this to procure soldiers and arms, and if any political consideration should prevent his success in getting soldiers, he will invest the whole in arms.
He wishes to send a messenger to Governor Vidaurri, t get permission to colonize a portion of his territory with Polanders, his countrymen, and i have no doubt he will obtain it.
If these plans meet with the approbation of the lieutenant-general commanding, he will please signify the same to me, and I will have them carried out without delay. Under the present circumstances, I cannot think of a better plan. I therefore recommend it for the adoption of the lieutenant-general commanding the department.
In case the coast should fall into the hands of the enemy before the return of Colonel Sulakowski, it is advisable that General Smith send a letter to Captains Semmes and Maffitt, or any other naval officer afloat, stating precisely our situation, and inviting them to give convoy, with as large a force as they can conveniently collect, to Colonel Sulakowski and his steamer, or streamers, containing troops or arms, so that a dash can be made upon one of the enemy's depots on the coast, which would be held until I could give assistance and get the arms or re-enforcements safely to the interior. A strong diversion might be made by this means in our favor, and the plans of the enemy proportionally disconcerted.
Any plan by which our war ships can be gotten upon our coast to attack the enemy's transports would of itself be to us of the greatest value.
I request also that the lieutenant-general commanding will send Colonel Sulakowski a letter for Commissioner Slidell, recommending that he will by every means in his power assist Colonel Sulakowski in accomplishing his plans.
I am, general, &c.,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS, San Antonio, November 27, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
CAPTAIN: Your communication, Numbers 1165,* by special messenger, reached me this noon. I immediately sent for Captain Schleicher, and imparted to him the instructions of the major-general commanding; furnished him also with a copy of the letter of instruction. He and I will proceed to-morrow morning to locate the works.
Captain Schleicher informs me that he has sent off to Houston, Shreveport, and other places all of the spades and shovels with the exception of about 100. He is expecting, however, the arrival of some 400 every day. Those now on hand, and such as can be bought and borrowed, will be put into immediate requisition, the others also as soon as they arrive. A special messenger has been sent to hurry them forward. Workmen have been sent to the woods to cut timber for casemates. We will try and proceed as rapidly as circumstances will permit.
I will to-morrow publish a circular, giving such information to the citizens as the major-general commanding has directed, and calling upon them to lend a helping hand in the defense of their city. Will also communicate with the department officers who are not subject to
*Of November 23, p. 440.