be loaded with such stores as would be of service to the enemy, encouraging the inhabitants to remove with you. If they cannot or will not remove with you, you will leave a sufficient quantity of provisions for temporary use.
The commanding general ordered 1,000 negroes to Austin for the purpose of fortifying that place. Finally, you will remove all ablebodied negroes within your reach, and send them to Austin to report to Captain [James P.] McKinney. You will burn all cotton you cannot send back of the Brazos, rather than it should fall into the hands of the enemy.
Say to the troops under your command that if the enemy advances to San Antonio or Austin, it will be by Lavaca, but that more probably he will advance east on the coast and attack Brazos; that in any case the commanding general will interpose between him and the Gulf a force sufficient to cut him off from his base, and the best way to protect their families will be to hold the enemy in front while the commanding general operates from the east in their rear.
The companies of cavalry ordered from Velasco to San Antonio have been ordered to report to you at Victoria.
If, after their arrival, you deem it necessary that they should go to San Antonio, you can send them there.
I am, general, &c.,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
November 26, 1863.
Colonel W. R. BRADFUTE,
Commanding Indianola, &c.:
SIR: I have received your communication announcing the advance of the enemy upon Saluria.
As soon as the commanding general heard of the arrival of the enemy on the Rio Grande, orders were sent to you for all the transportation to be accumulated in Matagorda Bay, and when he heard of their arrival at Aransas Bay he sent two regimens, Pyron's and Woods', to re-enforce you by way of Matagorda, sending Lieutenant [J. Adair] Murray ahead to provide transportation. These regiments were directed, in case no transportation could be had at Matagorda, to proceed by forced marches to Victoria, to which point Dashiell's battery has also been ordered.
A supply of ammunition was sent by Colonel Pyron, and 20,000 caps by special courier via Texana and Lavaca. Should Saluria fall, Colonel Pyron will secure all the rolling-stock of the railroad at Victoria, and, proceeding down the road as far as it may be safe, even to Lavaca, if possible, will burn the cross-ties, and, putting the iron over the fire, bend it, and thus render it useless, reporting to General Bee if he be present, and falling back toward Columbus in observation of the enemy if pursued. The security of your retreat from Saluria depends upon your holding possession of the interior navigation from toward Corpus [Christi] or Matagorda Bay.
Should you be threatened by the light-draught gunboats of the enemy from toward Corpus [Christi], you will assemble the light-draught steamers which you have, with artillery and companies of sharpshooters, and place them at the disposal of Commodore Leon Smith, to attack the enemy's similar light-draught boats. he is sent down for the purpose of commanding them and the [John F.] Carr. Major-General