HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, April 9, 1865.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, &c.:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to forward the inclosed letter from Judge Gray, Treasury agent, with inclosures from General Slaughter and others relative to the seizure of specie funds from the deputy collector, and an order from General Slaughter prohibiting the exportation of Treasury cotton across the Rio Grande, with the instruction that You will direct the order to be revoked and explanation given without delay of the causes which led to its publication, and that in future no interference will be allowed to cotton going out under the Treasury regulations without reference being first made to department headquarters. The general commanding disapproves of the seizure of the public funds in the hands of the deputy collector and directs that the commander of the Sub-District of Texas be instructed that in no case will he again resort to the expedient of seizing the public revenue for the relief of his troops. If the troops cannot be maintained on the Rio Grande, they must either be withdrawn or so reduced in numbers that they can be supported with the means at our disposal. Estimates must be made and forwarded of the funds necessary for purchasing breadstuffs. The cavalry horses will have to be subsisted principally by grazing and the troops depend upon the cattle of the country for their meat rations.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, Your obedient servant,
[JOHN B. MEEM, Jr.,]
HOUSTON, April 9, 1865.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to return to You the letter of Captain Wells, with the various indorsements with which it was sent to me, with an additional indorsement by Major-General Walker disclaiming any intention to cast any reflection upon me and a written statement from Major Kimmel and Captain Turner showing that no explanation was made by me to General Walker until after he had made the above disclaimer. Major-General Walker might not have intended to convey the idea that his disclaimer was in consequence of an explanation made by me, but as his indorsement is susceptible of that interpretation, I have thought proper to send forward the statements of Major Kimmel and Captain Turner. I am satisfied that the error or inaccuracy was entirely unintentional on the part of General Walker. I might stop here, but as You, in Your indorsement of 3rd of January, 1865, in which You speak of Colonel Hutchins sending Lieutenant Leon Smith abroad to make the purchase, with the cotton referred to, were evidently under impression that Lieutenant Smith was sent abroad by me to make the purchase of a steam-boat and that Colonel Hutchins did not assent to the same, it is due both to the general commanding the department, as well as to myself, to make the following explanation, viz:
I proposed that Commodore Smith should be sent abroad to purchase a fast-running steamer, as a blockade-runner, with the cotton (some 150 bales) with which the steamer Bayou City, which had been fitted up for war purposes, had been clad.