You are requested to address Colonel Duff a private and confidential letter, to be read by no one else, telling him that this expedition is designed for the Rio Grande, though nominally and apparently for Indianola.
The inclosed letter of Captain Ware* will give you some information, and will show you what may be done. You are expected to use your discretion and judgment, but do not fail to keep up a constant communication with these headquarters through Colonel Duff.
Colonel Stockton has been requested to fill all requisitions made by you for arms, ammunition, &c., and whatever else you may require to fit up your expedition and regard them as approved by Major-General Magruder. You will then call on him for what you may need. You will impress at once all transportation which you may require from all parties excepting Major Hart and the niter and mining bureau, and will even impress their transportation if absolutely necessary to fit out your expedition.
You will immediately send a courier to Colonel Benavides and Captain Ware, giving them such orders as you may find necessary to render the expedition successful. You may be able to raise quite a considerable force, but do not let the expedition be made known; upon the secrecy of the same depends to a very great degree its success.
Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter, and state your plan, and what progress you have made in raising troops.
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS,
Bonham, December 22, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston:
CAPTAIN: News of a reliable character reached me this morning at daybreak that the Indians or jayhawkers in considerable force (number not known) had penetrated as far as Gainesville at 9 o'clock last night, and news of a less reliable character has just come in that they occupied that place this morning, Indians and Federals, 400 strong.
I sent all the cavalry force I had this morning at 8 o'clock, numbering only some 200 men, from this place, directing Quantrill, from Sherman, to meet them at once, and have sent orders to all of Colonel Martin's companies that are within reach to concentrate at McKinney and Pilot Grove to move forward as rapidly as possible.
If the last report be true, it is the advance of a Federal and jayhawking force, or a heavy raid of some character.
I have not more than 150 infantry here, and all the cavalry I can concentrate in three days will not amount to over 500, and not ad single piece of artillery, from which you will see but too plainly that I have no force to defend the granary of Texas with if I should be called upon to do so. A general without troops is worth but little in defending a country.
Most respectfully, &c.
HENRY E. McCULLOCH,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Northern Sub-District.