HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, Tex., October 28, 1863.
His Excellency Brigadier General MANUEL RUIZ,
Governor of the State of Tamaulipas, Matamoras, Mexico:
SIR: I hasten to inform you of the occurrences of last night in this vicinity, believing, as I do, that they involve the peace of both sides of the river.
Captain Adrian I. Vidal, who commanded a company at the mouth of the river, for reasons inexplicable to me, turned traitor to his country, and, at the head of his company, increased by addition from the lower ranches on both sides of the river, marched upon Brownsville, with the avowed intention of plunder and rapine. He passed within 1 mile of town about 3 o'clock this morning, and will seek, perhaps, to cross the river into Mexico. I have sent all my available cavalry in pursuit, and, with great respect, request that you will dispatch troops to intercept him, should he do so. I am satisfied that this movement is connected with incipient, or, perhaps, matured plans for a renewal of the scenes of which Matamoras was the victim two years ago. I am certain that one who would violate his allegiance, to plunder his own people, would not likely to be more lenient in a foreign country, and the cause of humanity and justice both appeal for prompt and united action. I will cheerfully co-operate with you in this as every other occasion concerning the quiet of this frontier.
Since writing the above, I am informed that two parties of Americans left Matamoras early this morning, and took the direction of up the river. They are known to be men who were supported by the consul of the United States at Matamoras, and, although they may be engaged in their proper business, it is possible that they seek to violate the neutrality of Mexico by joining with Vidal for depredations on this side of the river. May I ask you to inquire into it?
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army Confederate States.
October 28, 1863.
General H. P. BEE,
SIR With much regret I am informed by your letter of to-day of the rebellion of Captain Vidal and his company, which took place last night at the mouth of the river. I at once gave orders that all the troops on the line should unite in pursuing the insurrectionists, and from this city will immediately set forth two detachments of cavalry to reconnoiter the left bank of the Rio Grande.
Do not doubt that I am resolved to sustain public order as the best means we can take on this frontier for the security of its inhabitants, following without resting all who seek to disturb it, and severely punishing them according to our laws.
Of all circumstances that transpire it will give me pleasure to inform you, and you will greatly oblige me by giving me prompt notice of what you may learn, that the combined effort of our forces may give the best results.
I am, general, with great respect and esteem, your obedient servant,