Use all your influence, therefore, to obtain a strong guard at Piedras Negras, and a declaration from Vidaurri that he will permit no outlaws or renegades to band together on his territory for hostile purposes against us. Request him to send a force at once to Laredo, to protect the cotton which is now moving to that point. Say to the merchants that there will be no money to pay freight at Laredo, and recommend that money be sent to pay freight and receive the cotton on consignment. I am desirous that all the trade should be done with Nuevo Leon, and it is for Governor Vidaurri to say how he wishes it arranged, and I will make my arrangements to connect and concert with him.
The benefits to Nuevo Leon are so apparent that I need not repeat them. It will take the Yankees until spring to send an effective force to Eagle Pass, and we must keep down all other sort of enemies. Commission houses, merchants, with goods of all sorts, should be at Eagle Pass and Laredo, for the trade will be heavy.
Answer me by this express. Let me know the news from Mexico and Matamoras.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HEADQUARTERS LINE OF THE SABINE,
Niblett's Bluff, La., November 9, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
SIR: I have no positive information as to the retreat of the enemy below Vermillionville, having received the news only through private sources. In the event that the enemy do retreat from Vermillionville, I respectfully request to be instructed what to do-whether to go to Sabine Pass or elsewhere, or remain here. In my opinion, my presence here would no longer be necessary. Captain Nolan's company of cavalry and Lieutenant [William] Rigby's detachment of Company K, Twentieth Texas Infantry, would be sufficient to garrison this place and act as couriers.
Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin reports that he has learned from the blockaders, under flag of truce, that they have captured a schooner loaded with 300 bales of cotton, and commanded by Captain Chase, off Matagorda. He also reports that William Griffith, the bridge-burner, and a very dangerous character, and Desire Labore, a deserter from Fournet's regiment of Louisiana Infantry, have been taken, and will be forwarded to Major [William] Hyllested, provost-marshal-general, at Houston.
Several days ago I sent 4 prisoners, who were taken on the Calcasieu, trying to get to the enemy, to Major Hyllested, one of whom, Joseph Ritchie, is a very dangerous character. He stated to Captain Nolan that if sent to Houston he was certain to get free, having many powerful friends there-I suppose Union friends. He has been in the service of the Yankees, and is supposed to be one of their spies. He is said to be an excellent pilot, thoroughly acquainted with all the bars, inlets, &c., on the coast of Texas.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,