HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 36.
New Orleans, February 10, 1864.
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IX. The Fourth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, will be immediately relieved from duty in Texas, and will proceed without delay to Berwick City, La., whence the commander will report by telegraph to these headquarters for orders.
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By command of Major-General Banks:
RICHARD B. IRWIN,
HEADQUARTERS TEXAS CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Brownsville, Tex., February 10, 1864.
Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: As directed by the general this morning, I have the honor to make the following statement concerning the cavalry force under my command: The First Texas was the only cavalry that accompanied the expedition to Texas. On landing, the officers and men present for duty numbered about 230, and the horses, serviceable and unserviceable, about 180. How few of those called serviceable were really so will appear from the fact that I chose some 30 of the best to accompany General Banks from Brazos Santiago to this place, and a third of them gave out on the road. We had left New Orleans with upward of 300 good horses, but bad management in stowing them aboard ship, with the long voyage and difficulties in disembarking, will account for our weakness in this respect when landed.
The aggregate, officers and enlisted men, present and absent, in the whole cavalry force, at date, is as follows: First Texas, 24 commissioned officers and 527 enlisted men, 370 horses serviceable and 89 unserviceable; Company of Partisan Rangers, 3 commissioned officers and 83 enlisted men, 49 horses serviceable and 33 unserviceable; Second Texas, 17 commissioned officers and 373 enlisted men, 203 horses serviceable and about 200 unserviceable. Of this force I could only rely on 875 officers and men (excluding those usually on extra duty, sick, &c.), and about 500 horses, tolerably serviceable. The enlisted men of nationality are about divided as follows: 433 Mexicans and 500 Americans (including in this designation Germans, Irish, &c.), the whole (including the part brought from New Orleans) having been recruited here, and those not of Mexican birth being refugees from the interior of Texas.
I mentioned my serviceable horses as about 500, but this, it must be stated here, is only a relative term, as scarcely 200 could be found capable of doing immediately a serious job of work. As bringing about this condition of our animals, several causes may be enumerated. Those brought from New Orleans were injured as mentioned above. Those brought here have generally been quite thin at time of purchase, and owing to the lack of forage (of which the general is aware) we have not been able to recuperate them. There has been for the last