Shepherd had seized three of my wagons for his own use at Duncan, obliging me to throw out on the road ordnance stores to lighten my forage and battery wagon, and causing unnecessary privation to my men. I will be in Brownsville on the day after to-morrow morning. The two communications for Forts Ringgold Barracks and McIntosh were at once sent forward.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. FRENCH,
Brevet Major, U. S. Army.
I left Duncan at 3 p. m., 20th ultimo.
[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
FORT BROWN, TEX., March 4,1 861.
Lieutenant Colonel E. BACKUS,
Third Infantry, Commanding Ringgold Barracks, Tex.:
COLONEL: By authority and in the name of the General-in-Chief, I call upon you to act as circumstances may indicate the best for the service, for the following purposes: First. To dispatch the accompanying communication to the commander of Fort McIntosh, and in case you [hear] that [the] garrison of that post is marching, or is to march in this direction, toe xpedite, if necessary, the movement, and arrange that they do not want for provisions, &c. Second. To hastern Major French's command to this post. Third. To repair to this post as soon as practicable, and also dispatch here Captain Bowman's company, giving the preference to the battery, if Major French's command has not passed your post, and a steamer be available and his progress be expedited. Fourth. To leave at your post in charge of agents appointed by you for the Government, or otherwise dispose of it according to regulations, property which will not be needed and interfes with your progress, and to bring the provisions on had which will not be required for the troops above. I wish to take from this post, with the artillery, two companies of infantry, and desire to re-enforce this garrison by every man that can be obtained from above. Funds to defray expenses of transportation will be furnish on arrival.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. PORTER,
[Inclosure Numbers 4.]
RINGGOLD BARRACKS, TEX., February [March] 6, 1861.
Major F. J. PORTER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fort Brown, Brownsville, Tex.:
MAJOR: Your letter of March 4 reached me at daylight this morning, and found me executing nearly every item of your instructions. I sent an express to Major Sibley two days since, urging him to move at once for Brownsville. I sent another express this morning with your letter, and hope it may meet him on the road. I leave forage for him at this post; he has sufficient subsistence to take him down. Major French will probably reach you before this letter. He left Edinburg this morning. Company A, Third Infantry, leaves by land to-morrow, and should be at Brownsville on the 11th. The baggage goes by steamer, and being an invalid I shall go by the same means. I send down all the corn and flour we can spare. Major French wrote in pencil, on the envelope of your letter to me, something about a train coming up for