east of the Nucces. If the general can give me 1,000 cavalry, I think I can keep the guerrillas quiet this winter and protect trains to Eagle Pass, and, if there is no invasion from the east, I would respectfully urge it.
If we cannot defend this portion of the country, notice should be given to the families and owners of stock to move, as the guerrillas will by spring extend to the San Antonio River. There is great alarm, and on the result of your answer to this dispatch will all be governed; you will, therefore, write me at once.
If a cavalry force is given to me, I can hold the line of the Arroyo Colorado for some time; at least until the stock can be removed eastward.
Of course, I can make no move now, as I do not feel at liberty to keep the troops of Colonel Duff for any purpose whatever, but if any are given, I need not say that Colonel Duff will be indispensable to me; there are very few such officers in Texas.
Depots of supplies must be ordered to this place, and the force here can operate east or west, as may be necessary. Send me also as many mountain howitzers as you can spare.
I shall await here the answer to this dispatch, which I send by express. I hope that the line of express will be inquired into, as I seldom get dispatches.
I ordered Major Russell to Matamoras, where he will remain until he has settled his affairs.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, November 8, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have received information that large numbers of beeves are being driven into Mexico and sold on speculation. This, I think, should be prevented, as all the beeves in this State are necessary to the support of the army and the refugees and negroes from other States. I therefore request that you will grant me authority to prohibit any further exportation of beeves from Texas over the Rio Grande.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
November 12, 1863.
The district commander must judge if this order is necessary; if so, he is authorized to publish it to his command. If the district commander doubts the policy of publishing the order asked for, he can effect the same object by directing the impressment of all beef-cattle being sent toward the Rio Grande for shipment to Mexico.
E. KIRBY SMITH,