through Lavaca to San Antonio. The country west of the San Antonio River will then necessarily be lost to us for a time. Fortunately, it is but sparsely settled, and only adapted to stock, which can be driven off. In my opinion, defenses should be erected and depots of supplies be established at Beaumont, Liberty, Houston, and Columbus, giving us thereby the line of railroad as a line of defense.
An invasion from Kansas at the same time is not improbable, but this from its nature cannot be more than a series of cavalry raids. Still, a strong force will be required in the northeast to meet it.
If this communication is not warranted by my position toward the major-general commanding, it will, I trust, be attributed to my great desire to successfully repel the invasion of my State, and to no less worthy motive.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Niblett's Bluff, Orange, Beaumont, Liberty, Houston, and Columbus have already been made depots of supplies. Some of them are being fortified.
Troops are in the Northern Sub-District, under Acting Brigadier-General Bankhead, and more ordered. Brigadier-General McCulloch has been assigned to the command of that sub-district by Lieutenant-General Smith. The fort at Aransas has already been ordered to be discontinued, and the hills there must be made to assume the appearance of a strong fort, and there must be some guns, as well as the troops now there, kept there until the enemy will probably arrive, say November or December, when the island can be evacuated, if necessary. Saluria must be defended, otherwise Galveston will be turned. The troops caught by the enemy west of his point of landing must make for some point east of the point of landing. The troops at Brownsville will be safe for a long time after the enemy lands at Corpus [Christi] or Lavaca, as he will require time to move, and can be watched.
It will be seen by Brigadier-General Bee that the major-general commanding has not failed to give these important matters his attention.
J. B. M. [MAGRUDER.]
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
Fort Brown, August 14, 1863.
His Excellency DON MANUEL RUIZ,
General, and Governor of the State of Tamaulipas:
SIR: I have been informed that the officers of the Navy of the United States now off the mouth of the Rio Grande have violated the neutrality of Mexico, in the war at present existing between the United and Confederate States, by occupying and using the territory of Mexico for the purpose of surveying the mouth of the Rio Grande and the country adjacent to it, with a view to hostile movements against this Government.
I have the honor to request that you will inform me if this statement is correct; and, if so, if it was done by Your Excellency's consent and approbation.
I have also been informed that a certain imaginary line has been established, defining the maritime boundary between Mexico and the Confederate States beyond the mouth of the Rio Grande and in the Gulf