it necessary to retain these troops for that purpose, though I think they ought to remain here on other accounts.
This country is remarkably deficient in arms, and I have issued all I had on hand in order to arm the troops that I had immediately in camp; and on last night Captain Patten reported a company for service, under orders from Lieutenant-General Smith, for three years or the war, which are now needed very much on the frontier, where the Indians are killing our people and driving off their stock, but they have only thirteen guns (common rifles and poor shotguns), and I have none to supply them with.
I have written for arms and other supplies until I am really ashamed to write, and not one gun, tent, blanket, pair of shoes, or anything for field service have I received, except some ammunition, while I need everything that is required to fit out and sustain an army; and I would not mention these things again if it were not a solemn duty I owe myself and my country to keep my commanding general fully informed of the condition of things, that the country may be defended or the responsibility rest where it properly belongs.
I know that the people of the country, and I have reason to believe that my commanding general, expect me to do something in the way of taking care of the public and private interests of this section, but I cannot do it without men or guns.
I have asked the general to send me two thousand guns, all of which I think I need, but I could distribute one thousand judiciously and properly int he next fifteen days; then, if it is possible, send me this one thousand guns by mule wagons as expeditiously as it can be done.
I am not disposed to complain of any one, and do not write this in that spirit, but I intend to protect myself fully, and fortify, if possible, against any failure that may occur here; and, let me say, that failure will take place and trouble come unless proper plans are adopted and systematically executed.
Firmness and consistency must mark our course as well as comprehensive thought and reflection in our plans if we succeed with matters well in this section.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. MCCULLOCH,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Northern Sub-District.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,
Santa Gertrudes, Tex., November 11, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston:
SIR: I have information from Brownsville to the 6th. But three companies had entered the city, two black and one white. A regiment from Maine held the mouth of the river. The force is 12,000 strong, under General Banks in person, and have met great loss in landing, losing over 100 artillery horses and many stores. Knowing that the town was evacuated, they were moving slowly, but are evidently so much shattered that it will be some time before they can move. The news from river is distressing. Bands of robbers are prowling around, doing all the damage possible.
Rio Grande City had been threatened, and the Mexican companies of Captains Sloss and Spencer had disappeared. Captain Sloss escaped