[Sub-inclosure Numbers 1.]
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA,
Mesilla, N. Mex., December 17, 1863.
Major General NATHANIEL P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf.
GENERAL: Your communication of November 5, addressed to General Carleton, commanding U. S. Forces, Franklin, Tex., was received at these headquarters on the 12th instant, and was opened under the representations of the U. S. consul at Monterey, Mexico, of its urgency, by myself. This command is embraced within the Department of New Mexico; the commander of the department is Brigadier General James H. Carleton, U. S. Volunteers, who has his headquarters at Santa Fe, 300 miles north of this point. The co-operation suggested by yourself necessarily must be referred to him, and your letter will go forward on the 19th instant, that being the first opportunity that will occur.
Some two weeks will elapse before General Carleton's reply will reach this point, en route to you. In the mean time I beg leave to transmit herewith, for your information, a copy of the last field return of this command. My troops, as you will perceive, are engaged in garrisoning eight posts. Franklin, Tex., the nearest one to you, is 350 miles from Tucson, Ariz., the most remote. I regret to say that the prospect of my being able to co-operate with you is very unfavorable.
I doubt much if General Carleton can send any force in your direction unless he should be re-enforced, as the number of his troops is small, some 3,500, including mine, and widely dispersed, operating against the Indians throughout New Mexico. Of course this matter will be communicated to you by General Carleton himself. I merely mention what I have to save the time likely to elapse before you hear from him. The direct route from the Texas sea-board to this country was via San Antonio from Port Lavaca. You will notice the small distance between the points named. Should it not have already occurred to you, permit me to call your attention to this and to the fact that a force on the line suggested will cut off all the extreme southern counties of Texas and stop the passage of cotton at Eagle Pass, where I am now informed it is being largely exported. You will pardon my presumption in calling your attention to this matter, and be so good as to attribute to me solely a desire to be useful, not officious. The inclosed order was issued upon authentic information received prior to your communication.
Permit me to congratulate you upon the important service rendered to our country by the capture of Brownsville, and to be, general, with high respect, your obedient servant,
J. R. WEST,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DIST. OF ARIZ., A. A. G. OFFICE, Numbers 16.
Mesilla, N. Mex., December 5, 1863.
I. The commanding general has the honor to announce to the troops of this command that the city of Brownsville, Tex., was taken possession of by the U. S. forces under Major General N. P. Banks on the