GALVESTON, January 22, 1863.
Major-General MAGRUDER, Houston:
SIR: From all I can gather it does not seem the enemy meditates an attempt to come into the harbor. The gunboat inside the bar about a mile, nearly opposite Strand street, and something over 2 miles from Fort Point, is evidently a feeler. The enemy's force is no greater than it has been for the past fifteen days. Commodore Bells' communication would indicate his belief in your ability to withstand any attack he can make with his present force. In support of this opinion I will quote you, in substance: An attack by the enemy's gunboats inside the harbor would be fruitless in its results to the enemy without a sufficient land force to occupy the city. The sharpshooters we can bring to bear upon him in the colonel will discomfort him greatly should he come in. In short, general, in my humble opinion, the enemy cannot drive us out of the city with the means he has at his command at present. Adopting this, we may place more confidence in the use of the railroad bridge as the means of securing our guns in case of an emergency.
Colonel Debray feels seriously the want of one two guns at Fort Point, and an intermediate gun between Fort Point and South Battery. The colonel has instructed Major Kellersberg to investigate the practicability of placing one or more guns at Fort Point to-night and report immediately to you. I trust he will report favorably, and you will order guns placed there. If the enemy is not re-enforced with land and naval forces I have the grand confidence we can hold this sand bank for all time to come.
I leave on the Lucy Gwinn for Nest Bay; expect to return this p. m. The flags of truce as arranged by you will keep off truce by you will keep off any bombardment for a day or two. To-day's truce will be so arranged as to consume the whole day.
E. B. NICHOLS.
Colonel Debray has read the above and concurs.
JANUARY 23-4.30 p. m.
CAPTAIN: Your dispatches concerning flag of truce and disposition of artillery and rams just received on my return from a visit to works, of which I will give a statement when I have seen Majors Von Harten and Kellesburg. The Tennessee may have 500 men on board. I have not the least apprehension of an attack to-night with only the two gunboats and the Brooklyn; they are all looking very tame. We will, however, be ready for an emergency. Will not courtesy require me to send the general's dispatch to Commodore Bell, even if the does not threaten to-morrow? I may announce, in my accompanying letter Colonel Burells' statement, which will give me an opportunity for an intercourse day after to-morrow. Watkins seems to have slightly interfered with their programme.
X. B. DEBRAY.
VICKSBURG, January 24, 1863.
Major-General GARDNER, Port Hudson, La.:
Enemy endeavoring to get below Vicksburg.
J. C. PEMBERTON,