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STATE OF LOUISIANA.
PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES, September 7, 1836.
This day personally appeared before me, the undersigned, justice of the peace in and for the said county or parish, Juan Francisco Basques, who, being of lawful age, deposeth and saith, that, on or about the 23d of August last, he went to the I-o-ny village; an Indian woman told him to wait a few days, and he would see a Mexican “ big-man.” Afterwards some of the men were drinking, and told him that this Mexican 6 big-man” was coming to persuade the Indians to stand against the Americans, and told him to keep it secret. The same day, “Fox," a Cherokee, and a good interpreter, and “ Etoi,” also a Cherokee, rode up and said they were just from Matamoras. They both had on Mexican dresses, and “Fox” had a sword and short gun; “ Etoi” had a sword. They said their company was coming on. Basques remained at the village until the 28th of August, on which day Eusavia Cortinez, a Mexican by birth, and formerly for many years a resident of Nacogdoches, came to the village; he had five Mexicans with him; he said he was just from Matamoras. Cortinez immediately inquired of Basques if the Mexicans of Nacogdoches were friendly to the Mexicans. On being told they were, he said he was very glad to hear it. He said he had been wanting to make an attack on Nacogdoches for a long time; that all the Indians were to meet at Bowles's town the next day, when they would fix the time for making the attack; that they had no time to spare. Cortinez inquired what force was at Nacogdoches. When told 400 or 500 men, he said he did not believe it; but that it would not be a mouthful for the force he would bring. Cortinez wanted him (Basques) to go to the town; and the last thing he said at parting was, “ Be sure to be at Bowles's to-morrow.” He said, also, he would probably send him (Basques) to talk to the Camanches. That he, (Basques,) apprehending he would be made a prisoner, took an opportunity to escape that night.
JUAN FRANCISCO BASQUES.
Juan Francisco Basques further states, that some time in the first of June last, he met a Caddo Indian on the other side of the Sabine river; he had a mule loaded with powder and lead, and going to the Towacanee village, and there he expected to trade his powder and lead to the Indians; and he said he expected the Camanches would be at the village, and if they were not they would be back in the timber; and he further stated that it had been three days since he came into the settlement.
JUAN FRANCISCO BASQUES.
The foregoing is a true copy of the original on file in this office.
GEO. A. McCALL,
Acting Assistant Adjutant General. ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, W. D.
Camp Subine, September 7, 1836.
HEADQUARTERS, Western DEPARTMENT,
Mobile, (Alabama,) May 22, 1837. Sir: In passing the city of New Orleans I yesterday met a report that some of our merchant vessels, with several citizens of the United States on board, peaceably engaged in voyages purely commercial, and in strict accordance with the law of nations, had recently been captured by armed vessels sailing under the Mexican flag; and that the officers and crews of the captured vessels, together with the supercargoes and other citizens on board, had been held in confinement, and in some cases tried and imprisoned.
How far this report may or may not be entitled to credit is a question which must be left for time to seitle. Should it prove to be true, I am sure that I shall not be deemed to be premature in respectfully suggesting such
preparatory ineasures as appear to me most likely to enter into and facilitate the accomplishment of whatever effective military remedy the President of the United States niay be pleased to apply to the case in question.
1. I propose to establish recruiting rendezvous at New Orleans, Mobile, Natchez, Memphis, Nashville, Louisville, Kentucky, Newport, or Covington, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, and St. Louis.
2. The commandant at each rendezvous to be authorized not only to obtain recruits for every corps of the army, but also to obtain complete companies or battalions of mounted gun-men to serve the United States for one year, or during the war.
3. The United States reserving the right of supplying each battalion with a United States regular officer for each branch of the general staff, viz: an adjutant, a quartermaster, a commissary of ordnance, and a commissary of subsistence; a paymaster, with an assistant surgeon. Such a staff would contribute to aid greatly in the prompt instruction, health, comfort, and immediate efficiency of each battalion-and in so doing it would win the lasting gratitude (rather than incur the displeasure of every well-disposed officer and soldier of such battalion.
4. Let a post be established at the most healthful spot to be found near the mouth of the Sabine river, (so designated by our treaty with Mexico: “in the Gulf of Mexico, in the sea, at the mouth of the Sabine river;" but which is commonly called the Sabine bay,) as a depot for munitions of war, and for the concentration of force from the several recruiting stations for active service.
5. Let our naval force in this quarter be increased so as to enable us to move with transports carrying every requisite supply to this depot, and to such other depots as we may find it advisable to establish along the coast between the Sabine and Vera Cruz. The transports to be kept afloat, and to move in co-operation with such mounted force as may be deemed necessary to penetrate the country of our western neighbors, until we find them disposed to respect us.
6. Great convenience and economy will be found to result from having experienced and efficient officers in charge of the several recruiting stations which I have proposed; inasmuch as the mounted gun-men may be promptly and correctly mustered into service, and supplied with whatever they need ; and their movements thus hastened to the frontier, ready for action.
i. If I am permitted to make an arrangeinent in accordance with the foregoing suggestions, I feel confident that I can thereby obtain and call to the frontier, ready for an active campaign to the city of Mexico, from 50,000 to 100,000 first-rate men, for the most part mounted, before the 1st day of October next, the time they should march westward from the Sabine.
The existing difficulties in commerce, in money, and in manufacturing establishments throughout the Southern and Western States, render the present period of time peculiarly favorable to the employment of men of every description of talent and enterprise for any definite service, if it be popular, as is an expedition against nations so regardless of our rights and interests as the Mexicans scem disposed to be.
All which is respectfully submitted for the information of the Department of War and the General-in-chief.
EDMUND P. GAINES,
Mujor General commanding. Brig. Gen. R. Jones, Adjutant General
U. S. army, Washington city.