War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0523 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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orders to overtake and arrest them, and bring them back without fail. It is not presumed that they will have passed Texana by the time this reaches you, as it is sent through by rapid express, and the men are reported to have left Columbia to-day on foot.

The courier is directed to follow you and deliver this letter to you, wherever you may be, if not in Texana. Please acknowledge, and report information in regard to these men, if you know anything of them.

I am, &c.,

EDMUND P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

McNeel's Plantation, December 22, 1863.

Colonel W. J. HUTCHINS,

Chief of Cotton Bureau:

SIR: I have had in interview with Mr. John Mills, of the firm of R. & D. G. Mills in reference to importing arms from Belize, Honduras, where there are 4,000 stand of Enfield rifles for sale. These arms can be purchased lower than those at Vera Cruz. Mr. Mills is willing to bring these arms for 100 per cent. on the cost and charges, to be paid in cotton at specie rates.

I refer this matter to you, believing that you will second my exertions to obtain arms and ammunition. Surrounded as I am by troops enthusiastic to meet the enemy if they can be armed, you will realize my anxiety to obtain, them, and will I know, accept any suggestion I may make as proceeding entirely from my desire to make my army efficient, and not from inclination to interfere with your duties. I have high hopes for the country, from the acknowledged integrity and business capacities of yourself and associates, and trust that your efforts to supply the army will be crowned with success.

As the military commander of the district, I am supposed to know the wants of the army and the situation of our military affairs, and I cannot too strongly urge upon your attention the fact that the few ports remaining to us afford the only means by which we can secure arms and munitions of war, and hence the importance of losing no time in making them available to us.

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,

McNeel's Plantation, December 22, 1863.

Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,

Chief of Staff, Shreveport:

GENERAL: Major Kearny, assistant inspector-general on my staff, returned some eight days ago from bearing a flag of truce to the enemy at Saluria. He states that he could see the enemy's forces plainly and represents them to be 9,000 at Saluria and on the peninsula together. Almost every day since, steamers have passed (sometimes two at a time) capable of carrying 1,000 men each. Scouts report to-day 25,000 troops [moving] on Matagorda and Saluria, and the plan of attack, gained from information from inside their lines is to march 15,000 on the beach, and attack by water simultaneously at Velasco as soon as their fleet arrives. I scarcely believe this is the plan, otherwise it would