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[19] organization known as “Knights of the golden circle,” having its Texas Headquarters at San Antonio, and its ‘castles’ or affiliated lodges in every part of the State, had prosecuted its undertaking at immense advantage over the unorganized and often unsuspecting as well as uninformed Unionists. The conspirators had long before made themselves acquainted with the loyal or disloyal proclivities of the Federal officers; and, wherever an important position was held by an inflexible Unionist, they were able, by secret representations at the War Department, to procure such a substitution as they desired; and thus Col. Loring, a North Carolinian, deep in their counsels, had been sent out by Floyd, in the Spring of 1860, to take command of the department of New Mexico, while Col. G. B. Crittenden, a Kentuckian, of like spirit and purposes, was appointed by Loring to command an expedition against the Apaches, to start from Fort Staunton in the Spring of 1861. Lieut. Col. B. S. Roberts, however, who here joined the expedition with two companies of cavalry, soon discovered that Crittenden was devoting all his sober moments — which were few — to the systematic corruption of his subordinates, with intent to lead his regiment to Texas, and there turn it over to the service and support of the Rebellion. Roberts repelled his solicitations,1 and refused to obey any of his orders which should be prompted by the spirit of treason. He finally accepted a furlough, suggested by Loring, and quickly repaired under it to Santa Fe, the Headquarters of the department, making a revelation of Crittenden's treachery to its commander, Col. Loring, and his adjutant, but only to find them both as thoroughly disloyal as Crittenden. He was rudely rebuked by them as a meddler with other men's business, and ordered directly back to Fort Staunton, but found opportunity to give notice to Capt. Hatch, commanding at Albuquerque, to Capt. Morris, who held Fort Craig, and other loyal officers, of the treachery of their superiors, and the duty incumbent on them of resisting it.

Meantime, desperate efforts were made by the prominent traitors to bring their men over to their views, by assurances that the Union had ceased to exist — that it had no longer a Government able to pay them or feed them — while, if they would but consent to go to Texas and take service with the Confederacy, they should be paid in full, and more than paid, beside having great chances of promotion. To their honor be it recorded, not one man listened to the voice of the charmer, though Capt. Claiborn, at Fort Staunton, made several harangues to his company, intended to entice them into the Confederate service. Of the 1,200 regulars in New Mexico, one only deserted during this time of trial, and he, it is believed, did not join the enemy. Finally, the disloyal officers, headed by Loring and Crittenden, were glad to escape unattended, making their rendezvous at Fort Fillmore, twenty miles from the Texas line, no far from El Paso, where Maj. Lynde commanded. Here they renewed their intrigues and importunities, finding a large portion of the officers equally traitorous with themselves. But Maj. Lynde appeared to hold out

1 See his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War.--Report, Part 3, pp. 364-72.

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