to Mr. Fish.
Mexico , September 27, 1873. (Received October 20.)
Sir: On the 16th instant the minister of war, General Ignacio Mejia, presented to Congress a voluminous report upon the condition of the Mexican army and upon the military operations during the last four years, accompanied by plans of the principal battles fought during the same period. A copy of this interesting volume will be forwarded to your Department.
General Mejia states the existing regular force of the army to be 22,311 men, the annual appropriation for their maintenance and other expenses of the War Department being $10,252,522, or nearly half the entire appropriations for the present fiscal year. These forces have been punctually paid. The navy at the present time has only a nominal existence, but a sum of $400,000 has been appropriated to the purchase of four armed steamers. During the past four years over 30,000 improved arms have been purchased, including 6,268 Remington rifles, carbines, and pistols, 3,000 Enfield rifles, 1,000 Springfield muskets, 10,858 other rifled muskets, 5,370 Spencer and 1,824 Winchester carbines; with a corresponding amount of improved ammunition, and a considerable quantity of artillery. The military academy at Tacubaya, re-established after the fall of the empire, has been placed upon an efficient footing, more than a hundred recent graduates from it being already in active service.
The report shows the Mexican army to be well organized, supplied with good arms, regularly paid, and well disciplined,
I am, &c.,