of our national affairs I deem it highly important, in a military point of view at least, to place myself in communication with the Government of Mexico. While, therefore, You will expressly disclaim any authority from the Confederate Government to act in a diplomatic capacity, You may give assurance that there is every probability that our Government will be willing to enter into a liberal agreement with the authorities of the Mexican Empire, based upon the principle of mutual protection from their common enemy. It cannot be disguised that recent reverses of the most serious character have befallen the Confederate arms. Nor can it be denied that there is a probability of still further losses to us. It may even be that it is the inscrutable design of Him who rules the destinies of nations that the day of our ultimate redemption should be postponed. If then, final catastrophe should overwhelm our just cause, the contiguity of Mexico to us and the future designs of the United States must naturally be a subject of the deepest solicitude to His Imperial Majesty. From the solemn action of their Houses of Congress, from the public expression by eminent persons standing high in the confidence of both the civil and military authorities of the United States, from the tone of their public journals, which have heretofore rarely failed to foreshadow the policy of that Government, it is plain that further schemes of ambition and of territorial aggrandizement are being nursed and matured by the United States. It is equally clear, judging by the signs of the times, they look with jealous eyes upon the neighboring Empire of Mexico, and that they meditate a blow aimed for its destruction. Your own information on these points will enable You to expose most fully the ambitious designs of our enemy in that quarter. If such be the ultimate purpose of the Federal Government, it cannot fail to strike his Imperial Highness that in the Confederate States, and more especially in the department adjions, and over which I have the honor to preside as military chief, that there are many trained soldiers inured to the hardships of the field, and inspired with a bitter hatred of the Federals, whose services might be tendered to him against the North. There is under my command an army of 60,000 men; of these there are 9,000 Missourians, good soldiers, who have been driven from their homes, and would no doubt, upon favorable inducements as to immigration and protection being held out to them, take service with the power so favoring them. There are besides not less than 10,000 men, daring and gallant spirits from other States in this department, to whom a state of vassalage to the Federal Government would be intolerable, and who would gladly rally around any flag that promises to lead them to battle against their former for. These men are commanded by veteran officers who have repeatedly led them in action and who thoroughly understand their character, and could control them without difficulty. If I am not mistaken in my conclusions as to the future policy of the United States, the propriety of an understanding between the Emperor and the Confederate States Government for their mutual defense will be apparent to His Majesty. The services of our troops would be of inestimable value to him. You will ascertain, if possible, the views of the Emperor on these subjects, and should the occasion seem favorable, inform yourself fully as to the probable terms and conditions upon which an agreement for mutual protection could be determined upon.
I am, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,