lieve you. I hope to have the necessary funds at your disposal in a few days. Though there is neither quartermaster, commissary, nor ordnance funds in the district, I will endeavor to procure you funds from Mr. [James] Sorley, at least sufficient to meet past liabilities. he has not failed to make the necessary estimates, nor to press them by special agents at department headquarters. The chief commissary of the department, however, insists upon it that a sufficiency can be raised from tithes to support the army without purchasing. This will be doubtless so, after a short time, particularly in your district, where flour and beef, as I am informed, are abundant. Some quartermaster's funds must be supplied, however, to pay for transportation, and ordnance funds to pay workmen for repairs, &c.
I have sent 5,000 pounds powder, some ammunition, and thirty or forty wagons by Major Henry Pendleton, quartermaster of Bankhead's brigade, and presume he will arrive at Bonham by the time this reaches you. At whatever cost, we must meet the enemy now advancing toward Texas, and if you are stripped of all your troops excepting General Steele's command, and the Northern Sub-District is invaded from the Indian Territory by a superior force, you will have to operate upon his communications and flanks, if possible, keeping him in a body, or cutting off parties, should he send them out, avoiding a general engagement, thereby saving as much of the country as possible.
To attempt to defend the State at all points would be but to lose it. My last dispatch from Louisiana, received yesterday, informs me that the enemy are at or near Vermillionville, some 30,000 strong, at that point [where] the road turns off to Niblett's Bluff. It is not known whether he will push on to Alexandria or come to the latter place. If the latter, I amy expect Franklin's corps ont he coast, and I cannot possibly concentrate more than 5,000 armed men to meet this immense force, striking at the heart of Texas, the center of our railroads, and forcing the evacuation of Galveston, without calling upon all the troops in the Northern Sub-District, including Bankhead's command. Therefore, I have ordered all these troops to Millican. Should the enemy come to Niblett's Bluff, they could be concentrated against him, either at one point or the other. Should he march to the northern part of Louisiana, I hope to have time to divert the march of our troops to Nacogdoches, so as to dispute the passage of the Sabine either at Burr's Ferry or Sabine Town. In the meantime they should be moving down rapidly, particularly Bankhead's brigade.
General Price is marching down the Washita before a superior force of the enemy. Concentration must be our policy, and the line of communication from the different portions of the army must be kept secure till the enemy develops his plans, when we shall know how to make use of them.
I had thought that before this many companies of cavalry would have reported at Bonham. Please inform me as fast as they arrive, and, ins ending them or any portion of the army to Millican, take such route as will enable them to be diverted easily from their course to Nacogdoches; that is, the most eastern route. Not more than five wagons to a regiment are necessary, and three would be sufficient, including those for officers. In your movements or when stationary, do not hesitate to impress whatever you may require.
The Indian Territory and the troops under General Steele should be under your command, if you rank him, as I presume you do. I shall so recommend to General Smith. In the meantime you will assume command if you find it necessary or beneficial to the public