organization and that authorized by Congress, but it would be seized upon by the demagogues and the disloyal to promote their ambitious and unpatriotic designs. I sincerely hope that no issue will arise portending such evil to the country, but that Your Excellency, regarding the action of Congress as meeting your most ardent desires for the organization of a force for the special defense of Texas, will second my efforts to bring it immediately into the field.
I have the honor, &c.,
J. B. MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding, &c.
SHREVEPORT, March 27, 1864.
Retard the enemy's advance. Operate on their communications with your cavalry if practicable. Time is everything with us. Do not risk a general action unless with advantage to yourself. You fall back toward re-enforcement.
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., March 28, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith copy of a telegram from General Magruder, in relation to Governor Murrah and the Texas State troops,* from which Your Excellency may understand the position and intentions of Governor Murrah. Almost all of the troops claimed by him under the recent act of the Texas Legislature are conscripts. The inclosed copy+ of Special Orders, No. 35, from headquarters of the District of Texas,m will explain the compromise made with Governor Murrah at the time he claimed the conscript element. He had then issued a proclamation calling upon these men to go into the State organization established by an act of the State Legislature, and I felt I had reason for fearing that, were an issue made, the supreme court of the State would decide that the conscript law is unconstitutional. The time appointed for the organization of the State force has passed, and little or nothing has been done toward bringing it into the field. Some 6,000 able-bodied fighting men within the conscript ages remain idle, while their services are of vital importance in the field. I respectfully request that a letter be written by Your Excellency to the Governor of Texas. I believe that your representations will induce him to relinquish claims which I believe are unconstitutional arms ruinous.
Very truly, your obedient servant,
[E. KIRBY SMITH,]
*Telegram not found; but see Magruder to Boggs, March 26, p. 1087.