Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

in regard to your military movements in New Mexico. He will leave here for Santa Fe immediately, and will probably overtake you before you arrive at that place. Considering his intelligence, his credit with the people, and his business capacity, it is believed he will give important information and make arrangements to furnish your troops with abundant sup. plies in New Mexico. Should you apprehend difficulties of this nature, it is recommended to you to avail yourself in this respect, and others, of his services, for which he will, as a matter of course, be entitled to a fair consideration. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY,

Secretary of War. Colonel S. W. Kearny.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, June 18, 1846. SIR: I am' requested by the President to commend the bearer hereof, Colonel James W. Magoffin, to your favorable consideration. He has been presented to the President as a gentleman of high character and in. telligence. He is now, and has been for several years past, a resident of Chihuahua, extensively engaged in trade in that and several other departirents of Mexico, and is well acquainted with the people and the country. His knowledge in this respect, his credit with the inhabitants, his means, together with his disposition to be useful to the United States, may be of eminent service in your expedition against Chihuahua; and the President desires that you should avail yourself of his assistance to the extent you may need it: As it will be important to derive your supplies, as far as practicable, from that country, it is believed he will, in this respect, be very useful to you and the public service. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY,

Secretary of War. To the COMMANDING OFFICER

of the U. S. troops, in the expedition to Chihuahua.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, September 12, 1846. SIR: volunteer regiment raised in the State of New York, engaged to serve during the war with Mexico, and to be discharged wherever they may be at its termination, if in a territory of the United States, has been mustered into service, and is about to embark at the port of New York for California. This force is to be a part of your command ; but as it may reach the place of its destination before you are in a condition to subject it to your orders, the colonel of the regiment, J. D. Stevenson, has been furnished with instructions for his conduct in the mean time. 1 herewith send you a copy thereof, as well as a copy of the instructions of the Navy Department to the commander of the naval squadron in the Pacific; a copy of a letter to General Taylor, with a circular from the Treasury De.. partment; a copy of a letter from General Scout to Captain Tompkins, and a copy of general regulations relative to the respective rank of naval and army officers. These, so far as applicable, will be looked upon in the light of instructions to yourself. The department is exceedingly desirous to be furnished by you with full information of your progress and proceedings, together with your opinions and views as to your movements into California, having reference as to time, route, &c. Beyond the regiment under the command of Colonel S. Price, and the separate battalion called for at the same time by the President from the governor of Missouri, a requisition for another regiment of infantry was issued on the 18th of July last, but the information subsequently received here induced the belief that it would not be needed ; and the difficulty of passing it over the route at so late a period in the season, with the requisite quantity of supplies, &c., was deemed so great that the orders to muster it into service have been countermanded. It will not be sent. Your views as to the sufficiency of your force, and the practicability of sustaining a larger one, &c., are desired. I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY .

Secretary of War. Gen. S. W. KEARNY,

Fort Leavenworth, Missouri. ,

War DEPARTMENT,

Washington, November 5, 1846. Sir: You are hereby authorized to draw on the Quartermaster General of the army at Washington, for such sums of money as you may need, which drafts will be paid on presentation, and charged to the appropriation to be therein designated.

You are also authorized to receive from the disbursing officers of the Pay, Quartermaster, and Subsistence departments, such sums of money as you may require; and for sums so received, and the amount of drafts. drawn by you under this authority, you will account according to law. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY,

Secretary of War. Col. R. B. MASON,

1st Dragoons.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, December 10, 1946. SiR : The information received at the department renders it almost certain that the force sent by sea into California, and that which has been organized, will be sufficient to hold possession of that country, and suc. cessfully defeat any effort which it will be in the power of Mexico to make to recover it.

It is presumed that you will not find a state of things in California. requiring you to remain in that country, but that you will deem it proper 10

leave affairs there in charge of Colonel Mason, recently sent out, and return to Santa Fe. It is not improbable that you will have arrived at that place by the time this communication will be there received.

The department is satisfied, from the information contained in your despatches, and from other sources, that the force at Santa Fe will be greater than will be necessary to retain and secure possession of it and of the province of New Mexico.

The object of this communication is to make some suggestions in rela. tion to the employment of that portion of the forces, under your command, which may not be needed for that purpose; but, before presenting these suggestions, it may be proper to apprize you of what is now, and probably will be, the state of things on the lower Rio Grande.

General Wool reached Monclova about the last of October. If Mexico had attempted to retain Chihuahua, he would have marched into that department with a view to conquer and hold possession of it; but as the enemy has no organized force in Chihuahua, and as the invading column under General Taylor has moved from Monterey upon Saltillo, and will doubtless hold the latter place, Chihuahua is, in effect, subjected to our arms, and the forces under General Wool may join General Taylor's column without going into the department of Chihuahua.

It is suggested for your consideration, that you should move with your disposable force towards the positions occupied by General Taylor, passing into Chihuahua and Durango, or some part of it. It is hoped that there will exist no sufficient cause to prevent you from pursuing this course.

Much is left to your discretion in regard to your operations, for it cannot be anticipated what will be the condition of things in those provinces.

