slightest delay, and inform him of your arrangements by express to Brownsville. The general wishes you to use such points as stations on this line as you regard best to protect the frontier, and also wishes you to give the necessary orders to secure vigilance on the part of officers and men.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. P. TURNER,
PORT HUDSON, March 29, 1863.
It is reported that the enemy moved out about 5,000 men toward Ponchatoula on 27th, but went back to Baton Rouge on account of the roads. It will be difficult for me to make a move for want of wagon transportation. The enemy's whole force is still at Baton Rouge.
SAN ANTONIO, TEX., March 30, 1863.
Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Trans-Mississippi Dist., Alexandria, La.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I am now on duty at this place, engaged in erecting an extensive Government tannery and woolen factory, and making contracts relative to the accumulation of the largest possible amount of shoes and army clothing for general distribution; also for the making up of all raw material obtained either by purchase or manufacture. I am acting under orders from the Secretary of War, directing me to report for special service under instructions from the Quartermaster-General. A copy of this order I herewith inclose. I will not trouble you with a copy of my instructions, which are lengthy and in detail, but are specific, and fully embrace all of my operations.
The factory and tannery are progressing rapidly, and the latter should be in operation in two or three months from this time, and under the new system ought to turn out sufficient leather for at least 30,000 pairs of shoes every two months. The completion of the factory will of course be continued upon the arrival of the requisite machinery from abroad, preparatory steps for which have been taken.
I have also contracted with most reliable and energetic parties for the delivery here from abroad of a very heavy invoice of army clothing, among which are the following, viz: 30,000 black army hats, 150,000 shirts, 50,000 pairs flannel drawers, 50,000 pairs of army shoes, 60,000 heavy blankets, and a complete supply of tailor's and shoemaker's findings.
To meet all these undertakings and to carry them out successfully I have been fully authorized to buy and export cotton, and to that end have purchased and will have purchased nearly 8,000 bales, a great portion of which is awaiting transportation.
There are and have been such an army of contractors and agents all over this State, bidding against each other, to the detriment of the country, by a sacrifice of time and money, that no transportation can be had except by mere chance. Besides this, the process of exporting