Skip to comments.A LOSING BATTLE
Posted on 03/27/2004 6:26:21 PM PST by ApplegateRanch
When Lt. John W. Davidson led U.S. dragoons into rugged Cieneguilla, he also led the troops into a fight they could not win - and himself into the shadow of suspicion.
PILAR - One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, when Pilar was called Cieneguilla, 60 U.S. dragoons rode into the mountains east of here looking for Jicarilla Apaches.
It didn't take them long to locate their quarry.
"Found ourselves at 8 o'clock a.m. in ambush surrounded by 400 Indians," Pvt. James A. Bennett of the dragoons noted in his journal entry for March 30, 1854. "Fought hard until 12 noon when we started to retreat."
Which is as concise an account as you'll ever hear of what turned out to be one of the bloodiest beatings ever inflicted by Indian warriors on American soldiers in New Mexico.
Before the Battle of Cieneguilla (pronounced sienna-GEE-ya) was over, 22 of the dragoons were dead, and 23 - including two who would die later - had been wounded. Estimates of Indian dead range from two to 50, but there is no doubt the Jicarillas were the winners.
(Excerpt) Read more at abqtrib.com ...
This led to a Court of Inquiry, which was convened in Santa Fe in 1856. Davidson, who had by this time been promoted to the rank of captain, was exonerated. Not too surprising when you consider that he himself did most of the inquiring.
Would someone see if this guy is related to JF'nKeery? I want to know if writing one's own battle citations runs in the family!
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