War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0923 Chapter LX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

with the care and pains to get at the exact facts that I would like. The object, however, is to get this matter before the President and Cabinet in such a manner as to induce them to give the matter that study and attention its importance requires. This done, I shall feel confident that a course will be pursued creditable to the country and people to secure our rights on this continent.




WASHINGTON, June 19, 1865.

His Excellency A. JOHNSON,

President of the United States:

The great interest which I feel in securing an honorable and permanent peace whilst we still have in service a force sufficient to insure it and the danger and disgrace which in my judgment threaten us unless positive and early measures are taken to avert it, induces me to lay my views before You in an official form. In the first place, I regard the act of attempting to establish a monarchical government on this continent in Mexico by foreign bayonets as an act of hostility against the Government of the United States. If allowed to go on until such a government is established, I see nothing before us but a long, expensive, and bloody war, one in which the enemies of this country will be joined by tens of thousands of disciplined soldiers, embittered against their Government by the experience of the last four years. As a justification for open resistance to the establishment of Maximilian's government in Mexico, I would give the following reasons: First, the act of attempting to establish a monarchy on this continent was an act of known hostility to the Government of the United States, was protested against at the time, and would not have been undertaken but for the great war which was raging and which it was supposed by all the great powers of Europe-except, possibly, Russia-would result in the dismemberment of the country and the overthrow of Republican institutions. Second, every act of the empire of Maximilian has been hostile to the Government of the United States. Matamoras and the whole Rio Grande under his control has been an open port to those in rebellion against this Government. It is notorious that every article held by the rebels for export was permitted to cross the Rio Grande and from there go unmolested to all parts of the world. And they in return to receive in pay all articles, arms, munitions of war, &c., they desired. Rebels in arms have been allowed to take refuge on Mexican soil, protected by French bayonets. French soldiers have fired on our men from the south side of the river in aid of the rebellion. Officers acting under the authority of the would-be empire have received arms, munitions, and other public property from the rebels after the same has become the property of the United States.

It is now reported-and I think there is no doubt of the truth of the report-that large organized and armed bodies of rebels have gone to Mexico to join the Imperialists. It is further reported-and too late we will find the report confirmed-that a contract or agreement has been entered into with Doctor Gwin, a traitor to his country, to invite into Mexico armed immigrants for the purpose of wrenching from the rightful Government of that country States never controlled by the Imperialists. It will not do to remain quiet and theorize that by showing a strict neutrality all foreign force will be compelled to leave Mexican soil. Rebel immigrants to Mexico will go with arms in their hands. They will not be a burden upon the States, but, on the contrary, will become