April 7, 1864: Confederate trade through Mexico

McClernand protests to the military governor of Tamaulipas that the Confederates are shipping supplies through Mexico. The military governor says he’s sorry, but he can’t do anything about it.

Official Records:


BROWNSVILLE, TEX., April 7, 1864.
His Excellency JUAN N. CORTINA,
Governor and Commandant of the State of Tamaulipas:

I would respectfully but earnestly call Your Excellency’s attention to certain facts affording sustenance and encouragement to the existing rebellion in the United States. I allude to the accessibility of the Mexican frontier bordering on the Rio Grande to American rebels and their property, and to the presence and machinations of rebel agents upon the same frontier against the United States. the continuance of these things might, independently of the intention of the Mexican authorities, lead to the disturbance of the friendly relations subsisting between two sister and neighboring republics, which would be deeply deplored both by me and my countrymen.

In order, therefore, to avoid so untoward a contingency, it is hoped that Your Excellency will use your authority within the State of Tamaulipas, and your influence with the Mexican Government, to close all channels of trade and travel on the Rio Grande against the rebels and their property; that all rebel property in Mexico, or that may come into it, will be seized for the use of the Mexican Government, and that all rebels found in Mexico aiding and abetting the rebellion against the authority of the United States may be expelled therefrom.

Your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
Major-General, Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps
and Coast and Frontier of Texas.

HEADQUARTERS,
Matamoras, Mexico, April 7, 1864.
Major General JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
Commanding Army of the United States on
Left Bank of Rio Grande, Brownsville, Tex.:

SIR: I have received your communication of this date, relative to the trade which is carried on from this Republic with the Confederates, by way of the Rio Grande, and of the existence here of agents of those Confederates, and asking on your part that the authorities under my command should dictate the most energetic measures to put a stop to the former and to expel the latter. In answer, I have the honor to state that it is not within my powers to take such measures, though I have best will to do so, and as a proof of this I transmit to the supreme Government your said communication, with a recommendation (especial) on my part that said Government may take it into consideration and direct the measure you desire. I will have the honor to advise you of the resolution of the supreme Government in this behalf, and in the mean time I beg to assure you that within the circuit of my faculties I will do everything that tends to the good and prosperity of the American Union.

Finally, I repeat myself, your most obedient servant,
JU. N. CORTINA,
Gov. and Mil. Commandant of the State of Tamaulipas.

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