by Antonio Zapata, composed of Mexicans, carrying with them the flag of the United States, and claiming to be the representatives of that nation; hence arises the gravity of the question.
The Confederate States of America are at war with nationality,. for reasons well known to Your Excellency and which are now matters of history; that flag has no right on the soil of Texas; those who bear it are her enemies, and we are prepared to meet them as such and to test by the gauge of battle our right to maintain our declaration. In this contest Mexico, as well as the other nations of the earth, has decided to hold itself neutral, and in consideration of that neutrality the military authorities of the Confederate States on this frontier have, while watching closely their progress of events, contented themselves with from time to time giving such notification to the authorities of Mexico of what their enemies were plotting as was deemed by them necessary to avoid the grave results which unfortunately have followed. Yet these warnings have been without effect, and the soil of my country has been desecrated and the blood of her people has been shed by those who sheltered their plans and movements under the neutrality of the flag of Mexico, and so far from being restrained from future evil or punished for past offenses are even now preparing for a repletion of these outrages.
I have the proof that the consul of the United States at Matamoras, whose exit from Texas, where he resided for many years, was marked by improprieties of conduct which render him a fit representative of the nationality of the United States, has originated and with specious promisee of the plunder of our ranches and desolation of our country has organized and put in the field this collection of outlaws in Mexico, appropriately named the "First Regiment of Union Troops."
I deem it my duty respectfully to ask if it is the intention of the Government of Mexico to permit a continuance of these things, or whether, in full view of her duties as a neutral, she will at once take such measures as, while indemnifying us for the past, will prevent their repetition.
I herewith inclose an invoice of the property stolen by the armed party which crossed the river at Las Cuevas, for which I feel justified in demanding from the State of Tamaulipas full restoration and indemnity.* I also inclose the names of the leaders of this movement, with their residences, * and ask that you will cause them, such as are citizens of Texas, to be arrested and delivered to me for trial and punishment, and such as are citizens of Mexico to be dealt with according to her laws. I also most earnestly urge Your Excellency to take prompt steps to disperse all combinations within your territory hostile to the Confederate States and to restrain all future movements of a similar nature, so fatal to the peace and interests of both people.
With great respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, Tex., February 5, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I inclose you copies of communications from Colonel Reily,
* Not found.