« ZurückWeiter »
department. You need not, therefore, wait for directions from Washington, to carry out what you may deem proper to be done. Upon all the points above enumerated, and others not suggested, your reports and views in full are desired, not only with reference to the continuance of the present aspect of affairs between the United States and Mexico, but in the contingency of your selecting, or being directed to take, a position on the banks of the Rio Grande near its mouth, or places above, or even in the event of open hostilities. It is expected that the officers of the engineer and topographical corps, who have been sent into Texas, will examine, as far as practicable, under your direction, the country, with a view to selecting eligible positions for permanent or temporary occupation, for depots of supplies, arms, and munitions of
It is extremely desirable that the sea coast, or at least that part of it which will be likely to be visited by our vessels in aid of any contemplated military operations, should be better known here than it now is; as well as the character of the several rivers which may present obstacles to the movements of our forces, or furnish facilities for transporting supplies. You are requested to avail yourself of all proper occasions, and employ the means you possess, to collect information in regard to all these matters, and forward it to this department. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War. Brigadier General Z. Taylor,
Commanding army of occupation in Texas.
Washington, January 13, 1846. SIR: I am directed by the President to instruct you to advance and occupy, with the troops under your command, positions on or, near the east bank of the Rio del Norte, as soon as it can be conveniently done with reference to the season and the routes by which your movements must be made. From the views heretofore presented to this department, it is presumed Point Isabel will be considered by you an eligible position. This point, or some one near it, and points opposite Matamoras and Mier, and in the vicinity of Laredo, are suggested for your consideration; but you are left to your better knowledge to determine the post or posts which you are to occupy, as well as the question of dividing your forces with a view to occupying two or more positions.
In the positions you may take in carrying out these instructions and other movements that may be made, the use of the Rio del Norte may be very convenient, if not necessary. Should you attempt to exercise the right which the United States have in common with Mexico to the free navigation of this river, it is probable that Mexico would interpose resistance. You will not attempt to enforce this right without further instructions.
You are requested to report to this department, without delay, what means you may require, if any, beyond those you now possess, to enforce and maintain our common right to navigate this river, as well as your views of the importance of this right in the defence and protection of the State of Texas.
It is not designed, in our present relations with Mexico, that you should treat her as an enemy; but, should she assume that character by a declaration of war, or any open act of hostility towards us, you will not act merely on the defensive, if your relative means enable you to do otherwise.
Since instructions were given you to draw aid from Texas, in case you should deen it necessary, the relations between that State and the United States have undergone some modification. Texas is now fully incorporated into our union of States, and you are bereby authorized by the President to make a requisition upon the executive of that State for such of its militia force as may be Deeded to repel invasion or to secure the country against apprehended invasion.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War. Brigadier General Z. Taylor.
Washington, January 20, 1846. Sir: You will perceive by a letter which has been addressed to General Taylor, commanding the United States troops in your State, a copy of which I send to you herewith, that the President has authorized him, in case of hostilities between the United States and Mexico, and an invasion or threatened invasion of your State, to make a requisition for such militia force as in a possible state of things may be required from Texas.
By the request of the President I hereby apprise you of the directions which have been given to General Taylor, and express to you the confidence here entertained, that, should he make a Tequisition, it will be promptly responded to.
WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War. His Excellency JAMES HENDERSON,
Governor of the State of Texas.
Washington, March 2, 1846. Sir: Your letter of the 7th ultimo, addressed to the adjutant general, with accompanying documents, marked Nos. 1 and 2, has been submitted to the President for his consideration.
It is very desirable that you should use all the means at your command to acquire the most full and accurate information in relation not only to the military movements in the northern provinces of Mexico, but to the feelings and disposition of the people in them towards the present government, and to keep us advised thereof. It is the settled determination of the United States, in every possible event, to protect private property, to respect personal rights, and to abstain from all interference in religious matters. Upon these points you will give the most ample assurances, and improve every occasion that may arise to furnish proof of the good faith with which these assurances are made. If, in the course of events, you should have occasion to enter Mexico, it would be proper to quiet all apprehensions, so far as it can be done, by a public proclamation that the rights of property, persons, and religion, will be respected. Particular care should be taken not to alarm the religious feelings of the Mexicans.
At this time, we have no information direct from Mexico so late as that contained in the extra of the Corpus Christi Gazette of the 12th of February. Though this is not of a character to command much confidence, yet it may not be prudent wholly to disregard it. You cannot fail to have timely notice of the approach of any considerable Mexican force; and, in that event, will promptly and efficiently use the authority with which you are clothed to call to you such auxiliary forces as you may need. The governor of Texas has been notified that you are authorized by the President to make a requisition on him for troops, and it is not doubted that he will promptly respond to any call you may make for that purpose.
