stores, as required, or to conduct their department with success, in consequence of the want of funds to purchase the necessary machinery, materials, &c. Certified accounts have been given for the different purchases, and have remained so long unpaid that they are looked upon as comparatively worthless, and are consequently in may cases refused. For this reason all that is obtained has been purchased at fabulous prices and under great difficulties. I have written repeatedly upon this subject, and have urged the necessity of funds being provided. It has really been a source of much annoyance to me to have these repeated calls made for funds, to feel the great necessity of having the same provided, and with no means within my control to provide the same.
I suggested to the general the propriety of issuing order to Mr. James Sorley, C. S. depositary, to furnish upon my order or request the requisite funds to carry on the ordnance department of this district. This letter of mine has been returned, with the indorsement of Major Rhett, chief of ordnance, Trans-Mississippi, stating that funds were expected, &c., and that a pro-rata proportion would be sent to Major Fontaine, chief of ordnance of this district. This arrangement would be perfectly satisfactory, provided there was any certainty when the funds would arrive. But what is to be done in the mean time, before this pro-rata proportion of the ordnance fund arrives? I would therefore again respectfully request that Mr. James Sorley, C. S. depositary, be ordered to turn me over such funds as may be necessary for the immediate wants of the ordnance department of this district, which can be returned to Mr. James Sorley when the ordnance funds spoken of by Major Rhett arrive, provided the pro-rata proportion intended for this district is sufficient to cover the liabilities of the ordnance department which have already accrued, having been without funds are necessary for the ordnance department of this district, I would like for this to be taken into consideration and the estimates made accordingly.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District of Texas, &c.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., February 3, 1864.
Respectfully returned. There are no funds in the department to net any demand.
By order of Lieutenant-General Smith:
W. R. BOGGS,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD,
Mouth of Caney, January 24, 1864.
Captain E. P. TURNER,
SIR: Colonel Likens, with 30 men, has returned from a scout below. He reports the enemy retiring toward Decrow's, their rear covered by three gun-boats; estimates their number at the lowest calculation