requiring several opening in the line, for the present not much progress will be made in these obstructions during February.
Floating Battery.-On arriving here I found this battery so far advanced under contract that its completion was thought necessary. It will probably be wholly finished in the month of February. Though in my opinion for inferior to a battery with inclined bulwarks, this is yet likely to prove formidable, with its armament of two 10-inch guns. Its iron covering is better than that of the Spanish River Battery, and some firing at this last with 9-inch shot lately thrown by one of the gunboats from distance of 300 yards proved the endurance of the iron, while some of the shots were broken. The surface struck was very steep, not more than 20 deg. from the vertical.
City entrenchments.-The outer line of city entrenchments is not complete, and no work has been done there during the month. The line is about 9 miles long and everywhere from 2 to 3 miles from the center of the city. The commanding general, fearing that troops adequate to the defense of so long a line will not be available, has ordered the construction of inner line, defensible by the force under his command. This line begins at Choctaw point; on the left it crosses Government street, 1 3/4 miles from the river, and terminates on the right at the mouth of One Mile Creek. The swamp in front of this creek would prove a serious obstacle to an advancing enemy, and as works will be thrown up there that portion of the line may be regarded as unassailable.
The remainder of the line will be but 3 miles long.
The works consist of square redoubts at about 600 yards apart, 150 feet of interior crest, relief of 9 or 10 feet, and to be flanked by musketry from retired fleshes.
The line is too near the city to save it from bombardment, but such an attack would prove a lesser evil than the capture of the place. It is hoped that the lines can be held until the place shall be relieved.
Choctaw Bluff.-The guns found in the batteries here, thought badly located, have not been changed, because it was not known exactly whore the obstructions were to be placed by the State authorities. As soon as this is known several of the guns will be moved to the proper points.
Owen Bluff.-All the guns at this place excepting one are well located. The State has turned over to this department the material collected for obstructing the river at this point, and it is proposed to make trial of sawyers, a plan of which was received from the Engineer Bureau. The work will be begun immediately.
Brigadier-General and Engineer.
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS,
Fort Brown, March 11, 1863.
Major A. G. DICKINSON,
A. A. G., Dist of Tex., N. Mex., and Ariz., Houston, Tes.:
SIR: A matter in my opinion of grave important has occurred here, and I seek to bring it officially to the notice of the general commanding.
The Federal bring Young Harry was wrecked on the Texas shore, some 6 miles north of the mouth of the Rio Grande. I caused the crew, who were saved, to be arrested and brought to my headquarter,