on the Rio Grande absolutely necessary at present. The interesting aspect of foreign affairs on that frontier at present, your successful administration in the past, and peculiar fitness for the position, render it impossible for him to relieve you now from what he knows is an unpleasant duty to you. The general does not think that the Rio Grande is in danger of invasion at present, but the eastern border of Texas is now threatened by the Federals in Louisiana, and the general directs me to inform you that, should you be forced to leave the Rio Grande, he will give you a comandal in the field, suitable to your rank, in accordance with your wishes.
When this communication reaches you, if you have reached Goliad, the general instructs me to that you are at liberty to remain at home a few days before returning to Brownsville. Upon your arrival in Brownsville, you will relieve General Slaughter, who has been directed to report to these headquarters as soon as relieved.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STEPHEN D. YANCEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN SUB-DISTRICT,
Bonham, Tex., October 15, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
CAPTAIN: Inclosed you will find three papers, copies of orders issued by you and Colonel Gould, the first from you, Numbers 148, dated at Sabine Pass, September 26, 1863, repulsing Department Orders, Numbers 38;* the second Orders, Numbers 250, dated Sabine Pass, September 15, and the third, extract from an order of Colonel Gould, No.- Houston, Tex., September 19, 1863, to which I have exception, as I regard it discourteous to send a junior officer into the district of a senior to perform duties and exercise powers which properly belong to the senior. In addition to this, the instructions given Colonel Gould,, in Orders 250, but too plainly indicate that the major-general commanding cannot rely upon the information that I would give him respecting "strength, position, and intentions or the enemy," or "the state of feeling among the troops," &c., or "the state of feeling in the frontier counties and other parts of the country in that quarter." If these things be true, then Colonel Gould should be put in command, and I sent to some place that I could fill, and in which I might be able to give reliable information respecting all the subjects coming within the range of my duties.
The habits, attainments, experience, and disposition of Colonel Gould doubtless fit him eminently for high command and intricate duties; but I cannot believe his being sent into this district, with independent power, will have any tendency to make him more subordinate or add greatly to the good of the service. In this, however, I may be mistaken, but shall certainly insist upon the common civilities due my rank in the army while I hold it, and most respectfully ask my commanding officer to treat me with courtesy wherever he may see proper to put me; and when he finds that I am not competent to fill a place, or not reliable in it, remove me at once, but not to invade my legal rights or trample upon my personal feelings by sending my juniors into my district with independent commands, and, as it were, to watch over me. Without knowing that Colonel Gould was to be sent here with these extraordinary
* Not found.