Mr. S. L. Phelps to Mr. Bayard .
Lima, Peru , May 21, 1885. (Received June 16.)
Sir: I have this day telegraphed you to the effect that Truxillo having been captured by the revolutionists, and the railroad operated by Americans having been seized by them, this Government has already closed several ports, and will probably also close Salaverry. The presence of a war vessel on the coast is rendered necessary by reason of the revolutionary movements, and that the Shenandoah should be ordered to proceed to Salaverry.
Salaverry is the port of Truxillo, which is the most important town in the north of Peru. A railroad runs thence by way of Truxillo towards the interior, and is leased to an American citizen. The band after capturing the city seized the road and put persons in charge to take the money received from the traffic, leaving the trains to be managed by the road people.
The Government has closed Mollendo, Islay, Lomes, Chala, and Quilla, those ports being in possession of the followers of Cáceres. The ports in the department of Libertad are likely to be closed, as the Government apparently is unwilling or unable to send forces to maintain its authority in places distant from Lima.
Something over 3,000 of the Government troops are now in occupation of Huancayo, while Cáceres has a still larger force in Huancavelica, some thirty leagues from Huancayo. A battle, it is expected, will be fought either upon that line of approach or upon the coast, as Cáceres may elect to take the route via lea. The battle, wherever fought, it is likely will decide the fate of this Government.
Meanwhile the lives and interests of foreigners are in peril wherever operations are being conducted, and at those ports falling into the hands of roving bands acting in the name of Cáceres. A ship on the coast can do much by proceeding to such points. Salaverey is now the place where one is needed, as the band in possession has committed excesses already, and may at any time imprison the railway people or destroy the property, and there is no consular officer there or at Truxillo.
Very respectfully, &c.,