War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 1131 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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investigation I offer you some information which may be of use, and you can rely on its correctness, as it was given to me by persons who were present, and, being anxious to have the facts discovered, I communicate it to you.

At 4 o'clock in the morning of the 15th instant, a force of more than 100 men crossed over to the Mexican side, at the mouth of the Rio Grande, and surrounded the custom-house. They were under the command of Colonel Chilton, who was accompanied by Dr. McKnight and Captain Brewin. They asked several persons for Colonel Davis, and not getting a satisfactory answer, they went into the office, where the latter was found and arrested.

After this they divided their forces into small parties, seeking the arrest of the refugees who were there, and, having succeeded in capturing several of them, at 6 o'clock in the morning Colonel Chilton withdrew his forces to the Texas side of the river.

I have no doubt that these items will be of service to you in proceeding with the investigation of the events and discovery of the guilty persons. I am also satisfied that you will order the delivery of Colonel Davis and the others, as soon as they come into your possession, to the Mexican authorities.

The occurrences at Laredo deserve particular attention, because the repetition of such acts will, I am sorry to say, in spite of your efforts and those of the Mexican authorities, produce direful results, whose consequences could not be calculated, but might be easily avoided as yet. You are aware that a sudden gust of passion does not stop to consider consequences, and that attacks like those made by Santos Benavides will produce bitter feelings; the slightest motive may render fruitless all efforts of the chief authorities to settle the existing differences. The good faith which you have shown to me by your acts, and the reciprocity manifested by me, will be useless if your subordinates do not act with more prudence, or if mine do not obey my orders.

Before closing this communication, it is my duty, for the honor of the Mexican authorities, to deny that they tolerate the acts to which you allude in the conduct of the United State consul.

At the private conference which I have had with you, and in my previous correspondence with the military authorities of Fort Brown, I have always expressed my firm determination to cause the neutrality of the Mexican territory to be respected, and to check, all hostile proceeding in Matamoras. My conduct must be incontrovertible, in order to avoid inconsistency in my measures, and to be able to sustain them by well-founded reasons.

I can now only repeat what I had the honor to state to you previously, that the want of correct information and contradictory reports prevent me from forming a settled opinion.

What appears to you indisputable is not clear to me, and what the authorities of Texas conceive to be an imposition on the part of the North Is represented by others as the protection which a consul extends to his fellow-citizens, and the fulfillment of his duty in facilitating their passage to their country.

This variety of opinions, mutually contradicted, and sustained, but without being founded difficulties which originated by reason of the presence of the consul of the United States in this city; but I assure you that, complying