The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 26
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the following December, this same commander wrote Gadsden that
his "dispositions" were "so made" that he was "ready to attack,
or repel, whichever may become necessary."3' The fact that
troops had been mobilized on the frontier, and that the governor
of New Mexico and the commander of the federal troops in that
department appeared to anticipate aggressive action, would not,
however, necessarily imply the intention of the United States to
resort to force if negotiations should fail; mobilization may have
been ordered as a precaution and counter move against the con-
centration of Mexican troops along the Rio Grande and the south-
ern boundary of New Mexico, as well as for the purpose of dealing
with Indian problems which were particularly grave at the time.
A perusal of the correspondence of the War Department furnishes
much to justify this view of the matter.82
'1The American commanders of the military posts on the southwestern
frontier kept the War Department fully informed regarding the apparently
hostile movements of Mexico. See despatches of D. S. Miles (command-
ing at Ft. Fillmore, N. M.) dated March 20 and 22, 1853, and of P. F.
Smith (commanding Eighth Department, Texas), dated July 2 and July 7,
1853, and enclosures, Adjutant-General's Office, Old Files.
82The Indian situation was critical in New Mexico. See General Gar-
land's reports from August 9 to November 27, 1853, loc. cit.
In his instructions to Garland, Secretary Davis said: ". . . It is
expected that you will avoid, as far as you consistently can, any collision
with the troops or civil authorities of the Republic of Mexico or the State
of Chihuahua." (Instructions of June 2, 1853, Office of the Secretary of
War, Letters Sent, Vol. 34.) Ordering Smith to mobilize his farces
on the Rio Grande, the Adjutant-General remarked: "While the Depart-
ment is disposed to rely on the good faith of the authorities of Mexico
it considers that it would only be a measure of prudence, induced
by the information communicated in your letters, to be prepared for any
aggression which might be attempted from the quarter referred to."
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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/m1/32/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.