The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967 Page: 315
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Notes and Documents
territory.4 Nearby was the Rio Grande which separated the two
republics from El Paso to the gulf, some 1,6oo miles, and it was
fordable at almost any point.5 Thus to avoid capture, the outlaws
rode directly to the river and sought sanctuary on the far bank.
But the practice became so common that the pursuers, whether
civil officers or the military, in exasperation, often disregarded
the niceties of international law and followed their quarry across.
Such violations of the custom of nations caused diplomatic
protests to flow between Mexico City and Washington. The State
Department believed the answer lay in a treaty permitting recip-
rocal crossing by troops of either nation when in close pursuit,
but the Mexican senate would have none of that. The press of
that country, regardless of faction, united in denouncing Mexican
participation in such an agreement and warned that these "Gringo
invasions" would surely lead to further loss of territory to the
Republic of the North."
Although cognizant of the prevailing Mexican animosity, the
Secretary of War issued his famous "Order of June 1, 1877," also
referred to as the "Ord Order," which after stressing the desir-
ability of obtaining the cooperation of Mexican border author-
ities in meeting the problem, directed General William T. Sher-
man to instruct Brigadier General E. O. C. Ord, commanding the
Department of Texas, that in the event such cooperation was not
in case the lawless incursions continue he will be at liberty, in
the use of his own discretion, when in pursuit of a band of
maurauders and when his troops are either in sight of them or
upon a fresh trail, to follow them across the Rio Grande, and to
overtake and punish them, as well as retake stolen property taken
from our citizens and found in their hands on the Mexican side
of the line.7
4Annual Report of Lieut. Gen. P. H. Sheridan, Commanding Military Division
of the Missouri, October 25, 1878, House Executive Documents, 45th Cong., 3rd
Sess. (Serial No. 1843), Document No. 1, Vol. 33.
Clippings enclosed with letter, U.S. Minister to Mexico J. W. Foster to Secretary
of state William Evarts, June 22, 1877, ibid., 45th Cong., Ist Sess. (Serial No. 1773)
Document No. 13, pp. 20-27.
'Secretary of War G. W. McCrary to Gen. W. T. Sherman, June 1, 1877, ibid.,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967, periodical, 1967; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/m1/333/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.