CHAPTER V. THE LABORS OF THE CALIFORNIA COLUMN
Assembling of Column at Fort Yuma—Its Marches—Arrival at Tucson—Letter of Colonel Carleton—Order for Arrest of Sylvester Mowry—Mowry Held Prisoner at Fort Yuma and His Property Confiscated—Mowry's Side of the Story—His Release and Restoration of His Property in Valueless Condition—Carleton Places Territory Under Martial Law—Carleton Made Brigadier-General—Taxes upon Merchants in Tucson—Fooling the Government Officials—Bill Bowers and His Contract for Barley—Hank 'n' Yank—C. O. Brown's Contract With Lieut.-Col. West—Fight With Apaches—Captain T. J. Jeffords—General Carleton's Report to Adjutant-General—Outrages by the Indians.
According to the official communication of Colonel Carleton to the Adjutant-General of the United States Army, San Francisco, California, under date of May 25th, from Fort Barrett, Pima Villages, the advance guard of the California Column, under Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph R. West, First Infantry, California Volunteers, took possession of Tucson, Arizona, on the 20th of that month, without firing a shot. The report says that all the Secession troops who were in the Territory, and all the Secessionists, had fled, the
I am making every endeavor to get supplies together. * * * Meantime, I shall try to straighten up matters here so that when a man does have his throat cut, his house robbed, or his field ravaged, he may at least have the consolation of knowing that there is some law that will reach him who does the injury. I enclose herewith a paper which seems to touch this point. I have not called it a proclamation, because, nowadays, every military commander makes one, and I had hoped to shun, in this respect, their example. Whatever name the instrument may go by, I hope the General will see nothing in it that is not just and called for by the necessities of the case. It already seems to have gratifying results.
I shall send to Fort Yuma, for confinement, starting them to-day, nine of the cutthroats, gamblers, and loafers who have infested this town to the great bodily fear of all good citizens. Nearly every one, I believe, has either killed his man, or been engaged in helping to kill him. I shall send on a detailed account of the causes which justify their arrest and removal from the territory. They should be held prisoners at Alcatraz until the end of the war. If discharged
I have sent to arrest Mr. Sylvester Mowry, and all the people at his mine. It is possible I shall be obliged to hold Mr. Mowry as a prisoner. That he has been guilty of overt as well as covert acts of treason, there is hardly a doubt. I consider his presence in this territory as dangerous to its peace and prosperity. Inclosed are copies of certain charges against him, and of the instructions for his arrest.
Colonel: The Colonel commanding confides to your charge the duty of arresting and conveying to this post, as a prisoner, one Sylvester Mowry, now at the Patagonia Mines, some ninety miles distant from here near the Sonora line.
Charges of a treasonable complicity with Rebels have been preferred against Mowry, and there is little doubt but what he has rendered assistance and furnished supplies to their forces. From the moment that he falls into your hands, you will interdict all communications by word or sign between him and his people, except such as you shall personally supervise.
You will also take into custody and bring as prisoners to this post all persons whom you find at the Patagonia Mines, using such discretion in your control of them as will prevent their doing anything to the prejudice of your movements or to the United States Government.
You must bring every man that you arrest to this post without fail. It is reported that a respectable German was murdered quite recently at the Patagonia Mines. You will make careful inquiry into this matter and report the facts.
In order to protect the interests of the owners of the Patagonia Mines, on taking possession of the same, you will make a minute inventory of all the movable property comprising mining implements and machinery, cattle, horses, arms, provisions, and any other articles appertaining to the mines. This inventory must be verified and signed in duplicate by yourself and by the two officers next in rank of your command. One copy of this inventory you will leave with the commanding officer of the guard that you place in charge of the mine, who will be held responsible for the safe keeping and preservation of the property named upon it. You will bring all supplies, arms and ammunition found at the
As soon as you have complied with the foregoing instructions, you will leave such guard in charge of the mine and property as you may deem adequate for security. Captain Willis and his twenty-five infantrymen will perhaps be sufficient, but of this you must be the judge. Then return with the remainder of your command to this post. Should an opportunity offer in the meantime, you will report progress to these headquarters. At the Patagonia Mine, and in the vicinity and en route thereto, you will ascertain and report upon the facilities available for subsisting troops and foraging animals.
The force entrusted to your command for the execution of the foregoing duties, comprises sixty of the First Cavalry, California Volunteers, Captain Fritz commanding, and twenty-five of the First Infantry, California Volunteers, Captain Willis; the latter officer with twelve men you will find in advance at Brevoort's Ranch.
