the water in the bay is very low, which, I judge, has been the cause of the enemy not attacking me last night or this morning.
I sent dispatches to Colonel Bates last night, notifying him of the surrounding circumstances here. Have heard nothing from Colonel Bradfute since my last.
I intend, as soon as I can get above the Pass, to obstruct it below against the enemy's approach with King, Kennedy & Co.,' light- draught steamers. They were probably posted yesterday morning by some traitors of the Carr being up here for troops, and thought, no doubt, they would "gobble us up." They no doubt know the amount of cotton also which is at Matagorda, which is now being rapidly hauled off, and in case they do make a raid, they will bet nothing.
Two schooners were chased by the enemy's gunboats yesterday evening on the bay, and no doubt have been captured.
If I get the boat over the bar to- night, I will leave her to protect the upper bay. I shall post you constantly of every occurrence of note. After getting everything straight here, I shall probably leave for Lavaca in a small boat.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding Marine Department.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &c.,
Alleyton, Tex., December 1, 1863,
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS, Chief of Staff:
SIR: I have issued an order preventing the passage of all cotton, Government and private, over the railroads, as they are needed for strictly military purposes.
I would respectfully advise that no cotton be allowed to be transported beyond the Colorado River; that all cotton now on wheels beyond Colorado River shall be moved out of the country by Eagle Pass, and other than this that there shall be no movement of cotton, except to get out of reach of the enemy.
Government [cotton] already loaded on the cars will be allowed to proceed to Columbus. Major Russell is in Mexico making arrangements, and, when he is heard from, cotton will be allowed to pass out in the manner determined upon by him, if his plans are approved.
I send a report of Acting Master Neal,* of the navy, and also one from Colonel Bradfute, * commanding line of the coast. The information given by Neal I think is correct.
In addition, I have to state that my aide- de- camp, Lieutenant Murray, said two large transports loaded with troops go from the east to Saint Joseph or Mustang Island- about 1,500. Washburn, who you observe is in command on Mustang Island, came with them. I learned just before I left Houston, from officers just from Green's command, that the enemy is fortifying at New Iberia.
From all this I infer his plans to be to attack the islands in the west and proceed eastward, operating in conjunction with his fleet. I am likewise informed that he is short in sea- going transports, but has a plenty of river boats not fit for sea. As he proceeds eastward, he gains his re- enforcements with more facility and less danger.
Should Salluria fall, Matagorda Bay and the rich country bordering