Mr. Buck to Mr. Bayard.
Lima, Peru, July 25, 1885. (Received August 15.)
Sir: Since my last the Government has withdrawn its forces to the vicinity of Lima, leaving General Cáceres in the possession of pretty much the whole of Peru outside of the capital and its surroundings, General Cáceres is reported to be at Tarma, regarded as the gateway between Lima and the interior, some 150 miles from here.
On Monday last, upon occasion of the return of the troops from Chilca, a review was held in this city, and President Iglesias, in a long proclamation, [Page 605] which I have not time to have translated, states in substance that he has done all he could to secure peace, and now he proposes to fight it out with Cáceres.
On Tuesday a force, said to consist of about eleven or twelve hundred men, though some accounts make it much less, including the Truxillo battalion, from the President’s own section in the north, and in whose loyalty he seems to place special trust, were sent up the Oroya Railroad to Chosica, some thirty-odd miles from the capital
The situation appears to be a “stand-off” for the present. (General Mas has withdrawn or been withdrawn from command and is quietly in Lima. He is suffering from some malady of long standing, and it is reported will go abroad.)
Cáceres is likely not strong enough to attack Lima, but is able to hold the interior, and for the present, at any rate, the Government is too distrustful of its forces or its power to hazard active campaigning against him. It appears now that Arequipa was never abandoned by the Cácerestas, and when the Government troops reached the place they were repulsed, and upon returning to Mollendo sailed for Callao without much tarrying.
I am informed that double duties are now collected at Mollendo, the Government steamer in front of the place exacting duties before the landing of goods, and a handful of Cácerestas in the town levying duties also.
The prospect for peace seems more remote than when I wrote last, negotiations having been abandoned, and both parties confronting each other, apparently without any prospect of decisive action, if indeed, under the circumstances, any hostile movement could prove decisive.
I have, &c.,