I would respectfully suggest that, inasmuch as no arrangement has been made to furnish funds for the expedition, the major-general commanding allow the cotton bureau to turn over to my quartermaster 200 bales of cotton, to be sold at Piedras Negras for specie, to be used for the purchase of supplies. Had I control of specie funds, I am satisfied I could secure the services of many Mexicans. I am intimately acquainted with many of the nation who could, and I think would, perform valuable service in our cause. Would it not be a good plan to countermine, as it were, the efforts of the Yankees to enlist them?
Four pieces of artillery have been sent here. They were transported by an insufficient number of horses, and are not manned.
In the event the major-general commanding wishes me to take them to the front, I would respectfully request him to assign for duty with me at least 2 good artillery officers and an ordnance officer. Should we capture guns from the enemy, it is highly essential to have them worked. This would be an impossibility without the proper officers present to direct the performance of the duty.
I respectfully request the major-general commanding to assign to duty with me as ordnance officer Captain [W. G. M.] Samuels, who wishes to be relieved from duty in the Northern Sub-District, and who is here at present.
If activity, hard labor, and perseverance can achieve anything, the expedition will be successful.
I have the honor to be, your very obedient servant,
JOHN S. FORD,
Abstract from return of the Department of the Gulf, Major General Dubney H. Maury, C. S. Army, commanding, for December, 1863; headquarters, Mobile, Ala.
Present for duty
Command Officers Men Aggregate
Department Staff ........... ........... ..........
Mobile Brigadier- 96 1,737 2,174
Pollard, Brigadier- 57 1,092 1,403
Fort Morgan, 92 1,498 1,917
Engineer troops 2 66 76
Total 247 4,393 5,570
Command Aggregate Aggregate Pieces of
present and present and field
absent absent last artillery
Department Staff 13 13 ..........
Mobile Brigadier- 2,934 2,569 16
Pollard, Brigadier- 2,299 2,514 8
Fort Morgan, 2,654 2,959 ..........
Engineer troops 98 97 ..........
Total 7,998 8,152 24
Troops in the Department of the Gulf, Major General Dobney H. Maury, C. S. Army, commanding, December 31, 1863.
Brigadier General JAMES CANTEY.
17th Alabama, Colonel V. S. Murphey.
29th Alabama, Colonel J. F. Conoley.
1st Mobile Regiment.
Artillery Battalion, Major D. Trueheart.
Missouri Battery, Captain W. E. Dawson.
City Redoubts, Lieutenant Colonel J. R. C. Lewis.
Brigadier General J. H. CLANTON,
59th [61st] Alabama, Colonel W. G. Swanson.
6th [7th] Alabama Cavalry, Colonel Joseph Hodgson.
Alabama Battery, Captain N. H. Clanton.
Alabama Battery, Captain Edward Tarrant.
36 R-VOL XXVI, PT II