Mr. Seward to Señor Romero.

Sir: In reply to your communication of the 27th ultimo, in reference to a supposed to be intended infraction of the neutrality laws of the United States by parties in the vicinity of New Orleans, I have the honor to inclose to you copies of the correspondence which has taken place between this department, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of War.

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assurance of my high consideration.


Señor Don Matias Romero, &c., &c., &c.

[Page 637]

General Schofield to Mr. Seward.

Sir: I have the honor to send herewith a copy of a telegram of June 29, received yesterday from General Buchanan, commanding the 5th military district, relative to the arrest of certain suspicious characters who were on the reservation at Fort Livingston, Louisiana.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Secretary of War.

Hon. Secretary of State.

General Buchanan to General Schofield.

[By telegraph from New Orleans, June 29, 1868.]

I sent a company to Fort Livingston on Thursday, 25th, to arrest a number of men reported by the ordnance sergeant at that post as being on the reservation under suspicious circumstances, and who refused to leave when ordered by him. The company returned this morning bringing seventy-four prisoners, and a sloop with ten days’ rations on board. The party, with the exception of two who appear to be the leaders, are all foreigners. The principal man is Hilliary Ceuds, an ex-confederate, and formerly of our navy. I have sent all hands to the military prison, and have the sloop astern of our quartermaster’s steamer. The civil authorities of the United States would not commit the parties until they could get further instructions. Have you any instructions for me? I answered your communication by mail on Saturday.

R. C. BUCHANAN, Brevet Major General, Commanding.

General J. M. Schofield, Secretary of War.

General Schofield to Mr. Seward.

Sir. In connection with my letter of yesterday’s date, inclosing copy of a telegram received from Brevet Major General Buchanan, commanding the 5th military district, reporting the arrest of a party of suspicious persons at Fort Livingston, I have the honor to send herewith a copy of a communication received from the same officer, marked “confidential,” and dated June 27, 1868, relative to an alleged Mexican expedition.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Secretary of War.

Hon. Secretary of State.


General Buchanan to General Schofield.

General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 22d instant, marked “confidential,” relating to Mexican expedition.

In reply I beg leave to state, that the matter referred to had already been brought to my notice in a communication dated June 15, 1868, received from the Mexican consul, Señor Ramon S. Diaz, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, marked A. Immediately upon the receipt of this communication I dispatched a staff officer to [Page 638] Ship Island to communicate on the subject with the commanding officer of that post, Brevet Major General Mower, and to give him instructions to prevent the departure of any illegal expedition from that point. No information could be obtained of the intention of any such expedition to start from Ship Island,

From the information received, I am satisfied that Cat Island, not Ship Island, was the intended point of departure, as two suspicious looking schooners were lying abreast of it. It was suspected that they were intended fox transportation.

On his return my staff officer reported to me that the revenue cutter Wilderness was cruising off Cat Island, and that he had an interview with the officer commanding that vessel, who promised to do all he could to prevent any expedition from starting, and would cruise there for a week.

A copy of the communication from the Mexican consul was sent to the senior naval officer at this station, upon the day of its receipt, with the request that he would cooperate to the extent of his power in the prevention of the expedition, to which he replied that “there was no available force at his command capable of giving assistance in the suppression of this expedition.”

Two days after this the Mexican consul again reported to me that another expedition was about leaving from the city of New Orleans. I then suggested to him the propriety of laying the whole matter before the United States district attorney, Mr. Tor-rey, which he did. The result of this was the arrest of some forty or fifty men by the civil authorities, who were discharged next morning for want of evidence to justify their detention.

On the 24th instant, I received a letter from the ordnance sergeant at Fort Livingston, informing me that there were some sixty or seventy persons there whom he had ordered to leave, but who entirely disregarded his orders, and refused to obey them.

I immediately dispatched a company of the first infantry on a steamer to that point, with orders to arrest the whole party and bring them to this city, at the same time informing the United States district attorney of my action, and requesting him to send a civil officer with the expedition, which he did.

The party has not yet returned, but as soon as it comes a report of the expedition will be transmitted.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT C. BUCHANAN, Brevet Major General, United States Army, Commanding.

Major General John M. Schofield, Secretary of War, Washington City, D. C.

Señor Diaz to General Buchanan.

General: I have this morning learned that a military expedition is being fitted out in this city for the purpose of invading the republic of Mexico. The landing is to be made at Matamoras.

According to my information the men composing said expedition are to embark at the island Navio, near Lake Pontchartrain, where there are already about three hundred men and two schooners. The expedition is to be composed of twelve hundred men.

I hope, general, that you will be pleased to adopt the proper measures in order that the neutrality laws may not be violated.

Your obedient servant,

RAMON S. DIAZ, Mexican Consul.

General Buchanan, Commanding Fifth Military District.