The suggestion, it seems to me, is a good one, and entirely practicable for this march; but, to make it effective for the indicated purpose, it should be accompanied by two light batteries, and a considerable cavalry force to scour the country considerably to the eastward of the direct road between Bayou Sara and Baton Rouge. Such cattle as may be found should be driven in for the use of the army, and receipts given by the chief commissary with the division, not be practicable to any considerable extent, perhaps,for ant of transportation.
Should this division itself not be provided with the necessary artillery and cavalry forces to land with it, might not those at Port Hudson be used and returned from Baton Rouge at the end of the march?
An equally important march might, perhaps, be made, if for any reason this one should not be practicable or necessary, by landing near the same point, but on the opposite bank of the river, and sweeping it clean of guerrillas down to Plaquemine or Donaldsonville. The force in this case would, being for the most part near the river, be able to use boats for transporting its supplies.
I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
E. G. BECKWITH,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 5, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a dispatch dated July 21 last, from L. Pierce, jr., esq., United States consul at Matamoras, and to request that the information given therein respecting the arrangements made by the rebel General Bee for obtaining cotton, to be sent to Europe in English vessels from that port, may be made known to Major General N. P. Banks.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Banks for his information.
H. W. HALLECK,
U. S. CONSULATE,
Matamoras, July 21, 1863.
The SECRETARY OF STATE,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: On the 15th instant, the rebel General Bee, commanding Western Frontier of Texas, issued an order prohibiting any more cotton crossing the Rio Grande, at the same time calling a meeting of the owners, or agents of the owners, of all the cotton in Brownsville or its vicinity.
At the meeting, General Bee stated to the merchants that the Confederate Government had a large stock of cotton on the way out, but as it would not reach the frontier for some sixty days, and it was very