No. 448.

Mr. S. L. Phelps to Mr. Bayard .

No. 251.]

Sir: I have heretofore given you information respecting the revolution derived from Government official reports, and these have proven wholly unreliable, in part because the commanding general of the Government forces practically operates in an enemy’s country, all the people being hostile and disposed to mislead in answer to all inquiries. The general reported himself flanked. The Government armed for defense here and knew not what to expect.

Now it would seem that the forces of the Government and of General Cáceres are near each other; that General Mas finds hordes of Indians and numerous guerrillas about him, and that General Cáceres’s force has so grown in the estimation of the Government that 500 men were hurried by railway up to Chicla, en route to re-enforce General Mas, but it has not passed beyond Chicla.

The situation, then, is very much changed from what was recently believed to be and hoped for at the palace. I am informed that Mr. Tovar, minister of justice, with full powers to treat, is to go at once up to negotiate for peace. The minister is a priest, and another priest in [Page 603] the interior who is a personal friend of both Mas and Cáceres has been making an effort to bring about an understanding and peace. The result has been the departure of the minister.

In the north the montoneros reign supreme, and the expedition sent to Mollendo has not captured Arequipa.

I have,&c.,

S. L. PHELPS.