route to march. Bay full of vessels; more expected; only one vessel outside. The Yankees, 200 in number, were at Milton the 15th and 16th .
A vessel is also sounding off Pascagoula River. Can I rely on re-enforcements from you?
JNO. H. FORNEY,
HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., October 18, 1862.
Commanding Mobile, Ala.:
I have directed a force of 4,000 to be concentrated at Meridian.
You must arrange that transportation be forwarded should an emergency arise, and notify be by telegraph. Your information must be positive of the enemy's advance.
J. C. PEMBERTON,
Harrisburg, Tex., October 18, 1862.
Lieutenant R. M. FRANKLIN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
SIR: In obedience to Special Orders, No. 219, I proceeded on the 3rd instant, with a detachment of five men, to the Sabine River, and commenced the next day reconnoitering the river down to the mouth of it and the Texas side of the shore. The country being very flat and marshy it is very difficult to locate a suitable position for an effective battery, and before I came to a final selection news had reached the town of Orange which obliged me to put a 32-pounder howitzer at once in position which was done about 1 1/2 miles below the town, where a small canal or cut-off forms a considerable island. This place had a great many advantages, but it was too low and would have cost labor and time for its construction, both of which being beyond my control. About 8 miles below Orange there s a shall bank 20 feet high and from 200 to 300 yards long, entirely surrounded by a swamp; has no drinking water, and is exposed to a concentrated fire. It is, however, the best position that could be found, and I erected there a battery of two brass 32-pounded howitzers, well protected, and will stand a heavy firing. I also had a cistern built and a road mad to the town of Orange, distant from the battery about 5 1/2 miles, so as to keep up communication both by land and water for supplies and in case of re-enforcement or retreat. Having this work fairly under way, I had to obstruct the mouth of the river that no vessel could come up to the battery that would carry heavier metal than we could bring to bear against it.
The Sabine River is very sparsely timbered, and is from 20 to 30 feet deep, about 250 yards wide, and has three principal outlets into the Sabine Lake; the western channel is dug out to a depth of from 6 to 7 feet. The deepest water on the bar, which is about one-half mile from the mouth of the river, averages 3 to 3/12 feet a high tide and for a width of about one-half mile, and we therefore cannot prevent the bugbear