if you would cause to be sent to me, by each steamer leaving your post, a short, concise statement of your force at the time and of the condition of your supplies of all kinds.
Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Orleans, December 10, 1863.
Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you my departure this morning on the steamship Saint Mary's, with all the troops of the First Division at this place excepting the train guards and two mounted companies, containing, respectively, 36 and 42 men. These two companies of mounted infantry were mounted by General Washburn, in the Teche country, on the native ponies. My own judgment is, with our limited transportation, it would be better to turn these ponies over and get others at Matagorda. But, from a profound respect for General Washburn, I have not issued the order. I prefer to leave the companies for the present, and report the fact to the general on my arrival.
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. P. BENTON,
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Brownsville, Tex., December 10, 1863.
L. PIERCE, Jr.,
United States Consul, Matamoras:
Your dispatch of this date is this moment received. Every protection in my power will be thrown around every loyal American and his property. I would not be justified in bringing a force into the city of Matamoras to defend it against the Federal forces of President Juarez. The Federal Government of Mexico is on terms of intimate friendship with ours. It seems to me, if your danger is imminent, you should remove more under my protection with your property and money. The folds of the Star-Spangled Banner are large enough to cover every loyal American and every friendly foreigner who has not forfeited it protection by acts of alliance with rebels, aiding them to cut our throats, and the strong arms of the citizen soldiers here will protect them against all comers.
To the loyal and true, I say freely, "Come; come one, come all!" But to the assassins in Matamoras, who have disgraced the American name, I can only say, "Come as prisoners of war." Should any loyal man so far forget himself in a misplaced sympathy as to attempt to secure the property of a rebel or disloyal man by bringing it here in a loyal name, he will certainly suffer the consequences. I extend to you a hearty welcome, if you come, and ask you to command me personally or officially.
I am your friend and servant,
N. J. T. DANA,