HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, Tex., October 11, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication dated September 17, by favor of Captain Ransom.
While I hear with personal regret the decision of the major-general commanding as to my remaining on the Rio Grande, I am grateful to him for this renewed mark of his confidence. It is an official indorsement of my course while in command here which will go far to hush the voice of slander against me.
I trust that I will immediately be relieved from all charge of the cotton business, and respectfully request it. I am willing to serve my country in any position; I am willing to remain on the Rio Grande in command of a battalion of troops, but I am not willing to be placed in a position where I have no power but to execute orders that I may receive, yet am subjected to the mortification of having my good name bandied about by the slanderous and disloyal.
I have clean hands and a clear conscience on this cotton business, have been indorsed by the people of Brownsville and the major-general commanding, and feel that it is now due me that I should be entirely relieved from all connection with it. I feel, indeed, so sensitive on the subject that I would prefer to return my commission to the President and fight for my country in the ranks, as I have done before, that further subject my reputation to this ordeal. Colonel Broadwell is, In understand, in charge of the cotton bureau. I presume he is competent and that it is not necessary for me to serve under him.
I am willing to assume full charge of the cotton business, provided I have full authority, untrammeled, and held directly responsible. I feel satisfied, from my intimate knowledge of the business, which no other officer but Major Russell in Texas possesses, that if I had the full charge given to me last April, I could have carried out the wishes and supplied the wants of the army. It is probably now too late, as the enemy may soon cut off the trade, nor do I now propose to take it, but only mention it as in connection with my present respectful but firm request to be relieved from all connection with the cotton business.
The important letter from General Smith will be sent by a special messenger on the French frigate for Vera Cruz, to sail in a few days, it being the only opportunity at my command. I believe I could have rendered especial service if I had been sent with it myself, for there are local reasons that might be brought to bear on the question which have not been, of course, known to General Smith.
We receive to-day the positive news that Rosecrans has been routed and in full retreat. God be praised!
I am suffering from the climate here, and am hardly fit for duty.
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN SUB-DISTRICT,
Bonhanm, Tex., October 11, 1863.
Captain STEPHEN D. YANCEY, A. A. A. G., Houston, Tex.:
CAPTAIN: Yours of the 8th instant is at hand, and in reply I must say that I am glad from my heart to learn that the 30,000 Yankees have