it be practicable; and should he at any time be forced to leave the river, he will make the beat of his way according to circumstances to join these headquarters, wherever they may be.
The preparations indicated to commanding officers on the coast will be made without delay, to accomplish all the purposes above mentioned.
By command of Major-General Magruder:
EDMUND P. TURNER,
(Sent to Colonel Bradfute, Colonel Hobby, Colonel Bates, Lieutenant-Colonel Shea, General Luckett, and General Bee.)
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, Tex., October 26, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston:
SIR: I respectfully call the attention of the general commanding to the matter of sending prisoners of war, refugees, suspicious or rascally persons to the Rio Grande, for exportation to Mexico.
The deserters, refugees, &c., are reporting daily to the United States consul at Matamoras. On the 23d, 14, well armed and mounted, rode up to his office in daylight and were assigned quarters; 7 swam the river last night from this vicinity.
The prisoners of war, said to be Yankee overseers, sent by General Smith, are said to be in Matamoras; in a word, if you will consider that Matamoras is a good recruiting station for Lincolndom, I trust you will not imperil the safety of the lives and property of the people on this river by sending any more here. I believe that the offense for which exportation is assessed should be expiated by death at the place of offense, and that prisoners of war should be sent to the Federal lines.
I assure you that I speak with full knowledge of my facts, and in view of the defenseless state of this post and this line.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, October 26, 1863.
Commanding Western Sub-District:
GENERAL: In answer to your communication of the 11th instant, asking to be relieved from further connection with the cotton business, I am instructed by the commanding general to say to you that he will, as soon as the cotton bureau is organized, urge upon them the propriety of sending an agent of theirs to the Rio Grande to take control of the cotton business there. He will then be enabled to relieve you from the irksome and disagreeable duty of which speak, and thus have the advantage of your services both in a diplomatic and military capacity.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. ALSTON,