HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Texana, December 5, 1863- 5.30 a. m.
Brigadier- General BEE,
Commanding First Division:
GENERAL: I am instructed by Major- General Magruder to say that the offers in regard to Cortina are withdrawn, but that Colonel Benavides will be made a brigadier- general if he can raise a full brigade, and that in addition to the 250 bales of cotton which he is authorized to take on the Rio Grande, and the 250 bales which Major Dickinson has been ordered to place to his credit in Monterey, I will endeavor to place 1,000 bales to his credit for the support of his army and himself on the Rio Grande.
You are requested to inform Colonel Benavides that the enemy will make efforts to cut off the trade between Eagle Pass and Montery, and will do this with Mexicans operating in conjunction with his forces from Corpus Christi and Lavaca, and that, therefore, it is the more important that he should raise this brigade as soon as possible.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
HEADQUARTERS FORCES MOUTH OF BRAZOS,
Velasco, Tex., December 5, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant- General:
SIR: Yours of yesterday has just come to hand (4 p. m.), and in reply I will state no enemy has been seen for several days. Last night a light was seen and reported far at sea. The scouting as far as Caney, west, and San Luis, east, reports nothing. This morning I heard orally there was a rifled gun at Columbia. I sent the steamer immediately up, to return by morning, which I will get into position as soon as possible. The steamer Lone Star passed here this morning from Galveston, not halting or making any report. The Mary Hill is here, but she will carry but little while she is in her present condition; she can be used as a ferry- boat to some extent. I have been ordered to collect all the flats from the river, to be used as pontoons. There are none, comparatively, on the Brazos that can soon be reached. I have called the engineer's attention to pontooning the river. I received a communication to- day, a copy of which I inclose.* In answer, I desired that the infantry be sent immediately and the cavalry moved nearer.
FORT LAVACA, TEX.,
December 5, 1863.
Captain E. R. TARVER,
Aide- de- Camp, and Assistant Adjutant- General:
CAPTAIN: I inclose herewith a note from Captain Kelley.* You will perceive that the enemy are still at Saluria. I conversed with the courier, who is a very intelligent man, who tells me that he was on picket at the Big Bayou yesterday, and that the enemy were engaged all day