steamer Dan from crossing it. To guard against other vessels I had three flat-boats, 60 to 80 feet long and 20 to 25 feet wide, sunk in the channel, filled with shells and piled on both sides. This obstruction will stand some time. It has the defect that it is too far from our battery, but any small craft that can cross the obstruction or go around it cannot cope with our battery. It is also of the utmost importance to have a good guard-boat at the mouth of both this and the Nechez Rivers. The distance from Orange to the battery is 7 miles, to the mouth 9 1/2 miles, and 10 miles to the obstructions i the lake (by way of the cut-off). From here it is about 5 miles to the mouth of the Nechez, which to all deep, and I had it filled dup at the narrowest place by sinking three big flat-boats filled with shells. I also removed all signals and marks on both bars.
Seven miles up this river and 17 miles from Beaumont by water and 11 miles by land, is a shell bank or ridge, known as Grigsby's Bluff, which extends to the Eastern Texas Railroad; distance 4 miles. On this shell bank there are two 24-pounder guns on barbette carriages, put up temporarily and in a very primitive manner. I have a detachment of my men there now to erect a substantial work, new powder-house, and bomb-proof shelter. This battery, if ably manned and defended, can blow anything out of the water that can cross the bar. Within 3 miles of Beaumont, and where the ease timber begins, the rivers makes a very short and sharp turn, and it is proposed to mount there two 12-pounder mountain howitzers in case of a boat attack on the railroad bridge. A small road is also cut out from there to the town for the easy access of riflemen.
Such is the state of the defenses of the Sabine and Nechez Rivers, with its railroad bridge and transit route into Lousiana, and I consider it comparatively safe against any force that has as yet made its appearance on our coast up to this time. I would also call your attention to the fact that it is absolutely necessary to have some good books distributed among the artillery.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Major and Engineer in Charge.
RICHMOND, October 19, 1862.
(Received October 20.)
Mobile is in danger. Send the regiment at Columbus back to General Forney without delay unless that place is seriously threatened.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
Ponchatoula, La., October 19, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on yesterday a scouting party, under command of Captain Kirk, of my regiment, captured two schooners, to wit: Joinville, of New Orleans, and General Worth, of New