War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0044 W.FLA.,S.ALA.,S.MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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Louisiana not with Major-General Taylor to operate opposite Port Hudson. He wish is that the troops sent may be so dispersed and may so act as to create a diversion in favor of our besieged garrison at Port Hudson. Every effort should be made to cut off the enemy's supplies, if he attempts to obtain any by the western bank of the river. It seems to the general perfectly practicable that such supplies should be cut off.

I inclose you a copy of a letter from General Johnson.*

I have the honor to be, major, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding District of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico:

GENERAL: Some points I intended to tough in our interview of Sunday were omitted on account of your engagements. One should not be deferred long, especially as you are the act of organizing a militia draft embracing a large portion of our exempts.

In my return from Richmond I have been involved in the two Federal raids-that of Grierson through Mississippi, and that vast on of General Banks into Western Louisiana. Both furnished me ample opportunity to learn what is needed among our people in case of any similar attempt through Texas.

No opposition or obstacle was found at any place through the country to the complete plunder of farms and houses by even the smallest parties. One, two, or three scouts would leave the main force, and travel for miles alone to farms, and demand of the owners to get and surrender the stock or valuables, and none of these suffered any violence or opposition. This is a reproach to the people, showing, of course, great want of organization, and want of proper spirit. Should such a thing occur in Texas, and our Home Grand permit it with impunity, I should feel that we were craven. An invading army should feel that it is dangerous to send small parties out from the main force. This would greatly lessen the area of devastation.

The question as to the best mode of preparing for such result is worthy attention, and doubtless has been well weighed by you in view of future possibilities. I venture my own suggestions, prompted by this recent experience.

Every person capable of bearing arms, from ten to seventy years, should, if possible, be armed and organized in view of such a raid; those outside the conscript and militia age should, in some form, be sworn into service, and protected by the Confederate authority from the charge of "bushwhacking" when taken prisoners, for all such are shot by the Federals. All should be in the condition of prisoners of war, and instant retaliation upon prisoners of whatever class should deter from any attempt to treat our Home Guard as bushwhackers.

Every glen and bayou and cornfield should be an ambush for our small parties of Home Guards, and they should pick off every isolated marauder that ventures to stray form his main body .

Such a preparation is rendered necessary by the form the enemy have given to this war. The assumption of the right to plunder private


*See of May 31, p. 26.