Mr. Romero to Mr. Seward

Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to transmit to you, for the information of the government of the United States, a copy of the “official paper of the constitutional government of the Mexican republic,” vol. ii, No. 3, published in the city of El Paso del Norte, on the 11th of January last, in which the official despatches of General Escobedo, commanding officer of the northern army corps, to the minister of war and marine, of the 14th and 25th of November, 1865, were inserted, communicating what happened during the siege of Matamoras, at the end of October last, and the occupation and abandonment of Monterey by the forces under his command, on the 22d, 23d and 24th of November last.

I also enclose fragments of two letters I have received from reliable persons residing in Tampico and Vera Cruz, dated the 14th and 20th of January last. They both contain important particulars of the state of affairs in Mexico.

I profit by this opportunity to renew to you, Mr. Secretary, the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.

[Page 68]
No. 1.



The paper which I have the honor to send you, relating to the operations that took place during the siege of Matamoras, will inform the citizen President of all that occurred during those days, and therefore, in this communication, I will merely say that I am very well pleased with the excellent behavior of the chiefs, officers, and citizens composing the troops under my command. All of them did their duty, and their sufferings from frequent rains and cold winds in the marshes around Matamoras make them worthy of public esteem, and of the gratitude of the supreme magistrate of the republic.


Citizen Minister OF War of the Mexican republic, (wherever he may be.)

No 2.



After the capture of Catorce, by a part of my forces and the complete rout of the traitor Tinajero and his brigade at Paso de las Cabras, as I have already informed you in official despatches, I determined to collect all the material of war on the frontier to carry on the campaign in that quarter. For that purpose I posted the Vega brigade at Linares and vicinity; the 1st cavalry at Cerralvo and adjoining points; the 2d at Villaldama; the 1st and 2d infantry at Punteagudo and Agua Leguas; and I went in person to the northern towns, to gather the troops that had organized during my expedition into the interior, and to collect artillery and provisions for the main body of the army. On my return, I fixed my headquarters between Matamoras and Monterey, as the principal points held by the enemy, and better to determine upon which of the two I should begin operations.

I invited General Cortina and Colonel Canales to join me with their troops, in the campaign I was preparing. The former offered his services in the cause of national independence, in any part of the republic where they might be needed; the latter promised only to aid me against Matamoras. The last circumstance, and the great importance of the place, induced me to begin operations there; and I accordingly issued orders to concentrate, which was promptly done by the brigades, with the exception of the 1st cavalry of New Leon, which I left to watch Monterey, and that of Colonel Canales, which delayed for some unaccountable reasons.

On the 22d of October, the main body of the northern army, with the exceptions above mentioned, moved in sight of Matamoras, and encamped at the Alvino Pena ranch, only a cannon-shot distance from the place.

October 23, 1865.—A reconnoissance was made around the town, with some unimportant skirmishes. In the afternoon the camp was prepared for moving wherever it should be ordered. Colonel Sostenes Rocha, major general in the regular army, was sent from headquarters, with his aids and an escort, to give notice of the attack on the place. During the night other reconnoissances were made, some trenches were dug, and a few batteries were planted.

October 24.—The first parallel was made at six hundred yards from the town. Esplanades for the batteries were begun, and the troops took position in the following order: The right wing, consisting of 200 men of the San Luis brigade, under General Vega, was stationed at the Quintero house. The left, under General Cortina, his brigade strengthened with a squadron of the Rio Grande, and 100 infantry of the 1st brigade. The centre, under Colonel Naranjo, with his brigade and one of infantry. All this line under command of General Espinosa, quartermaster of the army corps.

Another column, under General Hinojosa, composed of the Coahuila brigade, fifty infantry and fifty cavalry of Tamaulipas volunteers, cut off the road from Bagdad. The reserve, formed of the 2d infantry brigade, and a column of cavalry, with the Supremos Poderes Valle de Mexico, and sharpshooters of the Naranjo brigade, were stationed in order. The artillery, the baggage, the supplies, hospitals, and trains were arranged last.

