Sivut kuvina

Teas not furnished with a single musket cartridge. Lopez did not get any artillery. I have not the heart to write to any of my family. If the truth ever comes out you will find that I did my duty, and have the perfect confidence of every man with me.

"We had retired from the field, and were going to sea, and were overtaken by the Spanish steamer Habanero, and captured. Tell General Huston that his nephew got separated from me on the thirteenth day of the fight, and that I have not seen him since. He may have straggled off and joined Lopez, who advanced rapidly to the interior. My people, however, were entirely surrounded on every side. We saw that we had been deceived grossly, and were making for the United States when taken. During my short sojourn in this island I have not met a single patriot. We landed some 40 or 50 miles to the westward of this, and I am sure that in that part of the island Lopez has no friends.

"When, I was attacked Lopez was only three miles off. If he had 'not been deceiving us as to the state of things, he would have fallen back with his force and made fight; instead of which he marched on immediately to the interior."

The Spanish Minister in this country, M. Xavier Isturiz, published an account of the Cuban invasion, and vindicated the Spanish authorities in the island from the charge of any undue or unnecessary severity. He said, the Captain-General of the island "received, at 3 o'clock in the morning of the 12th, a dispatch from the captain of Her Majesty's frigate Esperanza, addressed to the Governor of Mariel, advising the ap

proach of a steamer. The CaptainGeneral, calculating the direction of the suspected vessel, did not hesitate one instant, and at 7 o'clock that same morning the war steamer Pizarro, under the command of General Brutillos, sailed from Havannah, with seven companies of troops (about 700 men), having in tow a schooner with the horses belonging to the staff officers, and a few soldiers of the Regiment el Rey, all of them commanded by General Enna.

"The Pizarro anchored the same day in Bahia Londa, four leagues distant from Plaitas, where the pirates had landed in the morning. Lopez had divided his forces. About 400 men were possessed of a village called Las Pozas, and 100 more were placed in El Morillo, a small hill with a few houses that look upon the coast, with a probable intent of assisting the landing of new expeditions, or to secure a retreat in case of a defeat.

"General Enna, impatient for fighting, and no doubt deceived by the many and contradictory reports consequent upon the hour and haste, divided also his small forces. Two companies attacked the hill El Morillo; two more remained out of the seat of action; and himself, with only three companies, attacked the main body of the invaders, consisting of at least 350 men, protected by the houses of the village, by some defensive works rapidly made, and by the difficulties of the ground. General Enna had. therefore, to fight against an enemy not only superior in force, but who had besides the advantage of being defended by strong parapets.

"The Spanish troops attacked with the bayonet, receiving the fire of the enemy, and they met with the most desperate resistance. The loss on both sides was very considerable, and both parties fought, man against man, in the streets of the villages. The Queen's forces had 120 men wounded, and a considerable, but yet unknown, number of dead, among whom was the second major of the Leon regiment. General Enna, who had his horse killed under him, found himself obliged, in consequence of the position occupied by the enemy, to wait for the artillery and to retreat with his small force. The pirates left the village to attack him, but the General charged them with his few men and compelled them to reenter their sheltered positions. He then halted at a short distance with his little force, which he had yet to divide by the necessity of transporting and escorting the wounded to Bahia Londa.

"There he remained, without being at all molested, till the 15th, in the morning, when he was reinforced by four companies of infantry and 150 horse, that the Captain-General of Cuba had sent under the command of the colonel chief of the general staff, and on that same day he was also joined by another column of five companies and two mountain pieces under the orders of Brigadier General Don Martin Rosales.

"The invaders, who had remained inactive since the encounter on the 13th, contrived to leave the village of Las Pozas; and by the latest news from the'Havannah, dated the 17th, at 8 o'clock in the morning, it is known that Lopez had only with him 200 men out of the 500 he had at the time he landed. All the others had been killed in the affray of Las

Pozas, or had been dispersed and shot by the troops and by the country people, who had spontaneously set on their pursuit.

