War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0515 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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indicated in the act of the Legislature, so that they may be assigned to companies, drilled, and rendered efficient.

The most reliable information from the front shows that the enemy's force on the coast is from 15,000 to 20,000 men, of which about 15,000 are already stationed at Decrow's Point and Saluria.

Re-enforcements are continually arriving, and the probability is that we shall have to contend against an army of from 25,000 to 30,000 men, aided by a powerful fleet.

With this state of things before me, I would do less than my duty if I did not urge you to the exercise of all your constitution powers for the purpose of increasing the forces engaged in the defense of the State.

A cargo of arms and munitions of war has just arrived, through which I shall be enabled to arm all of the State troops now without arms. More vessels are expected daily, and I hope soon to be able to arm every man capable of bearing a gun. In order, therefore, to prepare such additional forces for the field as the State may intend calling out, I trust that you will immediately take the necessary steps to bring all the fighting population of the State into the field, so that if it be necessary to furlough a portion of the troops to sustain agriculture, the original number called for (10,000) may not be diminished.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,

McNeel's Plantation, December 19, 1863.

His Excellency PENDLETON MURRAH,

Governor of Texas:

GOVERNOR: I am in receipt of your communication in reference to the destruction of property on the coast.

Immediately upon the evacuation of Saluria, I directed the commanding officer to destroy the wharves at Lavaca with such storehouses at Lavaca and Indianola as might be of service of the enemy, and also to destroy the railroad to Victoria. I afterward modified the order, so a s to allow the transportation of the engines to Columbus, if the same could be done. Such of the rolling-stock as cannot be transported will be destroyed, and every effort be made to make the road valueless to the enemy.

The line of this railroad embraces that portion of the route over which the enemy must pass in advancing toward Austin and san Antonio in which the difficulties are the greatest to overcome. If it is left in a condition to be used by him, he can easily secure himself at Victoria, and, making it the base of operations, advance in any direction. The highest military importance, is therefore, attached to its destruction, and the strictest sense of duty has prompted my orders concerning it.

Having given no orders for the indiscriminate destruction of property, the fears of those who have made the statements contained in your communication are without foundation.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding, &c.,