It will be necessary eventually, no doubt, to inform Po-li-ni that all horses and mules his people have stolen, if claimed by their lawful owners, will have eto be surrendered. But it will be time enough to insist on that when you come to treat with him. Please write me your views on all these subjects.
I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding District.
HEADQUATERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC.
San Francisco, November 26, 1864.
General PLACIDO VEGA,
Mexican Army, &c., San Francisco, Cal.:
GENERAL: I have to reply as follows as to the official communication dated the 2nd instant, you did me the honor to place in my hands. You inform me that the object of your visit to this place was to buy arms and munitions of war for the Republic of Mexico, and to forward them to that country to be used in the actual war against Maximilian and the French; that on your arrival you sought intervies with Governor Low, the Governor of California, and General Wright, commanding Department of the Pacific, that you placed yourself in communication with the highest Government officials in this city, acquainting them fully with the object of your mission, and that throughout you acted not only with their acquiescence but in conformity to their instructions. You name Mr. T. Brown, then special agent of the Treasury Department, Mr. Edward F. Beale, the then U. S. land surveyor-general, and Mr. Farwell then and still the naval officer of this port, as the officials who acted with you in this affair. You say I must be convinced from your statements that you came here undisguised and openly, believing this to be the country best adapted for the objects you had in view; that it was never thought that any opposition would be offered to your acts, and still less that the military regulations would be violated, &c., that you felt justified in your course of conduct from the fact that the highest officials and authorities of both the State and General Government were aware of all your acts, and that to my strict sense of justice you leave the consideration of your position in seeing yourself hindered in every movement by the officials and authorities of the very Government in which you had blindly confided, since they approved instead of censuring your actions.
Before going furtheer in the statement of your case I feel called upon, in justice to my predecessor as well as myself, to say that the foregoing must, at least, be qualified by the fact that the military department of the United States in this country, which was the branch of service your acts particularly concerned were not informed of your proceedings till called upon by the collector to aid in seizing the arms you had taken out of the port; taken not only without a clearance at the custom-house, but in direct violation, I was informed, of the injunctions of the collector, who had refused to grant a permit for the arms to leave the country. And further, that this refusal of the collector, and the seizure after you had attempted to secretly carry off the arms, were acts done in conformity to the most explicit and peremptory order of His Excellency the President himself (a copy of his order is herewith appended, marked A*). This order was published at its date in the most
*See November 21, 1862, p. 1071.
68 R R-VOL L, PT II