HEADQUARTERS WESTERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, March 22, 1863.
His Excellency ALBINO LOPEZ,
Governor of the State of Tamaulipas:
SIR: In further reply to your communication of the 20th instant, I see, with regret, that you anticipate great evils for the frontier from the present indications of feeling on this (the Confederate) side of the Rio Grande, and allude, first, to the capture of the schooner C. C. Pickney, and, secondly, to the threats made by my troops at the mouth of the river to again invade the soil of Mexico.
I trust that Your Excellency will agree with me in considering the capture of the vessel above named as simply a legal question to be decided by the proper tribunals, and divest it of any intention on the part of military authorities to violate the neutrality of Mexico. You will bead in mind that the proofs are clear that by no act of the authorities or those under them was the vessel seized, and that they had no connection with it until the vessel called the Young Harry was wrecked a short time since on this shore - and over whom I had no control. The facts can only be properly instigated before the courts, and I shall hold myself ready to carry out its decreer, whatever it may be.
In order to avoid a repetition of the threats which you inform me have been made by my soldiers to cross into Mexico, and which, if true, were mere ebullitions of individual feeling, caused by insults and epithets thrown across to them from the refugees on the Mexican side, I have ordered the troops now at the mouth of the river to be withdrawn (excepting a picket of observation), and thus I remove the danger of unauthorized collisions, by placing my men beyond the reach of insult and menace. these troops will not be again placed at the mouth of the river until the approach of the enemies of my country may render it necessary.
I have thus given Your Excellency every evidence in my power of my determination to use my whole authority to carry out my desire to maintain peaceful relations with your Government.
There exists no insubordination amongst my officers or soldiers, for the event of the 15th instant were caused by a mistaken view of the rights of belligerent to invade a neutral territory to attack the enemies who were sheltered there. The act was not intended to molest or offend the Mexican authorities, and its consequences would have been confined to those deserving it if the Mexican authorities would have permitted it; and while I do not mention this as evidencing my approval of their conduct, I do so as assuring you that the intention and desire was as I have expressed. The officers engaged in the transaction are being held to a strict accountability. I regret very much to have to inform Your Excellency that I have reason to suppose that my prompt disavowal of the acts of the 15th instant, and the proof of my sincerity, as evidenced by the return of E. J. Davis, have not been duly appreciated by the authorities of Tamaulipas.
When Mexican citizens, under the flag of the United States, crossed the Rio Grange, attacked a train of Government wagons traveling on the highway, murdered the teamsters and plundered the train, there was wafted to the ears of Your Excellency in Matamoras no sounds of mused nag shouts of "death to the Mexicans" from an infuriated populate in the streets of Brownsville,no evidences of their outraged and bitter feelings were allowed expression, but the soldiers, as well as the people, calmly awaited the result of the application to the authorities