[HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Sabine Pass, September 17, 1863.
Chief of Staff:
SIR: On account of the vast extent of country in this district, and the difficulty of disseminating orders throughout every part of the district, I have the honor to state that I regard it as impossible for General Orders, Numbers 38, from headquarters Trans-Mississippi Department, to be strictly complied with.
In view of this, I have the honor to suggest that the time be extended to the 31st of October, 1863, inclusive.
Colonel Gould, commanding Twenty-third Texas Cavalry, with a portion of his regiment and two companies of cavalry of State troops, and officer of reliability, activity, and efficiency for this purpose, has been directed to take all steps necessary to carry out the instructions of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith on this subject, conveyed in letter Numbers 731, September 7, 1863.
On account of the recent attack at Sabine Pass and the present threatened condition of the coast, this is all the force I had at my disposal to carry out the instructions of Lieutenant-General Smith.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
C. S. (late U. S.) War Steamer Clifton, Sabine Pass, September 17, 1863.
Commanding, &c. Brownsville:
GENERAL: I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to inclose to you, by the hands of Captain [J. C.] Ransom, of Brigadier-General Slauhter's staff, a communication from Lieutenant-General Smith, addressed to the Honorable John Slidell, commissioner to France, and also a letter addressed to Major-General Magruder, for your guidance.
The major-general commanding directs that you send the inclosed communication, addressed to Mr. Slidell, by the hands of Mr. Superviele, with the instructions that the exhibit it to General Forey and the minister to that country (Mexico) from France (the French authorities). He will be instructed to allow them only to be read. This communication, after this is done, will be sent to Paris, by Mr. Superviele, or by some reliable agent, to be delivered to Honorable John Slidell. Mr. Superviele may be instructed to intrust it to the hands of some good, reliable, and intelligent man, to be taken to Mr. Slidell, in Europe, wherever he may be, from Mexico, after being read by the French authorities in Mexico.
The duplicate of this letter, now in the hands of Major-General Magruder, will be transmitted directly, by a reliable officer ar agent, to Honorable John Slidell.
The general wishes you to instruct Mr. Superviele to keep this matter a profound secret, and desires you to let the whole transaction be characterized by strict secrecy.
On account of your diplomatic connection with the country, and the valuable services you have already rendered and are still rendering the country, which are highly appreciated by the major-general command-