[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
DECATURE, TEX., January 11, 1864.
Colonel JAMES BOURLAND,
Commanding Border Regiment:
DEAR SIR: Permit me to drop you a few lines in regard to the state of affairs in our country. We of the frontier portion of the country are thrown in a state of the most wild excitement. It is generally believed that we are on the very eve of an insurrection, and that the secession portion of our population are daily in great danger of being jayhawked by Fox and his outlawed gang, associated with Indians. If something cannot be speedily accomplished to our relief, all the true Southern men in this portion of the country will leave with their families for the more thickly inhabited portion of the State, which will have only the effect of weakening the frontier. Some speedy and effective movement of the troops here to our protection will be the only means of saving this portion of the frontier. I confess that I am incompetent to suggest any plan of operation, but sincerely hope that your better judgment will devise some means to save our country from ruin and check the torrent of blood that is daily threatening to deluge our once happy country. Speedy and effective operations is our only hope for our country's salvation. There have some things developed that I do not feel at liberty to write.
* * * * *
J. W. HALE.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., January 24, 1864.
Major General R. TAYLOR:
GENERAL: As I was about getting into my ambulance to start to Texas, your letter, together with the petition of certain persons in New Orleans, was handed me by Mr. Martin Gordon. The petition asks for permission to introduce into New Orleans cotton for the relief of the suffering families of Confederate citizens and for our soldiers there held as prisoners of war. It is impossible for me at present to give this subject the consideration its importance demands. As you are better acquainted with the circumstances than myself, and the cotton would have to be taken through your lines, I refer the whole matter to you, believing whatever action you may take, after mature deliberation, will command my approbation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[E. KIRBY SMITH,]
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Galveston, January 24, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I would again respectfully call the lieutenant-general's attention to the fact that the different ordnance officers of this district have repeatedly reported their inability to carry out my instructions in relation to the fabricating of ordnance and ordnance