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One Offense of the Pueblos

On the 30th of June, 1846, the advance of the “Army of the West,” under Colonel Stephen W. Kearny, inarched from Fort Leavenworth for New Mexico. Two troops of dragoons followed in July, and overtook the first division at Bent’s Fort. The remainder of the army, consisting of a regiment of mounted volunteers from Missouri, under Colonel Price, and the Mormon battalion of 500 men, did not march until early autumn. None of the troops followed the regular Santa Fe trail, which led in an almost direct line from Independence to the Mexican settlements, but left it at the Arkansas, and followed up the river to Bent’s Fort. The first division, as it invaded New Mexico, numbered 1658 men, including six companies of dragoons, two batteries of light artillery with sixteen pieces, two companies of infantry, and a regiment of cavalry. The dragoons were regulars and the rest raw recruits. They straggled across the plains very much at will, and took possession of New Mexico without a struggle. The Mexican general, also governor and despot, Armijo, had collected something over 5000 men, and partly completed fortifications at Apache Cañon, the natural approach to Santa Fe. His position there was almost impregnable – a breastwork, thrown across the road where it hangs in midair, with a solid rock wall on one side and a precipice on the other, that could be taken only by a direct assault, under a flanking tire from both sides of the canon – but he and his army retired as the Americans advanced. This has been usually mentioned as an instance of Mexican cowardice, but...

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