should be dismounted. Under the orders given General Holmes every cavalry company to which depredation or outrages can be traced is to be immediately dismounted. Reduce one-half your cavalry to infantry, and introduce order and discipline in the remaining portion, and I honestly believe you will do more to relieve our people and benefit our case than by gaining a victory. General Taylor reports the enemy landed at Simsport, supposed to be a part of Sherman's command. Their advance from Berwick Bay is daily anticipated. I would call your attention to instructions in regard to the establishing depots on the line of communication between your command and Natchitoches; also to a report which comes here from Vicksburg that Sherman has been re-enforced by Steele. Accurate and reliable information from Steele's command now is all-important.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, Numbers 75.
Houston, March 15, 1864.
* * * * * * *
XXVII. Debray's regiment, with the exception of three companies, will take up the line of march, proceeding as rapidly as possible to Alexandria, La., by such route as may be pointed out to him by Brigadier-General Slaughter. The three companies above mentioned will at once take post at Galveston, relieving the mounted troops of Major's brigade, which upon being relieved will proceed as rapidly as possible to Alexandria, La., by the route already designated, and join their regiment. So much of the order as directs Pyron's regiment to proceed to Alexandria is countermanded. This regiment will proceed as rapidly as possible to galveston, with five of its companies as mounted, the rest dismounted, and relieve such companies of Debray's regiment as may be on duty on this island.
XXVIII. The following arrangement of troops will go into effect forthwith: First. Vernon's company, acting as artillery; Hobby's regiment will take post at Bolivar Point. Second. Ireland's company of infantry, Hobby's regiment, and two companies of Elmore's regiment will garrison the fort at that point. Third. Schnaubert's company of Hobby's regiment, acting as artillery, will relieve Vernon's company on the brigade and at Virginia Point, by sending a small detachment to the drawbridge and to Virginia Point as soon as possible consistently with the proper service of the pieces there. Catching's company, at South Battery, will relieve the two companies of Cook's regiment now stationed at Pelican Spit, which, on being relieved, will take post at South Battery, the ranking officer of the two companies taking charge of the battery. Hereafter the artillery companies will be changed at such intervals from time to time as the commanding general or officer commanding in Galveston may think proper.
* * * * * * *
[By command of Major General J. B. Magruger:
E. P. TURNER,