nated. All persons in those counties, however, who have heretofore been enrollment or mustered into the Confederate service must continue in that service, and cannot be permitted to join the organizations contemplated by the act of the Legislature. By their enrollment they became Confederate soldiers, and there is no authority for transferring them to any State organization. Should Congress hereafter increase the age of conscription above forty-five, such persons above that age as may be mustered into those organizations will not be disturbed. I have the honor to inclose to you copies of two official letters recently addressed to Major-General Magruder, the one relating to the impressment of labor on fortifications, accompanied with General Orders, No. 138, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Richmond, Va., and the other with reference to conscripts now doing duty with the State troops. With reference to the former it is inclosed for your information, as under the general orders inclosed it is made the duty of the military commander, under some circumstances, to consult with you. The latter is inclosed as explaining the reason for proceeding at once to enroll and ascertain the number, names, &c., of all those conscripts, in order to avoid difficulty hereafter.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
[E. KIRBY SMITH.]
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &c., Houston, January 18, 1864.
Commanding Cavalry Co., Brown's Regiment:
CAPTAIN: I have been prevented by the great mass of busines I am called upon to transact from acknowledging before this the gallant services and heroism of yourself and brave comrades in your attempt to hasten to the relief of Captain Henderson's company during the recent terrible norther on Matagorda Bay. Such an act, voluntarily performed, and in the face of the elements, as for a handful of noble men to attempt to rescue from capture their comrades, ignorant of the strength of the enemy, is deserving of the highest praise and commendation, and will form a bright pace in the history of this great struggle for independence. The sad fate of the brave men who perished in this noble and patriotic undertaking will be mourned by the entire country and the example your company has furnished will be one that their comrades of the Army of Texas will strive to emulate. Tender to your men my thanks and sincere appreciation of their zeal and fidelity, and accept assurances of my sympathy in the loss you have sustained.
With great respect, I have the honor to remain, very truly, your friend and servant,
J. B. MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD, Ewing's Plantation, January 18, 1864-8 p.m.
Captain E. P. TURNER,
SIR: Two men who live on the peninsula about 20 miles below the mouth of Caney report that they met a Yankee soldier near Phil-