with the aid of the blockading vessels or transports and gunboats, the army of the enemy.
I have received your dispatch, notifying me that re-enforcements from the north are impossible at present. Appreciating fully the pressure upon the Government at this time, I cheerfully yield, of course, to the necessity which governs the action, but I earnestly urge you to give us all the aid possible from General Grant's army. I repeat in this dispatch, what I have urged in former dispatches in aid of this application, that I shall not lock up large forces in unimportant or non-effective positions. I can return to him the whole of his force, if necessary, as soon as the expedition is over, and still maintain my department.
I have now in arms 12,000 backs. I hope to increase the force to 25,000 or 30,000 at once. I think I can promise without failure from 2,000 to 5,000 white troops, raised in this department, but though available for its defense by and by, they cannot serve us now.
If we can add from 3,000 to 40,000 troops to the effective force of the army from this department alone, I think we present a very just and strong claim to the temporary assistance we ask at your hands, and this I believe. To succeed in this, however, we require some assistance in the work we have in hand.
Solicitous that my action in all these important affairs may meet the approval of the Government, I remain, general, with considerations of high respect, yours, &c.,
N. P. BANKS,
Major-General HALLECK, Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, October 22, 1863.
SIR: Dispatches from General-in-Chief impress me with the belief that my plan of action in the movement to the Sabine Pass is not perfectly understood by the Government. It was not intended for the occupation of Sabine City, nor wa it, indeed, the purpose to land at that point except it could be done without serious resistance. The landing contemplated and referred to in the orders given to General Franklin, as an alternative for that of Sanie Pass, was upon the coasts, 10 or 12 miles below. Had the landing been accomplished either at the pass or below, a movement would have been immediately made of Beaumont from the Pass, or for Liberty if the landing had been made below, and thence directly to Houston, where fortifications would have been thrown up, and our line of communication and supplies immediately established at the mouth of the Brazos River, west of Houston, until we could have gained possession of Galveston Island and City. I should have had in ten days from the landing 20,000 men at Houston, where, strongly fortified, they could have resisted the attack of any force that it was possible to concentrate at that time. Houston would have been nearly in the center of the forces in and about Louisiana and Texas, commanding all the principal communications, and would have given us ultimately the possession of the State. The inclosed sketch illustrates the intended routes.
The movement to the Sabine was made upon the reports furnished by the naval officers, who were perfectly confident of their success in being able to destroy the enemy's guns. The grounding of two boats, and the withdrawal of the other two boats, caused the failure to effect a landing and the return of the army. In my judgment, the army