How possession of New Mexico was secured without a battle remained one of the best secrets of American History. Indeed, until as recently as 1910, the War Department had classified the following letters as top secret, and refused to release them until William E. Connelley was able to get them opened.

The following letters leading up to the claims of James W. Magoffin, and the subsequent letters discussing such claim, should provide the reader a rare look into a part of American history rarely told outside of New Mexico.