War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0426 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

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The army must then be considered a humbug. The remaks which I made in other letters relative to the supplies which they obtain here I again repeat. As long as they have plenty of cotton in San Antonio to pay with, and hold open the Chihuahua road, they can get in this State all they want. The government of this State cannot forbid the trade from going on. It is true that such prohibition took place in Nuevo Leon, but beacuse the Mexicans were themselves on the eve of actual starvation all the Mexican Governors have cherished the trade with Texan since the war began, because it has been very profitable. But perhaps there is another way tob reak up that trade, should it begin to increase. I shall be unable to inform you of any furthe trains that should load up for that business, and the day fixed for their departure from this vicinity. Could not a strong force of infantry and cavalry and light artillery make a secret and sudden march to meet them somewhere about Fort Davis and confiscate the whole concern? If such an attack could be made I pledge myself no Mexican will thereafter cross the line with provisions for the enemy. At the present time not rain is fitting out for Texas. Is not that a strong proof that the troops below Fort Davis are very few? I shall take all pains to obtain and send on information, and when expenditures are necessary I shall keep in mind the admonition to be economical. I inclose a letter from Mr. Pentenreider, oam personally acquainted with him and recommend anything from his pen as being worthy of boundless confidence. Also the consul's last letter, which contains no news from Texas. I send you Mexican papers containing full accounts of all that has passed in Puebla. The letter directed to the consul in Monterey will be duly mailed. The Mexican mail ought to be in to-morrow, and I cease writing till it comes.

CHIHUAHUA, May 4, 1863.

I held last night a long conversation with a gentleman of intelligence from Presidio. He says that the friendly Apaches told him that they saw Skillman at the Cibolo Ranch, ten leagues above Presidio; that he had twenty-five men and one wagon. He offered to pay them to accompany him, but they refused. The Indians had not seen any other soldiers. This confirms what I have already written. The genteleman above alluded to has offered to furnish me news from Presidio whenever there is any. He is in excellent position both with indians and Mexicans for getting hold of all that passes on the frontier. I have authorized him tos end me expresses when anything important happens. There is no mail from here to that place, but the expresses, if necessary, will not cost much. General Carleton will please accept my sincere thanks for the interest which he has manifested in my appointment. The mail from Mexico has arrived. No letters from Monterey or Matamoras. The French have not taken Puebla. I send you the publication containing all the news. To oblige the Government I keep the mail until to-morrow. The rainy season commences in Central Mexico in May. If the French don't hurry up that final attack before the rain commences the whole campaign runs a great risk of providing disastrous for them. I shall always follow your orders, and no army can come along that frontier without my being advised and immediately advising you.

Yours, respectfully,


I shall endeavor to open correspondence with Eagle Pass. That point is very important. A great deal of trade with Texas centers in that place.