Orders were given for the attack General Hinojosa and Cortina were to begin the attack with their columns at 3 o’clock in the morning, while the centre was to make a feint in front for diversion.

October 25.—A hard north wind and rain began at 2 a. m. and continued till 5. The columns in position near the enemy’s forts fell back, after the hour for attack had passed, because no signal had been given on account of bad weather. However, they opened fire at [Page 69] half past four, and the columns, on hearing the signal, began the attack with great vigor General Hinojosa took the fort they attacked, and entered the city, going as far as Independence square, driving the enemy before them; but the latter being re-enforced by troops from the other forts, and aided by the steamer La Antonia, shelling us in the rear, drove us back slowly, till we had reached our first position in good order. General Hinojosa and Colonel Adolfo Garza were both wounded.

At this moment the left attacked with the same spirit; General Cortina silenced one fort and captured another; but the enemy’s reserve, now free, hastened to the attack, and drove him back. He retreated in good order to his first position.

Although preparations were made for a simultaneous attack, the rain interrupted it, and the result was partial. Nevertheless, the troops fought bravely, and caused great slaughter in the enemy’s ranks, but the result was not decisive.

The enemy having succeeded in repulsing us, ordered out the cavalry three successive times upon our centre, and was driven back to the centre of the town in great disorder, though continuing to cannonade us with little effect. On the evening of this day the Canales brigade arrived, and was placed in the reserve. The firing between our line and the enemy’s continued the whole day.

A road was made for the artillery up to the intrenchments, the esplanades were completed, and ammunition was got ready. The north wind then brought on an unceasing rain.

October 26.—The rain did not cease, the trenches were completely inundated, and the troops had to bale them out. The plaza continued to cannonade our lines at intervals, and very feebly. Orders were given in the afternoon to open the artillery upon the plaza; the cannonade began at half past five, and stopped at dark. The enemy answered feebly. The north wind calmed, but the rain continued.

October 27.—More rain. A shop is fixed up for mounting artillery. The sharpshooting of the line is brisk, corresponding to that of the enemy. The Garza section comes up with one hundred men, and is stationed on the right wing, at the Quintero house, to relieve General Vega’s two hundred, who go to re-enforce the reserves. The enemy makes a cavalry attack on the centre and left of our line, but is promptly driven back.

October 28.—The enemy makes a sally upon our right with two hundred horse, and a battalion from the fort sustains them, while a brisk cannonade continues, in order to support the attack which has begun. After a short contest they are driven back to the plaza. We did not make use of our reserves. The fire of the riflemen continues.

October 29.—The riflemen continue. The enemy attempts to shut in their position by making trenches from fort to fort, constantly molested by our battery. Our left battery is not disturbed; it begins upon the plaza, cross-firing with the centre battery. Though cannon cartridges are made rapidly they begin to fail. The riflemen continue their firing all day.

October 30.—The centre prepares an advance and flank movement to join the left. Fresh esplanades are formed and new batteries constructed. The rain continues with force.

October 31.—Sallies from the town are driven back. Firing continues. The batteries on both sides are almost silent, ours for want of ammunition. The rain continues unabated.

November 1.—Continued rain. Riflemen keep up slow firing.

November 2.—Bad weather. Continuous fire. A few sallies from the town, without result.

November 3.—Bitter weather. Ammunition very scarce.

November 4.—Good weather. Firing of the riflemen continues.

November 5.—Canales’s brigade is ordered to move towards Bagdad at night to cut off supplies and communications of the enemy. The line is told to save its ammunition as it becomes quite scarce.

November 6.—The flank movement is discontinued and the works finished.

November 7.—The headquarters are moved with the line. The enemy attack our centre at night with infantry, but are driven back in disorder to the town. Orders are issued for the army to fall back one league and a half from town, to a place called La Marcelina. Information is received at headquarters that a steamer is coming up the river with an aid of French marines for the place. Colonel Canales is commanded to stop that boat by an attack from shore. The steamer is attacked the same day, some of its crew are wounded, but it manages to get up the river. Colonel Treviño informs us the French have left Monterey for Saltillo. He is ordered to get nearer to the town, watch the enemy, and see what direction he has taken. Colonel Canales reports that he cannot continue his march to Bagdad on account of the rains that have inundated the whole country. A battery that was ordered arrives.

