Letter: 26 August 1846

Saxtafe, August 26, 1846.

Hon. W. L. Marey, Secretary of War,
Washington City.


I arrived at Bent’s Fort on 26 July, where I found Genl. Kearney, presented the letter I received from your hands, and was well received. The Genl. on the 1st day of August dispatched Capt. Cook with 12 Dragoons accompanied by myself, with a letter to Governor Armijo which was delivered on 12th inst. 10 P. M. We were well received, and dined with his excellency, had a long conversation with him and proved to him from Genl. K. letter that the troops then entering the Department were only to give peace and protection to the inhabitants and assured him that I had been dispatched by the President of the United States in order to inform him and the rest of the good people of New Mexico with whom I was acquainted that this was the only object of our Govmt. I found many of the rich of the Department here, also the militia officers, with whom I had ample intercourse. I assured them the only object of our Govmt, was to take possession of New Mexico as being a part of the territory annexed to the U. S. by Texas and to give peace and quietude to the good people of the country which gave them entire satisfaction. Was then assured by Col. Archulette, 2nd in Command, that he would not oppose Genl. K’s entrance, etc. Genl. Armijo on the 15th ordered his troops say 3,000 in number to be placed between two mountains with four pieces of artillery on the road by which our army had to pass, having promised Genl. K. to have an interview with him in his note borne by Capt. Cook 14th inst. Say some 50 miles dist, at a place called the Vegas, Armijo left this place early on the 16th with 150 Dragoons and joined his army, called his officers together and wished to know if they were prepared to defend the territory. They answered they were not, that they were convinced by the proclamation they had seen from Genl. K. that the U. S. had no intention to wage war with New Mexico, on the contrary promised them all protection in their property person and religion. Armijo, apparently appeared very much exasperated, gave orders for the troops to be dispersed and in 48 hours they were all at their homes, he himself leaving for the state of Chihuahua, with say 100 dragoons, maltreating all good citizens on his route, and pressing their animals. Genl. Kearney entered this city on the 18th 5:00 o’clock P. M., the authorities and people of the place being ready to give him a hearty welcome, marched up to the Palace, entered the apartment prepared for him and his servt., made an handsome and appropriate speech to the authorities after which they all swore allegiance to the United States. The palace was crowded and many bottles of generous wine was drank being prepared for the occasion by the acting Governor. The next day by request of the Genl. the people were assembled in the public square where he addressed them in a very handsome manner, after which the people shouted long live our General and the United States.

The clergy of the province have all called on the Genl, since his arrival and have returned to their homes perfectly satisfied. I had the honor of accompanying the Genl. and the staff to high mass last Sunday. The church was filled with natural and adopted sons of the United States and all passed off in the most perfect order. The Genl. gave on yesterday a splendid ball at the Palace, which was universally attended by all the respectable citizens of the city, and passed off in handsome style. The fact is to make a long story short.

Genl. Kearney by his mild and persuasive manners had induced the good people of New Mexico to believe that they now belong to the greatest nation on earth, and that the stars and stripes which are now so gallantly waving over the capitol of this City will always give them ample protection from foreign foes. The Genl. will leave this on a visit to some of the principal towns on the Rio Grande and I will leave with him and proceed to Cha. with all possible speed. Will give you all the news from there as soon as practicable after the arrival of General Wool.

My respects to the President, and believe me to be Yours truly,

J. W. Magoffin.

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