Antonio, I deem it advisable to give you a brief statement of the various causes that have compelled me to this step. Of the strength of the force with which I was expected to hold the Territory-about 400 men-you will be able to form a just estimate from the within field report.*
After General Sibley had withdrawn from the country the greater portion of his command, the Mexican population, justly thinking our tenure very frail and uncertain, showed great unwillingness to sell property of any sort for Confederate paper, which would of course be valueless to them should I be compelled to retire, which was at any time probable; and as I was without specie with which to make purchases, I was obliged to seize upon such supplies as were required for the subsistence of the troops and such means of transportation as would enable me to move my command whenever the necessity might arise for so doing. This occasioned so much ill-feeling on the part of the Mexicans that in many instances armed resistance was offered to foraging parties acting under my orders, and in the various skirmishes which took place one captain and several men of my regiment were killed by them. Besides this, the troops with me were so disgusted with the campaign and so anxious to return to Texas that in one or two instances they were on the point of open mutiny, and threatened to take the matter in their own hands unless they were speedily marched back to San Antonio.
In the mean time the forces from California, about 1,500 strong, were steadily approaching, and on the 6th of July their advance was at Fort Thorn, on the Rio Grande. Troops from Fort Craig had been seen the day previous moving toward the same point. Knowing this, and that the enemy, after leaving competent garrisons behind, would be able to bring 3,000 troops against me, independent of a recent re-enforcement which they received-of 500 men-from Pike's Peak, and 250 more, with six rifle cannon, who escorted the paymaster from Kansas, the necessity of moving my force became imperative.
I was then at Fort Fillmore, with but little ammunition, and, notwithstanding the efforts I had made, with very inadequate means of transportation. I, however, abandoned the Territory on the 8th of July and marched for Fort Bliss, at which point I now am. As soon as this move had been determined on the sale was ordered of all public property at Fort Bliss which was too bulky for or not worth transportation. This sale was held for specie and breadstuffs. The specie was turned over to the general hospital which I am compelled to leave at Franklin. There was besides a considerable quantity of stores that could not be sold and which were too weighty for transportation, such as horse and mules shoes, cannon ammunition, tents, &c. To conclude, I am now about to start for San Antonio with very limited means of transportation, and insufficient supply fo breadstuff and beef, depending on the contingency of meeting provisions forwarded from San Antonio, and with troops in many instances almost naked.
The general hospital at Franklin, under the charge of Dr. Southworth, has been provided with $830 in specie and credit to a larger amount with parties in Mexico. This I submit to you as a true representation of the condition of affairs in this country.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,