to Major Leon Smith, I infer that the Missouri is already armed, and if such be the case, I respectfully request that these guns be ordered back, to remain in Galveston permanently. The importance of placing Galveston in a complete state of defense is so paramount that I suggest my suggestions and requests may meet with the earliest and most favorable consideration.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, Tex., June 25, 1863.
Brigadier General H. P. BEE,
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 22nd instant, and in reply would beg to state that you are under a misapprehension in regard to the inquiry made of you in regard to remaining on the Rio Grade.
In this connection, permit me to say that no charge of disobedience of orders or any reflection of any king was intended.
In the hurry of business, I omitted to state what would have been an explanation of the whole matte.r
The general forwarded by express from time to time as many as four or five communications, beginning with the 1st of June, or thereabouts, expressing a wish that you should remain the Rio Grande, and was perfectly astounded when he received your communication of the 11th June, from King's ranch, stating that you had not received a letter from him or order of any kind since his arrival in Houston. The question of express was fully discussed, with warmth, too, I assure you, and in this connection he bade me at the conclusion of his letter to you to ask you why you had not complied with the orders, &c., with the view of thus determining whether the contractors had performed their duty in carrying the public documents promptly. On finding out from another source that matters were not properly conducted by the express line, he ordered me to cause the contract to be annulled and a new one advertised for.
The major-general commanding, entertaining as he does for you that kindest feelings as well as the highest appreciation of your soldierly qualities, as also of your promptness and alacrity in the discharge of all your duties, would be the last one to internally say anything which would imply a disobedience of orders by you; far from it, I assure you, general.
The information was desired as evidence against the express line, knowing that his communication should have reached you before the 11th of June.
With good wishes, &c., I am, general, very respectfully,
EDMUND P. TURNER.
[P. S.]-No explanation was asked for or was necessary to be made by Colonel Gray in regard to the matter; it was fully understood by the general.