Doc. 42.-battle in New-Mexico.
Fort Sumner, New-Mexico, Saturday, January 30, 1864.On the fourth day of this month, at half-past 11 o'clock, the bugle sounded, “To arms! To arms!” which roused every man in camp. Our company was out on a thirty days scout at the time, only having left six men of the company (B, Second cavalry, California volunteers) in camp, but the six were in their saddles in double-quick, and off. The party consisted of one Lieutenant (infantry) and six men of company B, Second cavalry, California volunteers, three men of company D, Fifth United States infantry, twenty-five Apache Indians, and three Mexican citizens. At ten minutes to twelve o'clock we started down the river Pecos, and soon found the cause of alarm. One hundred and twenty Navajo Indians had been within two miles of the fort, and stolen all the Apache horses and mules, and were driving them off as leisurely as though they had paid for them. We rode for twelve miles at a brisk gallop, when we arrived at the top of a small ridge, and lo and behold! the whole party of hostile Navajoes were in full sight about one mile below. When we came in sight of the enemy, we made a halt, and waited for all the Apache Indians to come up and arrange their arms and tie up their heads for the fight. We, the soldiers, made all necessary arrangements to have our cartridges as convenient as possible, when the word was heard: “All ready!” It is well known that the Navajoes can whip the Apaches (our allied forces) two to one. So the soldiers formed in the centre and the Indians (Apaches) around us, so that the enemy could not see any thing but Apaches. We were within one hundred and fifty yards of them on the full charge, when the signal was given: “To the right and left.” The Apaches charged right and left, and we in the centre; and the first thing that Mr. Johnny Navajo knew of us, we were upon them like a thousand of bricks. The fight commenced simultaneously on right and left and centre. The Navajoes made a stand for one volley from our carbines, and they made the air black with arrows for about two minutes, and then they saw so many of their men falling, and none of us, they took to their heels and run for dear life. But it was no go, for we kept close to them, and kept giving them the benefit of our breech-loading carbines. Their bows and arrows were like so many straws; for after the first volley we found that we had the long range on them, and we made use of it. Their arrows are harmless over thirty yards, and they had no rocks to get behind, the battle being on an open plain, so that we chose our own distance and gave them fits. The Navajoes gave evidence of great excitement. At the commencement of the fight they shot all their arrows over our heads, and after that they never got any chance to shoot us at all. This accounts for the great victory and loss of no men. We followed them six miles, shooting them down on all sides. Just as the sun was going behind the hill, we were ordered to cease firing and return home. We went over the battle-ground, and found by the simple rule of addition, that out of one hundred and twenty Indians, we had killed sixty-two. This we call good work, and for which we were complimented by the commanding officer at Fort Sumner. I will here say, by way of explanation, that the Apache Indians spoken of, are a lot of Indians of the Apache tribe, that came in and gave themselves up voluntarily, and are fed at the expense of the Government. They number four hundred and eighty. They go out on all occasions and fight the Navajoes if the soldiers are going; if not, they stay at home. They fight well with the soldiers.