War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0421 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA,

Hart's Mill, Tex., May 2, 1863.

Captain JOHN C. McFERRAN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Santa Fe:

CAPTAIN; The general commanding the department has been apprised during the absence to the Gila River of a movement of a body of Texan troops toward Fort Davis. I am decided in my opinion that this force is engaged in convoying supply trains for the rebels from Chihuahua into Texas via Presidio del Norte. Their reputed leader, Sillman, was recently in El Paso, Mexico. His confederates there gave out that he will soon move on Franklin. It is possible that he may attempt a raid, but I have no idea that any considerable force can be pushed against me from Texas at this season of the year. During my absence Colonel McMullen, commanding Franklin, sent a spy party of ten citizens toward Horsehead Crossing by way of the Hueco Tanks. I shall bring down the company of New Mexico volunteers now at Las Cruces and make use of them to guard against surprise. I have it in contemplation to station them for that purpose at the Hueco Tanks. With this company of cavalry I can successfully guard against surprise, and feel every confidence in being able to repulse any attack from such a force as Skillman is reputed to have, but I wish to take the offensive against him. All intelligence from Texas represents the people and troops in that State as suffering from lack of subsistence. I have read in our own Eastern papers that General Magruder had declared it imperatively necessary to export cotton to Mexico to procure supplies.

If the Fort Davis and Presidio del Norte route is being used for that purose, it would be a severe blow to them to break it up. Not only this, but they may make such arrangements as will enable them to advance a larger force toward this section of country later in the season. To move on Fort Davis and Presidio del Norte will require cavalry, say five companies, and one company of infantry, with the two mountain howitzers from Fort West. There are five companies of cavalry in the district - one of New Mexico volunteers already referred to; Company C, First Cavalry California Volunteers, at La Cruces, dismounted; Companies A and B, same regiment, at Fort West, with only horses enough for service for one company; Company E, same regiment, at the vedette stations between here and Tucson. I believe that the companies at Fort West could be withdrawn without disadvantage, and if it were possible to put Companies A, B, C, and D, of the First Cavalry California Volunteers, into condiction for such an expedition by remounts, they, with the company New Mexico volunteers and the infantry I have suggested, could effectually break up the obtaining of supplies from Mexico by the route indicated. I shall send a trusty spy to Presidio del Norte in a few days to ascertain what supplies are passing through there. These suggestions are made for the consideration of the general commanding the department.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. R. WEST,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA,

Hart's Mill, Tex., May 2, 1863.

Captain JOHN C. McFERRAN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Santa Fe:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report my return on the 30th instant from the headwaters of the Gila. On reaching Fort West to comply