Gano's command, and he may be offended at it, or the company gobbled up and lost to district in which they are needed.
He regrets exceedingly that he cannot furnish you any "tents or cooking utensils upon requisition," and he hardly thinks you will be able to get any "otherwise," as there are none here, and that he sees but little hope of furnishing you any transportation, and, for fear he is not, suggests that you had better supply yourself, if practicable. Should you fail, however, he will render you assistance if in his power. It may not be convenient for the general to come down in person to receive the 200 men belonging to commands east of the Mississippi River, but he will try to have some officer at the place of rendezvous on the 25th to receive them, if he cannot go himself, and requests you to turn them over to him upon presentation of proper authority from him to do so.
He regrets that he cannot conform to the views of yourself and General [E.] Greer in letting men from the State troops join your regiment, as he knows of no way of doing such things legally, except by regular transfer, and, as your command and his are separate and distinct, he is pretty certain it would require an order from General Magruder, if not from General Smith, before any such thing could be done, or all hands might get into a scrape under the Twenty-second Article of War.
The general is very much afraid he will not be able to supply you with "troops to carry out the policy of the lieutenant and major-generals commanding," but thinks it likely that you can accomplish the object by uniting the two commands, which he proposes to do, if agreeable to you, believing that this can be done without in any manner affecting the independent commands you hold, respectively, until you "clean up" the deserters and skulkers.
He would be pleased to hear from you again, especially with regard to the last proposition.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. E. BENTON,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, Tex., October 17, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I forward for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding a letter from Captain [Henry] Rolando, of the U. S. steamer Seminole, to Mr. [Gustavus V.] Fox, Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy.* The original letter has been sent to Mr. Mason, in London, for publication, and a copy to the British admiral, commanding in the Gulf; one also to the Mexican authorities at the Rio Grande. I forward also, through your office, two copies, one for the Adjutant-General and one for the Secretary of the Navy. This letter was captured in the letter-bag of the Seminole, which, together with that of the Cayaga, were given by the Federals to an English captain of a blockade-runner, who, having deceived them into the belief that he was bound for New Orleans, was intrusted with their mail-bags, and afterward ran into Calcasieu, and gave them to our cavalry commander, who forwarded them to Houston.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
* Not found.