War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0018 W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

rounds of ammunition, 6,000 small-arms, 4 steamers, 20,000 head of horses, cattle, and mules, 10,000 bales of cotton, and destroyed the enemy's salt-works at New Iberia, 3 gunboats, and 8 steam transports. The cattle, horses, mules, cotton, and other products of the country were sent to New Orleans, turned over to the quartermaster, and except such as could be used by the army in kind, were applied to the support of the Government.

August 5, a dispatch was received and published, from the General-in-Chief of the Army, congratulating the troops on the crowing success of the campaign, for whom was reserved the honor of striking the last blow for the freedom of the Mississippi River, and announcing that the country, and especially the great West, would ever remember with gratitude their services.*

[THE TEXAS EXPEDITION.+]

After the surrender of Port Hudson, I joined with General Grant in recommending an immediate movement against the city of Mobile. My views upon the question were expressed in several dispatches in July and August. With such aid as General Grant had offered and subsequently gave me, a speedy capture of that city seemed to be reasonably certain.

On the 15th of August, 1863, I was informed by a dispatch, dated the 6th of that mouth, that three were important reasons why our flag should be established in Texas with the least possible delay, and instructing me that the movement should be made as speedily as possible, either by sea or land. I was informed by a dispatch dated the 12th of August, and which I received on the 27th of August, that the importance of the operations proposed by me in a previous dispatch against the city of Mobile was fully appreciated, but there were reasons other than military why those directed in Texas should be undertaken first; that on this matter there was no choice, and that the views of the Government must be carried out. I was advised in a dispatch, dated the 10th of August, that the restoration of the flag to some one point in Texas could be best effected by the combined naval and military movements upon Red River to Alexandria, Natchitoches, or Shreveport, and the occupation of Northern Texas. This line was recommended as superior for military operations to the occupation of Galveston or Indianola, but the final selection was left to my judgment.

The difficulties attending a movement in the direction of Shreveport - a route which had been thoroughly explored in the spring campaign of 1863 - satisfied me that it ws impracticable, if not impossible, for the purposes entertained by the Government. The selection of the line of operations having been submitted to me, I made immediate preparations for a movement by the coast against Houston, selecting the position occupied by the enemy on the Sabine as the point of attack. This point was nearest to my base of supplies. It was immediately connected by the Gulf with Berwick Bay, of which we had full possession, and by the river, and also by railway the bay, with New Orleans.

If suddenly occupied, I regarded it certain, as the enemy's forces were then disposed, that we could concentrated and move upon Houston by land with 15,000 to 17,000 men before it would be possible for the enemy to collect his forces for its defense. The occupation of Houston would

---------------

*See General Orders, No. 57, Headquarters Department of the Gulf, August 5, 1863, p.671.

+See letter of transmittal, p.5.

---------------