purchase of steamer and arms in Europe, with your indorsement approving the project, returns to the headquarters of General Magruder, with instructions in relation to the repletion of the steamer and cargo on the coast of Texas.
Unless some unforeseen contingency intervenes, you may rely on the reception of from 8,000 to 12,000 stand of arms on the coast of Texas during the next three months, a portion of them, I trust within, six weeks. It may not be improper to add that steps had been taken previous to the reception of the letter; instructions had been sent to our agents in Europe to arrange for the shipment of a cargo of arms direct into Texas. These instructions remain in force.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Chief of Ordnance.
HEADQUARTERS CONSCRIPT SERVICE, Austin, July 22, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
SIR: Mention has been made in communications from the commandant of conscripts to the commanding general of the necessity for armed men to assist in the enforcement of the conscript law. This necessity is becoming daily and hourly more apparent. In the counties north of this, bodies of men are assembling, armed and equipped, to resist the enrolling officers.
These squads are increasing daily in strength by deserters, both from the enemy and from conscription, in the lower counties, and, if unnoticed, will eventually become formidable. A small force of mounted men could soon scatter them or bring them to terms, if not permitted to recruit too long.
In view of these facts, and the threatening aspect of affairs along the Mississippi, which precludes the idea of taking men from the field for this service, it is respectfully suggested that the commandant of conscripts be authorized to raise - including, as well as persons subject to duty, minors, old men, and those exempted from various causes - a sufficient number of men, not to exceed three companies, to insure the arrest and dispersion of the aforesaid renegades and the enforcement of the law, and to act as a police to preserve order and protect public property in this city.
If the above suggestion meets the approval of the commanding general, the details will be immediately submitted for his inspection.
I respectfully refer you to the accompanying communication of His Excellency Governor Lubbock.
I have the honor to be, sir yours, respectfully,
JOHN S. FORD,
Colonel, and Commanding of Conscripts.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Austin, July 22, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Having heard that Colonel John S. Ford, commanding conscripts, has made a request on the general commanding this district for authority