heavy guns named in part by details from the three light batteries on the Rio Grande and protected by such company or companies as may be formed from the acclimated citizens of Brownsville and vicinity should be left to hold Fort Brown and to present a force to our neighbors.
It is very desirable that the troops destined for Louisiana should be marched away as quietly as possible.
It is supposed that the publication of the order to-day placing all the troops into sanitary camps and the exercise of a rigid reserve as to the time of removal of any troops from thence will accomplish the purpose of concealing our exact movements from our neighbors as well as from our declared enemies. At all events it will not be easy for them to know with any certainty the number and position of those who remain.
Colonel Duff's thorough acquaintance with the interest of the frontier the character of our neighbors make it very desirable that he should be in command. His men are also from West Texas, and he has some companies of Mexicans who must remain in service on this frontier.
Captain Weyman's company can be ordered to join its regiment here and Captain Ireland's company can take its place at San Antonio. The fewer the troops on this frontier the more important it is to intrust its defense to the officer who is best qualified by experience and in other respects for the ask. The march of some 2,000 troops across the desert will be somewhat difficult and tedious, and it is impossible to give detailed instructions as to the precise manner of performing it. It may be stated in general terms that it ought to be performed by regiments or even battalions with a days' interval between the moving bodies; this for the convenience of water and perhaps other supplies.
Depots of supplies should be previously established at convenient points on the road and allowance should be made for the time necessary to recruit the draught and other animals, but as it is of the greatest importance that the march should be made rapidly, you are especially required not to lose more time than may be absolutely necessary to enable you to accomplish your march.
An officer of experience, energy, and talent should be kept on this frontier in the quartermaster's department, as well as one of similar qualifications in the commissary department. You will please make such selections, if in your power, and report them to me.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Brownsville, Tex., May 7, 1863.
Col. J. F. BELTON,
I have the honor to state, for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding, that I have ordered all the troops from the Rio Grande frontier to the eastern portion of the State, with the exception of one regiment of cavalry, one battery of light artillery, and six siege guns, the latter manned by one company of the cavalry regiment. The troops were hastened to this place upon written representations of Brigadier-General Bee, commanding this frontier, to the effect that he expected