owing to the absence of their military forces on service against the French at Tampico they are unable to lay hands on the outlaws.
There is no Mexican force at this time on the Lower Rio Grande. All their troops have been sent to Tampico, which place was evacuated by the French on the 14th instant and occupied the same day by the Mexican forces.
The Governor and other authorities assure me of their determination to aid in every manner within their power to put a stop to all difficulties, tendering to me the authority to cross on their soli to punish the outlaws.
I have not opened an official correspondence, preferring to await the arrival of Brigadier-General Bee, who is daily expected here.
The Mexican authorities, since the reported increase of our forces on this line, are evidently disposed to take more active steps to rid themselves of the renegades who have infested Matamoras.
Major Hart, quartermaster, who returned from the mouth of the river last night, informed me that on the 24th and 25th instant from 150 to 200 renegades were sent aboard the Apalition gunboat at the mouth of the river, and the vessel was about to leave with them, destination supposed to be New Orleans. This departure will leave the mouth of the river and Brazos Saint Iage clear of Abolition war vessels. I have the honor to report the departure of the Hon. L. Q. C. Lamar, minister of the Confederate States to the Court of Russia, on the 25th instant, by the French vessel Malabar, bound to Havana. The Hon. A. Superville was to have left on the same ves- sel.
There are two French war vessels and one English at the mount of their river.
I respectfully call the commanding general's attention to the fact of there being numerous Government agents on the frontier. As a general thing they are men totally incompetent to transact properly the most ordinary commercial business. They are constantly bidding one against another, causing the Government to pay excessive prices, and besides they throw a cloud of doubt over the transactions of useful and competent agents. Through them and others cotton permits are hawked about in Matamoras at he rate of a dollar a bale.
With the proper organization of a purchasing department the Government within the next six months can supply an army of 50,000 men with everything needed (except arms) through this port. But in order to accomplish this there must be but one agency, having at the same time entire control of cotton and transportation.
The Government need not, except in special instances, for a particular purpose or exigency, send abroad for supplies, but simply turn over the cotton upon delivery of goods at this place.
I call the general' s attention to this subject for the reason that action upon this subject will be necessary to sustain the troops on the Lower Rio Grande.
Up to this date I have not heard of the arrival of any of the forces ordered to the Rio Grande. Willke's battery at latest date had not moved from Corpus for want of horses. Four days ago I sent an express, directing the officers to press the necessary transportation and to move for this post as soon as possible.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
P. N. LUCKETT,
Colonel, Commanding Lower Rio Grande.
P. S. -We have a New York Herald of the 10th instant, which admits fully the repulse of the Abolition forces at Vicksburg.
61 R R-VOL XV