November 8.—The camp is struck and forces begin to move. The enemy observing it, attack us, but is repulsed. Tents pitched in the Marcelina plain.

November 9.—Encamped in the same place. Abundant rains. The enemy makes a sally; a line of battle is formed to receive him; but not venturing, he returns to the town, after destroying and burning several ranches in the vicinity.

November 10.—In search of dryer ground the camp is moved to the plain of Realito.

November 11 and 12.—Nothing new.

November 13.—News is received confirming the movements of the French at Monterey; part of them remain in Saltillo, and the rest of the column, 800 men, march towards Monclova.

[Page 70]

November 14.—Order is issued for the army to go into quarters, leaving the cavalry to watch the enemy. I go to Monterey to direct the operations in the attack on that place. I take the Naranjo brigade with me. I will give you due notice of my march to Monterey; and now conclude by calling the attention of the supreme magistrate of the republic to the preceding report. It shows that the extreme weather our soldiers had to suffer in their peculiar situation, and the want of ammunition, incidents over which we have no control, prevented our gallant soldiers from taking Matamoras. If its garrison had accepted the many challenges we offered them, and had come out into the open plain to give us battle, the result would have been very different.

No. 3.


Department of State, Office of War and Marine–Section first.

The citizen President has been pleased to see the report of operations against Matamoras in your note of the 14th of November, which I am now answering. The valor and determination of the troops that fought under your orders; their sufferings from bad weather and want of provisions; the good conduct of the chiefs and officers in the various fights that took place at that time, and your own prudence, have deserved the President’s esteem, and have proved, although the final design was not accomplished, that they are worthy of the cause they defend, and that the country can trust to their valor for safety and final triumph. I communicate this to you, by order of the President, for your satisfaction, and the gratification of all those who fought under you at the siege of Matamoras.


General Mariano Escobedo, Chief of the Army Corps of the North, (wherever he may be.)

No. 4.



On the 22d instant I set out from Cadereita Jimenez with a part of the corps of the army of the north, composed of the first and second New Leon brigades and two squadrons of Coahuila rifles, passing the night at Gaudalupe, one league from the town of Monterey. At daybreak a traitor force garrisoning the place opened fire on my advance guard, and, as was anticipated, attacked my camp, for they knew Colonel Ruperto Martinez with three hundred men had not yet joined me; and I gave orders for defence. After cannonading our advance, the enemy detached three strong columns, protected by sharpshooters, and attacked our troops with the greatest determination. The fight soon became general. The enemy, vexed by our tenacious resistance, hesitated a moment, when a charge of cavalry under Colonel Treviño on their flank and rear, and the ardor of our men in front, disconcerted him, and caused a complete rout, and he sought safety by a retreat to the town. In this first action the enemy left his dead and wounded in our hands, with many prisoners and a quantity of side-arms and guns.

Martinez’s force having joined me the next day, I decided to attack the town, and gave orders to that effect. Three columns for attack were arranged: the two first of infantry, under Colonel Francisco Naranjo and Commander Ruperto Martinez, and the cavalry under the gallant Colonel Sostenes Rocha, the whole commanded by the brave Colonel Geronimo Trevino. They were to attack the small forts of Muralla and Carlota, and having carried them, to assault the northern part of the town. Another line of three columns—one under Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Garcia, and the other under Commander Joaquin Garza Leal, and commanded personally by me—was to divert the enemy by attacking the forts of Cuesta and Pueblo. With these orders, the attack began. All our troops displayed such energy that the forts were soon taken, with many prisoners, some escaping to the citadel and others to Fort Obispo, giving up the plaza with slight resistance. The enemy lost many dead and wounded, and we took more than two hundred prisoners, the most of them armed.

