required for use at the post in cutting wood for the steamboats and supplying this post with wood. Impress all of the horses now at the Bluff, particularly those of speculators, and send them down immediately to this place, and all the good horses that may come hereafter belonging to speculators.
If the enemy is found to be advancing on Niblett's Bluff, you will divert the cotton en route for that place to Spike's Ferry and Burr's Ferry. Send to this post also all the meal over 30 sacks, and all of the soap excepting 120 pounds (2 boxes).
You will order the detachment of [L. G.] Clepper's company now at the Bluff to take post at Spike's Ferry, and impress one-half of the male negroes passing through. You will direct Lieutenant Aikens to go out with a detachment to collect negroes in the Big Woods; also you will keep as many of these negroes as are necessary to cut wood for the steamers and this post, and send the rest to Beaumont to repair the railroad.
As the country is not well known to the major-general commanding, you will use your judgment in sending out cavalry or infantry to collect negroes for these purposes, as it is of the first importance that the steamers and this post be kept continually supplied with wood and the railroad put in immediate repair. The arrangements of the troops to accomplish this he leaves to you, in the absence of Captain Nolan. There is no wood here either for steamboats or fuel; therefore, as much wood as she can bring will be put on the Florida. Al of these stores must be shipped by this boat. If, after they are aboard, there is room for private freight, it will be taken, a strict account being rendered of it to the quartermaster, the Florida being now considered a chartered boat, and private freight will be accredited to the Government in paying for her.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, Tex., September 29, 1863.
Honorable JOHN SLIDELL,
Commissioner of the Confederate States, Paris:
SIR: I beg to ask your official interposition with the French government that the cargo of the schooner Love Bird may be returned to the Confederacy.
This vessel was sent out under a contract between the authorities of Texas and Nelson Clements, and was consigned to a house in Matamoras - Hale & Co. Her cargo consisted of 10,000 Enfield rifles, 156 revolvers, 2,000,000 cartridges, 5,000,000 caps, &c.
The vessel arrived off the mouth of the Rio Grande and anchored in Mexican waters. I immediately commenced discharging her into lighters, and conveying them to Point Isabel. But 210 boxes of rifles, containing 4,200, had been landed there, when a French frigate arrived here, and without giving me an opportunity of communications with her, captured the vessel, and sailed off with her toward Vera Cruz. The frigate arrived at 6 p. m. on Saturday, and left at daylight.
This is the second vessel that the French have taken from me at this port. The schooner Goodyear was captured in the same way in July last, with the difference that I got none of the arms. The proofs in that