The Civil War in Temecula Valley – Arrest of the Showalter Party

As reported in the Sacramento Daily Union, 7 December 1861


 SOUTHERN SECESSIONISTS ARRESTED – The Los Angeles News of 27th November says:

 On the morning of the 23rd instant, a party of men, who have for sometime past been encamped in the [El] Monte, left there on their way to Texas.  There are various estimates as to the number of men in the party, but we have been informed, on what we consider reliable authority, that they numbered, all told, forty-four.  Dickey, one of the party, called en (sic) us last Saturday, and informed us that the party was 175 strong; that they had organized themselves into three companies, by electing a captain to each, as follows:  Captains, Dan. Showalter, H. H. Dickey, and Wilson; that they were bound to Texas, not withstanding all that has been said to the contrary; that they were going home to their families and friends, and as to what they would do when they arrived was their own business.  He informed us that he would not fight unless forced to.  Dan. Showalter was their commander-in-chief.  We have also been informed that these men were regularly enlisted soldiers in the Southern army, and were going with no other purpose than to join forces now in arms in the seceded States.  We understand that Dickey was left behind at the Monte, to ascertain if any movements were to be made to stop the party.  The time will probably arrive, if it has not already, when parties of men on their way from this State to the States in arms against the Government will be detained and the objects for which they are going inquired into.  No person is allowed to go South from the loyal States, without a passport from the Government, but parties are continually leaving here for the seceded States, without any such permission.  However, their leaving this State may be considered a blessing, as they might create a disturbance here, on not being allowed “to go where ‘glory’ awaits them.”

 [Dan Showalter and seventeen others have been arrested by Major Rigg, at Camp Wright, near Warner’s ranch.]

 As reported in the Sacramento Daily Union, 12 December 1861

 San Francisco News – A dispatch to the Bee yesterday has the following:

 The party of rebels arrested by Major Rigg, sixteen in number, headed by Showalter, were armed with rifles and two revolvers each.  Showalter advised resistance, but was overruled and the party surrendered.  They had a complete outfit for crossing the desert.  The names of the party are as follows:

 T. A. Wilson, Tennessee; W. Woods, Missouri; Charles Pendworth, Kentucky; Wm. Sands, Tennessee; T. L. Roberts, South Carolina; R. H. Wood, Mississippi; T. W. Woods, Virginia; J. M. Sampson, Kentucky; S. A. Rogers, Tennessee; J. Laurance, Arkansas; A. M. Edwards, Arkansas; Levi Rogers, Alabama; Henry Crowell, Pennsylvania; William Turner, Georgia; Dan. Showalter, Pennsylvania; A. King, Tennessee; E. B. Summers, F. N. Churn.  The two last named were the advance of the party.

 General James Shields was yesterday afternoon sworn in and received his commission as a general officer in the United States Army.  His rank is that of Brigadier General and Major General by brevet.  He leaves by steamer today for the seat of war, and will at once be assigned a command with his rank.


NOTE:   Shields served as a brigadier general of volunteers from California during the Civil War.  He commanded the 2nd Division of the V Corps, Army of the Potomac (subsequently part of the Army of the Shenandoah), during the Valley Campaign of 1862. He was wounded at the Battle of Kernstown on March 22, 1862, but his troops inflicted the only tactical defeat of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson during the campaign (or the war).  The day after Kernstown, he was promoted to major general, but the promotion was withdrawn, reconsidered, and then finally rejected.  His overall performance in the rest of the Valley Campaign was poor enough that he resigned his commission, and his departure was not resisted by the War Department [Source: Wikipedia]

As reported in the Sacramento Daily Union, 19 December 1861

 PARTICULARS OF THE ARREST OF D. SHOWALTER AND PARTY – A correspondent of the UNION, writing from Camp Wright No. 2, San Diego county, December 8th, has the following:

 Showalter, as I suppose you have heard ere this, was captured near a place called Ocampo’s Rancho in the valley of Santa Ysable, by Lieutenant Wellman of the First Cavalry Regiment, by order of Major Rigg, First Infantry, California Volunteers.  On the 28th of November, near one o’clock, P. M., Major Rigg ordered Captain Henry A. Greene, Company G. to have his command on the march for San Ysabel as soon as possible, to intercept Showalter and his party.  In the short space of fifteen minutes the Captain and his company were ready, with knapsacks and haversacks packed.  At 2 o’clock, P. M., they were on the road, and marched the distance of thirty-two miles without halting but once, to detach Lieutenant W. B. Smith, Sergeant C. H. Hyde, Corporal Handy and twenty-three privates to guard a mountain pass, near San Jose, which it was thought Showalter’s party might venture upon.  Upon the arrival of Captain Greene at San Ysabel, he immediately sent out Indian scouts to ascertain the position of the enemy, halting the command at San Ysabel, it being a central point.  In a few hours scouts returned, informing the Captain that the enemy had been captured by Lieutenant Wellman of the Cavalry, who had been following in their rear from Temescal, a point on the road toward Los Angeles from this place.  A message was immediately sent to Major Rigg, at Camp Wright, informing him of the fact, whereupon he ordered Captain Greene to return to quarters, where he arrived on the morning of the 30th November.  The Cavalry came in with the prisoners the evening of the 29th.

 To-day, the 4th of December, a man was brought into camp, prisoner, by Lieutenant Wellman (cavalry), who was found about sixty miles from here, toward Los Angeles, having papers on his person that would in a “Court of justice” crush by evidence of bad behavior, according to what I can learn, Showalter and some of his party.  It seems that Showalter had, some two or three days ago, taken the “oath of allegiance,” and had orders to “take up his bed and walk” whenever he might wish, after “taps” this morning.  But, upon the arrival of Lieutenant Wellman with a new prisoner who had abundant papers that appear against the Showalter arrangement, the orders were countermanded, much to the discomfiture of Senor Showalter, who has since made divers threats, for all the oath went down so slippery.

Published in: on September 1, 2011 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment