Gildart gives me a lamentable account of the condition of our people under Lincoln rule, and says there is no mercy in store for us; he represents that from his position as corresponding clerk of [S. B.] Holabird, the quartermaster at New Orleans, he had opportunities of knowing the object of the leaders of the lincolnites; it is the consolidation of the present dynasty on a military basis, &c.
I am informed that Majors Dye, Bigelow, Palmer, and others, have taken the oath of allegiance, and are in Brownsville, and yet Dye was the loudest in his professions of fealty to us.
It seems that our friend, General Cobos, after assuming the command of the city of Brownsville, and assuring its protection against the lawless population, accompanies the mayor to meet General Banks, then crossed the river, overturned the Cortina government, and was Governor of Matamoras for twenty-four hours, when Cortina proved too strong for him, and shot him on the plaza.
I send Mr. Gildart with a guard to report to you at Houston. you will decide as to his status. He tells me he knows all the disaffected men in Texas, and his desire is to explain to them what he has seen of Yankee rule, and is satisfied that he will bring them to our side; if he is sincere, he will do great good. He does not go as a prisoner, as I think it impolitic, but the guard will go nominally as his protector, but will see that he does not escape.
I assure the general that if it was not to aid and support the gallant Benavides, I would be loth to go back with the handful of men I have, but if the troops can be spared, I think we can capture the Federals at Bronwsville.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.
November 15, 1863-7.45 p. m.
Colonel A. BUCHEL, Commanding, &c., Niblett's Bluff:
The major-general commanding directs that you send as heavy cavalry force as you can toward Vermillionville, to drive, if possible, the enemy's small forces back, and, if practicable, you will fortify the Calcasieu, if it can be done, in order to hold a large force in check with a small one. Please report on the progress of the work at Niblett's Bluff.
You will remain with your regiment at Niblett's Bluff, but will send the detachment of Captain Clepper's company, now at Niblett's Bluff, to Elmore's regiment at Galveston. Captain Reeves will be retained as acting commissary of subsistence at Niblett's Bluff until Lieutenant-General Smith can be heard from. Lieutenant-General Smith has been requested to assign Captain Reeves to duty as post commissary of subsistence at Niblett's Bluff.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
MOBILE, ALA., November 16, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE G. GARNER,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Gulf:
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of my regular tour of inspection along the sea-coast, made in pursuance of