Supplies of every kind have been forwarded to Captain Ware. I can't do without him. During next week I purpose making my headquarters on the Nueces. Major Dickinson will remain to complete the organization of the men, and to send them forward or lead them to any point required. Captain Fly has succeeded in raising several companies; he is sanguine of his ability to bring a regiment into the field. With a start of some seven companies, and the assistance influential men are giving him, I have no doubt of his ultimate success.
I regret not having been able to take the field ere this. I have had serious obstacles to surmount. Exhausted resources, a population almost drained of men subject to military duty, opposition from rivalry, and the nameless disagreeable retardation incident to an undertaking of this character, are all too well known to the major-general commanding not to be understood and appreciated. With the help of God, the kind officers of the major-general commanding, and persevering industry, I hope to render efficient service.
I have the honor to by, your very obedient servant,
JOHN S. FORD,
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY FORCES,
San Antonio, February 5, 1864.
Colonel S. M. BAIRD,
Commanding Fourth Regiment, Arizona Brigade, in Camp:
COLONEL: You decline receiving orders from me until the question of rank is decided between us. You disclaim anything personal. I accept the disclaimer, and in the same spirit demand of you not to interfere with or give orders to any of my command, and not to use supplies purchased, stored, or secured for its just. If your regiment is not under my command you can certainly not ask me to supply it with articles procured for the use of my troops. The question of rank has once been decided by the major-general commanding the district, but as I am not in possession of a copy of his decision you can, of course, arbitrate it as long as you think proper, or until special instructions are received from district headquarters.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN S. FORD,
MERIDIAN, February 7, 1864.
GENERAL: I find that for the want of a regularly devised system great delays and disappointments must attend all efforts to send arms from this to the other side of the river. I have so much upon my hands that it is impossible of give to this work the importance it demands, and therefore have a plan to submit for you consideration, by which I think greater certainty can be secured. I suggest, therefore, that you send over to this side of the river an officer of some barge, of discretion and efficiency, to take charge of the whole matter, and that he be accompanied by 5 or 6 officers of subordinate positions, but of like character, and that you also send over 100 cavalrymen, who shall act as an escort. I will aid in providing you a