Second Lieutenant J. K. Houston, Fifth Infantry California Volunteers, a young officer of no experience in the staff department. The forage being entirely exhausted, the credit of the quartermaster's and subsistence departmet non est, it was necessary to have the benefit of Lieutenant Toole's experience, personal credit, and acquaintance with the people and resources of the country to perform the important service required at this place. Captain Thayer's company (C), Fifth Infantry California Volunteers, is en route and will arrive here on the 17th instant. Taking it for granted the company is to proceed to the Rio Grance, I shall cause it to proceed without delay, and order Lieutenant-Colonel Coult to go at the same time, thus dispensing with the necessity of an escort for him. This company will require a few day's rest here, and it will be necessary to send a water-rank to meet them between Picacho and Cooke's Springs. I will send a small detachment of cavalry with Thayer, so that timely advice may reach Messilla in advance of his company. There are no water-tanks here, no lumber to make any-indeed no lumber at all, except a few spare posts for wagons. Of course we cannot look to the Department of the Pacific for any assistance or stores or means of transportaion now. It appears twenty wagons belonging to the late Column from California were taken and kept in the Department of the Pacific. I will be impossible to send troops hence in the summer, especilly April, May, and June, without water to accompany them; therefore as transportation from the Department of the Pacific will bring them thus far only, watertanks and wagons will be required for the service from Messilla. I inclose a letter addressed to General West from Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, Fourth Infantry, which I opened to ascertain its contents and to know if required a special express. It appreas nothing is known of the new troops, but the remaining companies of Bowie's regiment will be here one by one in a few weeks. The commanding officer here should have timely advice of all movements of troops in this direction so as to prepare of them. Captain Whitlock will forward Mr. Brady's report of his visit to Libertad. It appears no stores or troops are coming that way. The improvements promised to be made by Mexicans on the roads are made, and much more, so Mr. Brady reports. All employes except such as are necessary for the depot are or will be discharged.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel First Cavalry California Volunteers.
TUSCON, ARIZ. TER., March 15, 1863.
Lieutenant J. F. BENNETT,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
LIEUTENANT: Inclosed pleace find a copy of the reportet of Mr. Brady, sent to the port of Liebertad by order of the general commanding the district. He gives it as his opinion that no more grain can be pruchased in Somora except for gold or silver. Wheat must be had, and I will exhaus every means in my power to keep a supply on hand. We had no trouble in byuing grain while the merchants of Sonora could use their quartermaster's vouchers in payment for goods in San Francisco, but the transfer of the district to the Department of New Mexico has stopped all trade between the two places. It was, of course, of
23 R R-VOL L, PT II