Ford's district as depots of supply. The State troops within those limits, and probably the frontier regiment, will be ordered to report to you. Whereas Colonel Ford and yourself will be thus distinct, I desire that the most perfect understanding shall be cultivated between you, and that should you be thrown together or any of your forces meet a hearty co-operation may take place.
Colonel Ford has received the appointment of brigadier-general of State troops, and though I have not the authority to receive him into the Confederate service as such, his orders as such must be obeyed by all who are not of equal rank in the Confederate service. He will probably be recognized as such, at least temporarily, in a few days by Lieutenant-General Smith. Should other troops report to you, either in person or by letter, you will be guided in your disposition of them by the spirit of the instructions given you for the management of your present command. These instructions will be confidential as far as possible.
J. B. MAGRUDER,
NATCHITOCHES, LA., March 18, 1864-2 p.m.
Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,
COLONEL: I have the honor to hand you, herewith inclosed, a dispatch from Captain James McCloskey,* advising that up to 1 p.m. yesterday there was no sign of boats crossing the falls or any other advance by the river road. This dispatch was written by Captain McCloskey at the ferry on Cane River, 24 miles below here. You will observe that in the dispatch Captain McCloskey speaks of Captain Stewart and Captain Cassidy. Captain Cassidy cannot have with him more than 10 men, all told. Captain Stewart's company is the largest now, but one detachment from his company left Alexandria on the 15th to cover trains going to Lecompte. Another detachment from his company had been scouting on Catahoula Lake, and only made its appearance at Alexandria after the ferry-boats was on fire and the enemy's gun-boats in sight. It turned back to cross the river somewhere above. I have not heard whether it has crossed. Captain Stewart probably has with him now 15 men. As I notice that the lieutenant-general commanding directs the major-general commanding to send to Shreveport without delay either Stewart's or Cassidy's companies, I shall take the liberty of ordering Captain Stewart up with all the men he has, provided he is not on special picket duty by orders of the major-general commanding, and I do not think he is. Cassidy's company will suffice for the picketing necessary in the vicinity of Alexandria to give information of an advance of the enemy in this direction. Lieutenant Routh, of the signal corps, left Alexandria on the evening of 15th instant to join the major-general commanding. He had no organized signal corps nor apparatus.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. MAY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.