Your advance to the Rio del Norte will bring you, as a matter of course, nearer to your assailants in case of hostilities, and at the same time remove you to a greater distance from the region from which auxiliary aid can be drawn. This consideration will naturally induce you to take more than ordinary care to be in a safe position, and prepared to sustain yourself against any assault. I make this suggestion because I am not sure that you will have such co-operation on the part of our naval force as you may expect. The government has not such a vessel as you desire; but one or two, best suited to the service, have been ordered to the Texan coast. The Flirt, which has the least draught-eight or nine feet-is not of much efficiency. She carries not more than four guns. The Somers or Porpoise, brigs of ten guns, and drawing thirteen or fourteen feet of water, will be ordered to report to and co-operate with you; but it is not probable that either of them, or the Flirt, will be on the coast to attend your advance movement. You cannot calculate upon any assistance from them for two or three weeks to come.* Nothing herein contained is intended to revoke or modify the instructions heretofore given for aggressive operations on your part 'under the circumstances therein specified.
WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War. To Brig. Gen. Z. Taylor,
Commanding U. $. army in Texas.
LETTERS FROM THE ADJUTANT GENERAL TO GENERAL TAYLOR.
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, September 13, 1845. GENERAL: Your communications of the 29th and 30th ultimo, with accompanying "orders” 3 and 4, and “special orders” 5 and 6, have this day been received.
Your notice of the unwarrantable disclosure of the countersign to a person not entitled to it, by an officer of the camp, on the night of the 28th of August, and admonitory remarks on the occasion, it is hoped may have the desired effect; but an offence of so grave a nature, for which the martial code provides the severest punishment, would seem to have called for an investigation by a general court martial.
The concentration of so large a portion of the army at Corpus Christi may afford you the opportunity, while resting upon your arms, of practising a regular system of field and camp instruction, according to the strictest principles and rules of the service; and this I am instructed by the Secretary of War to say is the wish and expectation of the President. The general-in-chief does not doubt that all laid down in the general regulations, under the heads of "guards,” “troops in campaign," "daily details and duties,” and all other duties comprehended in the terms discipline, police, inspection, &c., you will cause to be scrupulously observed by every corps and regiment, and all the officers and men under your command.
To perfect the organization of your staff, I am directed to say that you will please to appoint an acting inspector general for the army under your command, who should be an active, experienced field officer, a good disciplinarian, and one who will minutely observe and enforce the regulations and rules of the service.
You will please to see that the regulations which establish the " dress” of the army be duly observed by every officer; and as the troops under your command will be organized, and, it may be presumed, will move only in battalions, regiments, brigades, or division, the excuses for their non-observance during the Florida ser
The naval force did attend the movement of the army, and rendered assistance pursuant to general orders before issued from the Navy Department.
vice (in many instances unavoidable) will not, in the army of occupation, be so readily admitted.
Í send herewith a copy of the estimated strength of the regular force ordered to Texas, prepared early in the month for the Secretary of War and the commanding general. The aggregate is 4,336, from which, as you will see, some three hundred are deducted on account of the various casualties incident to the service. This reduction would make the army of occupation, when all the troops en route shall have arrived, about 4,000.
No return of your command has yet been received for the month of July, which, I suppose, may have been unavoidably delayed or miscarried. While on the subject of "monthly returns" and "reports," I respectfully refer you to paragraph 823, &c., of the army regulations.
The battalion of the 4th infantry, drawn from Fort Scott, ap: pears to have been greatly delayed in its morement from St. Louis (where it arrived the 30th of July) to Corpus Christi, being nearly à month. The only report from the commander. Brevet Major Graham, is dated on board the steamer, August 3d, being then thirty-five miles above the mouth of the Ohio. What detention he may have met with in New Orleans is not known, nor bas the day been reported when he joined the army of occupation. For the information of the War Department and the general-in-chief, you are requested to inquire into the cause or causes of the (apparently) extraordinary slow progress of the two companies, after their arrival at St. Louis.
I send herewith, by direction of the Secretary of War, for your information, a copy of his letter of instructions to Brevet Major General Gaines, commanding the western division, of this date. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. JONES, Adjutant General, To Brig. Gen. Z. TAYLOR,
Commanding army of occupation, Corpus Christi, Texas. Note. Since writing the above, Captain Page's report of the 28th ultimo has been received, by which it is seen that Brevet Major Graham's command reached the army in Texas the 26th of August.
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, September 16, 1845. GENERAL: The two companies of volunteer artillerists, mustered into the service by General Gaines, which were so unexpectedly sent to you by that officer from New Orleans, it is inferred from your despatch of the 26th August, will scarcely be longer required in your camp. If this be so, I am instructed by the Secretary of War to say that you will please cause them to be honorably discharged from the army, and sent home again to mingle with their