station in procuring men for his ships; and I hope that the applications for transfer from the army to the navy, which Admiral Buchanan has from time to time forwarded to the War Department, will receive early and favorable consideration.
I shall be able to make a great deal of my own ammunition, if I can get coal and iron. The foundry here turns out one banded 32-pounder or 42-pounder per week, and I expect to be able to have as many Cohorn mortars cast as I shall need. I have recommended the reopening of another foundry here which has been closed for some time.
I beg that you will feel sure I do not desire troops to be prematurely withdrawn from any other portion of the Confederacy to defend this place.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DABNEY H. MAURY,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Near Millican, August 9, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff, Shreveport:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant, in regard to the seizure of arms by the French, which were taken to Vera Cruz. In reply, I beg to state that Brigadier-General Bee informed me by letter of July 9 that statements of all the facts would be made by Mr. Gallagher, agent of Major Hart, at Brownsville, Major Russell, quartermaster, Colonel Latham, collector of customs for the port of Brownsville, and also by himself, and letters on this subject written to the French consul at Vera Cruz; and that these documents would be sent forward on the 12th of July by an agent, per an English man of war. Brigadier-General Bee expresses a conviction that these arms will eventually be returned to our Government.
In reply to your inquiry in regard to the quantity of ordnance and ordnance stores, I have the honor to state that very few arms have been introduced by way of Brownsville into the country; only about 400 stand of small-arms since my arrival here.
To obtain the information in regard to ordnance and ordnance stores desired by Lieutenant-General Smith, imported before my arrival in this district, some time will be required.
Ten thousand pounds of rifle powder was brought by my direction, when I heard of Banks' invasion of Louisiana, and is now stored at Houston.
The necessary steps have been taken to obtain the information. I beg, however, to state that nothing has been or will be left undone by me to secure all the arms, &c., which can possibly be obtained. I am sending out parties with authority to contract for small-arms and their appropriate ammunition with foreign mercantile house, to be paid for in cotton on delivery. Mr. Nelson Clements has contracted to import 20,000 stand of small-arms. The arms referred to above, some 12,000 in number, which were seized by the French Government and sent to Vera Cruz, were sent in by him. Other cargoes may meet the same fate. The contingencies which necessarily attend the importation of such articles being very great, it is feared that though every effort is now being made and will be made to import them, they may prove fruitless.
Some six contracts have been made to bring arms across the Rio Grande, and smuggle them in on the coast, since I have been here. One