War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 1032 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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a commercial nature, but should be kept in the army where he belongs, and there made to do his duty.

I gave had a very long illness, fever, pleurisy, and a most severe attack of rheumatism; so much have my hands and arms suffered that I am scarcely able to write legibly now, but I am getting much better and hope in a few to be fit for anything, but there is nothing to do here. I have perfectly convinced myself of the truth of what I said in my first and second dispatches in regard to verification of invoices not being required in the custom-house in Brownsville. I know of instances where the Government has paid from 300 to 400 per cent. on invoices purchased by them in Brownsville and other parts of texas. General Bee told me he never allowed less than 100 per cent. on contractors' invoices. The collector was a Government contractor and did his business through and agent, who imported and sold to the Government.

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I will try and get this communication through to San Antonio to the care of Major Hart, who may have a chance to send it on to Richmond.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. FITZPATRICK.

MARCH 9.

I have just been informed that the Yankees have raised the blockade of the port of Brazos Santiago, and opened it to commerce. I saw one of the Brownsville renegades, who was formerly deputy collector and inspector there. He was trying to buy a lighter to ship cotton from the mouth of the Rio Grande, to be shipped at Brazos. He told me they had the prospect of a large trade with cotton from texas and in importations from foregone ports, including Yankeeland, and that cotton could be shipped through Brazos cheaper than by the mouth of the Rio Grande. The Yankee troops in Brownsville are doing nothing but stealing everything they can lay their hands on. It is reported that General Magruger has got 30,000 troops in Texas doing nothing, while the enemy has possession of all the country within 100 miles of the mouth of Rio Grande.

The shipping of cotton must be continued by way of Matamoras, of course, but no military man should ever be employed in that business. The great mistake made by the Government agents was they went head over heels in debt before they had any means to pay with, which put them into the power of men who let them have goods at the most fabulous polices, not near all of which are yet paid for. The Government ought to have an agent here to receive all its cotton, and buy, if necessary, at reasonable prices, all of which can be done with perfect ease and safety, and major Hart ought to buy and ship to that agent here.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. FITZPATRICK,

Commercial Agent Confederate States.

[Indorsement Numbers 1.]

ADJUTANT-GENERAL:

Read, note, confer with the Secretary of War, an Return with remarks.

J. D.