I also inclose several communications [received] from Captain Da Ponte in regard to arms on Caroline Goodyear. Mr. Maloney received yesterday letter from Vera Cruz, and informs me these arms will come, beyond doubt. I have made all necessary arrangements to pay for 900 Enfield rifles daily expected from Havana, and if they escape capture, for which I have used every precaution, I will have then here a few hours after landing.
I write in haste, and will write more fully next express.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, and Chief Quartermaster.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
VERA CRUZ, July 20, 1863.
Major [CHARLES J.] HELM:
MY DEAR SIR: I regret very much to report the detention off Matamoras of the British schooner Caroline Goodyear, of London, with a splendid cargo of arms (rifles, &c.), purchased, according to the supercargo's statement, in England by Confederate agents for our Government. The vessel arrived here on the 7th instant, in tow of the French war steamer Panama, her valuable cargo being suspected by the French commander to be intended for the government of Mr. Juarez. She will, I am informed, be detained at this post until the cause has been tried before "Le conseil des prises" at Paris. This is a sad illustration of the necessity of having a Confederate agent at Vera Cruz; but let us trust that not many similar instances will occur in future.
I am now staying with the British consul at this place, and, recognized or not, will continue to be the faithful sentinel and do all in my power for our unfortunate exiled countrymen.
The assembly of "notables" convoked by General Forey in the City of Mexico to decide on the future form of government to be given to this country, has declared for a monarchy, electing Prince Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, as Emperor of Mexico. A salute of 101 guns was fired on the receipt of this intelligence at Vera Cruz.
What will the Yankees say to that? Vera Cruz is remarkably unhealthy, and I regret to say the vomito continues to make daily victims amongst the French troops as well as all arriving strangers. Mr. Proctor, the acting United States consul at this place, also died of the disease a few days ago.
I remain, my dear sir, very truly, your, &c.,
P. S.-Have your received the blank passports?
[Inclosure No. 2.]
CONFIDENTIAL.] VERA CRUZ, July 31, 1863-11.30 p.m.
Major [CHARLES J.] HELM:
MY DEAR SIR: I beg leave herewith to inclose you several letters,* which please forward by first safest opportunity to Dixie. I have just ascertained that General Bee has addressed an open letter to Count De Saligny, under cover to Mr. Doazan, the French consul at this place, urging him to release the Caroline Goodyear at once, our soldiers in Texas being dreadfully in want of the arms on board the said vessel; in consequence of which earnest appeal, the consul, I understand, will immediately dispatch an express to Mexico, and expresses little doubt
12 R R-VOL XXVI, PT II