Today in History:

101 Series I Volume XLI-III Serial 85 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part III


me. On the morning of the 6th of September, understanding that the enemy had a large drove of cattle at our front, I sent a small force of mounted men with instructions to capture and drive them into camp, if possible, for the sustenance of my command. I would further state that I have not as yet been officially informed that General Cortina is within my lines, and that I will at once send an officer with a sufficient escort to him, and if he is within my lines I will demand that he shall surrender all arms and munitions of war to the United States. I take this occasion to assure the commander of the French forces at Bagdad that I shall not for a moment countenance the occupation of U. S. soil by any armed force except our own, and especially by a force hostile to the French Government, which has so long been on friendly terms with the United States. Desiring that this harmony may long continue to exist, I have the honor to subscribe myself, your most obedient servant,

H. M. DAY,

Colonel, Commanding U. S. Forces, Brazos Santiago, Tex.


Matamoras, September 8, 1864.

Major General F. J. HERRON,

Commanding at Baton Rouge, La.:

DEAR SIR: It is now nearly six weeks since you all left us, and, with the exception of a letter from Captain Stevens to Morehead, we have not heard one word from any one, not even a line from my wife. We have had stirring times among the heroic inhabitants since you left. The French landed 400 sailors at Bagdad, and they hold that place now. Cortina came in from the interior with all his forces, bringing some twenty or more pieces of artillery with him and about 1,500 men. Finding that the French were on all sides of them, the Mexicans held a meeting and determined upon crossing everything over the river and deliver all their arms, artillery, and ammunition to the custody of the United States. The next question was how to do this, as the rebels held the river from Brownsville down, and although Colonel Day had plenty of men, and the rebels only 500, without any artillery, yet he did not feel justified in moving any men from Brazos without orders. Finally it was arranged in this way: Cortina was to go down to a point about two miles this side of the White Ranch, cross the river with 800 men and four pieces of artillery, and then move up and drive the rebs from Brownsville, and thus get an opening for the passage of the remainder. At the time appointed I sent a messenger to Colonel Day, who sent out some few troops, who chased the rebs half way up the river, and, the coast being thus clear, Cortina, got safely over, and is now encamped about nine miles this side of the Boca, where there were also some 500 of our troops. I hope that Colonel Day will either hire them as beef hunters or muster them in as rangers, and I know that they will keep the frontier clear. Before this all happened Colonel Day had withdrawn all his troops to the other side of the Boca Chica, and was under the impression that he ought not to attack the rebels unless ordered to do so. How this matter will end no one can tell at present, but a little responsibility will clear up everything. Please write and let me know how my family got through.

Regards to the officers.

Yours, truly,


U. S. Consul.