yesterday morning for Cotile and returned last night, reporting the enemy's pickets at Lamothe Bridge and their principal camp in the vicinity of Alexandria. Red River is reported rising rapidly since Monday last.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Fourth Louisiana Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA,
Natchitoches, March 26, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to Colonel S. S. Anderson, for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding. Lamothe Bridge is 13 miles above Alexandria, on the Bayou Rapides road. The river at Grand Ecore has risen within a week, including the last two rains, about 30 inches, and is rising, or was yesterday, at the rate of 3 inches in twenty-four hours.
A. H. MAY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, March 25, 1864.
Brigadier General WILLIAM STEELE,
Commanding Defenses of Galveston:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 23rd instant, and I am instructed by Major-General Magruder to reply as follows: Commodore Smith is a naval officer, and all the gun-boats are under his control, and of course the officers and men aboard her are subject only to his orders. For the sake of convenience, all the transports are also placed under the command of Commodore Smith, and when needed quartermaster are required to apply to him or his representative at Galveston. The captains of these gun-boats are necessarily seamen, and all persons on board must of necessity be under their orders. The civil law, if the military does not, covers this case, but heretofore no objection has been made by the officer on this duty to obeying the orders of the captains of the boats. In addition to this, the harbor police have been placed under the control of Commodore Smith. Major-General Magruder, however, is anxious to arrange this matter satisfactorily, and desires that you investigate the matter and give him the advantage of your views on the subject.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. G. ALDRICH,
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY FORCES,
Camp near Banquete, March 25, 1864.
Captain E. P. TURNER,
A. A. G., C. S. Army, Major General Magruder's Hdqrs.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that a force of 500 cavalry and one piece of artillery are said by the Mexicans to be advancing upon the Brownsville road, and that Captain Balerio is reorganizing his command and has been re-enforced by a company of Mexicans from Comargo. Appearances indicate that we shall have to fight the