Magruder trusts that you will afford him every facility that he may require.
The commanding general directs me to inform you that Brigadier-General Bee with his forces has been ordered to Victoria. For fear he may not have received the orders, you will please send him an order from the general commanding to Larco Creek, west, and low down on the San Antonio River, to proceed to your support with the utmost rapidity.
From the best information received at these headquarters, the enemy does not number more than 3,000 men, but should his forces be as large as you have reported, or should the fort become untenable for any other reason, you will withdraw your garrison, guns, and stores at the first opportunity, commencing at early dusk, spiking your heavy cannon, and destroying what you cannot move, and take post Victoria, securing the rolling-stock and destroying the road, and informing General Bee, if not with you, of the result, requesting him at the same time to join you there.
Should you be forced to fall back from Victoria, retreat toward Columbus, keeping in observation of the enemy. Report fully and frequently to these headquarters.
By order of Major-General Magruder:
EDMUND P. TURNER,
FORT ESPERANZA, TEX.,
November 26, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER:
SIR: Lieutenant Murray is here. I have read his instructions; also your orders to me. Whilst I shall use ever exertion for the best, I do not think that the transportation in this bay can be relied upon alone to supply any very large amount of troops. North winds prevent both steamers and sail-vessels from running, and, with a large amount of provisions at Matagorda, you may be without transportation when you least expect it. The two regiments awaiting transportation at Matagorda had better be ordered round by land; they are needed very much now. The enemy are making preparation at this time to advance up the island to make an attack upon us. If my force was larger, I could meet them down on the island, and not wait for them to attack the fortification. I think they have a land force moving up from Live Oak Point, 12 miles this side of Lamar. They should be met, so as to prevent this place from being flanked.
I would like to know what amount of provisions to put in the fort. Can't you let me have the 60 barrels' of pork now at Texana? With provisions, this place can be held until the major-general can whip off outsiders. If an attack is made on this place, there is no chance to evacuate; we must whip the foe.
Our ammunition is not sufficient for a vigorous attack, should it last for any length of time. Every precaution will be taken to preserve it. Send me some good caps, suitable for shotguns, by all means, and re-enforcements rapidly.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. BRADFUTE,
Colonel, Commanding Post.