I desire to have two veteran regiments that I can depend upon, and respectfully request that I may be allowed to retain McNeill's brigade (Madison's) and send in their places two other fresh cavalry regiments much stronger than they are. Please lay this before the lieutenant-general commanding at once, and inform me of his decision.
J. B. MAGRUGER,
MARCH 8 [?], 1864.
The troops are being furred forwarded as fats as possible. Nothing will be left undone. They are getting along slower than General Smith expected, but impossible to get there in ten days. I am sending some via Liberty to Burr's Ferry.
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., March 8, 1864.
Brigadier General S. B. MAXEY,
GENERAL: By direction of the lieutenant-general commanding I have the honor to inclose copies of letters from General Taylor and Major Snead, assistant adjutant-general of General Price's division, together with copy of a letter to Lieutenant-General Holmes, all relating to the movements of the enemy in Arkansas and the Indian Territory.* Colonel Parsons' brigade of cavalry, 1,500 strong, which has been on duty under the direction of the Bureau of Conscription, has been ordered to concentrate at Marshall, Tex., so as to be within supporting distance of you in case of emergency. The commanding general desires that you distribute the 800 arms sent you without delay and get your little command in hand as well as possible, as it is possible the enemy may move very soon.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant and Aide-De-Camp.
COMMERCIAL AGENCY OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES,
Matamoras, March 8, 1864.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of State, Richmond;
SIR: Since the Yankees have taken Brownsville I have been so sick that I have been unable to write you, and as I am now out of my bed, and there is a mere possibility that my communication may reach you by way of San Antonio, Tex., where I am told that the military have an express to Richmond, or some point open to that place east of the Mississippi, I write by the way of Eagle Pass,
* Inclosure not found as such, nor identified.