General orders relative to the expiation of cotton.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ., No. 28.
Houston, Tex., February 22, 1863.
The major-general commanding this district having been ordered by Lieutenant-General Holmes to give such orders as will enable the Government to obtain supplies from the exportation of cotton through his lines on the Rio Grande, and finding it impossible, through the scarify of supplies both in Texas and Mexico, to support the army on that frontier except by the purchase with cotton of supplies brought from foreign countries, the following orders are issued, which it is hoped will accomplish the object of the law concerning the exportation of cotton, whiles they will not conflict with the rights and reasonable expectations of the people:
I. All persons are allowed to transport cotton to the Mexican frontier.
II. The rules now established by Brigadier-General Bee, as to the quantity and value of cotton to be allowed to pass the Rio Grande frontier for goods imported, will remain as at present; that is, importers of supplies or goods will be allowed to export cotton to the custom-house value of their original invoices at the port of entry, with 100 per cent. added. The cotton to be valued at $100 per bale.
III. Government agents and the people to be alike subject to these rules from the date of the publication of these orders.
Supplies, good, and merchandise imported will not be permitted to be exported, provided such supplies, goods, and merchandise were imported to enable the importer to export cotton.
IV. No contract will be made by any staff officer on duty in this district after the publication of these orders for supplies based upon the. exportation of cotton, except by Major Hart, Quartermaster Confederate States Provisional Army, the Government having confided that duty to him, to whom the chiefs of disbursing departments in this district will furnish a list of what they require for their respective departments. The agents in Texas of the chief disbursing officers elsewhere will likewise furnish similar lists.
Chiefs of disbursing departments of this district are authorized to purchase but not contract for such limited supplies on these list as they may need from time to time until Major Hart shall be able to obtain the necessary supplies from the Rio Grande. It is supposed this period will be brief, as Major Hart has already purchased a large supply of stores of every kind at very low rates.
V. Major A. W. McKee, quartermaster, Confederate States Provisional Army, is intrusted by the Treasury Department with the duty of transporting cotton to various points on the coast and the Rio Grande, to be exported for supplies, when such supplies shall have arrived in the country.
VI. Major Hart is intrusted with the performance of similar duties by the War Department. All officers serving in this district will afford them such facilities as they may require and they can properly furnish.
VII. All contracts made and being carried out in good faith previous to the publication of this order will be respected; but as the State is filled with contractors, Government agents, or persons calling themselves such, and as all such persons have been ordered through the newspapers and ample time has been given to exhibit their contracts or instructions to these headquarters and little attention has been paid to such orders; and as there is reason to believer that many contracts have been made without any consideration, that many others are not being