veu to the condition of affairs in our front, so that it might be by you communicated to your district headquarters. The enemy is concentrating his forces along the Canadian, with the evident purpose of an early advance. the force at North Fork is 2,500, and six pieces of artillery; 1,500 at Scullyville, with four pieces of artillery; and a like number at Fort Smith, with other troops in smaller numbers at different points convenient to his point of concentration. To the advance of this force we can oppose no adequate resistance. The total effective of white troops will not exceed 1,250, and these alone are to be relied upon. We have deemed it proper to advise you of the exact condition of affairs, so that if it is possible to re-enforce this army with the purpose of defending the Texas frontier, it may be done at once.
General Cooper's headquarters are at present near Perryville; my brigade is near Riddle's Station, on the road known as the Fort Smith and Boggy Depot road.
Will you be good enough to read this dispatch to General Steele on his arrival at Bonham, and to make such other use of it as may seem best to you?
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SMITH P. BANKHEAD,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, Tex., October 3, 1863.
NELSON CLEMENTS, Esq.,
SIR: You will have been informed of the capture of the schooner Love Bird, sent out by you to the port of Matamoras, under your contract with Major Hart, of the Confederate Army.
There have been delivered to me 4,200 Enfield rifles; the rest of the cargo was captured by the French.
This irreparable misfortune to Texas was caused by the ignorance, incapacity, and disgraceful conduct of the captain of the Love Bird. The vessel arrived on Monday. I did not hear of it until Wednesday, although my picket stations bring me information in three hours from the mouth of the Rio Grande. There was no blockade, either French or Yankee; the coast entirely clear.
I was at first met with the refusal of the supercargo (a young man of not the slightest conception of what was expected of him or of what was his duty) to give up the bills of lading until he saw the cotton to pay for them; literally, as one box of arms came over the side a bale of cotton should pass up on the other. This difficulty was settled by Mr. Attrill, and the bills of lading handed to Ruthven. Arrangements and contracts were then made to lighter the vessel at once. The captain gave his word that he would move his ship to Brazos Santiago Bar, in American waters, and there discharge his cargo, I giving him a guarantee to pay him 1,800 pounds, sterling in case of loss; but at the last moment he broke his word, and refused to do so; consequently the lighters had to unload in Mexican waters, and by carrying the freight to Point Isabel, a port of Texas, were violating the revenue and neutrality laws of Mexico, and he finally lost his vessel, which would not have been interfered with by the French had the ship been north of the mouth of the Rio Grande. The captains and crews of the three lighters which carried the cargo to Point Isabel on their return to Mexican waters were