[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HDQRS. DIST OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, Tex., June 17, 1863.
Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,
COLONEL: In reply to your communication of the 13th instant, relative to Major S. Hart's letter requesting authority for the impressment of cotton, I have the honor to state that I have a great doubt as to the right of impressing cotton under the impressment bill, and consequently decline to give Major Hart, or any other officer, authority to impress cotton without further instructions from the lieutenant-general commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department. I therefore respectfully request that Lieutenant-General Smith will issue either a general or special order authorizing the impressment of cotton, in order that my action may be in strict obedience and conformity with the commands of the general commanding the department, as, in my opinion, the order should emanate from the highest authority, and not myself, except in obedience to instructions.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, Tex., June 22, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff, Department Trans-Mississippi:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a letter of Brigadier-General Bee, which is of the greatest importance, and which contains the following propositions:
1. To place every conscript team and teamster at the disposal of Major Hart, without regard to any pledge that may have been given to contractors to permit them to use them.
2. That contractors who have been abroad, and have returned with their goods, or who are abroad, turn them over at once to Major Hart, and receive their pay at once in cotton.
3. Contractors who are en route for Gronwsville with cotton turn over there their cotton to Major Hart, and receive its value in cotton in the interior; and such contractors who have taken no steps, or only initiatory steps, to carry out their contracts, shall be informed that they cannot use conscript teams.
4. That an order be issued to compel all conscript teamsters to work for Major Hart, or go in the ranks of the army; this to apply to all contractors, whether of Lieutenant-General Holmes, Lieutenant-General Smith, officers beyond the Mississippi, or of Major-General Magruder.
There are but four months left to take cotton to the Rio Grande, and the necessity for the contract system has passed away. The articles required by us have come and are coming. Mr. [George W.] Thatcher, for instance, to carry out his contract, would consume a large portion of the cotton transportation to get supplies nw in Europe, when the same transportation is required to secure similar supplies now at Brownsville, or en route for Brownsville, and if the latter be not secured and paid for in cotton, discredit will be thrown, not only upon the transaction based