Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/117

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
109
THE FALL OF MAXIMILIAN'S EMPIRE.

although sick, opposed this vehemently and with commendable firmness, and, backed staunchly by one general officer, resolved that the surrender should take place. He arrested General Cuevas, the leader of the foreign contingent and an adherent of Santa Ana, and requested the United States Consul to visit the head-quarters of the Liberal army, and make final stipulations for the surrender, the French Consul guaranteeing to keep the Foreign Legion in subjection. So Mr. Saulnier, on the morning of the 23d, took advantage of the "Jason's" cutter being in the harbor, to go down to the fleet, accompanied by a parlementaire, and was then landed abreast the camp.

In this interview General Benavides showed a spirit of humanity worthy of all praise. Orders had been received from General Diaz not to treat with the Imperial forces further, unless they laid down their arms and surrendered at discretion; but knowing the temper of the besieged, and desirous of avoiding all unnecessary bloodshed, he took upon himself to remain bound by promises made before the receipt of the order. There was indeed no shadow of reason for any longer hesitation on the part of the Imperialists. Vera Cruz was the only place in Mexico now held by them; their Emperor was dead, and the regency that had been appointed was scattered and powerless. In point of fact the general disposition was at last to yield, but