The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 25
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The Negotiation of the Gadsden Treaty
The second charge, however, apparently rests upon a firmer
basis. During the summer and fall of 1853, some three hundred
recruits were sent to New Mexico and preparations were made to
establish a new post opposite El Paso.27 At the same time, re-
cruits for the Fifth Infantry were despatched to Texas, along
with four additional companies of Artillery; and General Persifer
F. Smith was ordered to concentrate the troops of the Eighth De-
partment (Texas) on the Rio Grande and to erect "field works."28
It is quite possible that these preparations might have been rep-
resented by Gadsden as the expression of an intention on the part
of the United States to accomplish its purposes by force in the
event that negotiations proved unavailing. But so far as the
Washington government itself is concerned, only three bits of
evidence have been found which can possibly be construed as in-
dicating that the concentration of troops on the frontier signified
the determination to appeal to the sword when other measures
failed to secure the coveted territory. These are as follows: In
the concluding paragraph of his letter of November 14, 1853,
Meriwether said, ". . . there is no military force in the dis-
puted territory the Mexicans having removed their small force
some time since and should the general government desire to pre-
cipitate matters this will afford an opertunity [sic] of so doing."29
On October 28, 1853, General Garland reported that there were
"no troops at all at the Mesilla"; that there was "not much
friendly feeling towards" the United States "on the other side
[of the international boundary]"; and that he was "preparing to
move down to that quarter at short notice."30 On the 27th of
27Adjutant-General to Brigadier-General Clark, April 23, 1853, Head-
quarters of the Army, Letter Book, Vol. 8; Garland to the Adjutant-Gen-
eral, August 3, 1853, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Old
Files; Adjutant-General to Persifer F. Smith, September 15, 1853, Adju-
tant-General's Office, Letters Sent, Vol. 28; Garland to Adjutant-General,
November 27, 1853, and January 24, 1854, Adjutant-General's Office, Old
"Major-General Scott to the Chief of the Recruiting Service, April 15,
1853, and to Colonel Plympton, May 26, 1853, Headquarters of the Army,
Letter Book, Vol. 8; Adjutant-General to Persifer F. Smith, July 30,
1853, Adjutant-General's Office, Letters Sent, Vol. 28. See also the returns
from the military departments of Texas and New Mexico, Adjutant-Gen-
eral's Office, Returns Division.
"State Department, B. I. A., Misc. Let.
SOAdjutant-General's Office, Old Files.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/31/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.