The stern looking gentleman to the right is Brevet Major General James H. Carleton. He served in the U. S. Army during the Mexican American War, and then served in the 1st U. S. Dragoons, stationed at Fort Tejon (!!!!!!!!!!!!) in Lebec, California.
He did a lot of interesting things, including burying the remains of the Mormon Massacre victims from Mountain Meadows, in 1857.
I am interested in him because I am working on a post concerning the Battle of Picacho Peak. In 1861, Major Carleton raised the 1st California Volunteer Infantry in defense of the Union during the Civil War. He was appointed to the rank of Colonel for his efforts.
In October, 1861, Carleton replaced Brigadier General George Wright as Commander of the District of Southern California, and just over six months later he led the California Column across California, Arizona, New Mexico, and into Texas. When in Arizona, he fought the Battle of Picacho Peak--sort of.
A subordinate--Lieutenant James Barrett--was ordered to sweep the Picacho Peak area, but not to engage in any fighting if Confederates were sighted. Barrett took matters into his own hands, attacked a Confederate patrol with his twelve-man cavalry unit, and lost his life.
Even though this battle was small, it represents the high-water mark of the Confederacy in the West.
As I learn more about this skirmish, I will share it here. Learning to write military history is NOT an easy task, so I am starting with smaller engagements. Wish me luck!