to the captures made at Vicksburg and Port Hudson of the stores of arms, &c., designed for the Trans-Mississippi, which had been unfortunately deposited there for convenience of transportation by your officers in charge of them, and to the mistake made by the French in seizing the cargo of the Goodyear at Matamoras.
Since the fall of Vicksburg I have not been unmindful of the want you would probably experience for arms, and I have earnestly sought in several ways to supply you. Instructions were at once sent to our agent in London to forward a cargo to Matamoras, and at the same time I caused to be chartered and sent to Bermuda a steamer believed to be peculiarly fitted for running the blockade and entering one of the ports of Texas, to be at Bermuda loaded with arms, and sent thence direct to the coast of that State.
Unfortunately, after sailing from Bermuda, she encountered a violent storm, was obliged to return, and was found so damaged she was unable to resume her voyage, and will require so much time for repairs that I have thought it best to resort to other means of supply. I am now endeavoring (with the prospect of success) to obtain a suitable steamer at Mobile, and expect soon to send her from there with arms direct to Texas.
Meantime I have been in some measure relieved by learning from Major [S.] Hart's communication that one or more vessels with arms from England were off the coast of Matamoras, and daily expected to land their cargoes. From that source, as well as through the friendly offices of the new government, you have been, I trust, before this at least partially supplied. By means of the trade established with Mexico, it is hoped that you will be enabled largely to supply your department not only with arms and munitions, but also with most of the stores required in aid of internal production for the wants of your army. As such sources are, however, precarious, your energy and judgment will doubtless be directed to developing and urging all sources of internal production, some of which have already received the attention and aid of this department. Lead and niter in adequate quantities, I have reason to believe, can readily be obtained in your department, and in no long period, it is hoped, through the mining operations suitable and the foundries and furnaces either begun or directed, you will secure sufficient quantities of iron, and be enabled to manufacture cannon, shell, shot, &c. Such officers and operatives as you may require for these works will, as far as practicable, on your demand be sent you.
Great anxiety is naturally felt by the department in view of the formidable invasion which the enemy seem about attempting. The information received here had led me to believe such plans had been arranged on a formidable scale, and, therefore, I was not surprised at the intelligence. It is sincerely regretted that the department is not able to render you more effective aid; but you have the immense expanse of your department, the sparse population, and the absence of important centers to be attacked, in the physical obstacles to be overcome, and the hardy, enterprising character and habits of the people-advantages which, with the aid of your tried generalship and judgment, it is confidently believed will secure the discomfiture of your malignant fores, and their destruction or ignominious expulsion from the bounds of your department.
While it is deeply deplored that military considerations, the justice and prudence of which are recognized, may compel the temporary withdrawal of your forces from such extensive and fertile districts, yet it is hoped that the experience of the temporary sway of the unscrupulous enemy will, among your people, as it has done almost everywhere else,
66 R R-VOL XXII, PT II