of artillery, two squadrons of cavalry, and five battalions of infantry to get under arms, with ammunition and two days' rations.
At first, as I am informed by the staff officer by whom I sent the communication, the Governor was inclined to assume the position that "if American citizens did not like the laws of Mexico, they were at liberty to remain from its soil," and sent me that verbal message in reply, but it was scarcely spoken to the officer when a courier reached the chamber in great haste, with the report that I had taken possession of the ferry-boats. This cause great excitement which resulted in His Excellency requesting the officer to wait a few moments and he would send a written reply. I inclose a copy of the translation of that reply, marked Numbers 3.
At 8 o'clock last evening, His Excellency did me the honor to call at my quarters, in company with Mr. Peeler, from the consulate, quite informally and unannounced. It was his first visit, and I received him with great courtesy and kindness. He remained some two hours, and the subject of our correspondence was not mentioned. Had I have entertained any doubt as to the propriety of the extreme tone of my dispatch at the moment it left my hands, that doubt was actually imprisoned and kept from any communication with the consul or any one else till the money was exorted.
The loyal Americans in Matamoras, this morning have the proud satisfaction of being, as I am informed, the only exceptions to an arbitrary exaction which has been practiced on all other foreigners.
I have the honor, &c.,
N. J. T. DANA,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
UNITED STATES CONSULATE.
Matamoras, December 26, 1863.
Major General N. J. T. DANA,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Brownsville, Tex.:
SIR: Yesterday several of the merchants of the city were invited to go to the Governor's room, and among them Mr. I. Galvan, and one or two other Americans. Upon their arrival, they were shown to an ante-room, and on officer sent to inform them that they must pay the amount of their respective quotas of a loan impressed by Governor Serna or go to prison. To get out, they promised to pay some, and to-day I am called upon by all our American citizens, and a great many foreigners, asking for protection, claiming that the act is illegal, for the reason that Serna has not been recognized by the President of the Republic as Governor and demands this loan upon his own responsibility, to be returned again in duties at the custom-house, upon what are called those custom-house bonds, which, until the Governor is recognized by the President, are worthless, and the money thrown away. The amounts are very large, Mr. Galvan's quota being $10,000. My opinions is that Governor Serna has not the shadow of a right to collect the moneys. He says that it is for the protection of the town against the forces being brought against it, and, as the bonds will be of no account if their forces should succeed,he thus urges American citizens and others to take a part in a State revolution without consulting their interests in the least,