But, sir, they were both Mexicans. The principal portion of the guard were also Mexicans, necessarily so, and I entertain in my own mind no shadow of doubt of their having walked out of the front door through the connivance and with the consent of the guard. Charges will be preferred and forwarded against the sergeant and corporal of the guard and the three sentinels posted in the vicinity of the guard house, but that more can be proven than that they escaped while these men were on duty I very seriously doubt.
I have repeatedly called attention to the wholly unreliable character of the Mexicans enlisted on this frontier, so far as our cause is concerned. Company C (Captain Parker's), of this regiment is composed entirely of Mexicans. Scarcely a night passes that one or more of them do not desert. This will continue to be the case so long as the civil war continues in Mexico. The company has already been reduced nearly one-half, and in a short time scarcely a corporal's guard will remain. That it will be refilled so soon as the troubles in Tamaulipas are ended I entertain no doubt, but it will only be until other difficulties break out (and they are constantly recurring) when we will have a repetition of the same reduction from desertions. I am thoroughly satisifed that they would desert in a body and cross the river should the enemy attack this post, even if they did not worse. They have no sympathy in our cause, do not understand it, and enlist simply for the subsistence, pay and clothing. They change their allegiance with the utmost facility to whichever party offers the largest inducements.
I believe they might be made good soldiers if removed from this frontier and stationed where there are not so many temptations and inducements to desert, and where the facilities for doing so are not so great. Here they are decidedly detrimental to the service and of no manner of advantage. I should much prefer to be without them though much in need of more troops. Under these circumstances I would respectfully suggest if I may be permitted to do so that if transferred to some regiment in the interior and another company sent here in their place the interests of the service would be very greatly promoted.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Savannah, Ga., December 19, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
SIR: A man calling himself Mr. Alvin Lloyd was arrested and brought to this post some days since as a spy. There is abundant evidence here to show that he has told several contradictory stories about his antecedents and I am satisifed that he is an imposter. He had in his possession two passes from the War Department, one I think to visit Norfolk, and he acknowledged to me that he had been to Craney Island. From his conversation I incline to the opinion that he may be connected in some way with the information said to be published in the New York papers in relation to the strength and stations of the Confederate troops. I am unwilling to trust this matter to the telegraph, and General Lawton as well as his assistant adjutant-general being temporarily absent, I venture to ask unofficially if anything is