from the Emperor, asking for the taking of the ports, and especially that of Matamoras. He added:
The Emperor knows,as well as we do, the importance of that port, and of the great trade carried on through it. He refers to it in his letter. Now, there cannot exist any more doubt that General Forey will be compelled to yield to the plan, willingly or not. I will urge the matter. Leave it in my hands, and Matamoras will be taken possession of as soon as possible.
I started from Pueblo on the 4th of June, and reached Vera Cruz on the 15th. The return was made quicker and with less danger than the first trip. On our arrival, I handed to the consul of France the letter of Mr. De Saligny,and on the 20th he paid me a visit, and told me to be ready on the following day to go on board the steam frigate Panama, which had been ordered by the admiral to carry me to Matamoras, and which expected to leave on the 22d, early in the morning. He advised me also to pay a visit to the admiral at Bahia of Sacrificios, which I did.
The admiral received me with marked politeness, expressing his good wishes for the Confederacy.
He nevertheless explained to me that the order which he had received was framed in such a way that he did not think he could land me in his own boat on our shores; that he did not dare to do it, as he wished to avoid complications that might arise by this doing so; that he thought it more prudent for me to take a neutral boat than to land directly from the frigate. I was compelled, of course, to accede to his proposition, and, general, I observed that all the sympathies of those high functionaries were mixed with a certain fear of compromising their responsibility by the least act that was not expressly inserted in the instructions coming from above.
I was well received on board the frigate, and, on the night of the 24th, we threw anchor opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande.
Not knowing who commanded at Brownsville, I sent several letters by the English captain of the Hawkins, announcing my arrival,and requesting the authorities to send for me. I waited until the 2nd of July without receiving any answer. Meanwhile my position on board was a pleasant one, surrounded with all kind of attentions and request to stay as long as possible, urging for reason that my health was not good, being deprived of the use of my right arm by a very severe whitlow on the right thumb, which I carried from Pueblo. But I was very restless, and anxious to land, because on the 26th,in the morning, the steam frigate Eure arrived from Sacrificios and anchored by us. Our captain communicated with her, and,on his return, told me that his trip to Matamoras would produce some unexpected fruits; that the Eure had brought him an order to seize a ship coming from England and loaded with arms for the Mexican Government;that he had received a copy of the invoice and of the bill of landing,and that he had orders to wait until the arrival of said ship. I suspected these arms might be for our Confederacy,and I inquired from him, that if it should prove so, whether he would interfere.
He answered me that his orders were positive, but he had no doubt that if the arms were not for the Mexicans his Government would not interfere. I thought it better for us,if my suspicions should prove correct, to lodge a claim for those arms before the seizure of the vessel,so as to establish fully the good faith of our claim. Not receiving any answer to my letters, and seeing no one coming for me, I requested, at all risk, from the captain to have me carried on the following day on board of one of the lighters under the Mexican flag, which crosses the