1. A Board of Officers, to consist of Lieut-Col. Joseph R. West, First Infantry, California Volunteers, and Captain Nicholas S. Davis, First Infantry, California Volunteers, will assemble at this post at 4 p. m. today, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to investigate certain charges and facts tending to show that Mr. Sylvester Mowry, of the Patagonia Mines, in this territory, is an enemy to the Government of the United States, and that he has been in treasonable correspondence and collusion with well known Secessionists, and has offered them aid and comfort when they were known publicly to be enemies of the legally constituted authority and Government of the United States.
The Board will be duly sworn to the faithful performance of its duty, and will examine witnesses on oath, and will examine and make certified extracts from such documents as may be laid before them, which may have immediate or important bearing on these points, and the Board will report, in writing and in full, the evidence it receives on all these matters, and its opinions whether or not there are sufficient grounds to restrain of his liberty and bring to trial before a Military Commission, the said Mr. Sylvester Mowry.
3. Second Lieut. Erastus W. Wood, First Infantry, California Volunteers, is appointed Secretary of the Board, and will be duly sworn by the President thereof to a faithful discharge of his duties as such.
The Board having examined the foregoing personal testimony and documentary evidence, as directed by Special Orders No. 17, and by the letters of the Colonel commanding the Column from California to the President of this Board, which said order and letters are copied on and made part of these records, are of opinion that said Sylvester Mowry is an enemy to the Government of the United States, and that he has been in treasonable correspondence and collusion with well known Secessionists, and has offered them aid and comfort when they were known publicly to be enemies to the legally constituted
Sylvester Mowry was held a prisoner at Fort Yuma for nearly six months, and was never brought to trial. Mowry himself declares that it was a matter of personal spite on the part of Colonel Carleton. He says:‘‘
In June, 1862, the proprietor of the Mowry Silver Mines was seized by a large armed force, under the orders of General J. H. Carleton, while in the legitimate pursuit of his business, and retained as a political prisoner for nearly six months. This seizure was made upon a false, ridiculous and malicious charge. After nearly six months' close confinement, the writer was discharged, 'there being no evidence' (in the opinion of the court which tried his case) 'either oral or documentary against him;' a charming commentary upon the constitutional guarantee to every citizen of 'life, property, and the pursuit of happiness.' The mines were placed in
Sufficient to say that after being held a prisoner at Fort Yuma for a period of nearly six months, and his property being confiscated, Mowry was released, and afterwards his property was restored to him, but in a condition that left it valueless as far as he was concerned. He was never afterwards able to re-finance it.
This is known as the Territory of Arizona. It comprises within its limits all the country eastward from the Colorado River, which is now occupied by the forces of the United States, known as the 'Column from California.' And as the flag of the United States shall be carried
Now, in the present chaotic state in which Arizona is found to be, with no civil officers to administer the laws, indeed, with an utter absence of all civil authority, and with no security of life and property within its borders, it becomes the duty of the undersigned to represent the authority of the United States over the people of Arizona, as well as over all those who compose, or are connected with, the Column from California.
Thus, by virtue of his office as Military Commander of the United States forces now here, and to meet the fact that wherever within our boundaries our colors fly, there the Sovereign power of our country must at once be acknowledged and law and order at once prevail, the undersigned as a Military Governor assumes control of this Territory until such time as the President of the United States shall otherwise direct.
Thus also it is hereby declared that until Civil officers shall be sent by the Government to organize the civil Courts for the administration of justice, the Territory of Arizona is hereby placed under martial law.
Trials for minor offenses shall be held under the same rules, except that for these a Commission of not more than five nor less than three commissioned officers may sit, and a vote of the majority shall determine the issue. In these cases the orders of the officer organizing the Commission shall be final.
All matters relating to rights in property and land which may be in dispute, shall be determined for the time being by a Military Commission, to be composed of not more than five or less than three commissioned officers. Of course, appeals from the decisions of such Commissions can be taken to the civil Courts when once the latter have been established.
No words or acts calculated to impair that veneration which all good patriots should feel for our country and Government will be tolerated within this Territory or go unpunished, if sufficient proof be had of them.
Having no thought or motive in all this but the good of the people, and aiming only to do right, the undersigned confidently hopes and expects in all he does to further these ends to have the hearty co-operation of every good citizen and soldier in Arizona.
All this is to go into effect from and after this date, and will continue in force unless disapproved or modified by General George Wright, United States Army, commanding, the Department of the Pacific, under whose orders the Column from California has taken the field.
The proclamation of Col. James H. Carleton, now Brigadier-General of Volunteers, U. S. Army, dated at his headquarters in Tucson, Territory of Arizona, June 8, 1862, is hereby approved and confirmed, and will remain in full force until the civil authority shall be re-established in the Territory.
