War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0314 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

success, and gives us the most substantial evidence of his sincerity by sending us arms and supplies whenever in his power. In case of an intervention by the Government of France in our behalf, his co-operation with France could be fully relied on. Texas will not separate herself in any contingency from the Confederacy.

The people are almost unanimous on that point, and therefore the Confederacy must be recognized to secure Texas as a barrier between the Northern armies and Mexico. At present the sentiments of the people of the Trans-Mississippi Department, as of all the Confederate States, are most friendly to France, and the occupation of Mexico has given the greatest satisfaction to all. An untoward occurred the other day, which somewhat cooled the ardor of our people (Texas) in favor of the French. A schooner, I think the Caroline Goodyear, arrived at the mouth of the Rio Grande with 10,000 English rifles, consigned to a house in Matamoras for the Confederate States. These arms were greatly needed by us in the Trans-Mississippi Department, has successfully eluded the vigilance of the United States cruisers, and were considered safe, when a French blockading vessel took possession of her, and sent her to Vera Cruz to a prize court, where the vessel was sold, and the arms, I believe, are in the hands of the French authorities at Vera Cruz. Doubtless this vessel was a lawful prize, as the port of Matamoras was then blockaded by the French on the spot that these arms were not intended for the Mexicans, but were ours, and were of the last importance to us, and earnestly requested him to let them come to us, but in vain. An agent was then sent to the admiral in command at Vera Cruz to represent the facts of the case, and respectfully to request that they might be turned over to us, we paying their full price and all expenses and charges. I directed also that the French navy officers and men should be paid in cotton on the Rio Grande the full value of these arms as prize money; that no question of prize money should intervene to prevent of delay our recovery of the arms; but all to no purpose. I beg that you will represent the case to the French Government, and procure, if possible, an order from the French minister of marine, which might perhaps be done through Drouyn de Lhuys, to the admiral commanding the French squadron in the Gulf, to deliver these arms to an agent of ours, upon the payment by us in cotton for the same and all claims or expenses connected with them, and also an order instructing the French blockading ships to allow arms, ammunition, munitions of war, and all army supplies to pass to Matamoras upon his receiving satisfactory evidence that they are intended for the Confederate States and not for the use in any way of the Mexicans. Had the French army beaten my Texans in a pitched battle, it would not have inflicted so alarming and severe an injury upon us by the seizure of these arms. I have to request that you will do whatever may be in your power to enable us to recover them, and procure, if it be possible, such facilities from the French Government for the introduction of supplies through Matamoras as will render that means less precarious and uncertain than it has been.

Since writing my communication of the 9th instant, I have received a United States mail, just captured, containing official documents to the Secretary of the Navy, and many private letters speaking of their movements and plans. I am satisfied that the enemy will interpose a large force between us and Mexico to prevent our co-operation with the French, which force will depend upon the sympathy of the Mexican people on the borders. But if France occupies Matamoras and the Rio Grande, it would not take more than 2,000 men. We occupying as we do the left