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[382] demand with the whole strength of the United States,—your own judgment gives you a basis of action that will aid you.

I will recommend in a few days that you be directed to discharge all the men you think can be spared from the Dept. of Texas, where they are, giving transportation to their homes to all who desire to return. You are aware that existing orders permit discharged soldiers to retain their arms and accoutrements at low rates, fixed in orders.

Very respectfully, your obt. svt.,

U. S. Grant, Lt.-Gen.

In effect this order required General Sheridan to turn over to me all of his volunteer troops who might wish to take part in the Mexican enterprise, with their arms and equipments, and all ‘surrendered ordnance and ordnance stores,’ etc., thus making it easy for me to arm and equip at small cost the ex-Confederates and others who would join my standard. Soon after the date of General Grant's order to General Sheridan, and at the request of Secretary Seward, conveyed to me by Mr. Stanton, I met Mr. Seward at Cape May. He then proposed to me to go to France, under authority of the State Department, to see if the French emperor could not be made to understand the necessity of withdrawing his army from Mexico, and thus save us the necessity of expelling it by force. Mr. Seward expressed the belief that if Napoleon could be made to understand that the people of the United States would never, under any circumstances, consent to the existence in Mexico of a government established and sustained by foreign power, he would withdraw his army from that country. If this were done, the friendly relations between the people of France and the United States would not be disturbed, while the expulsion of a French army from Mexico by American volunteers would engender greet bitterness of feeling among the French people, even if it did not lead to war between France and the United States.

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