the excess must be sent, though they have to be taken from the hands of men.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
S. S. ANDERSON,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Galveston, November 17, 1863.
Brigadier General H. P. BEE,
Commanding Western Sub-District:
GENERAL: The substance of your dispatches to the effect that the enemy is 22,000 [12,000*] strong, under Banks, that they threaten Corpus Christi, and that bands of Mexicans will attack our people on this side of the Rio Grande, is received.
I also hear from Major Dickinson that San Antonio is in danger of a raid from the frontier, near Eagle Pass. Under these circumstances, I think you had better send the piece of artillery I understand you brought from Fort Brown to San Antonio, and a good company of Duff's regiment.
You do not report where the companies of Duff's regiment are. I know two are with Benavides, near Ringgold, and one is at San Antonio. You ought to have with you seven companies of Duff's cavalry and one battery of artillery (Creuzbaur's), and there are two companies of State cavalry between Goliad and King's ranch, ordered to report to you, and four companies at or near Corpus Christi.
Do not lose time in sending a strong company to San Antonio. With the rest I wish you to protect, as far as you can, and to remove a as soon as possible, the public stores and cotton at Corpus Christi, and, if the enemy come in manageable force, to endeavor to defeat and repulse him.
Colonel Bradfute's forces are under your command also, and there are, I think, five pieces of artillery at or near Corpus Christi.
I think you had better make your headquarters at Corpus [Christi] for the present, and hold the line of the Nueces and the Rio Grande to as low a point as you may think safe.
All the horses, mules, sheep, and, as far as possible, the cattle, should be driven east of the Nueces.
I shall order all the steamers and other craft to take corn from old Caney and vicinity to Victoria as a depot. If it can be carried farther west, say via Corpus Christi, it would be better. Depots of corn should be established west, however, without delay.
Troops will be massed as soon as possible at Columbus, and held ready to march in any direction.
You are authorized to use all the transportation you may find for the purpose of removing stores or cotton from Corpus Christi, but will respect wagons hauling for Government, such as for Major Hart, Major Bloomfield, Dr. H. Smith, and nitre bureau, &c. In reference to those hauling for any one else, permits to export cotton given in payment by the Government and the necessary teams will be respected when so expressed in the permits.
I will endeavor to send you in increase of cavalry force. Lieutenant-General Smith has ordered the substitution of State troops for the defense of coast fortifications, as far as possible. This requires time, but will be accomplished now in a few days.
*See Bee to Turner, November 24, p. 442.