On our side, we only lost six officers and seven men among the dead and wounded. In this stage of affairs, when my tired soldiers were preparing for repose, I was informed that a French column from Saltillo was advancing to help the traitors. In fact, soon after this information, [Page 71] the French, under the darkness of the night, and guided by a column of traitors, stealthily entered the town, advanced to the centre, and began a general attack upon our troops. I resisted them with a small company of infantry till my troops could form. This was soon accomplished. Commander Isidro Trevino, with the Rio Grande squadron on the flank, and my infantry in front, drove them back, and Colonel Rocha, profiting by the event, charged with his column, and we succeeded completely in driving the French and traitors before us till they were out of the town. They left 27 dead, carrying off many wounded. We took a few traitor prisoners, many lances and guns, and several horses.

I could recommend many chiefs, officers, and even soldiers, to your notice for their heroic deeds, but I will only say that all did their duty; and with men of that kind, we will soon see the independence and liberty of our dear country redeemed.

I have sent out scouts towards Saltillo and Marin to watch the French in that direction. I hear that Jeanningros himself is in command of them, I will act as circumstances require.

Have the kindness, Mr. Minister, to congratulate the President upon these victories of our forces, gained on the 23d, 24th, and 25th instant, against the enemies of a republic of which you are the worthy representative.


The Minister of War and Marine of the Mexican Republic, Chihuahua.

No. 5.



In your communication of the 25th of November last, from Monterey, you inform the President of the republic of the feats of arms at the capture of that place on the 23d and 24th of the same month, and of driving back a French force that tried to recover it on the 25th. The President appreciates, in all its merit, this courageous undertaking, and is pleased with the courage displayed by the chiefs, officers, and men who gained this national triumph. He therefore commands me to congratulate you and your brave men, in the country’s name, and thank them for their good services.


General Mariano Escobedo, Chief of the Army Corps of the North, (wherever he may be.)

No. 6.



As the reports were many and frequent, not only from my scouts, but from individuals, that the French were coming in force to aid those who had taken refuge in the Obispado and Ciudadela, and knowing that a large force of French had already reached San Francisco, only one league and a half from the town, I prepared to evacuate it. Orders were given to move at half past two in the afternoon. These were obeyed with promptness and order, in sight of the forts Obispo and Cuidadela, and their garrisons did not venture to interrupt us. I divided my force into two columns: the first and best went in the direction of Cadereita, nearest the enemy; the other, composed of fresh recruits, took the right, on the slopes of Saddle hill, and joined the first at Cadereita.

When we had gone about four leagues, the French cavalry, aided by some infantry, attacked our rear guard; but after a small skirmish, they were driven off, leaving one dead and carrying off several wounded. We had three wounded and eight missing.

The rear guards of both columns only participated in these encounters, and afterwards rejoined their columns. The enemy entered Monterey that night; my troops rested for the night in the vicinity of Cadereita.

To-morrow I will continue my march to China, to be nearer the troops I left in front of Matamoras and those I sent to Camargo, for that place Has also been re-enforced by foreign troops.

Please assure the President of the republic that the troops of this army corps will fight without rest for the cause of a national independence till it is attained in this quarter, and will then follow the enemy to any part of the territory they may occupy.


The Secretary of State and War Office, (wherever it may be.)

[Page 72]
No. 7.



I have informed the President of the republic of your communication of the 25th of November last, dated in Cadereita Jimenez, after your evacuation of Monterey.

The reasons you give for that act, and your subsequent action in regard to the enemy, are approved by the President, who trusts to your prudence to increase and preserve the forces under your command.


General Mariano Escobedo, Chief of the Northern Army Corps, (wherever he may be.)

No. 8.


In the New Era of the 30th December last, No. 2, a paper published by the enemy in Chihuahua, we find the following report, taken from a San Luis paper. We insert it to show that even the enemy confesses the facts about Monterey; but he adds that General Escobedo was subsequently routed, which is entirely false, as his communications show:


San Luis Potosi, November 29, 1860.

