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Doc. 16.-General Magruder's address.

headquarters District of Texas, New-Mexico, and Arizona, Houston, Nov. 27, 1863.
To the planters of the coast counties: The Commanding General announces to the citizens of Texas, that a formidable invasion is attempted by the coast. Early in the month, General Banks took possession of the Lower Rio Grande, and on the eighteenth a force occupied Aransas and Corpus Christi Passes, capturing the small garrison there stationed. Despatches to the twenty-third, from Colonel Bradfute, commanding at Saluria, have been received, stating that a large force, supported by numerous ships, was advancing on that place, which, by this time, may have fallen. It becomes the grave duty of the Commanding General to state to the inhabitants of the counties contiguous to the coast what their duty to the country, as well as their own interest, demands at this crisis. The utter disregard of all social rights, as well as the distinct proclamation of President Lincoln, so ruthlessly carried out by his minions, leave no room for hope, even to the most credulous, to save their property, and especially their negroes, even by the base submission of men who should prefer death to dishonor. Should hopes be held out to the people of Texas that they will be exceptions to the rule so vigorously enforced in her sister States in localities where the enemy are in possession of temporary power, and should even the property of some, deceived into an oath of allegiance by the treacherous promises of our enemy, be for a time respected, such hopes will prove deceitful — such respect a snare. The playing of the ravenous cat with the harmless mouse is not more deceitful or fatal. Therefore, noble Texans, depend alone upon yourselves and your faithful rifles, and trust not the enemy and his faithless promises. This is your interest. Besides, the Commanding General has certain information that the enemy has brought with him from five thousand to ten thousand muskets, with which to arm the slaves against their masters. This it is the interest of the country, the interest of the State, the interest of humanity, and the duty of the Commanding General to prevent. Therefore, he calls upon the citizens of Texas living in the counties bordering upon the navigable portions of the streams, and within fifty miles of the coast, to remove their able-bodied male slaves at once, at any cost and at all hazards, further into the interior, else he will be forced to drive them before him with his cavalry, in haste and without regard to their well-being, but in the solemn performance of an imperious duty. He conceives it even better for their interest that all but the old and decrepid should be at once removed, as well as jewels, plate, linen, and other valuables, and particularly wagons, horses, mules, and vehicles of every kind; for if the negroes and this description of property are saved, the enemy can do but little harm to the land and its improvements. Lose them, and your lands become comparatively worthless, whilst your homes will become the abodes of your slaves. The enemy even has no power to prevent this, for our success is his ruin. Like the car of Juggernaut, his progress is onward, and must crush whatever it meets with. Be, then, true to yourselves, and Roman in your virtue. Sacrifice, if necessary, in value, one half of your negroes and all of your crops, to save the other half. The law does not permit the Commanding General to leave any thing that will benefit the enemy within his grasp. He must, therefore, destroy what will benefit the foe. Save him this painful necessity, and remove your negroes beyond the reach of the enemy without a moment's delay. This appeal is made to all those who reside in counties within fifty miles of the coast, from Corpus Christi and Galveston, inclusive. Should any other portion of the coast or counties still more interior require [245] this sacrifice at the hands of the planters, timely notice will be given of the same.

J. B. Magruder. Major-General Commanding District of Texas, New-Mexico, and Arizona.

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