No. 298.
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Bayard.

No. 152.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt or your No. 122, of 11th instant, with inclosures, referring to the attack made by a body of Mexican soldiers upon the detachment of United States troops operating in Mexico against the Chiricahua Indians, and to inclose copy of a note addressed by me to Mr. Mariscal, in obedience to the instruction contained therein.

I am, sir, &c.,

[Page 574]
[Inclosure in No. 152.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. Mariscal.

Sir: Under instruction from my Government, I have the honor to submit to your excellency the following statement of facts: On the 10th ultimo a detachment of troops from the Army of the United States, operating in Mexico against the hostile Chiricahua Indians, under command of Captain Crawford, of the Third Cavalry, after attacking and routing the enemy, who had been found in position about 50 miles to the southwest of Nacori and 1 mile north of the Ara River, or Rio Grande, went into camp. At daylight the next morning they were attacked by a large force of Mexican soldiers from Chihuahua, and although every effort was made by the waving of handkerchiefs and by the calling out in Spanish that the camp was occupied by American troops, a sharp fire was continued tor about fifteen minutes, when Captain Crawford with two or three other officers, fully uniformed, advanced into the open, bearing a flag of truce. They were met by a party of the Mexicans, and in open field and in clear view of both camps a conference was held, in which Captain Crawford announced his nationality, name, and rank, and gave and received assurance that the firing should cease. Despite of this assurance, however, and immediately thereafter, fire was reopened by the Mexicans on Captain Crawford and his little group of officers, which resulted in the death of the former and the wounding of Mr. Horn. By this time the uniformed officers were distinctly visible, it being broad daylight.

Lieutenant Mans, who was left in command of the detachment after the death of Captain Crawford, in making an official report of this unfortunate affair, uses the following strong language:

“There can be no mistake; these men knew they were firing at American soldiers at this time * * * Lieutenant Ship and Mr. Horn were shouting, telling who we were; that all was right. Mr. Horn speaks Spanish very well. * * * I am sure they knew who we were perfectly well at this time. * * * When I turned again I saw the Captain (Crawford) lying on the rocks with a wound in his head and some of his brains upon the rocks. * * * He was said to be waving his handkerchief when shot. * * * The result of this unfortunate affair was a loss to us of Captain Crawford, Third Cavalry, mortally wounded Mr. Horn, chief of scouts, slightly, two Indian scouts slightly, and one seriously.”

From the report of Lieutenant Maus, it would seem that the second volley fired by the Mexicans in broad daylight, after the conference had been held in the open, field, when the nationality and friendly mission of Captain Crawford’s party had been plainly announced, and the white signal of a parley had been displayed, was not simply inexcusable, but was an act of grievous wrong.

I am therefore instructed to ask of your excellency that a searching examination be made into the facts of this deplorable occurrence, with a view to locating the responsibility therefor.

I beg to renew to your excellency the assurance, &c.