I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your communication announcing the impossibility of obtaining arms and munitions of war from vessels now lying off the mouth of the Rio Grande, for the reason that the French war vessels decline to permit their being landed on the Mexican side or on our shore, on the ground of such action being a violation of the neutrality laws, and to suggest in this connection the plan of causing these vessels to land their cargoes at Brazos Santiago, and, after taking on their cargoes of cotton, to clear for Matamoras, from which place they can obtain clearances for any foreign port.
The above method is merely submitted for your consideration. In regard to the establishment of agents in New York, and for the route between New York and Matamoras, the general wishes you to act promptly. He directs that you will not leave the neighborhood of the Rio Grande without further orders from these headquarters.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ. Numbers 82.
Houston, Tex., June 5, 1863.
The Third Military Sub-District of Texas, to the command of which Acting Brigadier General S. P. Bankhead has been assigned, will be known as the Northern Sub-District. Its geographical limits will be as follows:
Commencing at Hatton's Ferry on the Sabine River, and running along the southern boundary of the counties of Sabine, San Augustine, Angelina, Houston, Limestone, and the eastern part of Falls County to Marlin on the Brazos River; thence up the Brazos River to Fort Bleknap; thence due north to the Red River, inclusive.
The headquarters of this sub-district will, until further orders, be at Bonham, Fannin County.
By command of Major General J. Bankhead Magruder:
STEPHEN D. YANCEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA, Houston, Tex., June 6, 1863.
Chief of Staff:
SIR: i have the honor to state that I have assumed command of Niblett's Bluff, inasmuch as my staff officers were ordered to that point, and supplies are furnished from this district.
I have the honor to ask if this be the desire of the lieutenant-general commanding the department, and will continue to exercise command at that post until the wishes of Lieutenant-General Smith are made known to me.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding, &c.
[JUNE 6, 1863.-For letter from E. K. Smith to J. C. Pemberton, in relation to forwarding ordnance for Department of Trans-Mississippi, see Series I, Vol. XXII, Part ii, p. 859.]