rather than fall back; but its impressment would create great dissatisfaction, and this I desire particularly to avoid, not on my own account, but because of the advantage which will be sure to be taken of it by demagogues and disloyal people.
If it be possible to maintain our troops on the Rio Grande and act in accordance with these instructions without impressment I will do so. If that be impossible I will act in accordance with the instructions, and resort to impressments should all other means fail, taking care to impress the cotton of the largest speculators. Our money is valueless on the Rio Grande, and as the exchange of $5 in notes for $5 [sic] in specie was the only means of paying and supplying the troops there, I have the request earnestly that I may be supplied with $100,000 in foreign exchange every alternate month to enable me to meet this necessity, the means heretofore resorted to having been disapproved by the War Department.
Since my arrival here I have not meddled with these matters, except under orders of my superiors in rank. I found, however, these things in existence, and I do not see how they could be remedied, except by an adequate supply of coin or foreign exchange. I cannot but still entertain the hope that my printed order in relation to cotton, &c., may be permitted to be carried into effect, as its promulgation has given general satisfaction. I know that the law allows an unrestricted exportation of cotton on the Rio Grande frontier, but I have ascertained that not more than 5 per cent. of supplies of all kinds had before my arrival here been introduced into the country for cotton by the Mexican frontier seems to have been to cause the importation of supplies, I presume that any means made necessary to support my army and tending at the same time toward the accomplishment of the purpose of the law without injuring any class, except speculators, would, if not approved of by the War Department, be permitted.
As soon as I shall have arrived on the Rio Grande and learned the exact state of affairs there I will countermand my order, in compliance with the instruction from the War Department, and substitute such other as the nature of the case demands, unless in the mean time I shall have received authority from the War Department to carry out the order 28, printed and forwarded to Richmond, as above stated.
I have approved of the course of General Be in giving up Davis, have assured the Mexican authorities of our friendly sentiments and determination to respect their rights as neutrals, while I have energetically brought to their notice the flagrant violations of our rights by the enlisting and organizing of men on their territory openly under the Federal flag to fight against us, and by their permitting the landing on their soil of the troops of our enemy with the avowed intention of making war upon us. At the same time I have ordered two more regiments to their frontier, to be prepared for whatever may occur.
Desiring to know the views of the Secretary of War on the subjects alluded to here, and requesting particularly to be honor with his instructions in regard to the policy to be pursued with Mexico, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
P. S.-My own views of the policy to be pursued with Mexico is simply this: that as it is greatly to the interest of our enemy that we should be embroiled with Mexico, we should not permit ourselves to