inform you that if you have not the necessary transportation for the purpose indicated, you are directed and authorized to impress such an amount as may be necessary.
You are requested to acknowledge in writing the receipt of these communications.
STEPHEN D. YANCEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
McNeel's Farm, Brazoria County, December 13, 1863.
Major T. A. WASHINGTON,
Quartermaster, San Antonio:
MAJOR: I am instructed by the major-general commanding to inform you that he has determined to substitute pack-mules for wagons as far as possible in the army, with a view of rendering our troops more mobile and preventing cavalry raids into the interior of the country. To effect this, leather is necessary and, as the general does not desire to give you positive orders, as you are not properly under his command, he requests that you furnish him as soon as possible leather sufficient to make the breast-bands, cruppers, and girths for 800 pack-saddles. You will remember soon after he assumed command of this district he impressed 20,000 hides for you, and he therefore hopes you will furnish the leather for this purpose. Major Dickinson will furnish the necessary transportation to bring it to Houston or any other designated point. You are requested to answer without delay.
Very respectfully, &c.,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
McNeel's Plantation, December 13, 1863
Colonel [S. H.] DARDEN, Victoria:
COLONEL: I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 10th and 11th, and in reply to say that you will go on with the work of destroying the railroad and everything connected with it, disregarding the "injunction" of the district court in a manner which will be least offensive. He directs me to say that his orders for the destruction will be carried out by you, and everything will be completely and thoroughly destroyed. If it becomes necessary to use force, you are directed to do so, as this is a work which the imperative demands of a military necessity will prevent the military from giving away to civil authorities. It is, of course, much to be regretted that any collision or conflict of this kind should arise, but the emergency demands an immediate destruction of this railroad track, together with the coaches, flats, &c.
The general directs me to say that if the engine can be taken to pieces, and all or any of it, or such parts as may be valuable, transported to Columbus, you will not destroy these, but everything that is left must be destroyed. Colonel Duff, with whom you will consult, may be able to furnish transportation for parts of the engine to Columbus. These valuable parts will be taken to no other place than Columbus.