review of conditions at Fort Union in January 1865, he found that little had changed since the inspection of 1863. Davis found that "military affairs at this post, had for some time been indifferently attended to." Davis noted that "there was a decided improvement" after Abreu became the post commander, but still found the officers "exhibited too much apathy and lethargy in their duties, were too much given to personal ease and indulgences, calculated to promote inefficiency." The records of public property required of some officers were not properly kept. The enlisted men "in the Mexican companies, look as if they were recruited to make the number required, and were available only for the consumption of rations." Instruction of the troops was often "incorrect and incomplete." The quarters "were not properly inspected and policed." The bedding was "bad." The post was filthy. "In the absence of suitable sinks, the ditches of the field works and outskirts of the post were used by the command as substitutes therefor." The horses of the mounted troops were "insufficiently groomed and fed." Clearly, this was not the garrison of an efficient fighting force. [325]

     Carleton directed Abreu to get everything in order and be prepared for another inspection "soon." He emphasized that officers "are paid for doing their duty, not for wasting the time that belongs to the United States." Every soldier was to be carefully examined by the post surgeon, and a special report was to be made on everyone unfit for active duty in the field. Abreu was responsible for seeing that everyone performed "his whole duty" and that "the standard of discipline and efficiency" was improved. [326] Carleton looked forward to the end of the Civil War and the return of regular troops to replace the volunteers in the department. The troops he sent on the Santa Fe Trail were effective in protecting the commerce of the prairies beyond the era of the Civil War.

     The upheaval of the Civil War ended in the spring of 1865 with the defeat of the Confederacy. Carleton directed Captain Shoemaker at the Fort Union Arsenal to send sufficient powder and primers to Santa Fe to fire 200 guns at department headquarters, as directed by the war department, in celebration of the surrender of Robert E. Lee. [327] On July 4, 1865, Carleton ended martial law and lifted all wartime restrictions on citizens in New Mexico Territory. [328] The territory and the nation spent the better part of a generation recovering and binding up the wounds engendered by that dreadful conflict between the North and the South. The army in New Mexico continued to work for a solution to the Indian problems. The era of the "Indian wars" continued for another decade on the plains and longer in the Southwest. During much of that time, as Carleton complained in 1865, the war department and the department of the interior were frequently in conflict over the best methods of dealing with the Indians. [329] In addition to dealing with raiders on the plains, Carleton was working desperately to find enough provisions to feed more than 8,000 Navajos and Mescaleros at Bosque Redondo and combating Indian Agent Steck's opposition to his efforts.

army officers
Seated, l to r: Daniel H. Rucker, Kit Carson, and James H. Carleton. Standing, l to r: E. H. Bergmann, Charles P. Cleaver, Nelson H. Davis, Herbert M. Enos, Basil K. Norris, and John C. McFerran. Photo taken at Masonic Temple, Santa Fe, by Nicholas Brown, December 26, 1866. All these men, except Cleaver (who was adjutant general of New Mexico Territory and, later, delegate to Congress), were army officers who had served at Fort Union. Carleton, Enos, and Carson had commanded the post. Rucker, Enos, and McFerran had headed the quartermaster department. Norris had been post surgeon. Davis inspected the fort. Bergmann also commanded Fort Bascom. Courtesy Museum of New Mexico, neg. no. 9826.

     For the most part, the troops in New Mexico ended the Civil War years as they had begun, protecting the routes of supply and the settlements from Indian attacks. Such would continue to be their mission for more than another decade. Throughout the Civil War years the element of supply was the key to the success of Union troops in dealing with Confederates and Indians. The story of the supply depots at Fort Union during the war may be found in chapter nine. As noted above, the building of the third Fort Union was begun in 1862 before the fieldwork was completed. The erection of the final Fort Union, along with the military operations of the troops stationed there after the Civil War, constitute the subjects next considered. After more than a decade, facilities at Fort Union were finally provided that were commensurate with its missions.

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