War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0499 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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strength and confidence on their part, I have no doubt that the reports of my scouts and the statement of Brigadier- General Green in regard to their leaving for the Texas coast are entirely correct. I respectfully invite the attention of the lieutenant- general to the request of Major- General Taylor, as with his assistance and co- operation I could hold the very important points on the coast which are now most seriously threatened, viz, the Brazos country, Galveston, and Sabine. With my present force it is almost impossible to defend these different positions, as the transportation is slow and difficult, the roads every day growing worse, and the enemy are able to move rapidly with their steamers and transports by sea, making a feint of landing at one place and drawing my available force there, and then making a real attack at another point. Since I have been obliged to move my men by the advance of the enemy, I have realized these facts thoroughly.

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major- General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

Mobile, Ala., December 11, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I heard from Havana on yesterday from Mr. Helm that the enemy is preparing a fleet in New Orleans to attack Mobile at an early day.

The steamer Austin got in safely with a valuable cargo of stores, which will be required here. I shall need a considerable addition to my subsistence store (of meat) and to my ordnance stores to enable me to stand a siege. The diversion to Charleston of supplies intended for Mobile has prevented a proper accumulation here. Although I expect the fleet to succeed in running past the outer forts, I shall do all I can to prevent it, and to hold the forts as long as possible.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

DABNEY H. MAURY,

Major- General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &c.,

McNeel's Plantation, Brazoria Co., Tex., December 11, 1863- 10 p. m.

Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH,

Commanding Trans- Mississippi Department:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that the enemy's forces are increasing to such an extent that I am unable to prevent extensive cavalry raids into the interior of this and the more western portion of the State. In view of this, I have directed the staff department in San Antonio subject to my command to remove their stores without delay. I would also respectfully suggest that your order Colonel Stockton and Major Washington, who are not subject to my orders, to remove their stores without delay to Milican, the terminus of the Central Railroad, where I have directed all the store in the exposed portions of Texas to be removed.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major- General, Commanding.