November 21, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:
SIR: We, the undersigned, propose making a raid into Berwick Bay, or mouth of the Mississippi River (fitting out th entire expedition at our own expense), for the purpose of capturing one of the enemy's transports, and, if successful, running her into a Texas port, if possible, or some other Confederate part, as circumstances may decide, and will require such papers as will enable us to pass through your lines without having to explain our business to any subordinate officer.
We will require also from the commanding general such papers as will enable us to purchase or charter such a sailing craft as will be needed for the expedition, all such being now in the hands of Government officers at Galveston, and used as picket or harbor police boats. We also obligate ourselves to obtain all information possible as to the movements of the enemy's army or navy.
Hoping this will meet with your early and favorable consideration, we remain, respectfully, yours,
C. M. HITE.
C. W. AUSTIN.
HEADQUARTERS MARINE DEPARTMENT,
Houston, November 23, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER, Assistant- General:
SIR: I approve of the within proposition by Messrs. Hite and Austin, and would respectfully recommend their request be granted.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding Marine Department.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, Tex., November 27, 1863.
To the Citizens of Western Texas:
The commanding general has been informed that a report has been put in circulation to the effect that he intends giving up the defense of Western Texas, and confining his operations to the line of the Colorado. This report is entirely without foundation, and is designed to direct your attention from the enemy's movements, and to induce you to disregard your obligations as soldiers and citizens. So far from this being true, he is determined to defend the whole of the country to the utmost of his ability. As the best evidence of this, he informs you that troops are now marching to your support, and that San Antonio and Austin are being rapidly fortified, and that the whole country is arming to drive the invader from your soil. The line of operations indicated by the enemy is that by Lavaca toward San Antonio or Austin, or the coast line toward the Brazos River. In either case your duty and your interests are the same, and the best protection that you can afford your families is to fight the enemy in front, and to retard his progress into the heart of the country, when troops will be interposed by the commanding general between him and his base of operations in such numbers as to secure his capturer or his expulsion from the land in discomfiture to his ships.