has retired to his forts, I hope there is no longer any danger of invasion this season; at all events they ought to be here. General McCulloch will complain, but that ought not to be heeded, though he is an excellent officer and a patriot. If the enemy can be defeated in his great designs, let him succeed in his smaller ones if it be unavoidable.
His present design is to march to Houston, and thus cause the evacuation of Galveston, which will then become his base for further operations in the interior. If he succeed, the Trans-Mississippi Department is gone for any effective action. I hope, therefore, general, that you will support me strongly and without delay. In my judgment, it is unfortunate that there should have been any change in General Taylor's purpose of falling back by the Niblett's Bluff road. If the enemy has taken the Niblett's Bluff road, you cannot hurry troops too fast nor in too great numbers to my assistance; otherwise the above-mentioned results will in all probability, indeed, I think, will certainly, take place.
I beg, my dear general, again to ask your action on my recommendation for officers to command my artillery. The law allows it, the Adjutant-General at Richmond admits the principle, and says he will be guided by it, and the service imperiously demands it.
In haste, with great respect and esteem, I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District of Texas, &c.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Sabine Pass, September 27, 1863.
Brigadier General H. P. BEE,
Commanding Western Sub-District:
GENERAL: I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to say that you will send forward the whole of Duff's regiment excepting the companies of the two beanvides and one other company of this regiment, making in all three companies, to regulate matters and protect the public property which may be left there. the rest of this regiment, as well as Creuzbaur's battery, with the two 24-pounders, the general directs you will also send forward in company with Duff's regiment. The public property will be removed by you and sent to Alleyton, but should the enemy land at any point between this place and Lavaca, you will cause these troops to be marched in a circuit, avoiding Alleyton, so as to prevent being captured, and to effect a junction with the troops at this place. You will also cause the public property to be so transported as to prevent its falling into the enemy's hands, should they land between the points above mentioned. The general directs that all the guns, both heavy and light, be removed to Alleyton.
Under existing circumstances, the general is unwilling for you to leave, but directs that you remain at Brownsville, or some point near there, until the successful issue of the diplomatic relations between our Government and the French and Mexican authorities, which have been conducted in a manner entirely satisfactory and as you alone can conduct them.
The general directs that the 250 mules referred to in your communication will be used by you in transporting the public property to Alleyton. You will give the men orders to break in these mules to harness, and if they refuse, prefer charges against them and have them court-