to the approval of Lieutenant General Kirby Smith, as brigadier-general, and placed in command of the Mexican frontier of the State, under the orders of the general commanding the Western Sub-District.
We offer the following reasons for our suggestion: Major Benavides, a native of Laredo, Tex., has been in the service of the Confederacy from the date of secession of Texas, and has done his duty faithfully and zealously. He has for nearly a year been in command of that part of the line of the Rio Grande most infected with traitors and thieves; he has by the exercise of most admirable tact, skill,a nd decision, punished the enemies of his country, stopped the depredations of the thieves, and, whether on the one or other side of the Rio Grande, given quiet and protection to the people; he has acquired the respect and confidence of the authorities of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, and the highest esteem of all citizens living on the frontier in Texas.
the anticipated arrival of the enemy on this river is fraught with great danger to the large and valuable stock ranches of Western Texas; the population of the country are not sufficient to give occupation and support to all of them, and with great facility bands or companies can be raised to depredate on either or both sides.
The most direct and positive efforts have been by Dan [Davis], Haynes, and other traitors who are known and have influence on this frontier, to organize and prepare them as an auxiliary force to join the enemy on their arrival, and they succeeded so far as to render necessary a constant and vigilant watch to be kept on their cations by our troops; happily Major Benavides, a short time ago, crossed the river and attacked the band, all of the leaders for which, including Zapata, were slain, and now they have no head. This and other similar acts of rapid justice on the part of Major Bonavides have stricken terror to our enemies and given confidence to our friends, and it is our belief that he can rally the greater portion of the population to our assistance if he has the necessary power, means, and position. In this connection we would suggest that no effort be made to enforce the conscript or militia laws on this river, as certain to produce but the effect of driving the population across the river, and making them the more readily join our enemies when they come; but, if let alone, Major Benavides can, with the guarantee of all they may capture from the enemy and the strong personal influence he possesses, create a guerrilla force annoyance and loss to the enemy which will assuredly cripple their movements.
We speak from a long and personal acquaintance with this frontier and its people, manners, and customs, and we believe that the appointment of Major Benavides to the position sought will transfer a quasihostile population into most valuable auxiliaries.
H. P. BEE.
JAS. W. SLAUGHTER.
ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va. September 22, 1863.
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VIII. Brigadier General T. N. Waul, Provisional Army Confederate States, will proceed without delay to Shreveport, La., and report to Lieutenant General