War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0868 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

HDQRS. DEPT. OF MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA,

Jackson, November 20, 1862.

General RICHARD TAYLOR,

Commanding, &c., Alexandria, La.:

GENERAL: I have ascertained on close inquiry that the boats St. Mary and Mobile cannot get out of the Yazoo River, there being only 3 feet water on the bar. I am utterly unable to afford you any assistance in the way of re-enforcements, except probably at a particular moment and then for a short time, as I regard the defense of this valley of much greater importance than that of West Louisiana, and have an inadequate force to insure the successful accomplishment of the first object. I have no siege guns whatever; those promised have not arrived, and I have no heavy guns that can be spared from the defense of the Mississippi. I will write you more at length when I have an opportunity.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

HOUSTON, TEX., November 20, 1862.

His Excellency President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:

Mr. PRESIDENT: On the arrival at home I found a state of affairs worse than I had anticipated, though Texas has not suffered from the ravages of war as some of her sister States have. Public confidence in you and in your administration remains unimpaired, because the people are not ready to impute to you the errors and omissions of subordinates; yet I fear there is a growing feeling that the Government is too far off to know all that is done here or does not look after the defense of the State with a vigilant an eye as could be desired. There has been great dissatisfaction with, and want of confidence in, the military officers of this department. The feeling of the people was growing stronger against General Hebert every day, and I regard the change of commanders as a most fortunate event at this juncture. It may be that General Magruder may not prove more efficient, but any new man now can accomplish far more that General Hebert could. Had he remained in command I fear it would have been extremely difficult to arouse the people to respond to any call he might have made until too late to make proper defense. Popular feeling amounted to absolute resentment and condemnation in reference to the abandonment of Galveston. I know well that popular feeling is often wrong and based on ignorance of facts and is at best an unsafe guide in such matters. In this instance, however, there appears to be some foundation for it.

It appears that as far back as last May all the guns for the defense of Galveston save on or two were removed from the batteries or earth fortifications commanding the channel and entrance to the bay, and from that time General Hebert has acted as if he regarded the place wholly indefensible against any force. The appearance of preparation alone served to keep off the enemy, for son after they had information from several deserters who escaped to the vessels, and not very long after the traitor Hamilton had been in New Orleans they entered the harbor. Little or no resistance was made, and now two small vessels are in harbor and command the city, though they have not yet sufficient force to land and keep possession. The batteries, constructed