Mr. Prefect: I have just received from Monterey the notice that the dissidents attacked that city on the 22d instant, with a force of one thousand men. On the 24th they got possession of the greater part of the city, while the imperial troops remained in the citadel. Aid having arrived from Saltillo on the morning of the 25th, and General Jeanningros having returned hastily from Monclova, the enemy retreated precipitately, but was overtaken at Lerna river and completely routed, with great loss. We had but one man killed and ten wounded on our side, two of which are officers.

Receive, Mr. Prefect, the assurances of my distinguished consideration. General commanding the northeast,

No. 9.


Protest of the merchants and residents of the city of Matamoras against the acts of the government of the United States and its representatives.

We, the undersigned, merchants and residents of Matarnoras, Mexico, having been for over eight months the patient neutral spectators of many disgraceful occurrences on this frontier, and having suffered with resignation all the hardships and losses thereby produced, and finding our guarantees violated, and most vital interests every day more endangered by the most serious and arbitrary outside influence beyond the hope of amelioration, consider it our duty, as the representatives of large commercial interests, and as friends and supporters of order, law, and justice, publicly to denounce the acts of certain United States officials on this frontier, and to protest solemnly against the United States government and its officers, by adopting and publishing the following resolutions, viz:

First. That we have frequently read with disgust in certain American newspapers the grossest misrepresentations of the political state of affairs on this frontier, obviously made with the evil intent to mislead the sound judgment of the American people, and to prejudice them against the present de facto government of Mexico, in favor of a Juarez party, which at present has no more foothold or basis of operation on this frontier than that afforded by the United States military and civil authorities on the Texas side of the Bio Grande.

Second. That it is against the morality and dignity of the people and government of the United States that in Brownsville and along the frontier almost daily offences against the professed neutrality of the United States are committed and suffered under the eyes of the United States authorities; and that their repeated assurances in regard to their neutrality in Mexican affairs are plainly contradicted by the encouragement and aid they more or less openly and covertly lend to the Mexican partisans, whose headquarters are in Brownsville, in their armed invasions and raids from the territory of the United States in Mexico.

[Page 73]

Third That the continuance of the armed opposition to the imperial government of Mexico on this northern frontier; the insecurity of the roads leading to the interior; the interruption of all trade; the depreciation and destruction of all kind of merchandise, values and property; the perpetration of every species of crime; the devastation and pillage of all the smaller towns, villages and farms in the valley of the Rio Grande and consequent ruin of innumerable people—that all these calamities are the lamentable results of that under hand and immoral policy enacted by some representatives of the United States government on this frontier.

Fourth. That the latest offence against the peace and the happiness of the people of Mexico, the surprise and pillage of the town of Bagdad by United States negro troops, under the command of their regular officers, during the night of the 4th to the 5th of January; the carrying off of the plunder publicly to the Texas side of the river, and the delivery of that important town to the so-called liberals, who came from the neutral soil of the United States in the track of the United States invading forces, we can only designate as an additional proof of the criminal neglect of the United States authorities on this frontier, if not of their connivance in an act of vandalism without parallel in modern history, which, as a shameful disregard of international law and obligation, will remain a disgrace to the national and military honor of the United States, and a stain of infamy to those of their officers implicated in this filibustering enterprise, which is not even mitigated by due investigation and the condign punishment of the criminals.

Fifth. That we apprehend that unless the government of the United States will take immediate and efficient steps to check the arbitrary interference of its officers in Mexican affairs, and prevent these offences against neutrality, as before mentioned, as well as the armed invasion of filibustering bands from United States territory into Mexico, entire ruin and destruction will be brought upon the whole population of this frontier, and upon the commercial community of Matamoras in particular; and we therefore protest solemnly and loudly before the whole world, and in the name of civilization and public morality, against the United States of America for the faithlessness of their officers and authorities, in harboring, aiding, and abetting organized bands of filibusters in their armed invasion into Mexico for the destruction of public peace, order, and security in this country, and for all the losses and injuries thereby done and caused, and yet to be caused, to the people of this frontier in general, and to us merchants and residents in particular, in our properties and bodies, we charge the government of the United States as directly responsible.

