Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/18

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

can people, the condition suggested by the emperor seemed quite impracticable.

It is not necessary to quote farther from the correspondence between Washington and Paris. One resolute step taken by Mr. Johnson solved this Gordian riddle, the keen edge of the sword not coming in actual contact with the knot, but severing it none the less effectually. The mission of General Schofield as a special personal envoy to the Emperor Napoleon was an event the importance of which can scarcely be overestimated. The selection of that tried soldier to bear to Europe the unvarnished statement that the United States desired that French troops should leave Mexico, was an expression of the high confidence reposed in his firmness and tact. The mission was confidential in its character, and when the time shall have come when its records may properly be made public, a most interesting chapter will undoubtedly be added to the diplomatic history of our country. Suffice it to say that, as an immediate result, a promise was given that the evacuation should take place forthwith, and that promise was on the eve of fulfilment at the time of the opening of this little history.

At daylight of the 20th of February, 1867, the U.S.S. "Tacony," Commander F. A. Roe, passed out to sea between the capes of Virginia, Her destination was the waters of Mexico; her