to state that you will come no farther east, but win remain at King's ranch, unless you have advanced beyond that place. If so, and are near Goliad, you will remain at Goliad.
The general has sent to you, by express (special messenger), orders on two occasions to remain on the Rio Grande, as he wished you to remain at Fort Brown. He is astonished that neither of these orders has reached you, and regrets it much.
I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter of this date, addressed to Colonel P. N. Luckett, supposed to be at or near Columbus, Tex. I also send a copy of an order given Major [John E.] Garey, quartermaster at Alleyton.*
You will await further orders at King's ranch, if you are not at Goliad. The general wishes you to send a courier, acknowledging receipt of this order, directly through to him at Houston.
EDMUND P. TURNER,
[P. S.]-The general wishes you to state why the orders directing you to remain on the Rio Grande have not been complied with.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, Tex., June 17, 1863.
Colonel P. N. LUCKETT, Commanding Regiment:
SIR: I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 13th June, 1863, and in reply to state that the news of the enemy having crossed the Mississippi did away with the necessity of the troops from the Western Sub-District station on the Rio Grande being removed to this sub-district; and that, in consequence of this, orders were sent for them to be halted and placed in camp at a point as near the western frontier as possible (reported by Brigadier-General Bee to be threatened), as there was, and is now, a strong probability of their having to retrace their steps.
The order having failed to reach you in time for these troops (excepting your regiment) to be place by you in camp near King's ranch, the major-general commanding directs that you at once cause the two regiments of Woods and Buchel to be halted, and placed in camp at the first point on the route they reach at which they can subsist with certainty, and that the ranking officer take command of this as a brigade, and Colonel Buchel be made executive officer, with directions that he put this camp in good order and condition, and establish such discipline as to secure their entire efficiency in the shortest possible time.
These troops will remain in camp under the command of these officers until further orders from these headquarters, and always kept ready to take up the line of march at very short notice.
The commanding officer of these regiments will be directed by you to send out officers to concentrate the supplies, referred to by you, which were sent forward from the Rio Grande, and will collect them at this camp for the subsistence of his command.
In the event of the commanding officer of these troops not being able to select a good place for en encampment, they may proceed as far as Columbus (which, by the way, is not desired, the major-general commanding wishing them to halt as far west as possible), and, in this event, Major Garey, quartermaster and commissary of subsistence, has been