a most terrific, norther sprung, up, such as has not been known for years, and we have not been able to communicate until know. I have sent out the Planter to endeavor to take off her load. The De Molay has been here once before, with half a load, which fact I communicated to General Stone. She now returns with but one-fourth of a load, as I am informed by Captain Tucker, of the Planter, who has this moment, reported ; he says that she had only about a third of a load for the Flanter. All she has is about 400 men, with their camp and garrison equipage; no horses, and barely rations until last night. She is a large ship and could have easily brought 800 or more troops and 200,000 rations. If ships are sent here that cannot cross the bar, they should, in my opinion be fully loaded. I do not wish to be understood as complaining but there are certain facts that you should know, and which I should be inexcusable for not communicating for the safety of the army is involved.
Our rations are nearly out; coffee and sugar are all gone, and only a day or two of bread. Selt meat, of which large quantities have ben sent, we have plenty, but nothing else. There seems to be no sense or judgment used in shipping rations. Of articles of prime necessity they send but little, but such as we don't they send plenty. The Alabama, I hear, is coming with rations, and I look for her with the deepest anxiety, as my position will be very embarrassing if she does not come to-day or to-morrow.
In regard to shipping on large vessels, I adhere to my former opinions, though I am free to admit the truth of your suggestion that my experience has been on the Mississippi. My experience, however, of forty days on this coast has been profitless if I have not learned something. From the day I took this fourth until to-day, we could have transferred all sorts of freight (unless the very heaviest artillery) outside, as often as three or four days, in each week. To-day the norther has spent its force, and if the De Molay was loaded with horses wagons, or commissary stores, I could easily transfer them; instead, she has one-fourth of a load, and my men are in danger of starving because she refused to take rations. The troops that came on her had twenty days' drawn at Algiers, but they were allowed to take only five. My men have suffered a good deal from the norther. Fuel is very scarce and we have to go far for it. The troops at Indianola are faring much better, as they are all quartered in house with plenty of fuel. I may have to move more troops to Indianola or else move up the peninsula for 20 miles, where I can obtain driftwood.
Since I last wrote, General Warren has visited Lavaca. His report I inclose.* Several intelligent and prominent men came away with him and are stopping with me. I send you latest papers I have. You will see by Magruder's orders that they are dated at Hawkins' Landing, Rugley's farm, and McNeils' house. Hawkins' Landing is on Caney, where the lower road from Matagorda to Brazoria crosses that stream. Rugley's is also on Caney, above Hawkins', and McNeils' is on the Brazos, 10 miles from Velasco. They are massing all their troops in that neighborhood and are fortifying and it is there that probably men to fight. The force that was in Louisiana under Green and Major has returned, as you will observe by the papers, and it is evident that we shall now require a pretty large to advance with certainty of success. If