"In this number are included the 50 adventurers made prisoners by the crew of the steamer Habanero. The following are the circumstances and particulars of the executions:—They had been taken in four boats on the coast of Cuba in Spanish waters. They formed part of the expedition of Lopez, and they were all found armed, with a chief and five officers at their head. They arrived at Havannah early in the morning of the 16th, and having been found guilty by their own evidence and declarations, they were shot at halfpast 11, near the Castle of Antares. More than 20,000 spectators were present at that melancholy scene, and raised their vivas for the Queen and for Spain. The troops had formed a square, the cavalry and the civil guard being on the sides. The colonel was shot alone, the five officers together, and the other individuals 10 by 10. All of them were immediately withdrawn from the place of execution to make room for their unfortunate fellow sufferers. Their mortal remains were, also, immediately placed in ten hearses, furnished by the funeral undertakers, who, dressed all in black, carried them to be decently buried. The troops marched round after the execution, and then withdrew: not one single corpse remained in the square; then, and only then, were the people allowed to enter the place where such a painful act of justice had been performed.

"This is the exact and true narrative of what has occurred to the prisoners. All the disgusting details which erroneously have been published in the English newspapers are calumnious fabrications of the American press. It may be matter of opinion whether the application of the law is convenient or not; but certainly no act of accessory cruelty can be imputed in this case to the Spanish authorities in Cuba. They have fulfilled a painful duty, but they have fulfilled it with the dignity and decorum that becomes honourable and gallant men."

UNITED STATES.—The 32nd Congress of the United States was opened at Washington on the 1st of December, and on the following day the annual message of the President was read. It was of more than ordinary length, and the following are the most important passages :—

"Fellow-citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives,—I congratulate you and our common constituency upon the favourable auspices under which you meet for your first session. Our country is at peace with all the world. The agitation which, for a time, threatened to disturb the fraternal relations which make us one people is fast subsiding; and a year of general prosperity and health has crowned the nation with unusual blessings. None can look back to the dangers which are passed, or forward to the bright prospect before us, without feeling a thrill of gratification, at the same time that he must be impressed with a grateful sense of our profound obligations to a beneficent Providence, whose paternal care is so manifest in the happiness of this highly-favoured land.

"Since the close of the last Congress certain Cubans and other foreigners resident in the United

States, who were more or less concerned in the previous invasion of Cuba, instead of being discouraged by its failure, have again abused the hospitality of this country by making it the scene of the equipment of another military expedition against that possession of Her Catholic Majesty, in which they were countenanced, aided, and joined by citizens of the United States. On receiving intelligence that such designs were entertained I lost no time in issuing such instructions to the proper officers of the United States as seemed to be called for by the occasion. By the proclamation, a copy of which is herewith submitted, I also warned those who might be in danger of being inveigled into this scheme, of its unlawful character, and of the penalties which they would incur. For some time there was reason to hope that these measures had sufficed to prevent any such attempt. This hope, however, proved to be delusive. Very early in the morning of the 3rd of August a steamer, called the Pampero, departed from New Orleans for Cuba, having on board upwards of 400 armed men, with evident intentions to make war upon the authorities of the island. This expedition was set on foot in palpable violation of the laws of the United States. • Its leader was a Spaniard, and several of the chief officers, and some others engaged in it, were foreigners. The persons composing it, however, were mostly citizens of the United States.

"Before the expedition set out, tod probably before it was organized, a slight insurrectionary movement, which appears to have been soon suppressed, had taken place in the eastern quarter of Cuba. The importance of this movement was unfortunately so much exaggerated in the accounts of it published in this country, that these adventurers seem to have been led to believe that the Creole population of the island not only desired to throw off the authority of the mother country, but had resolved upon that step, and had begun a well-concerted enterprise for effecting it. The persons engaged in the expedition were generally young and ill-informed. The steamer in which they embarked left New Orleans stealthily and without a clearance. After touching at Key West, she proceeded to the coast of Cuba, and, on the night between the 11th and 12 th of August, landed the persons on board at Playtas, within about 20 leagues of Havannah.

