PICACHO PEAK STATE PARK, Ariz. -- Things hadn't gone according to plan -- do they ever in war? -- and now, Lt. James Barrett was going to make them right. The cavalry officer and his dozen or so men would rescue his colleague, Capt. William McCleave, from those nettlesome rebels hiding near Picacho Peak, and McCleave would be returned to his rightful place with the California Volunteers and regulars.
The honor of California, a state that contributed more than 15,000 troops to the Union war effort, was at stake.