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Should I be compelled to provide transportation by land for mounted troops, I will use my utmost exertions to do it to the satisfaction of all concerned; but money must be had, and a large amount of it too. Much time, I know, must be consumed in getting wagons, &c., from the north; and there should be several officers of the de partment placed subject to my orders, to accompany commands that may move by land, or I shall be forced to resort to hired agentsa course to be avoided if possible.

I enclose herewith a copy of each of two letters from Major Thomas, dated 18th instant, and a copy of one of the 19th instant.

I am endeavoring to procure such a steamboat as he speaks of in one of the letters of the 18th; and, if I succeed, I will have her coppered and despatched. The coppering will occupy but a short time.

In the list of articles accompanying the other letter of the 18th are embraced scows and skiff-built boats, and sundry other thingsharness, &c. Camp equipage, canteens, knapsacks, &c., I have already written in regard to. It is with difficulty that I can have articles of this kind made for immediate issue to troops being mustered into service here. I hope the run upon me will be diminished in a short time, and then I can have some made, and will send them to Point Isabel.

THO. F. HUNT, Lieut. Col. and Deputy Quartermaster General. Maj. Gen. Thomas S. JESUP, Washington.

[Enclosure referred to in the above.]


Army of Occupation, Fort Polk, May 18, 1846. Sir: The " Colonel Long," as I have previously notified you, has entirely given out, and I fear the "Neva” will soon become unserviceable from the same cause-worms. The commanding gen. eral has directed me to procure one or two good river boats for service on the Rio Grande, of which river we now have possession. We do not require a very light draught boat, as the bar at the Rio affords a good passage for boats drawing four to four and a half feet.

In obedience, therefore, to the orders of the commanding general, I request that you will purchase and send out, with the least possible delay, a good substantial river boat, from 125 to 135 feet in .length, double engine, (for the river is crooked and narrow,) that will not draw over four and a half feet with a full load. She should be coppered, as we may have to keep her in salt water; and, should this be the case, a few months would use her up.


Major and Quartermaster. Lieut. Col. T. F. HUNT,

New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS, June 4, 1846. GENERAL: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of each of eight letters which I received last night, by the steamship Alabama, from Major Thomas, dated Fort Polk, May 31. I need not, I think, make comment on their contents.' I would say that, this is the first information I have had of the great and pressing demand for so many steamboats. Major Thomas wrote to me for one, ard I have for several days done my best to procure such a one as I think suitable, without success. Captain Sanders, of engineers, called on me to-day and showed me General Taylor's instructions to him, dated 28th, and which he allowed me to copy, and from which is a copy herewith. Colonel Winthrop, who is spoken of, is one of the aids of Governor Johnson, of this State. What the general's instructions or authority to him is, I am not aware, not having seen him.

One or two boats may be procured here, but not precisely such as we ought to have, and Captain Sanders will go up the river tomorrow with authority from me to procure two or three; and he thinks he may get one from Colonel Long, of topographical engineers. He will, I understand, write to Washington by the mail that carries this.

THO. F. HUNT, Lieut. Col. and Deputy Quartermaster General. Maj. Gen. Th. S. JESUP, Washington.

[Enclosure referred to in the above.]



Fort Polk, May 31, 1846. Sir: I herewith enclose a copy of a letter received from the assistant adjutant general of the army, directing me to procure suitable boats for the service of the Rio Grande. This was written when neither he nor the general knew much about the depth of water in that river, and at the time I was making an examination of it. The boats Í have written for are such as required, and as light as can be navigated with safety to this place.

I understand, incidentally, that Colonel Winthrop is charged with plenary powers to hire boats for this service by Captain Crosman, now at head-quarters; and further, that Captain John Sanders is also charged with a special mission on the subject, the nature of which I do not know. In respect to these missions, you, of course, will act as you deem advisable. If such boats as I require (knowing the river as I do) are sent, I am responsible: if others' views are attended to, I have nothing to do with it, and of course cannot be held responsible in any way.


Major and Quartermaster. Lieut. Col. Th. F. Hunt, New Orleans.


Matamoras, May 24, 1846. Sir: The commanding general directs me again to call your attention to the necessity of immediate measures for procuring suitable boats for the navigation of this river, as the Neva cannot be depended upon for any length of time. Three boats will be required, to draw at most not more than two and a half feet of water when loaded; and the general desires that they be procured without delay.

The army can do nothing of importance until such boats are procured, and the expense of purchasing them is a small item compared with the loss of time in our operations.

The Neva arrived to-day, and without material difficulty, but leaking badly, as I understand.


Assistant Adjutant General. Major Thomas, Fort Polk.

Fort Polk, May 31, 1846. SIR: The steamer Neva, after running three or four days in the Rio Grande, struck a log, and, being so completely worm eaten, it knocked a hole in her bottom. She has been kept afloat, but will be of no further service until thoroughly repaired, and which cannot be done without sending her to New Orleans.