•' The main body of them proceeded to, and took possession of, an inland village, six leagues distant, leaving others to follow in charge of the baggage, as soon as the means of transportation could be obtained. The latter, having taken up their line of march to connect themselves with the main body, and having proceeded about four leagues into the country, were attacked on the morning of the 13th by a body of Spanish troops, and a bloody conflict ensued, after which they retreated to the place of disembarkation, where about 50 of them obtained boats, and re-embarked therein. They were, however, intercepted among the keys near the shore by the Spanish steamer cruising on the coast, captured, and carried to Havannah, and, after being examined before a military court, were sentenced to be publicly executed, and the sentence was carried into execution ou the 16th of August.

"On receiving information of what had occurred, Commodore Foxhall A. Parker was instructed

to proceed in the steam-frigate Saraiutc to Havannah, and inquire into the charges against the persons executed, the circumstances under which they were taken, and whatsoever referred to their trial and sentence. Copies of the instructions from the Department of State to him, and of his letters to that department, are herewith submitted.

"According to the record of the examination, the prisoners all admitted the offences charged against them, of being hostile invaders of the island. At the time of their trial and execution the main body of the invaders was still in the field, making war upon the Spanish authorities and Spanish subjects. After the lapse of some days, being overcome by the Spanish troops, they dispersed on the 24th of August. Lopez, their leader, was captured some days after, and executed on the 1st of September. Many of his remaining followers were killed, or died of hunger and fatigue, and the rest were made prisoners. Of these, none appear to have been tried or executed. Several of them were pardoned upon application by their friends and others, and the rest, about 100 in number, were sent to Spain. Of the final disposition made of these we have no official information.

"Such is the melancholy result of this illegal and ill-fated expedition. Thus thoughtless young men have been induced, by false and fraudulent representations, to violate the law of their country through rash and unfounded expectations of assisting to accomplish political revolutions in other States, and have lost their lives in the undertaking. Too severe a judgment can hardly be passed by the indignant sense of the community upon those who, being better informed themselves, have yet led away the ardour of youth and an ill— directed love of political liberty. The correspondence between this Government and that of Spain relating to this transaction is herewith communicated.

"Although these offenders against the laws have forfeited the protection of their country, yet the Government may, so far as is consistent with its obligations to other countries, and its fixed purpose to maintain and enforce the laws, entertain sympathy for their unoffending families and friends, as well as a feeling of compassion for themselves. Accordingly, no proper effort has been spared, and none will be spared, to procure the release of such citizens of the United States engaged in this unlawful enterprise as are now in confinement in Spain: but it is to be hoped that such interposition with the Government of that country may not be considered as affording any ground of expectation that the Government of the United States will hereafter feel itself under any obligation of duty to intercede for the liberation or pardon of such persons as are flagrant offenders against the law of nations and the laws of the United States. These laws must be executed. If we desire to maintain our respectability among the nations of the earth, it behoves us to enforce steadily and sternly the neutrality acts passed by Congress, and to follow, as far as may be, the violation of those acts with condign punishment.

"Friendly relations with all, but entangling alliances with none, has long been a maxim with us. Our true mission is not to propagate our opinions, or impose upon other

countries our form of government, by artifice or force; but to teach by example, and show by our suesess, moderation, and justice, the blessings of self-government, and the advantages of free institutions. Let every people choose for itself, and make and alter its political institutions to suit its own condition and convenience. But, while we avow and maintain this neutral policy ourselves, we are anxious to see the same forbearance on the part of other nations, whose forms of government are different from our own. The deep interest which we feel in the spread of liberal principles and the establishment of free Governments, and the sympathy with which we witness every struggle against oppression, forbid that we should be indifferent to a case in which the strong arm of a foreign power is invoked to stifle public sentiment and repress the spirit of freedom in any country.

•' The Governments of Great Britain and France have issued orders to their naval commanders on the West India station to prevent, by force if necessary, the landing of adventurers from any nation on the Island of Cuba with hostile intent.

"The principle which this Government has heretofore solemnly announced it still adheres to, and will maintain under all circumstances and at all hazards. That principle is, that in every regularlydocumented merchant vessel, the crew who navigate it. and those on board of it, will find their protection in the flag which is over them. No American ship can be allowed to be visited or searched for the purpose of ascertaining the character of individuals on board, nor can there be allowed any watch by the vessels of any foreign nation

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