Today in History:

56 Series I Volume XLVIII-II Serial 102 - Powder River Expedition Part II


(Written from the Sioux camp at Devil's Lake to Campbell, a Red River half-breed, and published in the Nor Wester, a paper published at the British settlement of Fort Gary, dated 8th of April, 1865).

SPECIAL ORDERS, WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 165. Washington, April 8, 1865.

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51. Lieutenant Colonel Lexis Richmond, assistant adjutant-general of volunteers, is hereby relieved from duty with Major-General Burnside, U. S. Volunteers, and the Army of the Potomac, and will report in person without delay to Brigadier-General Sully, U. S. Volunteers, Dubuque, Iowa, for duty.

By order of the Secretary of War:

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Las Cruces, N. Mex., April 8, 1865.

Captain BEN. C. CUTLER,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of New Mexico, Santa Fe, N. Mex.:

CAPTAIN: For the information of the department commander, I have the honor to report my arrival at Robledo on the night of the 5th instant, and that on the following day I proceeded to examine the country along the river for several miles above, and the next day below this point to the northern boundary of the town of Dona Ana, for the selection of a site for the post of Fort Selden, as directed in Special Orders, Numbers 10, from department headquarters, of March 10, 1865. The locality I have selected is upon a mesa flat, being a point of land projecting southwest toward a bend in the Rio Grande to the south and east, some fifteen feet above the lower bottom and about one mile and a quarter above the first camp of Robledo's. Proceeding to Las Cruces this point is doubled by the lower bottom, which forms above and below, and, enveloping it partially, large flats of good arable soil, the upper one covered with cottonwood and the lower one containing considerable grass. To the northeast, on the gently sloping and somewhat undulating and broken ground, to the road, some half a mile and farther, there is the best grazing in this vicinity. On the opposite side of the river, between this point and Robledo, is a bottom containing a good bosque of cottonwood, and above from one to three miles there are similar growths of timber. Still higher and lower down the river to the town of Dona Ana there are several bottoms well wooded, but much of it on the west side of the Rio Grande. Opposite the point in question, and just above the high hills or mountains opposite Robledo, the range of hills is much lower and offers a practicable wagon road westwardly, I think. Captain Whitlock informed me on my arrival here that my selection was the same one that he had made, and that he understood there was a wagon road over the range of hied. Mr. Magran, or poker Jack, reports a good road from just above the site to Rough and Ready. With little labor and expense an acequia can be made across the bottom, above the site selected, from a bend in the river, which will bring water close to the post, and being