War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0143 Chapter XXVII. ENGAGEMENT AT SABINE PASS, TEX.

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SEPTEMBER 24-25, 1862.-Engagement at Sabine Pass, Tex.


No. 1.-Col. X. B. Debray's Texas Regiment.

No. 2.-Lieutenant Col. A. W. Spaight, Spaight's Texas Battalion.

No. 1. Report of Col. X. B. Debray's Texas Regiment.


Houston, Tex., September 25, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I received to-day at 7 a.m. an express from Beaumont, bearer of a verbal message, that one gunboat and three or four transports had entered the Sabine; that Major Irvine, commanding at Sabine Pass, applied for assistance from the people of Beaumont and Liberty, and that the messenger from Sabine Pass had heard at 8 or 10 miles from that place a heavy cannonade. Major Irvine has at the fort near Sabine Pass only 30 men, and about 25 mounted men 3 1/2 miles from the fort. I have to state that Major Irvine, who was in command of Spaight's battalion during the absence of Lieutentant-Colonel Spaight on court-martial, did, at the beginning of the month, when the yellow fever broke out at Sabine Pass, furlough all his men, except those above referred to, up to the 27th instant, to rendezvous at Beaumont. This irregular proceeding could not be remedied at once. I intrusted Lieutentant-Colonel Spaight to go and garther up his men so soon as possible, and expect that in two or three days the battalion shall have reunited.

Meanwhile in order to be ready to meet the enemy, should he have attempted a landing or foray up the river, I ordered Wilson's light battery and the valuable men of Griffin's battalion, garrisoned here (80 men), to start at once by an extra train for Beaumont. They left at 1 p.m. to-day. I sent an express to Colonel Elmore at Hempstead to move with his regiment to Houston by an extra train which I sent to him. I expect them to-night, and should the reports which I await by the Beaumont train at 5 o'clock confirm the news of the presence of the enemy, I shall start with that regiment for Sabine Pass to-night by a train which I ordered to be kept in readiness. I have also ordered a train to be ready on the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad to start, if necessary, to take a squadron of Debray's regiment at the same time that the rest of the regiment shall move on along the railroad, to take transportation so soon as it can be sent to them. I cannot draw troops from Galveston, which I will not leave unprotected.

8.30 P. M.-The Orange train has arrived without any further news, except the report of heavy cannonading this morning in the direction of Sabine Pass. Elmore's regiment arrived at 6 p.m., 700 strong. This, the men of Griffin's battalion, and some citizens of Liberty and Beaumont, said to have moved forward, will give me a force of about 900 men, exclusive of Wilson's battery. I start at 12 o'clock to-night with Elmore's regiment. My impression is that an attempt has been made by the enemy to destroy the fort and the shipping at the mouth of the river, and that all the harm contemplated has been done and that the enemy has withdrawn. Still, should he have taken hold of Sabine Pass, I shall endeavor to retake it. It has proven to be our most important seaport. I understand that the enemy is about to make,