a very easy profession. Of course you know I have not the means to send you, for I have so informed you frequently. The state of affairs in some portions of your sub-district is deeply to be regretted, but must be looked boldly in the face. I find only 150 men together of these deserters and jayhawkers mentioned in the letters inclosed by you, and I believe you have some 400 returned deserters. None of these men are to be trusted. There are doubtless 500 more in the woods and brush, and those at large will certainly increase unless they are put down at once. These men should be shot without hesitation or mercy, and should be hunted down with the forces you have, operating all the time, day and night, until the work is done. Great activity will, I think, do it. I shall ask General Smith, who is here, to send Colonel Burleson's battalion to you. I do not know if it can be done. Stick to the ship and do your best, for God's sake; destroy those men whilst you have the means. Martin's regiment and Bourland's battalion ought to be enough. I do not see why they cannot do it, as it appears they are near each other.
J. B. MAGRUDER,
Jackson Country, January 29, 1864.
Major W. T. MECHLING,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. First Div., Arizona, N. Mexico, and Texas:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I have moved my command (not on picket) to the Arenoso Creek, near the point at which the Texana and Victoria road crosses this stream. I was compelled to leave Victoria to get forage, and I am now 8 or 10 miles nearer Lavaca. There is no change in matters at Indianola. The enemy is gradually increasing its cavalry force. Rifle-pits have been dug, and from present indications I infer that probably the main depot for supplies will be at Indianola until at least they obtain a position at some better point on the mainland. I disagree in opinion with the citizens of Lavaca and others that expect an immediate advance from that quarter. I have now in camp 2 youths, arrested by my pickets a few miles out of Powdertown. These boys state that the enemy possessed at Indianopola not more than six to ten wagons, public, and a few impressed from the Germans; that the oat of the Germans have voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance to the Northern States, and that no attempt as yet has been made to compel the citizens generally to swear allegiance; that Captains Shepherd and Rice are on parole not to leave the place, and required to report on each morning at the provost-marshal's office.
My force is very weak, and men and horses suffering from the effects of the salt water they are compelled to use whilst on picket duty. I have just been informed that the majority of Gregg's company of infantry, State Troops, at Victoria, have deserted. I will send to their homes and endeavor to arrest them.
The orders to enroll the State Troops have been received and will be promptly carried into effect.
I inclose resignations of Second Lieutenant Porter and Assistant Surgeon Brand, of my regiment.
Respectfully, major, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, Frist Division.