October 26, 1863.
COLONEL: I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to say that he has received information, deemed authentic, that the enemy is moving on Texas, via Niblett's Bluff. Colonel A. J. Hamilton and staff are at New Orleans. This indicates that the whole expedition will move against Texas. The general is extremely apprehensive that an attack will be made by water, and that the enemy will enter at San Luis Pass. The general wishes to know your views in regard to the nature of the defenses which can be made there, and wishes you to attend to this matter if your health will permit.
He is extremely sorry to hear of your continued sickness, and hopes that you have recovered by this time.
Please answer by telegraph.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, October 26, 1863.
Information, deemed authentic, has been received at these headquarters that an invasion by the enemy under General Banks may be expected daily. Officers in command along the coast will prepare for a vigorous defense of their positions, and those in command at the Brazos at Saluria, Aransas and Corpus Christi Passes, and Corpus Christi will prepare the means to remove, should, after the most strenuous efforts, the conflict be unfavorable to our arms, their sick (who should be sent to some safe neighboring point in the interior), the troops, the small-arms, artillery on wheels, and ammunition, the stores, the cannon in position-those at the Brazos to Houston, those at Saluria and Corpus Christi to Columbus. For this purpose they are authorized to impress wagons, teams, and whatever else may be necessary to accomplish it; spiking the cannons and knocking off the trunnions, if possible, with sledge-hammers, and burn whatever they may not be able to remove; destroying in their retreat all cotton, public or private, that may be within their reach. The commanding officer at Corpus Christi will make special arrangements to burn the cotton at that place, and also at Flower Bluff, if any at that point, and the commanding officer at Saluria do the same with reference to the cotton at Matagorda and Texana.
The few troops left on the Lower Rio Grande will, under the direction of Brigadier-General Bee, after removing all the stores that are possible to Roma or Ringgold Barracks, and placing, if possible, such as cannot be removed in safe custody on the opposite side of the river, as indicated by General Bee in one of his letters, destroy what might fall into the hands the hands of the enemy, and fall back to Roma or Ringgold Barracks.
General Bee in the meantime will direct all cotton in progress to Brownsville to the former place, and, taking his position there, will discharge the important duties, as long as he is able, which have been devolved upon him. Should he ultimately be unable to maintain his position there, he will fall back still farther up the Rio Grande, should