The information from Louisiana alluded to gives at least 20,000. Including garrisons on the coast of Texas, the whole number of Confederate troops which I can bring to bear on the enemy is 9,000 at the utmost. I cannot, I think, calculate, under present orders of the lieutenant-general commanding in regard to the State troops, upon more then 3,000 men from that quarter. They and a portion of the Confederate troops are badly armed. This will make 12,000 men in all, of which 4,000 are needed at Galveston, 1,200 at Sabine Pass, and, I think, about 1,200 at the mouth of the Brazos, Bernard, and Caney Rivers, leaving about 5,600 disposable for the field at present. The minute-men will not stay in the field. I have but one company at present out of all the companies in the State. They are not to be depended upon, because they will always be too late. Colonel Ford may raise 1,500, perhaps 2,000, with Colonel Benavides, for operations on the Rio Grande; General McCulloch perhaps 2,000 all told, for operations in the Northern Sub-District.
The lieutenant-general being thoroughly acquainted with my views for the defense of Texas, I do not think it proper to present them again, but I deem it my duty to make the above approximate statement of my forces, which I believe to be correct, and their general disposition, for his information. The lieutenant-general stated that on his return from Arkansas he would come to Houston at the earliest moment in his power. I hope he will do so, as his presence will tend to accelerate the transaction of much important business.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District of Texas, &c.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD,
Ewing's Plantation, January 22, 1864.
Captain E. P. TURNER,
SIR: AT 6 p. m. on yesterday I received information that the enemy were landing form two steamers 10 miles below the mouth of Caney. The troops were at once ordered to the beach and remained under arms all night. The enemy landed about 200 men with a small ship howitzer, and at once placed it in battery; two other steamers joined them by 5 o'clock. They then moved rapidly toward Decrow's Point, and at midnight were 25 miles from the mouth of Caney, and still marching rapidly, receiving re-enforcements from the boats from time to time. In the camp where the gun was entrenched a blanket and India-rubber cloth were found, evidencing haste or fright.
I can form but one opinion of this extraordinary movement, that they expected to draw out troops after them, which succeeding, they would land in their rear and cut them off. A strong body of cavalry, under Colonel Likens, was sent down the beach, with orders to return before daylight, which they did without overtaking the enemy. The gun-boat lay at anchor close to the fort all night, and evidenced no connection with the movement down the beach. The rifled 32-pounder gun from Velasco arrived at the fort during the night, and will be placed in position to-night.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,