the infantry of the State troops at I can arm. If, however, this movement of the enemy in Northern Texas and Western Louisiana takes all or nearly all the troops from the coast, it must fall into the hands of the enemy, with all the railroads, a great many negroes, vast quantities of cotton and sugar, and will, I fear, be a severe blow to us. Nevertheless, I recognize the necessity of concentrating all of our means to beat the enemy in detail, and will do my best to accomplish it.
You say, "You will move your headquarters to some point near the troops." They are at present at Houston, the center of all the railroads leading to my troops; for three weeks past they have been with the troops at Galveston, and for some three weeks before that they were within 7 miles of the terminus of the Central Railroad, at Piedmont Springs, some 100 miles nearer Brigadier-General Bankhead. If the lieutenant-general will designate, and I hereby request him to do so, what point I shall occupy as my headquarters, I will select it with pleasure.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District, &c.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, September 1, 1863.
Brigadier General H. P. BEE,
Commanding Western Sub-District:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your several communications dated from 14th to 24th August, inclusive, all of which have received the earnest consideration of the major-general commanding, who has instructed me to reply as follows: He fully appreciates your patriotism and the valuable services you have rendered our cause, and desires to assure you of his entire confidence in your judgment and discretion. In regard to your letters relative to the contemplated invasion of Texas, I am directed to inform you that Niblett's Bluff, Orange, Beaumont, Liberty, Houston, and Columbus have already been made depots of supplies; some of them are already fortified and being fortified.
Troops are in the Northern Sub-District, marching under General Bankhead to the relief of General Steele, and more have been ordered to that quarter.
General H. E. McCulloch has been placed in command of the Northern Sub-District by Lieutenant-General Smith.
The forts at Aransas have 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 troops kept there until the enemy will probably arrive, say November or December, when the islands can be evacuated, if necessary. Saluria must be defended; otherwise Galveston will be turned and the troops caught. The troops at Brownsville will be safe for a long time after the enemy land at Corpus Christi or Lavaca, as he will require time to move, and can be watched.
You will see by this, general, that the major-general commanding has not failed to give these important matters his attention. As regards our foreign relations, he leaves the course to be pursued by you in your intercourse with the French entirely to the discretion and wisdom which have heretofore characterized your conduct both toward that nation and the Mexicans. I am also directed to state to you, general, what will