Colonel Carleton was made a Brigadier-General on April 28th, 1862, and his commission reached him in June of that year. Upon declaring himself Military Governor of Arizona, he appointed assistant adjutant-general Benj. Clark Cutler, to be Secretary of the Territory of Arizona "while the said Territory remains under martial law, or until the time his successor shall be appointed to take his place."
His duties were to record and preserve all the acts and proceedings of the Governor in the Executive Department, and to transmit an authentic copy of these acts and proceedings through the General commanding the Department of the Pacific, to the President of the United States on the last day of every month. The Secretary of State was also empowered to administer oaths.
Be it known, that by virtue of the authority vested in myself as Military Governor of Arizona, I hereby empower the following officers with the right to administer oaths within this Territory while it shall remain under martial law; that is to say:
Lieut.-Col. Joseph R. West, First Infantry, Cal. Vols.; Lieut.-Col. Edward E. Eyre, First Cavalry, Cal. Vols.; Maj. Edwin A. Rigg, First Infantry, Cal. Vols.; Maj. Theodore A. Coult, Fifth Infantry, Cal. Vols.; Maj. David Ferguson, First Cavalry, Cal. Vols.; Capt. Treadwell
Be it known:
On one occasion, Bill Bowers learned that the quartermaster was short on barley, and that Nick Chambers had all there was in town, about a wagon load. Billy hunted up the quartermaster and contracted to deliver ten loads at a high figure, the grain to be weighed on the scales and then delivered at the corral half a mile away. Being an ignorant frontiersman, he didn't want any vouchers or other red tape about the business, and insisted upon receiving cash for each load as it was weighed.
Having arranged these preliminaries to his satisfaction he began business by borrowing a team from Nick Chambers and the use of his load of barley. Loading it on the quartermaster's scales, he received its value and reloaded it again. He ought to have taken it to the corral according to contract, but seeing that it was only borrowed, he didn't feel that it was right to do this, besides a little more weighing wouldn't hurt it in the least, so making a detour, he returned it to the scales and received another payment for it. He was again on the horns of a dilemma. If he took the grain to the corral, he was disposing of property which didn't belong to him, and if, on the other hand,
Nick Chambers swore that he was not privy to the scheme, and believed the barley had been borrowed just to give the animals a smell of decent feed, but as he was reputed to be a shrewd trader, the popular verdict was against him.
Hank and Yank, as well as others, coined money on hay contracts. If they didn't get two or three heavy weight teamsters on the scales for good measure it was because the scales were fixed otherwise. Up at a camp near Maricopa they built a stone corral with the rocks that came in the hay.’’
At the time of the occupation of Tucson by the California Column under Lieutenant-Colonel J. R. West, who was appointed the military commander of that town, Charles O. Brown, who afterwards became identified with the early history of Arizona, was running a gambling-house and saloon in Tucson. He made the following statement to the writer: ‘‘That he received notice from Colonel West, asking him to meet him at a certain place just outside of the town walls for a conference. Brown feared at the start that West intended to arrest him, but the Colonel asked him why he did not leave the Territory with the Confederates when they left. Brown's reply
The only authority for this statement is that made by Brown himself to the writer. He further said that after the withdrawal of the main body of troops from Tucson and its neighborhood into New Mexico, he followed them to Mesilla, where he continued the business. After the disbanding of the California Column, Brown returned to Tucson and settled permanently.
There was some difficulty in establishing communication between the California Column and General Canby, who was in command of the Federal forces in New Mexico. On the 15th of June, 1862, General Carleton sent from Tucson an expressman, John Jones, and Sergeant
In an official communication to the Adjutant General in San Francisco, under date of September 20th, 1862, from Santa Fe. New Mexico, General Carleton, who had succeeded General Canby in command in New Mexico and Arizona, says:‘‘
I left Tucson myself on the twenty-third of July, passed Colonel West with most of the troops, encamped on the San Pedro on the twenty-fourth, and led the advance of the Column from that point to Las Cruces, New Mexico, with one company of infantry and two of cavalry. From the hostile attitude of the Chiricahuas, I found it indispensably necessary to establish a post in what is known as Apache Pass; it is known as Fort Bowie, and garrisoned by one hundred rank and file of the Fifth Infantry, California Volunteers, and thirteen rank and file of Company A, First Cavalry, California Volunteers; this post commands the water in the pass. Around this water the Indians have been in the habit of lying in ambush, and shooting the troops and travellers as they came to drink. In this way they killed three of Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre's command, and in attempting to keep Captain Robert's company, First Infantry, California Volunteers, away from the spring, a fight ensued, in which Captain Roberts had two men killed and two wounded. Captain Roberts reports that the Indians lost ten killed. In this affair, the men of Captain Roberts are reported as behaving with great gallantry.