I am informed by Brigadier-General Slaughter that Creuzbaur's battery, light artillery, is without horses, and in a wretched state of inefficiency. This, if so, is disagreeable in the last degree, and seems to be without excuse, and you will cause it to be supplied with horses, say from King's ranch, at once, and drilled and practiced at firing shells until it is in good serviceable condition, and report to me when that is the case.
As soon as you receive this, make the necessary arrangements for carrying out these orders and suggestions, which will be done without delay. You will acknowledge receipt of this. You will give such orders for the accumulation of corn at San Antonio as may best accomplish the purpose, and keep in communication with that place by courier frequently. You will place all the obstructions you can in the navigation between Corpus [Christi] and Saluria, so that if Corpus [Christi] falls, Saluria will be difficult to approach. Hold all the points between that will be conductive to that end.
From information received from Major-General Taylor, I am led to believe that Banks force on the Rio Grande does not exceed 7,000 men.
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
GALVESTON, TEX., November 17, 1863.
Major A. G. DICKINSON, Commanding Post, San Antonio:
MAJOR: I am directed by the general commanding to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of November 11, which he only received yesterday.
Brigadier-General Bee has been ordered to send to your assistance one good company of Duff's regiment, and a piece of artillery, which is understood General Bee brought from Brownsville with him. the preparation made by you to meet the enemy has the entire approval of the commanding general, and he is confident that you will lose no opportunity of chastising them, should opportunity offer. As regards the political prisoners, measures will be taken to remove them, if possible, to some other point.
I herewith forward a copy of the commanding general's instructions to General Bee for your guidance and information. The commanding general also directs me to say to you that no persons be permitted to go to the Rio Grande through your command without giving you satisfactory evidence of their loyalty, if citizens, and, if foreigners, of their friendly disposition to us.
W. A. ALSTON,
Captain, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S.-Two companies of State cavalry and one company of Davidson's battalion have been ordered to your assistance, to march without delay. Two more companies of State troops will be sent to you, if possible.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Galveston, November 17, 1863.
Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: Inclosed I send you the dispatches, in substance, received from Brigadier-General Bee, and the substance of a letter from Major