OFFICE MILITARY COMMAND, STATE OF TAMAULIPAS, SECTION OF WAR,
Matamoras, March 15, 1863.
Brigadier General H. P. BEE:
GENERAL: Events of much importance for the safety and good harmony of the two frontiers have recently occurred, and now compel me to address you.
Day before yesterday a Mexican lighter was threatened by some persons belonging to your command. They threatened to fire on the master if he did not come ashore, and, when he did so, they seized upon an individual name Macdoch, who still remains a prisoner at the mouth of the river. At the town of Laredo, a soldier belonging to the command of Don Santos Benavides having gone there and committed some offense, the Mexican authorities, as they had a perfect right to do, ordered his apprehension, and, as he made armed resistance to the execution of the order, he was killed, whereupon Don Santos Benavides crossed with a force of 60 men, defying the authorities and committing other outrages. Finally, at 4 o'clock this morning, an armed force of men subject to your authority crossed over to this side, and at the mouth of the river apprehended Colonel Davis, of the United States, and some others persons.
After the conference held between the authorities on the two sides, I cannot doubt that the officers who committed such acts did so without your orders; that consequently the acts of which they have been guilty, and which constitute one of the gravest offenses against the law of nations, will meet your reprobation, and that, justly indignant against such conduct, you will order the punishment of the offenders.
Mexico is a neutral territory, in which strangers, to whatever party they may belong in their own country, enjoy equal security. As long as they do not violate the laws of the Republic, they will receive equal protection, whether they call themselves Confederates of Federals. I trust, therefore, that you will immediately give orders that Colonel Davis and the other individuals seized at the mouth of the river be liberated, and that the officers who have been guilty of the offense be punished.
The nature of these occurrences obliges me to solicit as early an answer as possible.
Accept for yourself the assurances of my consideration and esteem.
Liberty and reform.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS,
Mexico, April 1, 1863.
The GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TAMAULIPAS,
I have read to the President your dispatch, Numbers 21, of 15th ultimo, and the documents annexed, in relation to attacks by the Anglo-American forces of the South on the territory of Mexico. The Department has not received the other dispatch you refer to, but having addressed to you on the 30th of January last a supreme decision on the same subject, without your having announced a compliance with it, I deem it necessary to repeat it, and you will, therefore, find a duplicate inclosed.