THE MEXICAN EPISODE
THAT French demagogue whom Victor Hugo aptly called Napoleon the Little was a prime factor in the history of the Union and the Confederacy. The Confederate side of his intrigue will be told in its proper place. Here, let us observe him from the point of view of Washington.
It is too much to attempt to pack into a sentence or two the complicated drama of deceit, lies, and graft, through which he created at last a pretext for intervention in the affairs of Mexico; it is enough that in the autumn of 1862 a French army of invasion marched from Vera Cruz upon Mexico City. We have already seen that about this same time Napoleon proposed to England and Russia a joint intervention with France between North and South -- a proposal which, however, was rejected. This Mexican venture explains why the plan was suggested at that particular time.