Sixth. That whilst we acknowledge with admiration and gratitude the indefatigable zeal of his excellency General Mejia, under the most critical circumstances and notwithstanding many provocations in maintaining peace and harmony in the daily intercourse of the people of both nations on this frontier, and order and security in this department under his immediate command and protection, we consider the personal and commercial interest at stake in Matamoras still sufficiently large to merit the serious consideration and prompt action of the imperial government for more ample protection and relief, as a continuance of the present deplorable state of affairs cannot fail to bring upon us complete ruin, as well as blame and responsibility on the government.

Seventh. That these resolutions be printed and submitted, through our consuls and legations, to our respective governments, and communicated to his excellency General Mejia, to General Weitzel, commanding United States forces at Brownsville, and published in the principal newspapers in the United States, Mexico, and Europe.

So resolved and subscribed at Matamoras, Mexico, on the 16th day of January, 1866. Santiago Iturria, José San Roman, Paul Zurn, Simon Celaya, Drœge Oetling & Co., Frco. Iturria, P. J. Garcia y Ho., Charles Culmell, I. Solis, Miguel J. Quin, Vtr. Pretat & Co., Hale & Co., O. Talamon, Dessommes & Co., Henry Graham, and 120 other names.


We, the undersigned, vice-consuls of Spain, Prussia, France, and England, hereby certify that we have compared the preceding document with the original, and find it to be a true and correct copy of the same. We further certify that, from the best information we have been able to obtain, and from the solemn protests and declarations made before us by several of our countrymen, sufferers by the outrages at Bagdad, it is our belief that the contents of the foregoing resolutions are in every respect just and true.

El Vice-consul de España, DIMAS DE TORRES VELASQUEZ.

Le Vice-consul de France, C. U. FROSSARD.

For Vice-consul of Prussia, LUIS SCHUHMACHER.

CHAS. BAGNALL, Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul.
[Page 74]
No. 10.


Sir: I forward to you, indorsed, one of the most remarkable documents that I have ever seen. I would have returned it at once had I not perceived that its effect is clearly to produce a false impression in foreign countries, and because it is signed by names that have always been considered here eminently respectable. It is only a few days since that I sent to General Sheridan, upon his order, a history of violations of neutrality that were committed on the other side of the river during our recent war. I sent sufficient proof to convince any one, and I can bring an enormous quantity more if required, that nearly all of the firms, if not all of them, whose names are affixed to the enclosed document, supplied the rebels with arms, ammunition and clothing, and everything else that was contraband and not contraband of war. I sent proof that the American steamer Ike Davis was captured by a band organized in Bagdad and run into Indianola and there sold. That one of the parties who committed this outrage openly boasted of it in the streets of Matamoras.

I sent proof that the American schooner Florence Bearce was burnt by parties that left Bagdad, although at the time she was reported to be lying in Mexican waters.

I sent proof that upon the receipt of the news of the death of our lamented President mock graves were dug and mock funerals held in the streets of Matamoras and Bagdad.

I sent other proof showing that some particular firms, whose names are attached to the enclosed document, committed particular violations of neutrality. I would have sent much more. I hear more every day, and by a capture only yesterday of rebel records I can increase this proof to an enormous extent. But I sent only as much as I did because I became disgusted with the duplicity, deceitfulness, and rascality which the investigations develop. I have seen with my own eyes storehouses that were nearly filled with shoes and blankets intended for the rebels, and owned by some of the signers of this wonderful document. It is notorious that some of the vice-consuls, if not all of them, whose seal is attached to the enclosed paper were engaged in contraband trade with the rebels Yet, notwithstanding all these things were transpiring, did ever any of these gentlemen sign a protest against these outrages? There is no record of any. Having suffered severe losses by the sudden collapse of the rebellion, and through their confidence in the success of the rebel cause, and knowing that the officers and soldiers here were a part of the army that produced that collapse, they turn upon us now with bitter invective, and vent their spleen because, forsooth, we will not permit ourselves to be used by them as police officers, or detectives, to Emperor Louis Napoleon, or Maximilian either. I do not understand this to be the object for which I or my comrades are placed here, and therefore do not, nor permit my command to act as such. The sixth resolution presented by these mercants explains the secret of the troubles they complain of. They have not sufficient troops to preserve the communications for trade, or even to guard the smaller towns, and instead of distinctly laying the blame at the feet of the power which they profess so much to admire, they turn upon us.

