classes of the citizens, and nothing but military power, vigorously wielded, can save us from deserters, far more to be dreaded than the worst the enemy can inflict upon us. Some desertions have taken place from several of the corps under my command, which have been made known to me; doubtless there are others which have not yet been reported, but as yet the disposition of the army, as far as I have been able to judge, is one of proud and patriotic defiance. The citizens of Texas, too, particularly in this part of the country, present a front of determined opposition and indicate unmistakably a purpose to put down croakers and disaffected men in their midst. This healthful state of feeling I shall cultivate by all the means in my power, and if it lasts, as I believe it will, we will still have it in our power, whatever may happen east of the Mississippi, to present a menacing and determined front to the foe to defend the cause of the Confederacy, perhaps for years in this State alone, to afford protection to the property and lives of citizens by enforcing public order and obedience to the civil laws in the community, and should our efforts be finally unavailing to resist successfully the concentrated forces of the North we shall wring from our foe the most honorable terms of settlement for ourselves, while we shall have proved ourselves worthy of the confidence of the people with whose interest we have been intrusted, and shall at least deserve the approbation of mankind. To accomplish all this it is necessary, in my judgment, that we should have some general plan of operations; and as the district which I command is evidently to be the theater of operations, and I am probably better acquainted with its resources and geographical features than almost any other general officer, I am sure You will pardon me if I offer some suggestions whose adoption is absolutely necessary to the success of any plan we may pursue. I have every reason to believe that the enemy contemplates occrande from its mouth to Eagle Pass-first, to prevent the introduction of supplies, without which we cannot long carry on the war, and, secondly, to cut off all communication between Texas and the neighboring Empire of Mexico, with which they except and will seek to be embroiled. Blockade running to the port of Galveston may be considered almost at an end. If the port itself be not taken the enemy will so cover the Gulf with cruisers as to make its continuance almost impossible, besides which the injudicious tenacity with which the Treasury agent, Judge Gray, attempts to carry out regulations of the Treasury-good in themselves a year ago, but utterly inapplicable to our present situation-has already driven away most of the steamers. We have thus left only the Rio Grande as our outlet, and the occupation of Brownsville, with a view to hold it, becomes a prime necessity. As long as we can receive supplies by that route, and as long as the door is left open for us to co-operate with Mexico against the United States, our army will possess a moral influence very disproportionate to its numbers. The works at Brownsville are represented to be very strong. They are open in the rear toward the Mexican side. Our relations with the Imperial authorities are of the most cordial nature; therefore the garrison need not be lost.
The sending a large expedition by sea to the Rio Grande is attended with great difficulty and danger. There is no harbor; the ships will have to lay in the open sea. The landing is difficult and there are several strong positions between the sea and Brownsville. A good brigade of infantry, in addition to the troops General Slaughter has already opposing the landing, which can only be made in open boats, defending the various positions between the sea and Brownsville and