HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, 19TH ARMY CORPS,
New Orleans, August 31, 1863.
Major General WILLIAM B. FRANKLIN,
Commanding Nineteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: You are hereby assigned to the following duty:
1. You will please embark the First Brigade, First Division, and the Third Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, with the artillery which has been assigned to the First and Third Divisions, and that portion of the First Indian Heavy Artillery, temporarily assigned to your command, at Baton Rouge.
You will embark the Reserve Brigade, Nineteenth Army Corps, with has been ordered to report to you at Algiers, and the Texas cavalry, and a battalion of the First Engineer Regiment, at this place.
On account of the limited means of transportation available at this time, you will not be able to embark the whole of the artillery of the division armed, but the remained, with wagons, camp equipage, &c., will be sent to you as soon as possible.
2. As soon as the embarkation shall have been effected, you will assemble all the transports at some convenient point on the river below this city, and will there have a personal conference with the commodore commanding the West Gulf Squadron, and with Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Crocker, U. S. Navy, who, it is understood, will command the co-operating naval force.
You will arrange with them the detail of your contemplated movements, it being well understood that the gunboats will immediately precede the transports and cover the landing of the troops; but at the same time you will please bear constantly in mind the fact that there are important reasons, in addition to those of a purely military character, for the immediate occupation of some important point in the State of Texas where the Government of the United States can permanently maintain its flag.
A landing, if found impracticable at the point now contemplated, should be attempted at any place in the vicinity where it may be found practicable to attain the desired result.
3. After coming to a complete understanding with the naval commanders, you will proceed to Sabine Pass, Tex., and if you find that the navy has succeeded in making the landing feasible, you will disembark your whole force as speedily as possible, occupy the strongest position to be found, and immediately commence strengthening it by means of your engineer force.
4. After making your landing, you will make a careful examination of the country in your front, and if you can safely proceed as far as the railroad from Houston to Beaumont, you will seize and hold some point on that line. Beaumont is probably the preferable point, but the exact position [is left] to your own judgment and professional skill after your arrival on the line.
5. After seizing such point on the railroad, you will make reconnaissances in the direction of Houston, so as to learn the position and force of the enemy, but you are not expected, with the force you take with you, to occupy any point farther west than the one selected by you on the railroad, unless you find that no enemy appears in force.
6. You will communicate with me as fully as frequently as possible, giving all the information necessary to guide me in determining the