HEADQUARTERS SUB-MILITARY DISTRICT OF HOUSTON,
Houston, Tex., November 12, 1862.
Captain SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, &c., Austin, Tex.:
SIR: Your communication, * dated Austin, November 8, was received to-day at 2 p. m. Agreeably to the instructions of the general commanding I have the honor to report that under the supervision of Major M. Menard, of Debray's regiment, preparations have been made and material collected to throw obstructions at the mouth of the Trinity, and that the works have been delayed owing to the absence of Major Kellersberg, detained at other points by his duties. That officer must be by this time at the mouth of the Trinity to complete the works of obstructions and to erect fortifications to protect these works. So soon as I receive his report I shall lay it before the general commanding. Four companies of cavalry are stationed on the Trinity, of which there are three near the mouth and one at the bridge at Liberty. The san Jacinto is now nearly obstructed. The works will be completed in a very few days under the supervision of Mr. W. M. Lubbock. They are defended by a fortification with two 24-pounders, manned by a company of Cook's regiment. Tree companies of cavalry are stationed on that stream and Buffalo Bayou between the mouth and Simmes' Bayou. At Harrisburg there are two small forts, manned by Captain Bickley's company, of Griffin's battalion, whose men are being trained in artillery practice by Lieutenant Harby. There are also near Harrisburg three companies of my regiment, who were compelled to move from Virginia Point owing to want of water for stock in the vicinity, but I intend to order them down again so soon as rain has filled up the pools and ditches.
For the obstructions thrown at the mouth of the Sabine, Nechez, and Brazos I have the honor to refer the general commanding to the reports of Major Kellersberg, forwarded by me to your headquarters last week. The sabine and Nechez are defended by about 800 men and the Brazos by about 640 men. The san Bernard will be protected by a battery of light artillery from Bates' battalion. A raft at the month of the Colorado prevents the navigation of that river by vessels of any size Brown's battalion of cavalry is stationed in the vicinity. I am prepared to defend the New Orleans Railroad so far as means allow. It would require a considerable force to take possession of its head at Orange or of the bridge at Beaumont, and if the troops stationed there hold their ground, as I hope, I can in a few hours re-enforce them with Elmore's regiment, now at Virginia Point. The electric telegraph is expected to be completed up to Beaumont in a very few days, and will be very useful for movements of troops at short notice. I would wish to have a stronger guard at the bridge at Liberty and one at the bridge on the San Jacinton, but I have now no troops to spare. Works of defense and obstruction have been made by slave labor, hired or contributed by the citizens. It would be useless to obstruct the lesser streams emptying in Galveston Bay. They are guarded by pickets and patrols of cavalry against small landing parties. A large force would find good landing ground at any point of the shore. The bridges on Clear Creek, Dickenson's Bayou, and Simmes' Bayou are guarded by pickets of cavalry.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
X. B. DEBRAY,
Colonel, Commanding Sub-Military District of Houston.
55 R R-VOL XV