their expense, the cotton being security for the coast of removal. I ordered him also to cause all the shipping at or below Orange to move as far up the river as possible and not to suffer any navigation down the river except for good reasons, and only by persons whose fidelity to our Government is beyond doubt. Should the enemy approach all the cotton at Orange must be destroyed. Some inhabitants of Sabine-town convalescent from yellow fever have succeeded in breaking the quarantine and found shelter i the lower part of Beaumont. I ordered the provost-marshal at Beaumont to place that portion of the town in quarantine. I doubt, however, the efficiency of that measure, and apprehend that the disease will spread over the whole town. If so, the trains are ordered not to stop at Beaumont. I have forbidden the transportation of cotton to any point on the New Orleans Railroad from Houston. Having full confidence in the judgment and activity of Lieutenant-Colonel Spaight, and excellent officer, and believing that for the present his battalion is more than sufficient to check the enemy on land, I have ordered the troops had taken with me to Beaumont ot return to their stations, and to keep in readiness to move a short notice should their presence be required at any point of the coast. I cannot praise too highly the promptness with which the railroad companies supplied me with the means of transportation. I received information upon my return that the blockading steamer at Galveston left her station two days ago and has not returned. In this, as in former instances, my order, although peremptory, in order to cover their responsibility and to assume it upon myself, had to be accompanied by letters requesting them to obey it, because they are compelled to obey the orders of General Bee alone. I would respectfully submit to the consideration of the general commanding whether it would not be expedient for certain purpose to place them under the orders of the commander of this sub-district when prompt action is require.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
X. B DEBRAY,
Colonel, Commanding Sub-Military District of Houston.
HOUSTON, TEX., September 28, 1862.
General P. O. HEBERT, San Antonio, Tex.:
GENERAL: Allow me to address you directly, to inform you that your negroes are all safe. I saw some of them, who appear to be in good health and satisfied. I made with Mr. Gentry arrangements for their removal in case of the approach of the enemy. I have returned from Beaumont to-day with the troops I had taken there, except Wilson's battery, for which there was no transportation. He will be back here the day after to-morrow. I send by this mail an official report* on the state of affairs at Sabine Pass up to the 26th in the evening. Since I went on the railroad down to the terminus where the two schooners could be seen very plainly. They have hoisted no flag at Sabine Pass nor do they show their colors; for the purpose, I suppose, of deluding some of our vessels on their return trip. I hope, however, they shall be deceived in their expectation, for Mr. Mott has at the Pass a signal agent who will inform them of the danger. I could, had I wished some
*See p. 143.