Tuesday, July 26, 2011

West Texans capture Fort Fillmore, New Mexico

Fort Fillmore, Arizona/New Mexico Territories
  • US Major General George McClellan is officially appointed commander of the US Army of the Potomac, replacing Irvin McDowell. He will receive his orders tomorrow./1861
  • At sunset at Fort Fillmore, US New Mexico Territory, (or Mesilla, Confederate Arizona Territory), the 250 troops of the 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles under Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor orders his artillery and cavalry into reserve, while the rest of his command moves into position to attack the fort’s 500 men of the 7th US Infantry tomorrow. During the night, the Texas Confederates capture 85 of Fort Fillmore’s horses, which constitute much of the fort's mobility. Fearing an attack at daybreak, US Major Isaac Lynde of the 7th US Infantry decides to abandon Fort Fillmore during the night after destroying the ammunition and supplies inside. Lynde retreats northeast towards Fort Stanton across the dry Organ Mountains. Unfortunately, many of the 7th US Infantrymen apparently had filled their canteens with the fort's medicinal whiskey instead of water, hardly wise for a summertime march across desert country. Lincoln’s War Department will discharge Lynde from the Army for his action, but after the war he will receive a pension./1861

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