but the request will be acceded to without delay. The captain and supercargo, however, decline to be released at Vera Cruz, and will most likely demand to be towed back where they have been captured. This is, indeed, a perplexing, serious affair altogether, and I can only assure you that I shall do all in my power indirectly (since I cannot act officially in the matter) to get the ship en route again; but I have great fears the delay will be a serious blow to General Bee's forces in Texas.
In great haste, yours, very truly,
P. S.-Is Vicksburg fallen and has General Lee been defeated? Let us pray that the rumor is false, but it makes me very uneasy, and I hope to hear a line from you by first chance.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
Fort Brown, Tex., August 22, 1863.
Major SANTOS BENAVIDES,
Thirty-third Texas Cavalry:
MAJOR: I am directly by Brigadier-General Bee to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th, and in answer to say that your promptness in going to Eagle Pass, as well as the arrangement you have made with the local authorities of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, meet with his entire approbation.
You are also fully authorized and empowered to enter into an arrangement with Governor Vidaurri for the mutual rendition of deserters, thieves, &c., on the basis of the agreement made heretofore between Governor Lopez, of Tamaulipas, and the brigadier-general commanding, which agreement, if made, you will forward to these headquarters for approval.
I am also further directed by General Bee to say that he has no power to approve your General Orders, No. 4, but that it has been forwarded to Major-General Magruder for his advice and action, and that you will not enforce the order until further instructions.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. O. YAGER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
[AUGUST 22, 1863.-For Magruder, per Carrington, to Bankhead, directing him to move at once to the assistance of General Steele, see Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p.975.]
[AUGUST 23, 1863.-For Bankhead to Turner, in reference to movement to the assistance of General Steele, see Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p.977.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, Ala., August 24, 1863.
[General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:]
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have questioned three or four of the people who came over in the last flag-of-truce boat from New Orleans. They left that city on the 15th instant, and concur in the belief that the troops now assembled there, to the number of 20,000 to 35,000, are destined for