I inclose a copy of a dispatch just received from Padre Island.* I do not think that it portends anything serious.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
Organization of the commands of Cols. A. Buchel, X. B. Debray, A. T. Rainey, and P. N. Luckett, November 11, 1863.+
(Headquarters, Sabine Pass.)
1st Texas Cavalry (Buchel's).
Terrell's cavalry regiment.
Brown's cavalry regiment.
Davidson's cavalry battalion.
Posts of Beaumont and Liberty.
Debray's cavalry regiment.
Gould's cavalry regiment.
Pyron's cavalry regiment.
Woods' cavalry regiment.
Cook's artillery regiment.
Elmore's infantry regiment.
Regiment Texas State Troops.
Likens' cavalry regiment.
BOEUF RIVER, LA.,
November 12, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
MY DEAR SIR: I am this far on my way, and find an opportunity by Honorable M. D. Graham to drop you a hasty line.
I am satisfied that no obstacle interposes sufficient to prevent the regular passage of the mails, the passage of all dispatches and ordnance stores; and a twelve-gun battery (light artillery), with the ordinary support to prevent surprises, would perfectly impede the navigation of the Mississippi-destroy or run from the river every gunboat now between Vicksburg and Natchez.
They are all small stern-wheel boats, the iron-clads not being able to navigate the river at its present stage of water. At present there is not a gun (light artillery) nor 50 men of the Confederate forces on both sides of the river. I have written to General J. E. Johnston, and will inform General E. K. Smith.
I have no hesitation in saying that were the men under my command at present, in two weeks I could cross 10,000 men and horses without losing one for whom I would not receive an equivalent. Colonel Graham will inform you of my views more particularly. I still believe that the independence of the Confederacy has to be established by battles.
+As announced in Special Orders, Numbers 307, of that date, from headquarters District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.