any failure to send them with all possible rapidity to Houston, will rest upon General Bee. If the arms have already started from Brownsville, General Bee will keep himself informed of their progress, and make arrangements on the road for supplying fresh teams or more teams, if necessary, to insure the arms arriving here with the least possible delay.
You yourself will inquire the trains on the road, and, on meeting them, will stop and inspect them, and cause fresh teams to be procured and the loads so divided as to facilitate the transit of the arms to Houston, informing me by letter at what time the arms may be expected.
You will give such instructions as the case may admit to insure the accomplishment of the purpose in view, and you will exercise the power of impressment, if necessary, to accomplish this.
You will send orders as you pass along to the batteries of light artillery to hurry on to Houston as rapidly as possible, informing me by letter when I may expect them.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
(Copy sent to Lieutenant [H. M.] Stanard.)
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, Tex., October 14, 1863.
Major MATTHEWES, C. S. Army,
SIR: On the 12th instant, I received a letter from Colonel [Charles J.] Helm, dated Havana, September 22, in which he informed me that by the advice of Captain Da Ponte he had advised that you should proceed to Tampico, and there await communications from me; that I would make such arrangements with the Mexican authorities as would enable you to reach my command. Captain Da Ponte writes that he suggests "that a flag of truce, with an escort, be sent by the Mexican authorities to communicate with Major Matthewes and escort him to Matamoras."
I very much regret the advice that has been given you by our friends in Havana, for you might as well be in Japan as in Tampico, so far as any assistance than I can render you is concerned. I am on good terms with Glover Ruiz, of Tamaulipas, but he has no authority to communicate with the French at Tampico, and any open assistance, as the flag of truce, &c., would be a violation of the neutrality of Mexico. I am, therefore, powerless to help you.
I send this by a trusty messenger, and suggest that you consult Don Ramon de Obregon and Don Dionisio Camacho, merchants of Tampico, who may be able to serve you; you can put your trust in them. If you can get outside of the French lines, and I am informed of it, I can get a salva conducta for you to Matamoras.
The situation in which you are placed, through the ignorance of our friends, gives me great uneasiness and solicitude.
The best way is to run up to the mouth of the Rio Grande in a small vessel, under French colors, and, after coming to anchor, communicate with me through my pickets at the Boca del Rio, who will bring me the information in three hours, but if this is impracticable, and the merchants I have mentioned have any way to get you out of Tampico, and you can get to Governor Serna or Don Juan de Leon, at Soto de la