Their first resolution merits my remarks only so far as it implies that all the power which the liberal forces on the frontier have springs directly from us. For months before we came here their trade communications were insecure. All over Mexico to-day, I am told, all the communications are either cut off or are hazardous, and by forces acting under President Juarez, whose power these gentlemen pretend so much to despise. I know that our arrival and presence here have given the liberals much moral support, and some of my officers or men may have, unknown to me, given material aid. But for these things I cannot be held responsible. I cannot control the private feelings of my officers and men; neither can my government be held responsible for this. But, did not the advent of the French and Austrians give the rebels equally as much moral support? I have already forwarded enough evidence to show these same merchants gave them as much material support as the rebel cotton would buy. The second resolution is an untruth from beginning to end, excepting so much as says that I have given, in the name of my government, repeated assurances that I desired to observe strict neutrality, and had so ordered my command to do. The third resolution is answered in my reply to the second. The fourth resolution is untrue in many respects. I have arrested all of those that were engaged in the pillage and capture of Bagdad, who have thus far been identified. I have a commission now in session to investigate the whole affair, and have, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and in accordance with law, taken every step that I could to remedy every evil complained of in this resolution, as my official records show. No one deplores this outrage more than I do. No one condemns it more than I do, and my action has been accordingly. But should not an equal amount of blame of this outrage be thrown upon that power which guards so important a point as Bagdad with so insignificant a force, that a small band of filibusters can capture and pillage it? Or do these gentlemen think it my duty to guard their towns and goods? I have disavowed the capture and pillage of Bagdad. It was not known to me until 12 o’clock on Friday, the 5th instant. I know that my government will disavow it. I placed the town in the hands of no one. I found it on Sunday, the 7th instant, in possession of a part of the same garrison [Page 75] which held it the Sunday previous. They were all newly-converted “liberals,” under well-known liberal commanders. If this garrison had not proved false to its colors, I would have found it in imperial possession. Am I responsible because the garrison deserted and proved false? Why, no longer ago than yesterday the garrison consisted entirely of newly-converted liberals. All the measures in the fifth resolution that are by these merchants considered necessary to be taken by us have been taken. The sixth resolution tells the whole story. They admit there that the imperialists have not given them sufficient protection; yet they blame us for the evils resulting therefrom. The seventh resolution shows that the insertion of this whole document is to create an erroneous impression abroad. The whole document seems to me to be the fabrication of some blatant stay-at-home ex-rebel or disappointed cotton speculator. I believe that many of the gentlemen who signed it did not read it, as I can scarcely believe that some whose names are affixed would sign such a document. As it is to be so widely distributed, I have given every facility to have this published.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. WEITZEL, Major General Commanding.

Brevet Colonel C. H. Whittlesey, Assistant Adjutant General, Department of Texas.

No. 11.


Since my last, the city of Victoria, the capital of this State, has been reoccupied by the liberal forces under General Mendez, who, as we are told by the French, has augmented his force with two or three hundred negroes from Texas, which is, however, quite doubtful.

Stirring events are now of frequent occurrence in this State, and the liberals are moving with much energy. The forces under Mendez have recently captured two hundred and fifty freight mules near Tancasnequi, with a large quantity of merchandise. This is another severe check upon the commerce between this port and San Luis Potosi, and fully exposes the impotency of the so-called imperial power to control this country or to secure any real or stable hold upon it. But the end of this imperial farce is fast approaching, and little Maximilian will return to his great and good friend with his brutal decree of the 3d of October last as a testimonial of his disgrace, and to follow him with the memory of the assassinations that have taken place under it of thousands of defenceless Mexicans, whose only crime was that they loved their native land.

