Today in History:

1006 Series I Volume XV- Serial 21 - Baton Rouge-Natchez

Page 1006 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXVII

Fort Brown, March 7, 1863.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge communication of February 26.

The decree prohibiting the export of goods into Texas from Mexico is not enforced on this line.

The question of the deserters from this command into Mexico remains unsettled; but, as expressed in my previous communications, I prefer to bear the injury than disturb the commercial relation snow existing. The idea suggested by me that it might become necessary to take possession of Matamoras was solely in view of the closing of that port to our trade and there being no other mode of obtaining the supplies necessary for the daily support of the troops. The orders herewith inclosed, which were issue by the Mexican authorities, will show that they have entered on the fulfillment of my agreement with them in good faith and with the best desire to quiet hostile movements on this line.

I ask in this connection the approval of the commanding general of the agreement entered into with Governor Lopez, as there are matters embraced therein which might be constructed as interfering with the local authority of the State of Texas. I would also ask that the commanding general will apply to the proper authority at Richmond for the privilege of declaring martial law on the Rio Grande. The execution of the civil law is a nullity, and yet my efforts to place affairs on the basis of responsibility to some authority is liable to be thwarted by the pettifoggers who revel around the police courts. The reasons why martial law should be declared are apparent and need not be repeated. There is nothing of importance occurring here.

With great respect, I remain, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

[Inclosure No. 1.]


Matamoras, February 28, 1863.

Brigadier General H. P. BEE,

Comdg. Western Sub-District of Texas, Fort Brown:

The admission of the separate proposition which you have made me regarding the extradition of those accused of certain crimes is in nowise objectionable to me as long as the principle of reciprocity is observed. The laws of the Republic of Mexico allow the extradition of those who are accused of murder, arson, theft, or embezzlement, robbery, cattle stealing, or stealing of movable good and chattels (petty larceny) of the value of $20 or more, if they take refuge on this frontier after having been evidenced in such manner that, in accordance with the laws of the State i which the fugitive and accused person is encountered, he could be legitimately arrested and tried in case he had committed the crime in that State. Up to this time said laws were suspended on account of the Mexican authorities not having been aware whether the delivery was reciprocal, but from the moment you declare your conformity with the mutual extradition of those accused of any of the crimes before mentioned the laws of the Republic will be carried

Page 1006 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXVII