asserts that he does no more than extend that aid and comfort to American citizens in distress which they have a right to claim from his house is a recruiting officer for the Lincoln Governments and will continue to be so.
The authorities of Tamaulipas are in dread of the United States authorities and would rather offend us than them, and will not give up our deserters. The result of this I very much fear will be that I shall lose a large proportion of my men, for the facility of escape and impunity thereof will cause many a good soldier to desert his colors who otherwise would not. I confess that my position is annoying. I know the importance of this trade to our Government and people and the propriety of doing nothing to attract unnecessarily the attention of the Federal Government to it, but I must either take my men back by force or submit to the mortification of seeing my command demoralized.
I find great difficulty in deciding this point-the important benefits we may so derive from the Mexican authorities, as contained in my late communication to you, will be lost to us perhaps by any rupture of friendly relations, and it is more important than the miserable creatures who are leaving their colors; yet my officers are restive and look to me for such action as will put a stop to this matter. I inform the general of this that he may be advised of what is passing, and assure him that I will be as forbearing as possible in view of all the consequence attending a violent attempt to settle this matter.
I inclose a letter from Captain Benavides, from which will be seen that matters are quiet on the upper line. I shall proceed in a few days to visit all the posts on the line to Laredo and see that my treaty with Governor Lopez is put in force.
An officer of General Bank's staff has arrived from the United States; he has interviews with the Mexican authorities, but I have not ascertain what is his business.
It may occur to the general that a publication of the agreement between the respective authorities may serve to quiet the fears of the people of the frontier.
With great respect,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, February 18, 1863.
His Excellency Don ALBINO LOPEZ,
Military and Civil Commandant of the State of Tamaulipas,
YOUR EXCELLENCY: I have the honor of inclosing to Your Excellency the basis of a convention, which I have no doubt will receive your favorable attention, as they have been suggested by the deep conviction I feel concerning the benefits, which would ensue to the frontiers of both nations if they are adopted, and if, when adopted, they are carried out in a spirit of good faith and fraternity.
it affords me pleasure to notice that your perspicacity has penetrated the fact that all the disagreements hitherto arising between the authorities of both lines have been caused by a want of unity in the pursuit of malefactors and the restitution of stolen property, from which it has happened that, notwithstanding the prudence which might be observed.