control of Shelby's old brigade (now commanded by Colonel Gordon), or any other reliable man, I should be glad to have a regiment sent immediately to Doaksville, and another to this place, and a third to Boggy Depot. They would serve as a nucleus for the law-abiding portion of the country, protect public property, and enable me to preserve order. Moreover [from] the unsettled condition of affairs we may reasonably expect a raid by Blunt, and as much force should be thrown forward or held in supporting distance to this district as can possibly be provided for. If the Federals come in I am apprehensive of serious disturbances among the people. I called Your attention to this matter several days ago, but as yet have no reply. If You have not the right to direct General Shelby's movements, please forward this with Captain Scott's letter and ask his aid. I feel sure he will give it. I want prudent officers and steady men, who will do just enough and not get into difficulties with the people or allow themselves to be made use of to gratify private malice or avarice.
I am, general, respectfully, Your obedient servant,
D. H. COOPER,
HEADQUARTERS FORCES FRONT LINES,
May 19, 1865.
Captain SAM. FLOWER,
No reports have been received at these headquarters from the front nor can I expect again to hear from the outposts or to communicate with You except through the kindness of some volunteer courier or citizen. You must be painfully aware that orders and compulsory measures to make the few remaining men do their duty on this front are now at end. Everything here, as You have been advised, is disorder and confusion. The courier lines from the outposts to these headquarters and from here to Natchitoches are all destroyed. The outposts are without rations; there are no means of supplying them, every thing like Government transportation having been stolen, and for that reason I am momentarily expecting the several outmost commanders to report with what may be left of their commands at these headquarters. General Brent, on his arrival here yesterday from Natchitoches finding that the moment contemplated in Your instructions of 16th instant, for his attempting to negotiate a surrender of the forces, public property, &c., of Your command had arrived, left at 10 p. m. on board the steamer Champion for the mouth of Red River, to put himself in communication with the Federal authorities.
WM. G. VINCENT,
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. WEST SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS,
Brownsville, May 19, 1865.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report for Your information that great dissatisfaction exists among the troops on this frontier; at least one-half have already or will desert their colors. They say, "We are
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