War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0976 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA. TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

vent the fitting out of expeditions from the soil of Mexico to commit hostilities against the former. This conduct is in pursuance of the principle of strict neutrality, which underlies the policy of Mexico in the contest between the Confederate and Northern States, and is in most conformity with international law and the interest of this Republic and particularly the interests of this frontier.

These considerations cause me to welcome any event which may tend to consolidate the harmony and good relations of the Stated, and in this view I have confidently relied that the result of your appointment will be the security of peaceable citizens in their persons and property, as well as the punishment of all those who under the guise of defending a political principle intend to harass and depredate on this frontier. To that the Mexican authorities are disposed to conviction that the only means of securing the tranquility and property of the inhabitants of this line is to prosecute the criminals and chastise them for their crimes. There is a floating population on this frontier, consisting of individuals who alternately claim citizenship in Mexico or in Texas, as suits their purpose; who change their residence whenever obliged to do so by the prosecution which always follows them, thus evading the laws and securing their impunity. The inhabitants of Mexico have suffered from these men every species of outrages, which went unpunished because the facility of crossing the frontier line nullified the action of the authorities, who, though powerless, were not ignorant of the names of the perpetrators. Availing themselves of the domestic convulsions of the State of Tamaulipas, they raised the banner of a party and their career of crime. The men, through whom so many grievances have been borne by the peaceful inhabitants of this frontier, are precisely the same who call themselves to-day the "First Regiment of the Union." You are not unaware that some of them are citizens of the State of Texas and that others were lately residents of the same State, whence they crossed to Tamaulipas. All of them took part in the last disturbance which took place on this river, and when the force of arms obliged them to seek a place of safety they crossed the Rio Brave, leaving the Mexican authorities without the power of chastising them.

The organization of the bands which have foraged in Texas being considered in its origin, it is to be noted that they are made up of those whose means of livelihood is the commission of crime; that whatever may be their denomination the essence remains the same; and that though raising a standard in Texas or in Tamaulipas, they in truth seek only to cover their intentions of pillaging the property of peaceful owners. If you should desire to corroborate the statement which I have the honor now to present to you it will be easy to acquire the necessary information, which, if obtained in a spirit of impartiality, will place the accusers on this frontier in their true light.]

I regret that a misunderstanding of these facts should have given rise to reports which, presented under the influence of alarm and passionate excitement, have stamped with a serious character these events, which of themselves were not uncommon, but increased in their proportions in the ratio of their distance from the place of occurrence, while the first impression could not be effaced until, the passions having cooled, the reality could be ascertained. This moment has arrived. The Mexican authorities, ever willing to accede to just demands, to not hesitate to seek concord with those of Texas in securing the tranquility