MAY 25, 1863.
Colonel [I. G. W.] STEEDMAN:
COLONEL: The principal firing this morning is from Captain [C. C.] Knowles' company, covering the road leading to Mr. Aburger's place. So far our casualties have been none. The enemy are known to have lost 1 killed, 2 wounded, and 1 prisoner; the wounded have also been captured and sent in.
Captain [J. T.] Stubbs and Lieutenant-Colonel [P. L.] Lee are endeavoring to drive the enemy from the woods in front of Colonel [B. W.] Johson's camp. My instructions have been not to fire at the enemy until he comes in easy range, which I will endeavor to have complied with strictly.
Very respectfully, &c.,
M. B. LOCKE,
QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, San Antonio, Tex., May 27, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding Department of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to inclose, and to commend to your immediate attention, a copy of a letter to me of this date from Captain R. King, reporting a wholesale defiance of our Order 65, so far as it relates to conscript teamsters.
From this report you will perceive that no action of an efficient character has been taken by the head of this sub-district to enforce your orders on the chief thoroughfare to the Rio Grande.
There is no force at King's ranch, nor any other eligible point, so far as I an ascertain, nor any military authority of any kind, to put your orders in force. I am further informed, by most reliable authority, that these conscript teamsters are even permitted to leave Brownsville, on their return to the interior, without being required to comply with the law or department orders. By saying "permitted" I do not mean that they have positive permission to disregard them, but simply that no means are taken, even at Brownsville, to enforce them,.
About the 10th of this month, while on my return from Brownsville, I met Lieutenant [Walter L.] Mann, of Captain [James A.] Ware's company, who informed me that he was charged by General Bee with the enforcement of your Order 65 at King's ranch, and who consulted me in regard to the disposition to be made of such conscript teamsters as he should stop. I referred him to my agent, Captain King, who had been fully advised of my wishes on the subject, which were, that such teamsters (being conscripts, and willing to haul for the Government) should be turned back, and made to report to my agent, Mr. Lubbock, at Alleyton.
Up to-day I had rested in the belief that your orders were being property enforced on that thoroughfare, as they have been by Colonel Bankhead here, and by General Scurry in his district, judging by his published orders.
I cannot, general, too urgently ask the immediate exertion of your utmost authority on this matter. It is easy to perceive what the effect will be if your orders are permitted to be persistently disregarded with impunity.