War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0287 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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arrested and sent to Matamoras and the vessels confiscated. Mr. Ruthven was also incarcerated in the same filthy prison. It is sufficient for me to say that I had them released on payment of $26,000, for which I hold the official receipts. This sum I demand that you should return to the Confederate Government, and I shall further instruct the agents of the Confederate Government in England to demand damages for the loss of the arms under the contract.

if contractors satisfy themselves with insuring their goods heavily at the expense of the Government, and send a cargo worth millions of dollars - worth, perhaps, the liberties of a nation - and contraband of war, to a port in possession of one of the belligerents, and place men without judgment, without experience in these things, in command or at the head of it, and without instructions, it cannot be expected that success would follow.

Arrangements were made for the vessel, but it was not dreamed of that the captain would enter at the Mexican custom-house; yet he did so, because he felt as happy and contented as Englishmen used to do before their flag was insulted and torn down with impunity on the high seas and in neutral ports. The captain of the Love Bird was insane enough to think that he was safe under the flag of England, formerly the symbol of protection to the rights and property of her subjects, now the sport of the Yankees, who respect it no more than they do the Confederate.

You have in many respects done your duty faithfully to your country, but you have lacked foresight and prudence. The authentication of the papers of the Love Bird could have been obtained from the French Government as easily as it was obtained for the Bellot contract swindle. Why did you not get it?

I am disheartened and annoyed. With the slightest exercise of common sense, the whole cargo might have been landed in Texas. The fault is not mine, although I and mine are the sufferers. The 10,000 rifles might have won our country this winter, and made your name forever memorable in having done it, and to see it defeated by the course pursued in this case is terrible.

Yours, respectfully,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.


Fort Brown, Tex., October 3, 1863.


Asst. Adjt. General, District of Texas, &c., Houston, Tex.:

SIR: I have been involved in quite a difficulty with the authorities of Mexico as to the cargo of the Love Bird. I premise by saying that there was a perfect understanding with the captain of the vessel that he should move his vessel to the Brazos Santiago Bar and there discharge his cargo into the lighters. I gave him a guarantee for the value of his vessel in case she was captured or wrecked, but when the time came, he refused to move his vessel, and consequently the cargo was discharged in the neutral waters of Mexico. The captain had also entered his vessel at the custom-house at Matamoras, and had done everything which ignorance and his entire unfitness for his position could induce him to do to thwart and embarrass me. The violation of the neutrality and revenue laws of Mexico was open and clear, for there was