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Do you swear before God our Lord and on this Holy Cross, that you will not take up arms during the present war, unless duly exchanged? "Yes, I swear." Should you keep your oath may God reward you; if not, may he call you to an account.
Beloved children in Jesus Christ:
By the oath which you have just taken before me, and in which you have taken the Lord as witness, you have solemnly promised that you will not take up arms, during the present campaign [war] against the North American troops; it is a binding oath which, conscientiously, and under pain of sinning, you are obliged to keep until such a time, when, being duly exchanged, you will be able to take up arms, should circumstances require it. I could prove to you by thousands of authorities and reasons, how detestable is a sinner, and the severe punishments, (even temporal,) by which the Lord has made manifest how much he hates those who profane the holy name of God; how abominable to him are those who proffer with the mouth promises which they are determined not to keep, and, finally, the curses and anathemas with which the Holy Scriptures are filled against those who, with deceitful lips, either swear falsely or are determined not to keep their oaths.
In the present case there is even more, for those who again take up arms, unless duly exchanged, are liable to be put to death should they fall into the hands of the enemy; and according to the laws and usages of war, should that happen, such a course could not be attributed to cruelty.
I, in the name of the Mexican church, requested your absolute liberty, and even offered myself to be a prisoner in your stead, and now that I have obtained it, although on conditions of your taking the oath, I will give, in the name of the Holy Apostolical Roman Catholic church, and in your name, the thanks which are due to the general-in-chief for his consideration and deference.
I therefore trust that you will be faithful to your oath until the time when, under better auspices, you will recover your rights as freemen and Mexican citizens. Let not the fear of being obliged, by force, to perjure yourselves, make you hesitate, for I am certain that our supreme government will respect your position and the promise that binds you. This I affirm to you on my word, sacred by my high office and faithful because it has never lied or deceived. Go forth, then, with joy and content, beloved children, for you have deserved well of your country, for you fulfilled your duty by defending it until made prisoners. Go forth, and return to the peaceful bosom of your families and maintain them with the fruits of
your labor, and teach to your children that patriotism of which, by the fortune of war, you have been illustrious victims.
This is the advice and exhortation of your father, who blesses. you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. THE ARCHBISHOP OF CESAREA.
A true copy:
Gobierno Ecclesiastico del Arzobispado.
T. WILLIAMS, Aid-de-camp.
This attests that was sworn on this day, and incurred the obligation not to take up arms, during the present war, against the troops of the army of the United States, without being previously exchanged; and, for his security, I have signed it at Mexico this 22d December, 1847.
DR. JOSI BRANLIO SAGACETA,
EL ARZOBISPO DE CESAREA.
MANUEL R. VERAMENDI.
Gobierno del Distrit Federal.
This document is ratified by the undersigned, as governor of the federal district, Mexico, December 22, 1817.
LIC. LEANDRO ESTRADA,
Major General SCOTT, &c., &c., &c.
SIR: On receiving your despatch of the 25th of December last, wherein you express your disappointment at not finding a supply of clothing at Vera Cruz, I referred to the quartermaster general that part of your letter relating to the subject. I herewith send you his reply.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
QUARTERMASTER GENERAL'S OFFICE,
SIR: In reply to the complaint of General Scott, in his despatch of the 25th of December, that Lieutenant Colonel Johnson's train had returned without one blanket, coat, jacket, or pair of pantaloons, the small depot at Vera Cruz having been exhausted by the troops under Generals Patterson, Butler, and Marshall, respectively, all fresh from home, I have the honor to state that if the facts are as set forth by General Scott, the responsibility lies at other doors than mine. Understanding fully his views and wishes, I made ample provision for the old corps under his command; those corps, I believe, never exceeded in the aggregate seven thousand men; to supply them, I placed in depot at Vera Cruz eleven thousand forage caps; fourteen thousand wool jackets, and four thousand cotton jackets; fifteen thousand flannel shirts, and seventeen thousand cotton shirts; eighteen thousand pairs of wool overalls, and four thou sand pairs of cotton overalls; seventeen thousand pairs of flannel drawers; thirty-seven thousand pairs of bootees, (I ordered fifty thousand pairs;) twenty-seven thousand pairs of stockings; two thousand four hundred great coats, and nine thousand two hundred blankets. These supplies were all sent to Vera Cruz previous to the 30th of June.
I made no provision for the volunteers, for you are well aware I had not a single cent that I could legally apply to the purchase of clothing for them. If the generals named by General Scott exhausted the clothing placed in depot at Vera Cruz, by applying it to the use of their respective commands, they acted in violation of the 36th article of war, and the general should hold them accountable.
It is known here that several thousands suits of clothing, sent to New Orleans and Mexico for the old army, have been issued to the new regiments and to volunteers; but General Scott is mistaken in supposing that the depot at Vera Cruz was entirely exhausted by those issues; for I have official information that as late as the 6th of December, some time after Lieutenant Colonel Johnson's train left Vera Cruz, there still remained in the depot at that post, eight thousand forage caps; three thousand nine hundred wool coats and jackets; and six thousand nine hundred cotton jackets; nineteen hundred wool, and seven thousand seven hundred cotton overalls; twenty-seven hundred flannel, and thirteen thousand seven hundred cotton shirts; fifteen thousand six hundred pairs of drawers; two thousand seven hundred great coats, and seven thousand blankets; and eleven thousand pairs of bootees.
