until these difficulties could be obviated; my teams also required rest before returning across the plains.
I rust that this explanation will be satisfactory to the general commanding, and that he will relieve me from the implied charge of dis-obedience of orders. I am ready to return to the Rio Grande and carry out the wishes of the general commanding.
With great respect, I remain, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., June 23, 1863.
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose you a copy of a letter received from Major-General Magruder, together with a copy of my reply.
Major Hart has failed to have a sufficient amount of cotton at Brownsville to secure the cargo of the vessel alluded to by Major-General Magruder. I am not acquainted with his operations, as he is not under my control, and I am afraid his failure so far has resulted in a great measure from his not co-operating with department officers.
Your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, June 16, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff of Lieutenant-General Smith:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose a letter from mr. Bennett, a part owner of the steamer Sea Queen and cargo, in reference to this vessel and her cargo, now off the mouth of the Rio Grande.
I am informed that this steamer is here in virtue of orders from her owners, or parties owning the cargo, who have entered into contract with the Secretary of War for army supplies, which contract contemplates that they payment for goods furnished under this contract shall be made in cotton.
I have the honor to state that should the cotton not be ready to be delivered in time, we shall lose, in my opinion, this and subsequent cargoes. I have decided not to impress cotton. The necessary quantity of cotton to pay for this cargo, in my judgment, can only be procured by impressment.
An order from the Department at Richmond, directing the necessary impressment, will, in all probability, arrive too late to secure this cargo, represented to be valuable, as the vessel will be anxious to leave at an early day. If, in view of these facts, the lieutenant-general commanding determines to impress a sufficient quantity of cotton for the above purpose, and will send me the order, I will execute it with vigor and promptness.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,