pressure of the contractors, King & Kennedy, on Major Hart is easily to be accounted for. Their contract did not go into effect until the 1st of June, yet as Major Hart had left the command on the Rio Grande without supplies, and with a credit perfectly prostrated in the market of Matamoras, it became necessary to call n these contractors for supplies for the month of May, and two months' supplies for the troops ordered to Louisiana, thus calling at once for three months' supplies, even before their contract commenced.
I also ordered that a year's supply of clothing should be pruchased for the troops ordered into the field. I thought this a wise precaution, as experience had taught the difficulty of getting clothing when troops are distant from the source of supply, and the suffering, the urgent appeals from these regiments to their friends to send wherewith to shelter them from the snow and ice, and the fact that carpets, curtains, &c., were freely sent, was so fresh in my mind that I sought to prepare against such contingencies. The clothing is no more than would have had to be furnished in the year, the difference being that it was done at once, for which I felt under obligations to the patriotic contractors, and did not suppose that I should incur the criticism of Major Hart.
With great respect, I remain, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS,
Goliad, June 23, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, &c., Houston, Tex.:
SIR: I respectfully submit the following suggestions for the consideration of the general commanding:
The regiments of Woods and Buchel are ordered to the vicinity of King's ranch, to establish a camp, &c. There is no p[ermanent water nearer than the Aqua Dulce, say 20 miles east of that point, which is the nearest convenient point. The supply of water there, although abundant, is formed only in pools, as the stream does not run; consequently there is more danger of sickness than on a running stream.
A camp established on one of the running streams of Bee Country would embrace the following advantages: Pure running water, affording facilities for bathing; food grass and shade; proximity to the corn-fields of the San Antonio River, where corn is abundant and cheap, thus enabling the cavalry and battery horses to be put in condition to move to any point needed, with certainty of arising, whereas if fed only on grass the battery horses at least will not be fit for service after a march, they being large American horses, which absolutely require corn to enable them to do good service. The difference between feeding on corn and grass will more than compensate for the difference in distance.
A camp of instruction to be formed, at which all troops adjacent might be encamped, as well as the militia to be called out from this section of country. I would further suggest that so soon as I may have accomplished the wishes of the general commanding on the Rio Grande, I be allowed to assume command of the camp, thus familiarizing the troops to their commander and the commander to his troops, a position I have never occupied since I have been in the army; that the companies now detached from Wood's and Buchel's regiments be ordered to return to