AUGUST 14, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER:
GENERAL: After General Gano left my camp, a messenger came in, informing me that on last Monday, within 14 miles of our camp, which is at Robinson's Mills, in Tarrant County, a lady, a Mrs. Brown, whose husband is in the army, was killed in broad daylight at her own house, and two young men and a young lade severely, if not dangerously, wounded by the Indians, and large quantities of horses carried away. I at once issued an order putting all the drafted militia of Parker, Johnson, Erath, and Palo Pinton Counties, all of those subject to militia duty, to take the field at once under Major Carmichael, with such subaltern officers as they may elect. Some of them are already in the field.
We are almost destitute of ammunition, the citizens having only a few rounds each. The murders and thefts of the frontier are 500 per cent greater every day than at any former period, and, unless things change before long, the frontier line will be many miles east of Fort Worth, if not east of the three forks of the Trinity River. These things are going on notwithstanding we have a regiment on the frontier. These Indians are between us and this regiment. I feel some solicitude to have the course I have taken in this matter sustained by you. I could see no reason why these men, who were in camp under pay, should not be put out at once. It will cost the State no more than if in the brigade camp.
Hoping to receive orders from you in reference to this affair,and, I trust a recognition of what I have done in the premises, I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General Twentieth Brigade, Texas State Troops.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
Fort Brown, Tex., August 14, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
CAPTAIN: By the arrival from New Orleans of persons who can be trusted, I am informed that there is no doubt of the invasion of Texas as soon as the sickly season is over, and of the occupation by the naval forces of the enemy of our coast towns, except perhaps Galveston, which will be reduced by a land attack by way of Berwick Bay and the Sabine, destined first for Houston.
As all this seems probable, although not charged with the defense of the coast nor the disposition of the troops, I trust I will not transcend the line of my duty when I respectfully suggest that the troops on the islands near Corpus Christi be withdrawn to the mainland, and the defensive works contemplated thereat be suspended, inasmuch as there will not be time left for their completion.
It seems to me that it will be impossible for the necessarily small force which can be spared to garrison those works to sustain themselves against any serious attack by the enemy. In a word, my belief is that to successfully repel this invasion the troops must be concentrated on a line of defense, and a temporary sacrifice of a portion of the country be made.
It is further my belief, from the information I have, that the effort to cut off the Rio Grande trade will be made not upon this point, but