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[380] means to be employed; but it appeared to be understood by all that force would probably be necessary, and for some time no other means were considered. The subject was fully discussed with General Grant and SeƱor Romero, and I then consented to take charge of the matter, with the understanding that I should have perfect freedom of action and choice of means and of time, so far as circumstances would permit. To enable me to do this, the War Department gave me leave of absence for twelve months, with permission to go beyond the limits of the United States and to take with me any officers of my staff whom I might designate. It was proposed to organize in Mexican territory an army corps under commissions from the government of Mexico, the officers and soldiers to be taken from the Union and Confederate forces, who were reported to be eager to enlist in such an enterprise.

The Mexican authorities proposed to furnish the means by which this army should be paid and the expenses of military operations defrayed, and to that end a loan was to be negotiated in the United States. To facilitate the enlistment and equipment of the proposed army corps, General Grant gave me a manuscript order, dated West Point, July 25, 1865, addressed to General P. H. Sheridan, then commanding the Military Division of the Gulf, with a large force near the Mexican frontier. The following is a copy of General Grant's order:

head quarters armies of the United States. West Point, N. Y., July 25, 1865.
Maj.-Gen. P. H. Sheridan, Commanding Mil. Div. of the Gulf.
General: Maj.-General J. M. Schofield goes to the Rio Grande on an inspection tour, carrying with him a leave of absence for one year, with authority to leave the United States. If he avails himself of this leave he will explain to you the object more fully than I could do in the limits of a letter, and

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