which the department will be supplied without the necessity of contracting innumerable debts.
I have to-day written to General Magruder fully in regard to the condition of affairs on the Rio Grande, and earnestly requested him to adopt some plan by which the evil could be remedied. For the past six months the troops in this line have been supplied by merchants at Matamoras and Brownsville upon the promise of Major Hart that cotton would commence arriving in April in quantities sufficient to reimburse them and enable us to procure our supplies on a different basis. They have waited patiently up to this time, and have not yet received one bale of cotton. As I before remarked, only 75 bales have reached here, while thousands of bales arrive daily belonging to Jews and speculators, and it is impossible for me to satisfactorily explain how this class of people succeed, and a Government officer, with all the privileges and powers that he desires, should fail. These creditors have waited patiently, and have evinced a degree of patriotism and confidence in the Government truly commendable, but it cannot long continue, and unless something is done the result must be disastrous. I regard this as the most important point for the procurement of supplies in the Confederacy, but to make it available the credit of the Government must be sustained.
Two English ships, laded with army supplies, purchased under contract with English houses by some of the numerous Government agents, have been lying at the mouth of the river for three weeks. Their supercargoes have been trying to find some one to receive the cargo and deliver the cotton. There is no officer here who knows anything of the transaction, and not one bale of cotton with which to make the payment. The result is, that they have concluded to sial for Nassau, and dispose of the cargo upon such terms as they can. I examined their invoices, and the articles are absolutely necessary. Four others are hourly expected, and unless something is done in the interior to require officers and agents charged with forwarding cotton to discharge this duty, they will also have to return, thus depriving us of absolute necessities purchased expressly for the Government, and, I am, fearful, preventing our getting more. The result of this disappointment-I will say deception-upon the part of the Government agents is too apparent to render an expression of opinion from me necessary. It is even more disastrous than to fail to meet our local indebtedness, because it impairs our credit in Europe. I sincerely hope, major, you will co-operate with me in my efforts to remedy the evil. Should be gratified to have your counsel and advise as to what had best be done.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Quartermaster, &c.
[Inclosure Numbers 5.]
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., June 27, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, Houston:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge this day the receipt of your letter of the 23rd instant.
The arrival of the Sea Queen and other vessels with army supplies, under the contract with the Secretary of War, the saving the Government credit by meeting these supplies with cotton, in which the payment was to be made, the failure of Major Hart, the purchasing agent,