through its immense tracts of desert and almost impracticable roads, a barrier in that quarter against all future encroachments of the Yankee race on that portion of our boundary. The expedition of General Sibley, in 1861, and that proposed by Colonel Baylor, in 1862, although the one was never carried out and the other terminated disastrously though gloriously to our arms, show that the Government is well informed as to the value of the territory in question. Still I beg leave, respectfully, to submit that unless the Government takes some further steps toward asserting its prerogative over that country our chances for retaining possession of the whole of the present Military District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona at the end of this contest will be much diminished. I have further to submit that under these impressions in February last, acting under the advisement of Colonel D. S. Terry, late supreme jude of the State of California, and under whose directions we propose to proceed, I, in conjunction with my brother, Duncan Beaumont, also as Judge Terry a citizen of California for many years, had the honor to submit to General Smith, commanding this department, a proposition looking to the securing this very Territory and any other advantages connected therewith which might be developed in the course of the operations we proposed, Our proposition was simply to go into the State of Sonora, in Mexico, adjoining the Territory of Arizona, and, from among the large numbers of miners and other adventurers who we were well advised had congregated there, to recruit men for the Confederate Army. Among the thousands whom we knew were in these new and rich mines of Sonora and Arizona we were well satisfied that we could raise at least 1,000 men for the service of the Confederate States. To enable us to bring these men to the limits of the Confederacy, where they could be mustered in, we proposed to use our own means to the extent of 1,200 to 1,500 bales of cotton, only asking the Government to allow us to take it to the Rio Grande without subjecting us to transfer one-half of it to the Cotton Board for the privilege of so doing, giving security that we would apply it to recruiting purposes, stipulating that the Government should reimburse us our expenses in bringing each recruit on his being mustered into the service.
This proposition, although considered favorably by Generals Smith and Magruder, was finally rejected for the reason that Major Hastings, with authority from the War Department, was going out on a similar mission. Since Major Hastings has failed to go out into that country as anticipated, and there seems now to be nothing whatever doing toward asserting our claim to that territory, I would respectfully request that the Secretary of War authorize me in the proper from to proceed to Eagle Pass, in Texas, and take entire charge of the recruiting service for the Confederacy north and west of Eagle Pass, and under general instructions from Judge (now Colonel) Terry, of the C. S. Army, proceed or send suitable officers who I will select, to Sonora and other suitable points in Mexico and into Arizona for the purpose of opening communications with our friends in California and of procuring recruits from those quarters.
To enable me to defray the expenses of bringing recruits from these distant points I would ask that authority be procured for me from the Secretary of the Treasury to export, 1,500 bales of cotton, upon my furnishing security, either personal or money deposit, that I will faithfully apply it to defraying the expenses of recruits across Mexico to the limits of the Confederacy, the Government to reimburse me when-