When the two commands had been consolidated, they marched direct for Los Angelos, which they easily captured, as its would-be defenders had some days before deserted it. In this town the command was quartered for some time; but, as it is our intention to follow the career of Kit Carson, who, shortly after their arrival, had been detailed for important duty, which placed him in new scenes; hence, we are necessitated to take leave of affairs as they transpired there, and hereafter revert to them casually as they connect with our narrative.
Kit Carson is sent Overland as Bearer of Dispatches to Washington—The Preparation and the Start—The Journey—Privations and Sufferings—Meeting with General Kearney—The General takes Carson as his Guide and sends on the Dispatches by Fitzpatrick—The March—Arrival at Warner’s Ranche—Mexicans on the Road—Preparations for a Battle—The Battle—Disastrous Consequences—Kit Carson and Lieutenant Beale offer to run the lines of the Mexican Sentinels and carry Information to San Diego of Kearney’s critical position—The Daring Undertaking—The Sufferings they encountered—Their Arrival—Reinforcements sent out—Lieutenant Beale is Delirious from the Privations he has undergone—Gen. Kearney and his Command finally reach and join the other American Forces in California.
On the 15th day of September, 1846, Kit Carson was placed in the command of fifteen men, with orders to make an overland journey to Washington, as bearer of very important dispatches.
At the time of which we write, there was no steam communication, as now, via the two great oceans, consequently, the intercourse between our brave countrymen in California and the government at Washington was attended with extreme difficulty. Fortunately, Fremont had in Kit Carson just the man to make such a journey through an enemy’s country.
Kit Carson was instructed to use his utmost endeavors to make the journey in sixty days, which was no small undertaking, when we consider the great distance to be traveled over and the obstacles that lay in his path; he undertook it, however, with a determination not to be easily frustrated.
By judicious management and watchfulness, Kit was making good progress, and had reached a point within two days’ travel of the Copper Mines in New Mexico without being in any way annoyed. Here he came into full view of a village of Apache Indians, who were then, as they nearly ever since have been, at war with the Americans. He had been discovered by these Indians, and there was but one true way to act, which was not to show the white feather by attempting to evade them. Fremont’s dispatch bearer had not the least idea of that; he was too well schooled in Indian stratagem to be out-manoeuvered, so he rode on as if nothing had happened until he came to some timber that lay within one hundred yards of their