Velasco, Tex., September 15, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
CAPTAIN: Since my return I have learned with deep regret that the major-general commanding believed that I, while on the march in Louisiana, had not shown his orders that respect and obedience which is due from an inferior to a superior.
I now enter a full disclaimer, and will, as briefly as possible, make the explanation. I received an order from Brigadier-General Scurry, commanding Eastern Sub-District of Texas, to march to Niblett's Bluff, La, with eight companies of my regiment, to wit, four companies of cavalry, three of infantry, and one battery of light artillery. When I arrived at Houston, I called on Brigadier-General Scurry, and informed him that the light battery was unfit for service. He declined to give any countermanding orders. On the morning of the 25th of May, I issued an order to Captain [W. E.] Gibson to march, by embarking his guns, caissons, and wagons on board the steamer for Liberty, that evening. He said he must appeal to Brigadier-General Scurry, inasmuch as his battery was unfit for service. He did so, and returned to me, the brigadier-general refusing to issue any orders regarding the battery.
The embarkation took place as ordered, and the next day I left by the overland route, in company with the artillery horses, leaving Captain Gibson and Lieutenant [H. Z.] Hill to bring forward 40 sets of harness, which was ascertained (after the steamer had left for Liberty) to be on hand in the ordnance department; they were also ordered to bring up all absentees. When I arrived at Liberty, on the 27th of May, I ordered Captain Gibson to report to his company without delay, as his presence was absolutely necessary with it. Lieutenant Hill was ordered to remain and bring forward the harness and absentees.
On the 28th of May, I arrived at Niblett's Bluff, and there had the command turned over to me by Colonel Major, with orders from him to march as soon as my transportation arrived, which had been delayed by the act of my quartermaster, and it did nato arrive until June 5, 1863, 10 a. m., making a loss of seven days. At 3 p. m. the same day, the command was on the march, Captain [William] Saunders in advance with a squadron of cavalry and the light artillery, with orders to proceed with as little delay as possible. I remained with the infantry, and, by the breaking down of wagons and men, I did not united with the cavalry and light artillery till June 13, at Opelousas.
Two days previous to my arrival at Opelousas, Captain Saunders reported himself to Brigadier-General Mouton, at Vermillionville, with the three companies, to wi, two of cavalry and one battery of light artillery, and received orders to march to Washington, where the command remained two days, shoeing artillery horses and paying off the troops tow months' pay. I also procured, while at this place, 7 or 8 sets of new artillery harness (Yankees), at a cost of only $13 for the whole, the amount charged by a man for gathering and hauling to a safe place from where the Yankees had left them. At this point and period, June 17, Captain Gibson arrived, with orders from Major-General Magruder, dated May 28, ordering the battery to return to Texas. I felt embarrassed at this order. I had been ordered to report to the military authorities of Louisiana. I was 120 miles east of Niblett's Bluff, and, under all the existing circumstances, although with regret, I thought I could not to less than to order Captain Gibson on