my orders, conveying the instructions of the district commander. I will send such detachments as are necessary at once to the country to procure negro laborers; but few farms being located in this vicinity, we cannot look for much assistance from that source. The labor bureau will, no doubt, forward negroes at the earliest moment practicable. I have directed Captain Prescott, post quartermaster, to impress transportation sufficient to bring to this post immediately forage of all description sufficient to last 1,000 horses four months. I have directed the post commissary to increase his stores of dried beef to the fullest amount possible. The post is tolerably well supplied with flour.
Captain Schleicher is using all diligence to further the views and wishes of the major- general commanding. The arrival of the artillery will be welcomed by all hands. The citizens are arming themselves and drilling every day. They number between 300 and 400 men, and have placed themselves subject to my orders for any duty to which they may be assigned.
I have made application through the papers to turn in to the quartermaster here all estrays- horses, mules, and mares- to be paid for when claimed. I am informed that a good many animals can be gotten by this means.
No re- enforcements have reached here yet, and from the disorganized condition of the cavalry company of the Thirty- first Brigade [State troops], as reported by their captain, I cannot expect it before the 15th of December,or even later. The company of exempts from Seguin, 40 strong, have offered their services. I shall accept all such companies under instructions contained in General Orders, Numbers 43, headquarters Trans- Mississippi Department.
Please inform me of the whereabouts of Pyron's, Luckett's, and Woods' regiments, as their men frequently report at these headquarters on their way to their regiments, and I do not know where to direct them. I have respectfully to ask what disposition the major- general commanding will make of the political prisoners now under my charge.
I have the honor, sir, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. G. DICKINSON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant- General, Commanding Post.
[P. S.]- Judge Palmer, C. S. depositary, has agreed to loan me a sufficient amount of money to pay off the troops of my command. I will turn it over to the post quarter, who will disburse it.
November 27, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:
SIR: Inclosed please find an order issued by Commodore Smith for us to proceed on our expedition. This order has been issued subject to your approval, by receiving which we will, if captured, be entitled to exchange as belonging to the Marine Department of Texas.
That portion which authorizes us to take men from said department is for show only, an authority which we are not to use.
Hoping this will meet with early attention, we remain, respectfully, yours, &c.,
C. M. HITE.
C. W. AUSTIN.