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The Bascom Affair
One day in October, 1860, Apache Indians raided the ranch of John Ward on Sonoita Creek, plundered his house, took his son Mickey Free, and ran off all of his stock.  John Ward was absent at the time of the raid.  Upon his return, Ward immediately rode to Fort Buchanan, twelve miles to the northeast, at the head of the Sonoita Valley, and reported the raid to the Commanding Officer, Lieut. Col. Pitcain Morrison.  Nothing was done at this time, the reasons to this day are unknown, but a guess would be due to the lack of troops present for duty.  No reason was ever given and the pursuit of the raiders was not undertaken until January 29, 1861, three months later....
 
Arms and Equipment
When the Regular Army was ordered to the East in 1861, all arms, equipment, horses, horse equipments and all non essential camp equipage was turned into the appropriate corps, Ordnance and Quartermaster.

At this time Benicia Arsenal refurbished, repaired and fabricated all essential ordnance stores that would be required by the Volunteer forces, then being raised in California.

I will only here write of the troops in the California Column, 1st California Volunteer Infantry (10 companies), 5th California Volunteer Infantry (5 companies), 1st California Volunteer Cavalry (5 companies), 2d California Volunteer Cavalry, Company B, Battery A, 3d United States Artillery, and Thompson's Howitzer Battery, 2,350 officers and men, and also of the Teamsters, horses and mules.  This whole command was under the command of Colonel James H. Carleton, promoted to Brigadier General in early 1862 while on the march. ...
 
California Column Advance
In early 1862, Colonel James H. Carleton, commander of the District of Southern California and the First California Volunteer Infantry, was ordered by Brigadier-General George Wright, commander of the Department of the Pacific, to organize, equip and lead an expedition from Southern California through Arizona, into New Mexico to reinforce the Department of New Mexico and aid in the expelling of the Confederate forces then in New Mexico.

The Confederate Army of the Southwest, was then advancing up the Rio Grande in its conquest of New Mexico.  The Army of the Southwest was under the command of Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley, formerly a major who had served in New Mexico.  Sibley had been to Richmond, talked to President Davis, and convinced him to take New Mexico, then California, and then the South would have control of the southern route, and eventually have the Pacific Coast. By mid 1861, all of the regular troops with the following exceptions, had been withdrawn to the East and the seat of the rebellion...
 
Confederate Invasion
With the establishment of the Confederate Territory of Arizona, first by Lieut. Col. John R. Baylor, 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles, August 1, 1861 and then the signing and confirmation by President Jefferson Davis on January 8, 1862, the southern half of the Federal Territory of New Mexico, all of the area south of the 34th parallel, the Colorado River to the west, the Rio Grande River to the east, which included only two counties, Dona Ana and Arizona, constituted the new Confederate Territory of Arizona, the capitol being designated as Mesilla...


Written by Arnold Franks
Copyright © 2000 Arnold Franks

 Recommended Reading


The Civil War in the Western Territories: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah

The Civil War in Apacheland: Sergeant George Hand's Diary, California, Arizona, West Texas, New Mexico, 1861-1864

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico and Arizona, 1861-1862.