owner refusing to sell, it the cotton could be impressed at the rates assessed.
To sum up, you will, therefore, first assess and hold subject to your order 8 per cent,of all the cotton now on the Rio Grande and arriving; secondly, you will inform the British consul and foreign holders that the right of impressment as to foreign cotton or cotton owned by foreigners is under advisement,and as soon as the question is determined they will be informed. In the meantime you will hold their cotton under impressment until the question is settled. If you can get possession of cotton enough which is the property of our own citizens to give cargoes to all of those vessels with whose owners we have contracts, you will offer them payment on such cotton thus impressed, in accordance with the Constitution and laws of our country.
As the State of Texas is deeply interested in this transaction,if you cannot obtain cotton enough from our own citizens, exempting parties as designated in the instructions of Lieutenant-General Smith and in those of Major-General Magruder, you will impress the State cotton, holding it until the major-general commanding can communicate with and hear from the Governor. This will be done unless all the merchants will agree to advance cotton sufficient to accomplish our purpose, as explained in the former part of this letter; otherwise the impresment policy will not be department from, as it is now an inevitable necessity.
I am, general, very respectfully,your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA, July 29, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. SCURRY, Commanding Eastern Sub-District:
SIR: I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to say that in choosing the companies of Elmore's regiment,whom you have been directed to order to Niblett's Bluff to protect the Government property at that place, you will select the companies with the view of getting the most capable and suitable officer in the regiment to take command of the companies, and make the necessary and proper arrangements to insure the protection of the property at Niblett's Bluff, and to carry out further instructions which he will receive. Niblett's Bluff will be considered as belonging to your sub-district. This officer will report directly to you,sending his regimental reports,of course, to the commanding officer of his regiment.
You will direct him to stop as many negroes as may be necessary, with their implements,passing through Niblett's Bluff, to work upon the fortifications which are or will be located there by Colonel Forshey; to se the saw-mills in that neighborhood or near Orange at work, without interfering with the engineers, for which purpose he must communicate with the engineers at the mouth of the Sabine River. The saw-mills get lumber for making five or six ferry flats,with their poles and oars, to assist,in an emergency,in taking the stores from Niblett's Bluff to Orange. He will impress all the empty buildings and rooms in the place, impressing at once, in accordance with the impressment act, all gambling houses and liqueur shops.
He will establish the strictest military discipline and military police, permitting no abuse to exist. He will establish a system of guard, appointing a provost-marshal, who will cause all persons passing through