bank, the Federals probably would not send an expedition there at all, as their means of influencing the Mexicans would then be very small. Forty-one men of my command repulsed, the other day at Sabine Pass, 15,000 of the enemy, capturing two gunboats, crippling a third, and driving off the remainder. These captured steamers are very valuable ships, magnificently armed. I have now, with the Harriet Lane, three captured from the enemy, and six of our light-draught cotton gunboats. It would be easy to get Semmens and Maffitt to come to our coast, and if the French fleet in the Gulf will, in case of intervention, sail along the coast eastward, Semmens, Maffitt, and others having joined them, they will pick up the Federal blockading fleet off our harbors and will unite with them the naval forces under my command in any attack they may make. Sailors and soldiers could, be put on board the captured fleet of the enemy as we proceeded, and it will thus be rendered easy to capture or destroy those at Mobile, and so along the entire coast, commencing properly at this end.
If His Imperial Majesty can be brought to look upon this subject as I do, with our assistance it will be the easiest task ever undertaken by a navy when compared with the magnitude of its results.
Since writing the above, another 10,000 stand of Enfield rifles in a British schooner from England, the Love Bird, arrived at the mouth of the Rio Grande. We had succeeded in landing about 4,000 of them, when a French man of war arrived, and took her off to Vera Cruz with the remainder. The Mexicans threw all the impediments in the way possible, laying an embargo on all boats, so as to prevent our obtaining the means of landing these arms. This was done to obtain the favor of the United States Government. There was no Federal cruiser in sight. This is a bitter disappointment, and deep dissatisfaction is felt. The occupation of Matamoras at once would cure these evils, and not compromise the French with the United States. The people of the Confederate States, and particularly those of Louisiana and Texas, entertaining the most profound respect for the wisdom and enlightened policy of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the French; recognizing that the interest of France in Mexico is closely connected, if not, indeed, identified, with the welfare of the Southern Confederacy, cannot appreciate the hesitation on the part of France to acknowledge our independence, or the mistakes that are made by the commanding officer of the French squadron in his active exertions to deprive of the means of defense a country now devoted to the cause of France in Mexico, and which must sooner or later have a powerful influence upon the permanency of French interests in that country. It is not believed that the policy pursued by the commanding office of the French squadron at the mouth of the Rio Grande can meet with the approval of His Imperial Majesty. I have the honor to request that these subjects be brought to the notice of His Majesty the Emperor of the French in any manner which would seem to you most likely to command attention.
Major George A. Magruder, jr., of our army, will deliver this communication, as well as that from General Smith, and will explain more fully our situation. He will bear with him on his return any communications with which you may honor him, and will remain in Paris a reasonable time to receive from you any evidences which you may obtain from the French Government of its disposition to afford us the facilities so much needed by us for the protection of her interest on this continent as well as our own.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,