HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, March 3, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to transmit the following extract of a letter from Brigadier General H. P. Bee, dated Fort Brown, February 15, 1863:
Mr. Bustamente arrived here from New York en route to the city of Mexico. He was sent by the Government to purchase arms in New York, and carried letters from Mr. Corwin. He has purchased 65,000 stand of arms, and they are expected here very soon; the bills of landing are here (I mean of course Matamoras), and the sum of &700,000 is to be paid when the arms are delivered. An assessment has been made on each State in Mexico for its quota of the amount, and I have it from good authority that the amount will not be forthcoming and that not one-half will be ready for the payment. On understanding this I made a proposition to the authorities to let me in as a partner, and the answer was, "If he can pay for them all, we require all; but the Confederate States shall have all we cannot pay for," with which I was of course much pleased. Now, general, what shall I do and how shall I do it? The matter is of great importance to us in a political view, and I shall obtain full documentary evidence of the whole affair, that they may through the proper authority be laid before the Emperor Napoleon, that he may see what kind of a friend he has in the Lincoln Government, as I shall prove the connection of Corwin with it.
I have ordered General Bee to pay for these arms in any way he can, in coin or cotton. I would respectfully suggest that sterling be sent from Richmond, if to be had, to make sure of the purchase.
I wrote the above for the information of the Secretary of State as well as of War.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DIST. OF TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ, No. 91
Houston, March 3, 1863.
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VII. The command of the Eastern Sub-District of Texas having now devolved upon Brigadier General W. R. Scurry, the only general officer in that district, and Brigadier General H. P. Bee being engaged in matters of the greatest importance on the Rio Grande frontier, where the presence of the major-general commanding is also required, Brigadier-General Scurry will hurry on the preparations for the defense of Galveston and the Sabine River, and will use his thorough knowledge of the resources of the country and all his energy in putting the troops in a state of efficiency and the works in good condition. At the same time it is enjoined on Brigadier-General Scurry to cause three regiments of cavalry to march at once to the northeastern frontier, with orders to search the country and take back to Lieutenant-General Holmes in Arkansas all men who may be found either singly or in bodies who have left that army without a proper permission. This service is considered to be of the last importance and will be vigorously executed. The Quartermaster's Department will furnish the necessary transportation to enable Brigadier-General Scurry to accomplish this purpose, and is authorized to impress transportation if it cannot be had at once and in any other way.
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By command of Major-General Magruder:
E. P. TURNER,