ALEXANDRIA, January 17, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The communications received on yesterday from General Mouton, copies of which were forwarded by him directly to department headquarters, led to the belief that no more arms are to be expected for the present from the other side of the Mississippi. This, in connection with the rising rivers and the withdrawal of the enemy from the Teche, makes me desirous of recalling Mouton's command to a point at least as near as Trinity, where the Ouachita Valley can better be protected than at Monroe, and the command in striking distance of this point. Orders have been sent to General Mouton to move to Trinity, unless events now unforeseen render his longer presence at Monroe desirable. He will be instructed to place a boat in Little River to facilitate communications with this place.
He reports that a boat has been sent to remove the guns, &c., at Harrisonburg to Monroe, as the lieutenant-general commanding desired. General Mouton can simply protect the contemplated works at Trinity, and one or two boats retained in the Ouachita will supply from that valley both the troops and laborers, unless otherwise directed from department headquarters. Mouton will move down the east bank of the river to Columbia, thence by the west bank to Trinity.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DIST. OF TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ., No. 11. Houston, Tex., January 17, 1864.
The Governor having decided that the State troops are bound by the late law to remain in service until the provisions of that law can be carried out, all commanding officers of the State troops are hereby ordered to retain them in the service as at present organized until the same shall be accomplished in accordance with law, and it is made the duty of all officers of the Confederate Army serving in Texas to use all the means at their disposal to maintain and execute this decision of the Governor. A small portion of the troops, acting under a misapprehension of their obligations, have endeavored to return to their homes. They have been pursued and will be brought back to duty. This decision of the Governor having been thus made known, soldiers who leave their commands will be held as deserters and treated with all the rigor of the law.
The commanding general deems this a fitting occasion to bear testimony to the excellent conduct, uncomplaining spirit, and soldierly bearing of the State troops he has the honor to command, and feels confident that he can depend upon their intelligence and patriotism to accord every obedience to the orders of the Governor and his own, now made known to them by this order, and which will be reiterated by the Governor within a few days. It is enough to announce to the soldiers of the Texas State troops that their Governor has declared them to be legally in the service until the provisions of the late act shall have been carried out; that the enemy is in their front, and that the commanding general needs not the cold but the cordial support of his comrades in his efforts to repel them.