no attempt at concealment, and consequently, on the return of the three lighters which had carried the cargo to Point Isabel, they were seized by the authorities and the crews placed in jail in Matamoras - among the prisoners, Mr. A. S. Ruthven, the agent of Mr. Clements, the contractor.
This caused great excitement of both sides of the river, and in a moment lighted up the latent feeling of mutual hostility which exists between the two sides and which shows itself on every opportunity. I at once, through an agent, communicated with Governor Ruiz, who reported to me that the penalty of the offense was death or imprisonment in the penitentiary, and that the latter should be their sentence. It was on this basis and with that great advantage over me (for I could not contemplate for a moment that those whose fault was serving the Confederacy should be made responsible) that a negotiation [was opened] remarkable for the pertinacity with which they claimed that money could not atone for the outrage and the facility with which it was finally settled, by charging me an enormous price, and on its payment releasing the prisoners.
I was required to pay the usual duty on the arms received, as if they had passed through the custom-house; then the value of the three lighters, and a fine of $1,000 each on the prisoners, 15 in all, making $26,000.
This affair will add greatly to the cost price of the arms; but I felt, first, that our people were entitled to the assistance of the Government, and secondly, that an offense as well as an indignity had been committed, unintentionally, to be sure, but still leaving the same obligation as if it had been otherwise, and I ordered the necessary funds to be raised to settle the question. This was done, and the proper receipts are in my possession.
I have ordered Captain G. W. Chilton, division ordnance officer, to take charge of the arms and accompany them to Alleyton, delivering 420 to Colonel Duff and 200 to Colonel Hobby, the necessity for which will appear from the accompanying letters.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, October 5, 1863.
General BOGGS, Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: If, after examination and consultation and consultation with General Taylor, it has been determined that no works shall be constructed below on Red River, you will immediately have all the heavy artillery at that place removed hither. In any case, two heavy guns will be sent here forthwith, and you will direct the artillery officer in command at Grand Ecore to superintend their removal.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH.
P. S.- Should General Boggs have passed up on his return without leaving instructions with Major [J. J.] Gaines or the artillery officer in command at Grand Ecore, he (Major Gaines, or, &c.) will cause the two 9-inch guns to be removed immediately to Shreveport under his superintendence.