After the news of the capture of this place reached New Orleans I availed myself of the earliest transportation and arrived as stated, on the 1st instant. There are here some hundreds of refugees from the interior of the State, most of whom have traveled hundreds of miles, and have arrived destitute. I have been constantly surrounded with them since my arrival, advising and assisting them. To all whom are able-bodied, I say, "If you are not willing to fight to reclaim your home, then you deserve no aid, and will get none." There are many; however, who are old and otherwise physically unfit for the service; to them I have extended relief.
So far this has been done without using the money of the Government. The voluntary contributions of a few generous men have, up to this time, sufficed to prevent any suffering and, to meet increasing demands for aid, I propose through the municipal authorities of the city, to levy such license tax upon certain avocations that need regulation as will afford the necessary means.
The money which I received from the Government ($2,000) has not yet been touched. I have kept it in reserve for some emergency, such as has not yet occurred. I have found opportunity to send messages to my friends in many portions of the State, and am preparing an address to the people of the State, a copy of which I will forward to you, together with a full and formal report, by the next mail after this. There will be no difficult in introducing throughout the State any communication which I may choose to make, and I am happy to be able to say that all of my information is to the effect that the people are preparing to be conquered. I feel very confident that if our arms are successful in the first general engagement had in Texas, it will end the campaign and reclaim the State.
We have the information from so many refugees just from the interior, and it is so uniform and consistent one story with another, that there can be no doubt of the fact that the rebel commanders have abandoned all idea of defending the country west of the Colorado River. When the advance upon the interior commences if the force is adequate, say 25,000 effective men, two months will settle the fate of Texas. The utmost confidence is felt in the result of the campaign by the loyal men of the country and the prisoners whom I have seen and conversed with admit the despondency of the rebels.
General Banks has been most successful in his operations upon the coast. His position on Matagorda Bay I have always regarded as the key to the heart of the interior.
I am laboring under the most painful apprehensions for my family. I received a day or two past, from Monterey, Mexico, a letter from the American consul, who states that on the 24th of October Governor Vidauri obtained from General Magruder an order for my family to pass into Mexico, and that on the next day he wrote Mrs. Hamilton, inviting her to enter Mexico, and kindly tendering the hospitalities of his capital; but, from refugees from the vicinity of my home one month past, I learn that my family were still there, and asking in vain for permission to leave. May God protect them.
There will certainly be much need of a court here, if for no other purpose, to settle questions arising under the act of Congress providing for the confiscation of the property of persons engaged in the rebellion. This, however, I will embrace fully in the report which I am preparing, and which I will have the honor to submit in a few days.
Sincerely hoping that the news which reached us yesterday of a great victory by General Grant over General Bragg may be true, and