HEADQUARTERS KING'S RANCH,
November 13, 1863.
Major A. G. DICKINSON, San Antonio:
SIR: There exists an immediate necessity for the appearance of the most reliable troops we have at Eagle Pass.
It is yet uncertain what direction commercial affairs will take on the west side of the Rio Grande.
The existing authorities of Tamaulipas have been overthrown, and Cortina is in power. He is known to be bitterly hostile to us, and possible, through the Yankee influence, he may prohibit the transit of goods destined for Texas. This would throw us entirely on the generosity of the Vidaurri government, which is friendly to us. I have written to Governor Vidaurri, and assured him that we could and would hold Eagle pass for months after the enemy might take Brownsville. It is also reported to me that there are 200 or 300 renegades about Piedras Negras, ready to depredate ont he trade and travel. I am satisfied that the population west of San Antonio, on that road, is hostile to our cause, and will avail themselves of the first good opportunity to declare for our enemies.
I am aware that the general commanding has, by repeated orders, retained Captain Weyman's company for guard duty at San Antonio, but, in my judgment, that company should at once take the field, show itself in full strength on the road, and take post at Eagle Pass.
The transit of cotton for the next mouth or two will be immense, and reliable troops should be sent. I shall march for Rio Grande City in three or four days, with a force of not exceeding 200 men, but it is all I have, and it is all important that our friends should know that we do not intend to desert them, and our enemies that we will contest the ground with them. You are, therefore, instructed to equip Captain Weyman's company as well as possible, and order it to Eagle Pass. Should Lieutenant [Thomas E.[Sneed have passed through, or be at San Antonio, you will order him to return with Captain Weyman, and from Eagle Pass join me in the vicinity of Laredo, should the road be safe for so small a party; if not, communicate by letter on the Mexican side of the river.
You will depend on Captains Navarro and Adams for the protection of the public property at San Antonio, which I presume will, with the assistance of the citizens, when necessary, be all-sufficient.
You will use all efforts to increase Weyman's company, and invite all persons who may be willing to join in a short campaign ont he Rio Grande.
I am satisfied that the Yankees will, for some time, have to depend on their Mexican allies for means to injure us. A show of force will keep them quiet, and keep General Banks within the limits of Brownsville.
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., November 14, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Arkansas:
GENERAL: Your dispatch, announcing the occupation of Brownsville by the enemy, has been received. General Bee will, of curse, retreat up the Valley of the Rio Grande. A sufficient cavalry force should be