We are greatly indebted to you for the trouble you have taken in serving the country through your assistance to us, and we shall rely on you in the future as in the past to keep us informed. General Banks has not left me any authority to turn over funds, nor has he yet supplied me with any money to liquidate the claims for service which you have presented, but I have no doubt that, upon receipt of the dispatches I have sent him this morning, he will give me such authority as is necessary, and, perhaps, send his chief quartermaster to settle all accounts.
None of the refugees you mention have as yet arrived, but when they reach here I will subsist them, and encourage them to organize as fast as they arrive. Meanwhile I hope they will very soon be cheered by good news from General Banks on the coast.
I presume you have heard of our capture of the fort at Aransas Pass and all the troops and material there.
Colonel Davis is at Rio Grande City, where I sent him with force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery.
We are purchasing all the good horses and broken mules which offer, but are not paying as high as you mention. We have selected the best horses which the State of Tamaulipas raises, but have not paid to exmules, and we will buy as many as 1,000 horses if we can get them at fair rates. Meanwhile we are having a good many brought down from New Orleans.
I have no papers later than those I sent last.
Hoping to hear frequently from you, and that we will be able often to send you cheering tidings for our stray friends and countrymen who are standing the test of patriotism during their long sufferings and privations, I remain, with much respect.
N. J. T. DANA,
November 28, 1863.
Saint Charles Hotel, New Orleans:
GENERAL: You will please prepare the troops under your command at Algiers for transportation to Aransas Pass, Tex., and hold them ready for embarkation at 6 a. m. to-morrow, with twenty days' rations and their clothing and camp and garrison equipage.
Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
On Board the McClellan, off Pass Cavallo, November 28, 1863.
Commanding, &c., Matagorda Island:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date was received at 4.30 p. m. this day. It is probable the Saint Mary's can land her rations to-night or in the morning. We will send you the boats you want immediately from the McClellan and the gunboats, probably five or six. There are also boats with the Matamoras and the Planter on their way to you. The Matamoras has five days' supplies for 3,500 men, and, unless some