side of the Mississippi River. A Mr. Baldwin and a Dr. Peeples * * * are ring landers, &c.
The men you have arrested or who may be implicated and arrested should be carefully confined and guarded in proportion to their offenses and the importance attached to them. He has no power to declare martial law, and he doubts the policy of his going so even if he had this power. The state of affairs you describe requires the exercise of judgment, decision, and ability, which he confidently relies upon your possessing equal to the emergency.
It is your duty to consult with the Confederate district attorney (Confederate and State judicial officers when practicable), and, if possible, prevent any embarrassments arising from writ of habeas corpus. If there is apprehension difficulty resulting from judicial interference, you can send the prisoners away, so that they can be out of reach until a proper and efficient course can be adopted to meet the crisis.
He agrees with you that these men should not be sent outside of our lines, for they can be cared for within them, and if sent to the enemy they might give information that would be of great detriment to us.
In regard to the arms referred to by you, recently landed at the mouth of the Rio Grande, you can retain 2,000. The others must be sent forward, as they are needed by General Price's army, for the lieutenant-general knows from his own observation that he had 2,000 men at Little Rock without arms, and since then two brigades, which have been in service from the commencement of the war, have arrived from the other side of the Mississippi without arms.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
GUY M. BRYAN,
Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, October 14, 1863.
Honorable JOHN SLIDELL,
Confederate States Commissioner to France:
SIR: I have the honor to transmit a communication from Lieutenant-General Smith, the commanding general of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and to state that I fully concur in the views therein presented.*
It will be impossible for France to hold her possessions in Mexico if the United States troops overrun Louisiana and Texas. War with the United States must be the result of an attempt to do so, and though the Texans are the most warlike people on this continent, she will probably be overrun before the French Government can come to our assistance. I have been endeavoring to induce General Forey to order the occupation of Matamoras, offering to throw the cotton of Texas into the hands of French merchants in return for the convenience to us of such occupation.
It requires but a small force, since General Vidaurri, Governor of Nuevo Leon, is the only civil governor who has any troops or can raise any, and he is ready to join the French as soon as he ascertain that they are likely to be permanent in Mexico. Vidauri is one of the shrewdest and most influential men in Mexico. He is firmly our friend, express in every official communication to me his deep interest in our
* See Smith to Slidell, Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p. 993.