number of troops on board, I strengthened the picket at the mouth of the Rio Grande, and for fear of a collision went myself, accompanied by Colonel Luckett and Major Lea, to that post on the 12th, where I remained about twenty hours, and although there was but a narrow river dividing us from those who had brought so much disgrace on Texas, I positively forbid all communication, and explained to my men that any violation of the Mexican soil would not be permitted and would bring trouble on our country. The weather unfortunately was stormy and no communication was had with the steamer, so that the renegades could embark. Other matters of importance called me to Point Isabel, and I proceeded thence. Soon after I returned to this place. At 12 o'clock this morning I was informed unofficially (for I have not yet received any official report and perhaps never will) that at 3 o'clock this morning a party, composed of citizens and soldiers off duty, crossed the river at its mouth and captured Davis, Montgomery, and 4 other renegades, killing perhaps some others, and returned to this side with 2 men wounded, 1 seriously.
This affair has created great excitement in matamoras, but I have not yet any communication from the authorities. I shall promptly disown the act as authorized or connived at in any way by me, and make such reparation as is in my power. I don't know where the prisoners (Davis Montgomery) are; they will probably be up to-night. The full particulars will be forwarded as soon as obtained by special express.
I trust that the general commanding will appreciate the extraordinary forbearance I have shown on this question of the enlistment of soldiers for the service of the United States on Mexican territory. I had determined to do nothing that would serve to compromise our relations with Mexico. What has been done was done without my consent or knowledge and in positive violation of my orders, and, however much I may regret the violation of the neutrality of Mexico, and whatever may be the consequences, it will be a consolidation that the indignity cast upon us by the authorities of the United States has been avenged by the gallant sons of Texas.
8 O'CLOCK P. M.-Since writing the above a demand has been made.*
* * * *
[H. P. BEE.]
ALLEYTON, March 18, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
SIR: I have received reliable information that the Mexico driving the Mexican wagons and carts engaged in bringing supplies into the country are abused and ill-treated in the counties of De Witt and Lavaca. As it is the interest of the Government to cultivate friendly relations with Mexican and their Government, and as our general commanding has issued his orders to that effect, I would respectfully advise that martial law be extended over those two counties. There is evidently a disposition manifested among shirkers from the army, the conscription, and draft to drive all Mexican transportation our of the country, so that these stragglers and cowards may be assigned and employed to screen them from service in the field.
The Mexican trains now bringing in supplies are very large-a number of hundreds-and are owned by men of wealth and influence, who reside near the frontier. All the efforts of General Magruder and General
*Incomplete; but see Appendix, p. 1128.