march from Fort Leavenworth was delayed by the sudden illness of Colonel
Allen. Capt. Jefferson Hunt was instructed to begin the march to Santa
Fe; he soon received word that Colonel Allen was dead. Allen's death
caused confusion regarding who should lead the battalion to Santa Fe.
Lt. A.J. Smith arrived from Fort Leavenworth claiming the lead, and
he was chosen the commanding officer by the vote of battalion officers.
The leadership transition proved difficult for many of the enlisted
men, as they were not consulted about the decision.
and his accompanying surgeon, a Dr. Sanderson, have been described in
journals as the "heaviest burdens" of the battalion. Under Smith's dictatorial
leadership and with Sanderson's antiquated prescriptions, the battalion
marched to Santa Fe. On this trek the soldiers suffered from excessive
heat, lack of sufficient food, improper medical treatment, and forced