If the volunteers and new regiments went to Mexico without the proper supplies, that was the fault of those who commanded them. General Butler, I understand, was especially directed to superintend the organization, equipment and movement of the volunteer force. It was his business, not mine, to see that they were properly clothed and supplied; and neither he, General Patterson, nor General Marshall, had any right to take for their commands the supplies I had placed at Vera Cruz for General Scott's old regiments.
For the new regiments I had made timely arrangements, and would have sent to Vera Cruz, in November, a large supply of clothing, but I received, in October, a report from Captain Irwin, the acting quartermaster general of General Scott's army, dated at the city of Mexico the 27th of September, of which the following is an extract: "I have now a thousand people engaged in making clothing; the quality of the material is not so good as our own, and the price, on the average, is fifty per cent. higher. Still, supposing the road between this and Vera Cruz to be entirely open, I think the government will lose little, if anything, by purchasing here. I shall be able to fill, in a very short time, every requisition which has been made on me, with clothing, which, though not exactly of our uniform, will be comfortable and good."
This information, sir, was from a man who not only knew how to supply an army, by putting into requisition all the resources of the country around him, but was better qualified to command a large army than most of your generals in the field. The report of Captain Irwin delayed my action here; but, in December, I ordered from Philadelphia a supply of clothing sufficient for the whole army, regulars and volunteers.
To enable me to do this, I have been obliged to apply, on my own responsibility, $368,000 of the funds of the quartermaster's department to the purchase of clothing, and to authorise purchases to be made on credit, which have been paid for by bills drawn on me at ninety days, which I have accepted; hoping Congress, by making an appropriation, will enable me to meet them by the time they become due.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War, Washington City.
HEAD QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
SIR: Nothing of interest has occurred since my report of the 26th ultimo; not even the arrival of a mail; but a private conveyance brought up yesterday a letter from Brigadier General Marshall, representing that he was at Jalapa the 22d ultimo, with a column of troops, (number not given,) one-half of whom were on the sick report, with measles and diarrhoea, and that he had sent back his train to Vera Cruz for medicines and other supplies. He gave no day for the recommencement of his march.
The number on the sick report, in this basin, is also great. In a total of 14,964, we have only 11,162 "for duty." The measles are rife among the new volunteers.
Colonel Withers, with the 9th infantry, occupied Pachuca, quietly,
more than a week ago. Brigadier General Cadwalader, with the remainder of his brigade, will march for Lerma and Toluca (State capital, 38 miles off, in a direction opposite to Pachuca) to-day. The general object in occupying the three cities is to commence levying the assessments for the last month, and, through them, to enforce peace.
Please see copies of general orders, Nos. 395 and 8, herewith. The tobacco monopoly I have thought it necessary to abolish. It would be worthless without a prohibition of the plant at the custom-houses, and I doubted whether our government, considering the interests of seme five of our own tobacco growing States, would prohibit the importation. Again, to protect the monopoly, including licenses to cultivators, would require a host of excise men. Prubably a reasonable duty on importation will give larger net receipts, for a year or two, than could be derived, in that time, from any monopoly, however strictly enforced.
Like difficulties, in management, caused me to relinquish to the Mexican States, respectively, the stamped paper and playing-card monopolies. More than a substitute will be found in the quadrupling of the direct assessments on the States.
From the want of sufficient numbers to send, at once, columns of 5,000 men each to Zacatecas and San Luis de Potosi, respectively, I next proposed to despatch to the latter place a force of 7,000, which would be sufficient to open the channel of commerce between Tampico and Zacatecas, a distance of 394 miles, and, by the operation, double, perhaps, the receipts at that sea-port, as well as the interior dues on the precious metals. The commercial wealth of Durango would soon fall into the same channel. But assuming 7,000 men as the minimum force for this neighborhood, including the capital, Chapultepec, Pachuca, Lerma and Toluca, I am obliged to wait for further reinforcements to make up the one column for San Luis. The delay of Brigadier General Marshall, who had been expected daily for nearly a week, is, therefore, quite a vexatious disappointment. Possibly before his arrival, (should the measles here have earlier subsided,) I may risk a column of 5,000 men, leaving, for a time, two intermediate posts vacant, and instruct the commander (Major General Butler) to take into his sphere of operations a part of the forces belonging to the base of the Rio Grande. A detachment moving upon Tula, and, perhaps, leaving Victoria to the lefty might co-operate very advantageously with the forces at the new centre, San Luis, and without endangering the line of Monterey, in which direction, it is supposed, the Mexicans cannot have any formidable number of organized troops. To concert the double movement, by correspondence, would be the principal difficulty; but ample discretion would be allowed in my general instructions.
Many of the States of this republic, on account of their remoteness from the common centre, sparseness of population, and inability to pay more than a trifle in the way of contributions, are not worth being occupied. Their influence on the question of peace
war is, proportionally, inconsiderable. As reinforcements