, General Edward Otho Cresap Ord, who at the time was commander of U.S. forces in Texas, appeared before the Committee on Military Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives. He had this interesting exchange with the chairman of the committee in the course of his testimony:
General Ord. In El Paso County in Texas, there has been some local trouble. The Mexican population have taken possession of the county, and the governor of the State sent up a small detachment of his troops, and at the same time requested me to aid him with regular troops. The Mexicans there have ousted the American officers and refused to pay taxes.
The Chairman. Do you say that Mexicans have come over and taken possession of an American town?
General Ord. It is partly the population of the county, the people who live on both sides, but they have been commanded, so the governor tells me, by prominent men from the other side. I had a long letter from the governor in which he gave the names of the Mexican leaders who have taken possession of the county, and two or three of them are Mexicans. They refuse to pay taxes, and claim that they are Mexicans. This shows that in case of serious difficulty between the two countries their sympathies will be with Mexico.
I think this has something to do with the “Salt Wars” in Texas at the time.