this morning's paper, the Avoyelles Pelican, it is evident that the force marching upon Saluria is either a separate expedition from Berwick Bay or re-enforcements sent to the first army of invasion under Banks. In order to meet this overwhelming force, re-enforcements are necessary,and I urgently request, general, that you will send me Green's and Major's brigades of cavalry and the batteries attached to them, as all these troops are Texans, and such other troops as can be spared from General Taylor's army, Louisiana not being seriously threatened at present.
As I have before said, I regard this portion of Texas as the heart of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and, scattered as my ill-armed forces necessarily are (though they are concentrating as rapidly as they can be moved), I fear we shall lose vital points which can never be recovered.
I am, general, &c.,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
BATON ROUGE, November 7.
Fifteen thousand troops of the Berwick Bay and Attakapas expedition have been withdrawn, and are to be sent to Point Isabel. New orleans is without troops at present. Some civilians among those given as loyal have been placed to perform military duty over the customhouse. The conscription law, which was to be put in operation, has been indefinitely postponed. They fear to place arms in the hands of men adverse to their cause.
November 27, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The state of affairs on the Rio Grande will prevent for at least several months the cotton trade with Matamoras.
Brigadier-General Bee writes that Major Russell, our quartermaster and purchasing agent, had been obliged to fleet for his life from that city to Monterey. Under these circumstances, Colonel Sulakowski proposes to leave in a schooner from the Calcasieu, and to purchase a steamer in Havana, with cotton to be sent out in the schooner Dodge, a condemned vessel of the revenue and naval service, which was last winter turned over to the quartermaster's department, but which draws too much water to be of use in our bayou. She will carry, I think, about 3,000 bales.
Colonel Sulakowski requests that Captain Tipton Walker, an employee of the engineer department, may go in command of her, s he is thoroughly acquainted with the coast. Captain Walker is a valuable man, and I do not feel at liberty to send him without the authority of Lieutenant-General Smith, particularly as he has been appointed chief topographical officer for this district by Major Douglas. I think, however, it is better to let him go, as the necessity of getting arms and troops is so great that Colonel Sulakowski ought to take all the facilities he requires. His plan is to buy, with the proceeds of the cargo of the schooner Dodge, a light-draught steamer, which he says he can get, to run her into the Brazos, and take out the remainder of the 2,000 bales of cotton; with
29 R R-VOL XXVI, PT II