to buy supplies for the Army; but it seems Major Hart bought largely in Matamoras on credit, and was to pay them in cotton, but whenever any cotton arrived at Brownsville his agents there were not permitted to pay the debts which Hart contracted, but the cotton was taken by the military authorities, so that the largest creditors in Matamoras remain unpaid. Consequently much dissatisfaction has been expressed, and General Kirby Smith has ordered a military commission to inquire into the matter, and I have no doubt Hart will come out all right.
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I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commercial Agent, Confederate States.
Numbers 7.] COMMERCIAL AGENCY OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES AT MATAMORAS, November 17, 1863.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of State, Richmond:
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On the 8th instant the Yankees landed at the mouth of the Rio Grande and at Point Isabel a force, 6,000 or 7,000 men, so reported, but I believe the number is not so great. Brigadier-General Bee made no demonstration against them with the troops, but set fire to all the cotton and public property he could conveniently burn and a part of the town of Brownsville, and ran away with all his forces without ever seeing the enemy, and the last heard of him he was at King's Ranch, 120 miles in the interior, and making no effort to fight the enemy or impede his progress. But General Banks, who commands the Yankee forces, has sailed from Point Isabel to Corpus Christi to cut Bee off and get all the horses he can, having lost 500 or 600 in landing, and unless he can catch Bee, or rob the different ranches, he will not be able to supply himself for some time. The house of Milmo & Co. showed me this morning the boxes, said to contain $ 15,000,000, which they will send by Monterey and Eagle Pass to General Kirby Smith. This money made a narrow escape, as the vessel which brought it was twice boarded by the Yankees.
The cotton business is pretty well done with at this place, and large amounts of Mexican dollars are being exported in vessels of war to England. Every description of dry goods must fall in price here, as there is now no outlet for them, as the Yankees will take care that none pass into Texas if they can help it. We hear nothing bout the French, and it is not believed that they intend to occupy this place and the mouth of the Rio Grande at all. I believe they are afraid to come in contact with the Yankees.
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Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. S. WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., January 6, 1864.
S. S. SCOTT, Esq., Commissioner of Indian Affairs:
SIR: The difficulty of communication between this place and the Indian country is at present great. The Indians have but indifferent