I have ordered Captain Christobal Benavides to scout from San Antonio Viejo to the Argeles, and Captain Refugio [Benavides] to guard the roads from Loss Angeles to Laredo. These orders were issued presuming that you had proceeded to Brownsville, and they are herewith inclosed* For your guidance, and not as separate orders. You will see from them what I desire.
There must be an active officer at Laredo to expedite the passage of the cotton across the river, and make the necessary arrangement with the Mexican authorities for its safety after it crosses. You will use the company of Captain Spencer if it is still in service, and are authorized to raise additional companies, and to enlist every available man, and carry out the original understanding between us for guerrilla warfare. The whole country looks to you and your gallant, faithful men, and I am satisfied that the expectation will be more than realized.
I have written to the general commanding for 1,000 cavalry to operate this winter on the Rio Grande, and believe I will get them; if I do, I shall be with you, and, together, we will sweep from the earth the traitors who have disgraced us, and prove to the enemy that there still exist men who will fight for their country, and hold it, too.
I arrived safe at this place with my train, which was valuable my force was less than 100 men, and here I will remain until I hear from headquarters.
Rely on me to sustain you at the earliest moment, and you can say in my name that we will remember those who may now turn against us. I have written to Lieutenant [John Z.] Lyendecker concerning the cotton, and, should he be with you, send him to Laredo at once.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
[P. S.]-I have no news from Brownsville.
SANTA GERTRUDES, TEX.,
November 9, 1863.
Honorable J. A. QUINTERRO, Monterey, Mex.:
SIR: You will have heard of the landing of the Yankees at Brazos Island, and I now have the pleasure to inform you of my safe arrival here with a train worth $1,000,000, which I brought away from the smoking ruins of Fort Brown with less than 100 men. I was assisted by no one in Brownsville.
I anticipate great difficulty from the bands of robbers and renegades who will infest the country between the Rio Grande and Nueces, and not much from the Yankee troops proper. I have turned back all the cotton to this place, and from here it will seek a crossing at Laredo and Eagle Pass, and it is on this subject that I wish to call your attention most especially. I believe that the influence of the Yankees will be so great in Matamoras that there will be no safety for trains or travel up the Rio Grande, and that it must go to Monterey and then to Matamoras, as I presume that even Yankee influence could not stop the usual commerce of Mexico.
It is, therefore, on General Vidaurri that I rely in this emergency. If he will protect the trade to Eagle Pass through his territory, the trade will be as beneficial to his people as essential to ours. We can hold Eagle Pass for some time if there is safety for merchandise on the other.