I wrote President Johnson with my views on the Mexican situation.
Washington D. C, July 15th 1865
His Excellency, A. Johnson, President of the United States, Sir:
Looking upon the French occupation of Mexico as part and parcel of the late rebellion in the United States, and a necessary part of it to suppress before entire peace can be assured, I would respectfully recommend that a leave of absence be given to one of our General officers for the purpose of going to Mexico to give direction to such emigration as may go to that country.
I would not advise that emigration be invited or that such officer should go under special instructions. He would probably take service under the Liberal Government of Mexico and by giving head and shape to the foreign and Native element already there would insure the restoration of the Liberal or Republican Government.
Mexico has men enough if she had Arms to defend herself. With the large surplus on hand I do not see why we should not sell her these. I presume there would be no objection raised to sell the English or French Government Arms. I do not see therefore why we should not be aUowed to sell them to the only Government we recognize on Mexican soil.
I write this for instructions because I will not do or authorize anything not receiving the proper sanction. Of the sale of Arms I have nothing to do. I speak therefore in reference to giving leaves of absence for the purpose stated.
I send this direct the Sec. of War being absent from his office to-day.
your obt. svt.
U. S. Grant
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 264-5