I wrote you on the 18th to purchase and send a steamer out to this place for service on the Rio Grande, by order of General Taylor; and fearing that the Neva would give out, to look out for a second one if it should be wanted. This, at the time, I thought would be sufficient; but as the number of troops is increasing daily, I now, by the direction of the commanding, general, request that you purchase four good river boats; two to be of the class described in my letter of the 18th ultimo, and two of still lighter draught -say not more than three feet when loaded. Two of the boats should be coppered, if possible; but no great detention should be allowed to effect this, although very desirable, as they will have to be used a good deal in the Brazos bay.

I have been up the Rio Grande with the Cincinnati, drawing four and a half feet, and got up within fifteen or twenty miles of Matamoras; and believe I could have got all the way up but feared she might not be able to get back.

The river is now at a low stage; and from all the information I can gather, there is never less water than at present in the channel. The Neva went up, drawing nearly four feet, without any difficulty. Last year the Augusta went up at this time drawing six. So let two of the boats draw not more than three feet with a full load, and the other two not over four feet, if possible. They should be good and substantial, and in first rate order and condition. I pray you to lose no time in sending these boats out, as time is important. They should be purchased, if possible, in New Orleans, and sent out without a moment's delay, as the general is waiting their arrival for further operations.


Major and Quartermaster. Lieut. Col. Th. F. Hunt, New Orleans.


Matamoras, May 28, 1846. Sır: With a view to expedite the procuring of small steamboats for the navigation of the Rio Grande, which is indispensable to future operations, the commanding general directs that you proceed without delay to New Orleans, and there assist Lieutenant Colonel Hunt in procuring boats of the proper draught and description.

Four boats will be required, and you may give assurances that they will receive employment at good prices in transporting military stores on the river. Should any change in the condition of affairs render it necessary to discharge them at an earlier period than is now contemplated, you will assure the proprietors that they shall be remunerated for the time so lost.

In executing this service, you will please communicate with Lieutenant Colonel Hunt, to whom you will show this letter of instructions, and also with Colonel Winthrop, who has promised his aid in the matter.

The proper draught of the boats, and the description best adapted to the purpose, you have already learned from the commanding general.

After the completion of this service you will please return to head quarters.

If the requisite number, or indeed the proper kind of boats cannot be procured at once in New Orleans, you will proceed up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers until you fully accomplish the object of your mission.

The commanding general deems it preferable to make arrangements for compensating the boats by giving the owners assurances of their receiving liberal prices for freight; but the boats must be procured, if they have either to be bought or chartered.

As expedition is essential in this business, arrangements must be made to have at least the first boat you engage or procure towed round the coast by some good sea boat of sufficient power to prevent any unnecessary detention or delay.


Assistant Adjutant General. Captain John SANDERS, of Engineers, Matamoras.


NEW ORLEANS, June 11, 1846. GENERAL: I am, as you are aware; under requisition for the purchase of light draught steamboats for the Rio Grande. It is very difficult to proeure such boats as have been described. I have purchased the steamer Undine for $13,000, and bave her now in dock to be coppered, and intended to run between Brazos and Santiago and the mouth of the Rio Grande, &c. I have bought another, the Troy, (as small and as light a draught as I can get now,) for $6,000. I expect to buy one or two more, if I can get them. One I have engaged, (now above the raft of Red rirer,) expected to be here in a week, for $5,000. I authorized, on the 5th instant, Captain Sanders, of the corps of engineers, to procure two boats up the river. Herewith is a copy of my letter to him.

TH. F. HUNT, Lieut. Colonel and Deputy Quartermaster General.

Major General Tı. S. JESUP, Washington.

(Enclosure referred to in preceding letter.)

NEW ORLEANS, June 5, 1846. Sır: In carrying out the views of Major General Taylor, commanding army of occupation, in regard to steamboats, I desire you will procure two boats of such description as you are aware are necessary and proper, besides the one that you may get from Col. Long, should you succeed in doing so. I need not impress upon you

the great importance of having strong, sound, and good boats, in every particular. I would suggest that you may be successful at St. Louis, should you have doubts of succeeding on the Ohio. I think I may procure two or three here in a short time, as I am told some are expected to arrive. I am fearful the Panola will not answer; I think I can procure a better. Frederick went to the lake this morning to look at the Undine, but she was absent; she is an excellent boat, if her draught of water will suit. Another on the other side of the river (the Reliance) is well spoken of She will be looked at this morning.

I think it better for the public interest that the boats should be owned by the public; and in procuring those that you are authorized to get, I wish you to purchase them deliverable to me heresubject, of course, to inspection, in order to verify their condition with that in which they were when contracted for by you. The object is to avoid on our part, as far as practicable, the risk of getting them down. If found as good as when purchased by you, and every thing be in accordance with the bargain made by you-which please have stated in writing, and the conveyance made by the owner or owners, or properly authorized agents--I will pay for them here.

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