I am satisfied that it is the policy of Mexico to carry on a guerrilla warfare, and to seek occasion to fall, with vastly superior force, upon small detachments of our troops.

You will, as a matter of course, take every precaution to ascertain the state of things about you, the condition of the country through which you propose to pass, in regard to the resistance that can be made to your progress. A movement may be made upon the capital of Mexico ; if so, the principal column will probably advance from some point on the gulf. In that event your force should be employed in the most effective way to create a diversion. Whether you can render most aid to the principal movements by operating separately, or by joining and strengthening the forces penetrating the enemy's country in the direction of Monterey and Saltillo, cannot be determined here, but must be left to yourself. Should you approach near to these forces, you will naturally fall under the orders of the commander of them.

It will be important that you should unfold to him the plans of your operations, and keep him advised of all your movements. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY,

Secrelary of War. Brigadier General S. W. KEARNY,

Comnianding, &c.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

January 11, 1847. Sir : The enclosed papers have been addressed jointly to General Kearny and yourself, under the uncertainty whether they will find him in California. Should he have left there before this arrives, you will consider the communication as intended for your guidance, and you will conform your conduct to the views therein presented, so far as relates to the government of that country. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY,

Secretary of War. Colonel RICHARD B. MASON,

First regiment U. S. Dragoons, commanding in California.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 11, 1847. SIR : Your communication from Santa Fe of the 22d of September, ac. companied by a copy of the laws prepared for the government of New Mexico, and established in that Territory, was received at this department on the 23d of November last.

Soon after the meeting of Congress the President was called on by a resolution of the House of Representatives for the orders and instructions issued to the officers of the army and navy by bim, for the civil government of the territories which had been, or might be, acquired by our arms. I herewith send you a copy of the President's message, with the documents, sent to Congress in answer to that resolution. By this you will learn the President's views as to the powers and authority to be exercised in the territories conquered and occupied by our forces. These views are presented more in detail in instructions prepared under his directions, by the Secretary of the Navy, bearing date this day, an extract of which is herewith transmitted for your information, and particularly for the guidance of your conduct. This document is so full and clear on all points in regard to which you may desire the directions of the government, that I do not deem it necessary to enlarge upon it.

It is proper to remark that the provisions of the laws which have been established for the government of the Territory of New Mexico go, in some few respects, beyond the line designated by the President, and propose to confer upon the people of the Territory political rights under the constiiution of the United States : such rights can only be acquired by the action of Congress. So far as the code of laws established in New Mexico, by your authority, attempts to confer such rights, it is not approved by the President, and he directs me to instruct you not to carry such parts into effect.

Under the law of nations, the power conquering a territory or country has a right to establish a civil government within the same, as a means of securing the con quest, and with a view to protecting the persons and property of the people, and it is not intended to limit you in the full exercise of this authority. Indeed, it is desired you should exercise it in such a manner as to inspire confidence in the people that our power is to be firmly sustained in that country. The territory in our military occupa

i tion acquired from the enemy by our arms cannot be regarded, the war

still continuing, as permanently annexed to the United States, though our authority to exercise civil government over it is not, by that circumstance, the least restricted.

It is important that the extent and character of our possessions in the territory conquered from the enemy should not be open to question or cavil. This remark, though having reference to all our aquisitions, is in an especial manner applicable to the Californias. As to Upper California it is presumed no doubt can arise, but it may not be so clear as to Lower California. It is expected that our flag will be hoisted in that part of the country, and actual possession taken, and continuously held, of some place or places in it, and our civil jurisdiction there asserted and upheld.

A copy of this communication will be sent to the commanding officer at Santa Fe, with instructions to conforın his conduct to the views here. in presented. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY,

Secretary of War. To Brigadier General Stephen W. KEARNY,

Commanding U. S. Army in California, Mexico.

Extract of a despatch to Commodore Stockton.

Navy DEPARTMENT, January 11, 1847. SIR: Your communications dated at Monterey on the 18th and 19th of Sep'ember were received at the department on the 26th December ultimo, by the hands of Mr. Norris, whose activity and intelligence in exe. cuting his orders entitle him to my thanks.

You will probably have received, before this can reach you, my despatches which were intrusted to Lieutenant Watson, of the United States navy, under date of the 5th of November, in which, as commander-inchief of the United States naval forces in the Pacific, you were informed that the President “has deemed it best for the public interests to invest the military officer commanding with the direction of the operations on land, and with the administrative functions of government over the peo. ple and territory occupied by us."

Accompanying this, I send you copies of the President's annual mes. sage, trasmitted to Congress on the 8th of December ultimo, with the accompanying documents, including the annual reports of the War and Navy Departments. I also send you a printed copy of the document No. 19 of the House of Representatives.

You will perceive, from these papers, the view taken by the Executive of the measures which have been adopted by the military and naval commanders in those States of Mexico of which we have acquired possession by military conquest.

I see no reason to qualify the opinion which I expressed in my report, that “ your measures in regard to the conquered territory are believed to be warranted by the laws of war;" and in answer to your suggestions that "a general approval by the government of the United States of your con

« ZurückWeiter »