The diplomatic missions of Confederate colonel James Reily in 1862 and U.S. Army major David Fergusson in 1863 attempted to broker alliances with the governors of Chihuahua and Sonora, and each quest was undertaken by local commanders acting independently of national leaders. Army officers on both sides hoped to exploit the precarious dynamics of political power in the U.S.–Mexico Borderlands, recognizing the plurality of sovereignty that the American Civil War and the French Intervention interposed across that vast frontier. With Mexico upended by the European invasion and the United States divided against itself in violent conflict, an environment of contested authority emerged wherein no single entity dominated.