First Dragoons

A site dedicated to the 1st US Dragoons 1833-1861 (What is a Dragoon?)

Sunday, January 06, 2008


New York Times November 16, 1859, reported:

From the Arizonian, Oct. 27

On the 14th inst. Corporal GORMAN, and Private CAULFIELD, of G’s Company, 1st Dragoons, deserted from Fort Buchanan, while out in charge of the Fort herd, taking with them three horses, arms and accoutrements, and fled into the State of Sonora, where they met with a reception very different from that which they expected. Some thirty-six hours after their flight they were pursued by the indefatigable Arizonian “Vidocq” JAMES GRAYDON, of Casa Blanco, and overtaken after a hard chase, at Barajito, Sonora. It appears that these misguided men employed some Mexicans to guide them down towards Guaymas, who, in a lonely part of the highway, fell upon and robbed them. One of the robbers snatched GORMAN’s pistol and discharged its contents at his head, the ball passing through his hat, which sent him to the “right about double quick time,” leaving his companion, who was less fortunate, in the hands of the highwaymen. When CAUFIELD was again discovered, he was found hanging to a mesquoite [sic] tree, suspended by means of his own pocket-kerchief, and it is supposed he may have been driven, by his forlorn and desperate condition, to self destruction, as the thieves had plundered him of his horse and everything about him. GORMAN and his horse were recovered and brought back to the Fort by his pursuers, after a hard ride of nearly three hundred miles, performed in sixty hours. This is another sad illustration of the kind of sympathy which Americans will receive in Mexico, as long as barbarous retaliation is the “order of the day” on both sides of the boundary line.

On the 16th, a party of twenty-five dragoons were sent from sent from Fort Buchanan to protect the inhabitants of Tubac and its vicinity, against an imaginary attack from the Apaches, who were reported to be marching in incredibly large numbers for the purpose of “cleaning out” the valley of Santa Cruz. At last accounts, the wolf had not arrived, and the presence of troops allaying the fears of those who were stampeded by this silly canard.