case were sent to the admiral of the French navy at Vera Cruz, and to Mr. De Saligny at Mexico, but no reply was received.
You can suppose how very serious this occurrence is to us. Texas is invaded, and we are without arms to defend ourselves. But for the interference of the French, 16,000 good rifles would have been in the hands of as many men, who know well how to use them.
The Mexicans are very much incensed at the violation of their neutrality, and the crews are now in prison, with a fair prospect of remaining there some time.
I inclose a copy of the certificate of the consul of France at Matamoras. It speaks for itself.
The address of Nelson Clements is London.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS, C. S. A.,
Fort Brown, Tex., September 30, 1863.
To the Captain Commanding the French Frigate Magellan,
Off the mouth of the Rio Grande:
SIR: I forward by Mr. A. Superviele, a citizen of the Confederate States, the certificate of the consul of France at Matamoras that the English schooner Love Bird, captured by you at the mouth of the Rio Grande on Saturday last, was loaded for the Confederate States, and that her cargo was being landed in Texas.
In addition to this, I beg you to accept my official assurance that the arms were intended for my use, and were bought in England under a contract made by Major S. Hart, a duly appointed quartermaster of this army, with Mr. Nelson Clements, and by virtue of that contract were shipped to Matamoras, a neutral port as between the United and Confederate States, and on me rested the responsibility of securing them after the vessel might arrive, which i was doing in defiance of the revenue laws of Mexico, and with no intention of their being landed on Mexican soil, which would have caused me to lose them.
All these things Mr. Superviele will make plain to you, and I trust that it will comport with your sense of justice to order that the said vessel be restored to her former place of anchorage.
I have the honor to recommend Mr. Superviele to your consideration and courtesy.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, Confederate States.
VICE-CONSUL OF FRANCE AT MATAMORAS:
We, vice-consul of France at Matamoras, State of Tamaulipas, Mexico, do certify:
That we knew that the English schooner Love Bird, Captain Burbot, had sailed from England on about the 29th day of last July, consigned to the house of commerce of Hale & Co., loaded by Nelson Clements, a contractor of the Government of the Confederate States, with 10,000 Enfilade rifles, 156 revolvers, 2,000,000 cartridges, and 5,000,000 caps.
That General Bee, in command of the Confederate troops in Brownsville, had let us know the leaving of the aforesaid schooner Love Bird
18 R R - VOL XXVI, PT II