War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0918 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

intending to raid into New Mexico or Arizona. Baylor has been elected to the Confederate Congress and will consequently resign as commander of the Partisan or Ladies' Rangers. You are safe from any attempt on the part of the Texans to annoy you. Skillman with 14 men left San Antonio a few days since for El Paso. Skillman's object is to watch your movements.

I have gathered all possible information in regard to the crops on this frontier and in Western Texas. Corn on this side of the river in the region of Eagle Pass is an average crop. A few thousand bushels could be delivered across the river at from 14 cents to 16 cents per bushel. From San Antonio west to the Rio Grande no corn is raised, the country is deserted, but at San Antonio and east of it corn is abundant. Crop in Western Texas is good, better than it has been for years. The last rains in September which were too late for corn have made good pasturage over the whole country. Plenty of beef can be bought at Eagle Pass. Refugees coming in report the roads full of cotton leading to Eagle Pass. I have now no doubt the cotton that is being bought by Hart in Texas and forwarded to Mexico is the property of Jeff. Davis and his Cabinet. Hart, by documents from the rebel President at Richmond, controls all the Government cotton in Texas. He has for the last year employed all the transportation of Western Texas to bring cotton to the Rio Grande. A few weeks since when cotton was needed at Matamoras to pay for some goods bought for the Confederacy from England, only eighty bales were known to have been brought there by Hart for the Confederate Government.

Attempts have been made in Texas to investigate the doings of Hart, but his commission from Jeff. Davis gives him a superior rank to any Texas official. The cotton on the road to and Eagle Pass is marked

C. S. A. S. [H] and [H H] when it is the property of Hart and his associates.

The Union men of Western Texas are organizing and will be able to assist a Union force coming to their relief.

Your obedient servant,




November 8, 1863.

R. W. CREEL, Chihuahua:

A force of 5,000 Federal were landing on the Texas side at the mouth of the Rio Grande on the 3rd instant. By this time they should be in possession of Brownsville.

I sent express to the commanding general last evening and intend sending another to-morrow. All is excitement here. General Bee, the rebel commander, ordered all the cotton at Brownsville sent across the river into Mexico. The last express from Matamoras reports Brownsville burning. General Bee had gone to Roma and had evacuated the place.

If General West could have moved on to Eagle Pass at the time I gave him the notice, much cotton could have been secured to the United States, and he would have occupied the Upper Rio Grande at the time when his services would have been needed. I have been expecting an express from the commanding officer of the United States forces with