4 miles apart. They have pickets along the bay shore, yet we can gain a position between the two points in the night, which will force them to make the attack outside of their works or allow us to attack them separately. The old town will be carried without difficulty. I had through of crossing over a body of men in boats from Sand Point, 2 miles across from old Indianola, whose presence in rear while an assault was being in front would hardly fail to demoralize and rout them; but the difficulty is to obtain boats. Not more than sixteen boats could be obtained by taking all from Matagorda and Lavaca, which would not carry more than 200 men.
The approach to Sand Point is feasible for infantry, crossing the Colorado at Elliott's Ferry. It is the opinion of Colonel Duff that Indianola is very strong and will require has large a force to take it as we can probably spare. I await further instructions preparatory to ordering depots of supplies to be established, and would suggest that, all the plans being matured, the troops move from their rendezvous near Elliott's Ferry at once to Indianola, as the concentration of troops west of the Colorado may be carried to the knowledge of the enemy. The troops from this army might march from Texana direct to Chicolet Bayou, which is the last fresh water, and about 12 miles from Indianola, and there be joined by Duff's command. The march could be made rapidly and with secrecy. Will you inform me if any of the light batteries will move with these troops, and also if it is intended that any of the guns of the light batteries shall remain permanently in the works at the mouth of Caney (two rifled guns are now there), and, if so, that they be designated.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. P. BEE,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, March 1, 1864.
Brigadier General S. B. MAXEY,
Commanding District of Indian Territory:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt at department headquarters of your communication of the 10th ultimo. In reply the lieutenant-general commanding directs me to say: First. That Major Burnet has been authorized to recruit his companies from conscripts through the enrolling officers. General Magruger's order reorganizing the State troops prescribes the manner in which and the circumstances under which men liable to conscription may enter the Confederate service. It is the desire of the commanding general that the ruled here laid down should be uniformly observed. State troops may be enlisted in the Confederate service prior to their entrance into new State organizations. After they have entered new State organizations they cannot interfered with. Second. Your request to have Captain J. B. Anderson's company report to you has been referred to General McCulloch, as also your application for the return to duty with their commands of the 25 men of Major Burnet's command now on post duty at Marshall, Tex. Third. The 3 men detailed in the engineer department at Shreveport cannot be returned, as their services are indispensable where they are. Fourth. That he cannot authorize the mounting of Bass' regiment and Burnet's battalion. You have been authorized to call upon General