Washington, D. C., March 19, 1862.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:
SIR: The Secretary of War directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 11th instant, inclosing a copy of dispatch Numbers 3, from Franklin Chase, United States consul at Tampico, recommending the capture and occupation of Brownsville, Tex., by our forces, and in reply to inform you that your letter has been carefully considered, with the conclusion that the condition of the United States forces does not admit at present of the detachment of the troops that such an expedition would require.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
[MARCH 20-23, 1862.-For Halleck to Secretary of War, March 20, 21, and 23, and to Prince, March 21; and Secretary of War to Halleck, March 20, all in relation to re-enforcements from Department of the Mississippi for New Mexico, see Series I, Vol. VIII, pp. 627-629, 631, 633.]
WASHINGTON CITY, March 23, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK:
DEAR SIR: I am placed under deep obligation of gratitude for the prompt dispatch of six regiments to the relief of the oppressed people of New Mexico. I am pained to think of the fearful outrages which the Texas forces will heap upon them. The valley of the Rio Grande will be desolated for 200 miles. I feel assured that the re-enforcements sent by you will capture the whole Texas force if they move with rapidity. If they do not do so they might as well no go, for they will find a desolated country and an absent and retreating enemy. Texas will bring up from San Antonio re-enforcements rapidly, and the prospect of plunder will fill New Mexico with this class of troops as fast as they can go. Colonel Canby will no doubt destroy and abandon Fort Craig, and re-enforce Fort Union by a rapid march by Monganos to Fort Union, on the east side of the mountains. Colonel Canby, when at Fort Union with the regiment from Denver, can hold that place until the re-enforcements get to him. Excuse me for urging that at least the mounted portion of the column be urged forward at the most rapid rate possible. The infantry and artillery can follow at leisure. It is probable, if you will look at the map, that the Texas forces will, after taking and plundering Santa Fe, attempt to pass out to Fort Smith by the Canadian River, under the impression that a large column of the Confederates are at that point, threatening Missouri. I hope that in selecting the head of this expedition it will not be forgotten that the rapidity of the movement is the most important requisite of leaders. I shall trust with the utmost confidence to your judgment. Major General Harney, Major Steen, General Davidson, who is well known to the country and people of New Mexico, and others have been suggested to me as suitable persons, but I shall be perfectly satisfied with any one that your judgment dictates as most suitable to insure success. I have been twenty-six times across the plains; feel a deep interest in the rescue from destruction of the people of New Mexico, who have been my friends for many years, and if my services should be required I will