War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0905 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Austin, January 22, 1864.

Major General J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER:

SIR: Your letter of 17th instant has reached me. I can but repeat that I believe the mode of reorganization suggested by me and provided by the State law is the best. The militia at home will generally be at their posts in time, and when they fail to reach the point designated by the time the organization takes place, they will simply lose their right to vote. It strikes me if the force is organized as indicated by the conscripts and non-conscripts being continued in the organization, that it will be much more efficient. The plan of separation suggested by you and organization of the conscripts as a nucleus for the others I think would not be as satisfactory as the other course.

The plan of returning them home for organization will do very well if there is no further use for them in the field, but, in my view, not otherwise. Besides, it draws so broad a distinction between them and the portion subject to conscription that confusion and dissatisfaction is most likely to be the consequence.

It is not to [my] mind clear that some of your suggestions as to subjecting these troops to the command of the brigadier-general of this district can be carried out by me under the law. My great anxiety upon this subject induces me again to say that I wish the State troops to be so organized that they will be satisfied, strong, and efficient, and that I conceive the plan suggested by me best accomplishes this result. Under this plan they will soon be permanently and well organized. But if we now waver and hesitate as to a plan of organization I fear that confusion will be the result.

I have written to General Smith upon the subject, urging the same views.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

P. MURRAH.

P. S.-I have prepared a proclamation to continue the troops in the field under the law, but it is necessary for me to understand the plan of organization.

Respectfully,

P. MURRAH.

HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,

Houston, January 22, 1864.

Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,

Chief of Staff:

SIR: I yesterday received intelligence from Louisiana, stating that 20,000 additional troops were at the mouth of the Mississippi River about to sail for Texas. I received your letter of December 15, stating that the lieutenant-general intended to attack the enemy in Arkansas. I have since learned unofficially that that intention has been abandoned. I thought this an admirable plan, as it was likely to produce a strong diversion in our favor. Reports from the Rio Grande state positively that at least two regiments have landed there since Banks' arrival at Corpus Christi, making between 4,000 and 5,000 men at Brownsville; and the lowest estimate of trooped at Saluria makes them about 12,000, the highest 22,000.