miles above the bay) with 5,000 men, and in expectation of 3,000 more to join him under General Walker. Kirby Smith said to have been at Taylor's camp on Friday last.
He reports Mouton at La Fayette with 12,000 men, mostly conscripts from Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. They have seven steam-boats in the Teche, 85 miles above its mouth. (Last week five steam-boats were reported to me as somewhere up the Atchafalaya.)
The information about the Sabine River is simply that the enemy has a fort mounting fourteen guns a half mile from Sabine City, and another fort below. They have two gunboats and two steam-boats on Sabine River.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. G. BECKWITH,
UNITED STATES CONSULATE AT MONTERY, MEXICO,
October 14, 1863.
Brigadier General J. R. WEST,
Hart's Mills, Tex.:
Hoping to hear from General Banks at New Orleans, I have delayed writing you. I sent by the last two mails all the Texas papers I could get directed to Mr. Creel, with instructions to him to forward to you. You will see by them that an attempt has been made to land at Sabine Pass, Tex., which quite agrees with the information we get from late New York papers, an extract from one of which I inclose.
Large quantities of cotton are now crossing at Eagle Pass; in fact, more than at any time since the war began. The increase is on account of the danger in crossing at Brownsville and other points. Large lots of cotton have been seized at the latter place by the Confederates to pay for goods landed for them at Matamoras. Men from Western Texas are daily coming in here, all, with few exceptions, having crossed at Eagle Pass. They all report large quantities of cotton on the road to the river. The Texans are expecting a Federal force to occupy the State soon, and are consequently making all haste to get out their cotton, as they know their claim upon it will not be respected when once the United States gets possession of Texas.
All the cotton now coming out of Texas and the greater part of it still remaining there belongs to the Confederate Government, Confederate officers, and a few speculators.
Eagle Pass is the great crossing-place. You can at any time take enemy's cotton there to pay a year's expense of your command. The principal Confederate officers in Texas are sending cotton here and the money on deposit, expecting to make it useful when they shall be obliged in their turn to seek safety in Mexico. The present governor of Texas has a large deposit here, the proceeds of shipment of cotton. The taking of cotton from such men deserves an effort. The time is now past to enlist in your army the Texas refugees. You can rely upon the assistance of these men in case you should advance down the river.
We have an organization partly complete. About 250 men are in amp ready to join the first force coming to the Rio Grande. I am personally acquainted with the greater part of these men, and know them to be such as you can place the greatest dependence on. Should you decide to make an advance down the river it would be well to