It has received the careful attention of the brigadier-general commanding, and your action meets with his approval.
Governor Ruiz will be communicated with on this subject, and urged to take prompt measures to arrest Zapata and his party.
The murder of Colonel Jesus Garcia Ramires, so much to be regretted, warns us that the band of Zapata is again preparing to disturb this frontier; the brigadier-general commanding, therefore, urges upon you to exercise the greatest vigilance, and as soon as it is known that they are organized you will use every effort to destroy them, crossing into Mexico when necessary without hesitation, as you authorized to do by the arrangement entered into with General Lopez.
You are instructed to notify the authorities of Guerrero that town will be held responsible for all damages which may be done by the band of Zapata, and urge them to disperse it, as it is in their power to do.
Should you discover that this movement of Zapata is a serious one, you will immediately notify the troops along the line and also these headquarters.
And, in conclusion, allow me to assure you that the brigadier-general commanding reposes the utmost confidence in your ability and zeal.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. O. YAGER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, Ala., September 7, 1863.
Colonel B. S. EWELL,
Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of the West, Morton, Miss.:
COLONEL: I have been notified by General Johnston that the brigades of General Gregg and McNair await my orders at Enterprise, and that the brigades of Generals Featherston and Johns Adams are at Newton, and destined to come to Mobile to assist in its defense so soon as I may inform you that I require them. I need some good heavy artillerists. There are three battalions or regiments, the First and the Twenty-first and Twenty-third Louisiana, and Eighth Louisiana Battalion, captured at Vicksburg, who, I know to be very skillful in handling heavy guns. I hope so soon as they can be exchanged you will send them down here to me, if other interests of the service will permit you to do so.
Little's old Missouri brigade, once commanded by me, will be more serviceable here than any other troops. I shall be glad to have them also, preferring, if necessary, to exchange for them troops now here or awaiting orders to come here. I think it very important to have troops belonging to distant localities. There are questions involving embarrassment to the service frequently arising in consequence of the singular manner in which officers of the general staff have been assigned to specified posts and duties within the limits of my command without any report being made to me or the post commanders of such assignment. I believe it is in accordance with military usage for staff officers to be ordered by their chiefs to report to the department commander, and for him to have them assigned to their appropriate positions, and in no case is it proper that an officer should enter upon duty at a military post and fail to report to the commander of that post. As several unpleasant difficulties have arisen in consequence of a neglect of this