only one regiment will be kept here, you will be expected to provide us a small detail for picket and the necessary details for fatigue. Please notify Captain Benter with his squad to report to Captain Ballard.
By command of Brigadier-General Benton:
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. FIRST DIV., 13TH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 16.
Indianola, Tex., February 4, 1864.
I. The following detachment of this division will march to-morrow morning, the 5th instant, at 7 o'clock, under the command of Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren: First, the First Brigade, with two pieces of artillery; second, three regiments of the Third Brigade, under the command of Colonel James Keigwin; third, the mounted infantry, under the command of Captain J. A. Ballard, Ninety-ninth Illinois; fourth, all the wagons of this division.
II. The detachment will go prepared with three days' rations and 60 rounds of ammunition, 40 to be carried by the men and the remainder to be hauled in a wagon specially assigned for that purpose.
III. The commanding officers above named will report immediately to Brigadier-General Warren for instructions.
By command of Brigadier General W. P. Benton:
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Matagorda Bay, February 4, 1864.
Commanding U. S. Gun-boat Estrella, senior naval officer present:
Two commissioned officers and 1 private, deserters from the enemy, have come in this morning. They report that so many lies are told them about the way in which they are treated here that it is very necessary some of the orders I have had printed, and Governor Hamilton's address, should be circulated among them. Can it not be arranged for a gun-boat to send an armed boat ashore, in calm weather, at points anywhere between 5 and 15 miles from the head of the peninsula? These orders can be put in singly (a single copy of each) in a slit in the end of a stick, and this stick fastened in the sand on the beach. They would be sure to be picked up. The pickets of the enemy go in pairs only, and two of them start down the beach from Caney every two hours; they ride down 16 miles to a house called "Idlebachs," and then ride back.
A few copies of the orders left at that house, or at points above it, would be picked up by the pickets. I have also some letters written by these deserters to their comrades, relating the kind of reception they meet with here, which I would like to have disposed of in the same way. If a gun-boat would put ashore two or three of these sticks every two or three days, or less frequently, the information would certainly get to the men who are desirous of deserting. I can supply copies of the documents whenever the mater is decided upon