Since I first came to Monterey, both Governor Vidaurri and myself have been untiring in our efforts to encourage commerce between Mexico and Texas. Many of the merchants, upon my own representations, have engaged in the business, and I think they ought to be allowed to export the cotton which legitimately belongs to them, otherwise the new restriction will be a death-blow to the commerce of the frontier. There is great excitement here about it, and it will be with some difficulty that confidence is restored.
I have, &c.,
J. A. QUINTERRO.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, March 16, 1863.
Honorable J. A. QUINTERRO, C. S. Commissioner, Monterey, Mexico:
SIR: As various incorrect and exaggerated rumors of the recent occurrences on the line of the Rio Grande will doubtless reach you, circulated with unscrupulous zeal by our enemies, and calculated, if not refuted, to interfere with our earnest desire to produce and maintain harmony and kindly feeling between the Mexican and Confederate authorities on this frontier, I hasten to send you a statement of the facts so far as they are known to me.
You are well aware of the fact that the United States consul at Matamoras has for months openly used his office and position to recruit troops for the United States Army from among the Mexican population and the renegades from this State; also, that no effort has been spared by him and his emissaries to demoralize the troops of the Confederate States, and to seduce them from their allegiance. Of late, so unblushingly, so unreservedly has this been done as to be the subject of general conversation. I took occasion, as you are aware, to warn Governor Lopez, of Tamaulipas, of what I feared would be the inevitable consequences should he permit the said consul to continue such unlawful practices. His course was not checked, and those enlisted by him for the United States Army, emboldened by the impunity granted him, became so insulting and vain gloriously boastful as to render their truants, both in words and action, wholly insupportable. notwithstanding my most positive orders and strenuous efforts to induce my troops and fellow-citizens to bear with patience their manifold insults and threats, I am pained to say that my exertions have failed, and that on the night of the 14th instant the Rio Grande was crossed by parties unknown, and a number of persons taken prisoners; among them, it is said, was Judge or Colonel E. J. Davis.
Governor Lopez has demanded of me the release of Colonel Davis-a demand which at present it is utterly impossible for to me to comply with, inasmuch as he is not and has not been in my custody or under my control. Those who have acted in this matter having done so without authority, and contrary to my well-known instructions and wishes, from motives of personal safety keep their name and prisoners (if there are any such) most carefully concealed. I have ordered an investigation of the affair, in the hope of discovering the guilty parties, so as to bring them to punishment. Until I receive the report, it is impossible for me to do more than disavow in the most emphatic manner any knowledge of or connivance in the affair.
Governor Lopez also makes a complaint that Captain S. Benavides crossed the river and made an attack upon Nuevo Laredo. Of this I have no further knowledge than the statement made by the Governor.