the management of my district, and am unable to command my own troops, because they are retained in other districts by officers over whom I have no control, though inferior in rank to myself.
I am hurrying forward as rapidly as possible the arms from Brownsville brought in by the Love Bird, and I shall endeavor to co-operate with Major-General Taylor in Calcasieu, using, every means to send forward to the Sabine the horses of my dismounted cavalry. I am fully alive to the dangers which beset us, and you may rest assured, general, that in all things you shall receive my prompt and hearty support.
With great respect, your friend and servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Houston, Tex., October 29, 1863.
Colonel A. BUCHEL,
The State troops are now willing to cross the Sabine River, and are so ordered.* Gould's regiment is ordered to Sabine Pass. The general wishes you to oppose the enemy's crossing the Calcasieu; he advanced in that direction. You will not go to Sabine Pass, unless a fleet should attempt to land there, or unless you are forced to leave Niblett's Bluff by the enemy, which is not anticipated.
You will send a cavalry force in the direction of Opelousas or Washington for observation, and endeavor to keep open your communication with Major-General Taylor.
You can get some wagons, it is supposed, from Sabine Pass.
There were some wagons left at Niblett's Bluff or at Orange for repairs, which you can also use, the mules and drivers being at Sabine Pass.
By command of Major-General Magruder:
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, October 29, 1863.
Brigadier General HENRY E. McCULLOCH,
Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas:
GENERAL: I am requested by Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith to answer unofficially your private letters of recent date in regard to deserters, absentees, and disaffected men in your district. He relies upon your acting for the best, and will sustain you in your efforts. He desires, however, to say to you that his experience in some of the parishes of this State is that the most salutary results have followed energy and determination backed by an armed force to command respect for and obedience to the laws, after persuasive efforts had failed of success. He thinks that it is time that you should adopt a firm and decided course, for after Lieutenant-Colonel Burleson and Captain Smith had killed in these parishes, the [one] 4 and the [other] 6 men, the others were taken or came in to the number of 400 or 600.
*See Special Orders, Numbers 292, October 27, 1863, p. 363.