War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 1253 Chapter LX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

which cannot be blockaded, as Brazos Santiago can supply via Bagdad or Brownsville. My own idea is that if our Government means to take the contract only 6,000 cavalry is required, and a demand for the surrender of Matamoras, which would be given up. This cavalry could be started into the country from Fort Duncan, and the whole of Northern Mexico would rise with it. Paras and all towns could be taken, with their small garrisons. The French cannot concentrate in this part of Mexico against a cavalry force, on account of supplies. The supplies are not abundant in the country, and the lines to the valley of Mexico are difficult and long. The Rio Grande frontier is very bad for infantry operations, on account of the great distances. If Schofield comes he will have to depend mainly upon the native population. I will help with my whole heard, but would advise the main reliance to be but on the Liberals instead of emigrants. All that is required is a good leader. Our soldiers cannot live as the Mexican soldier does, and most of their force is mounted. I am very familiar with that country, and could give Schofield much information about it should it be prudent for him to call to see me. I make the foregoing remarks on emigration in anticipation of the disgust that would naturally seize them on entertations in the way of supplies and general character. I sometimes think there is still an understanding between the rebels of the Southern States and Louis Napoleon. That such understanding did exist before the surrender of Lee there is no doubt. The contest in this country for the last four years was the old contest between absolutism and liberalism, and Louis Napoleon saw it and acted on it, but waited too long. Had he anticipated the rapidity with which the bottom fell out of the rebellion we would have had much work on our hands; therefore let us not imitate his example and wait too long in this Mexican affair lest we make a mistake.

I am, general, yours, respectfully,

P. H. -General, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 23, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded to His Excellency the President for perusal, with the request that this letter be returned when read.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

WASHINGTON, November 6, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

A copy of complaints as to the manner in which neutrality is observed by U. S. forces on the Rio Grande, made by the legation of France, is now before me. * The first complaint is that the "dissenting forces of Cortina are recruiting many colored persons and that this partisan chief passes the Texan frontier whenever he pleases, going to Brownsville, Tex., to get whatever he needs. " On this subject I am not informed. No instructions have been given by me to the commander in Texas which would touch this matter either way. My instructions were to preserve the same neutrality that had been observed toward us

---------------

*See Montholon to Seward, October 19, p. 1241.

---------------