Dupin has returned to Vera Cruz, with the brevet of brigadier general, and has taken command of the contra-guerillas in that State. It is impossible to know what will be the result of his operations; but if the liberals are now as determined near Vera Cruz and Tabasco as they have been elsewhere, he may, from their numbers, meet with that retributive justice at their hands which his infamous crimes and assassinations, and the ravages he has committed in this State, demand. Yesterday one hundred and fifty French troops arrived here from Vera Cruz. They are to be sent to Tancasnequi. The attempt to open communication with security to the interior is, however, a failure.

Mr. M. Romero, Washington.

No. 12.


Among the merchants of this place, as elsewhere, there are persons of different political opinions; but, with the exception of the French houses, all are open in their expressions against Maximilian and his miserably managed government. The multitude of vessels-of-war and commerce which enter and arrive at this port, and the cars which pass through the city, and which are constantly arriving and departing, make so much stir that you might think Vera Cruz a place of real commercial importance. But all this is delusive. Nearly all the effects that arrive are for the French army, and are a drain upon the country instead of yielding it benefit. These effects pay no duty, and the French merchants connected with the army, under the guise of this privilege, are doing the most scandalous contraband trade that has ever been seen in this or any other country. For the discharge of vessels that do not carry the French flag there are a thousand difficulties placed in the way. The wharf is very limited in its capacity, and is not over three hundred feet in length by thirty in width. Of this nearly all is monopolized by the French for the discharge of their effects. The ordinary commerce has scarcely any space at all.

When there are many vessels discharging, this ridiculous mole or wharf is quite insufficient for ordinary purposes; so you can imagine what are the inconveniences to the regular trade [Page 76] at the present time. The same can be said with regard to the transportation hence to the interior. Everything is monopolized by the military and the French, and the charge by the railroad for the twenty leagues hence to Paso del Macho is so great that the merchants have petitioned for the wagons to be allowed to come down to Vera Cruz, as formerly; but this has been peremptorily refused by the military authorities.

With regard to Maximilian and his court, we have constantly the most ridiculous accounts. All seems the veriest farce. Carlotta asked of General Bazaine the little sum of $500,000 for her journey to Yucatan, which she procured; but the modest request of Maximilian for a single million of dollars to expend on the repairs of some castle he has recently purchased in Europe was refused. How thin the veil that covers all these proceedings. Do they think the people do not know where the money comes from that is distributed with so lavish a hand on these journeys, all under the guise of the personal charity of these Austrians, who are fattening on the toil and blood of poor Mexico? In the palace at the city of Mexico there are now no longer any public offices. You know the immense size of that edifice, yet all is wanted for the court and its hangers-on. Consequently the various ministries, with their subordinate offices, have all had to be removed to other buildings, which have been purchased or hired for that purpose, many of them at scandalous rates, of French subjects, who purchased them at the sale of the church property. Such is the economy of this “highly civilized” government that was to do so much for “barbarous” Mexico. The annual estimate of expenditures passed by the last congress, in 1862 or 1863, was, for the entire expense of the national government, a little over eight million dollars. The expenses of this Austrian-French government are over fifty million dollars per annum. The salary of Maximilian is one million dollars; that of Benito Juarez thirty thousand dollars. And yet it is urged that Mexico is to be benefited by all this. Is there more security now than before? Is there more legitimate commerce, more prosperity, more tranquillity, after this four years of war and bloodshed?

I have been reliably informed that latterly more than eight thousand packages of ordnance stores have been transported from this place to the city of Mexico. The French have worked at this with such activity that there are now six great depots of such supplies in the city of Mexico, without counting those at Puebla and the immense supplies of such material which already existed at Mexico and in the interior. For what are these preparations? The United States government should be well informed of all that goes on here, and there cannot be too close a watch kept upon all preparations of this nature.

The guerillas are again upon the railroad, and yesterday the train coming in from Paso del Mancho was attacked by them with loss of several lives. The road is principally guarded by the Egyptian negroes. Among so many classes of foreign soldiers as are here great confusion and clashing exist. The Austrians and the Belgians may be said to amount to nothing; the only force that is at all to be dreaded is the French; their troops are always kept well in hand and are efficient.

Mr. M. Romero Washington.