Today in History:

9 Series I Volume XXXIV-II Serial 62 - Red River Campaign Part II


delivery of the men. On my refusing to comply with the demand, Captain Herbert, in the name of General Hamilton, was to attempt to make a sort of arrest by some newly appointed civil authority, but it was still feared that I might interfere with that, and in that event, as a last resort, an attempt was to be made to kidnap them.

Governor Serna, by proclamation, under the pretext that the rebels were in friendly communication with the Frech and were thereby enemies of Mexico, was to seize all Confederate cotton and other property, have it condemned and sold, and the proceeds (a very great sum) was to be divided into four shares, one for Serna, one for the consul, one for Herbert, and the other for a man by the name of Turner, a lawyer, who came down here with General Hamilton and Mr. Breckenridge, and who is now, in the absence of Mr. Breckenridge, attending to the duties of the Treasury Department.

You are aware that both General Hamilton and Mr. Brackenridge are and have for two weeks past been absent. Herbert stated that Turner had been his adviser in the business, and had prepared the proper papers, and that Serna had translated them into Spanish; further, that Turner would, after the transaction had been completed, immediately carry the proceeds of the American side of there speculation to New York.

I immediately made proper arrangements to prevent kidnaping and to watch proceedings, determined that I would not make arrests so long as there was opportunity to get further evidence; but the sudden advance of Ruiz, almost to the suburbs of Matamoras, has almost taken away from Serna the power to act further in the matter, and I accordingly gave orders after dark last night to arrest Captain Herbert, and he is now a prisoner, closely confined to his own room. I have ordered the assistant inspector-general of the corps to examine his papers and prepare charges, and shall order a court for his trial at the earliest day I can, probably about the 5th or 6th instant.

I have the honor to remain, with high respect,

N. J. T. DANA,



GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL WAR DEPT., ADJT. GEN 'S OFFICE, ORDERS, Numbers 372. Washington, October 16, 1864.

I. In the case of Captain J. K. Herbert, assistant adjutant-general of volunteers, tried by a general court-martial, convened by Major-General Dana at Brownsville, Tex., in January, 1864 upon a charge of "conduct unbecoming an officer, and a gentleman," proceedings promulgated in General Orders, Numbers 29, of February 24, 1864, headquarters Department of the Gulf, the proceedings are, by law, void and inoperative, the commanding general who convened the court being also the "accuser", in the case. The specific offense, as set forth in the specification of which Captain Herbert was found guilty, was this: "That he proposed to certain parties in Mexico to enter into an arrangement with them to the effect that two certain men, refugees from Mexico, and then residing Brownsville, Tex., should be enticed and inveigled, or seized and conveyed from Brownsville to Matamoras, and there delivered to the Mexican authorities; and further, that he (Herbert) did at the same time offer and propose to pay, and cause to be paid, to one of the parties, if the party would aid him in enticing or seizing and conveying the