No. 301.
Mr. Phelps to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 145.]

Sir: The political situation has not changed materially since the 24th ultimo.

The Government forces in the north, it is reported, have suffered reverses at Pocasmayo, and Dr. Puga is out with a proclamation setting forth his purpose to defend Trujillo and maintain the Caceres standard in the north.

From trustworthy sources it is learned that Puga has cast field guns from church bells, and otherwise prepared for the attack upon Trujillo, and that he has from 1,200 to 1,500 armed men. There are reports of the defeat of a second force of Government troops sent to Pacasmayo. At the same time it is announced that the troops will march against Puga at once.

Much for the future of the Iglesias Government will depend upon the issue of the fight.

At Puno the commander of the Government forces, in emulation of like doings at lea and other places occupied, has levied military fines upon all persons sympathizing, or supposed to sympathize, with Caceres, and who have property, the fines being in varied amounts per individual, up to 20,000 silver soles.

Mr. Clark, consular agent at Puno, has been fearful of an assessment upon him. The people of Trujillo are reported to have been firmly [Page 432] united for the defense of their city under Puga in consequence of these military persecutions by Government troops at other places and the fear of heavy exactions upon them should the Government obtain possession.

It is also said that Caceres has been enthusiastically received at Arequipa, and that 1,800 armed men awaited his arrival.

Wherever the Government troops are in well-established possession there order exists, although coupled with something like terrorism.

I have, &c.,