War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0714 OPERATIONS IN TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ. Chapter XXI.

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Fort Bliss, Tex., May 27, 1862.

Brigadier General H. P. BEE,

Commanding Western District, Department of Texas:

SIR: The mail of last week brought unofficial reports from various sources of the intention of the Government to re-enforce this army with one or more regiments; that Colonel Debray was already on the march, and finally, as the postmaster at San Antonio expresses it, as derived from you, that New Mexico and Arizona are to be held at all hazards.

In the absence of all official communication on this subject, either from the Government in Richmond or from local departments nearer at hand, I was constrained to abandon New Mexico, our provisions, forage, and ammunition being completely exhausted. In this vicinity I find myself but little better off.

The army is absolutely subsisting on poor meat and bread, with a limited supply.

Under these circumstances the safety of the army depended upon a movement in some direction to the nearest point of supply.

The order has consequently been given for the movement down the country of the mass of the forces.

The unofficial information received by the last mail of course embarrasses me very much, especially as, from the information I have, no hope can be entertained of such supplies being thrown forward as will serve the purpose of an army in active campaign.

Without a dollar in specie, nothing can be purchased on the Mexican side of the river, and our sick even on this side are suffering for the want of articles which can only be procured with specie. Of sugar and coffee we have scarcely a pound; all other small rations are alike deficient; whilst of salt meat we have not an ounce.

Our ammunition may be said to be exhausted. For heavy guns we have perhaps 100 rounds. Clothing completely exhausted, with no means of renewing the supply.

My purpose in addressing this communication to you is to inform you distinctly of the resources of this country and New Mexico.

Any forces sent to operate in this quarter should not depend upon the productions of the country, except, perhaps, the single article of flour.

I have written briefly and to the point. I have made report after report to the Government, but up to this date have received not a single line of acknowledgment or encouragement, having been left to act entirely upon my own judgment and the pressure which momentarily surrounded me.

My volunteer aide, Captain Wager, will hand you this communication. I bespeak for him you kind attention and courtesy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HOUSTON, May 27, 1862.

Brigadier General P. O. HEBERT, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: In obedience to your Special Orders, Numbers 596, April 24, 1862, I proceeded toward New Orleans, but ascertained at New Iberia that it was probable that New Orleans was occupied by the Federal forces.