He declines to appear before the board of examiners for the ordnance [service], and I beg the lieutenant-general to recommend his appointment as major or captain of ordnance, without an examination, as has been done in some cases in the armies east of the Mississippi.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS,
Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Sabine Pass, September 27, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to transmit my official report of the recent brilliant engagement at this place, resulting in the capture of the enemy's gunboats Sachem and Clifton, accompanied by the flags of the captured vessels. This remarkable victory, in the face of 15,000 of the enemy's land forces and several other gunboats, entitles the gallant little garrison to the favorable consideration of the Department, and will, I trust, be promptly noticed and rewarded by the honorable Secretary of War. We are menaced with another attack, and though the force at my disposal is very small, I trust I shall be able to follow up the success which has hitherto attended our arms on the Texas coast. I also inclose copies of my orders in relation to the victory. The report I had previously made to Lieutenant-General [E. Kirby] Smith.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding District.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
HDQRS. DEIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Sabine Pass, Tex., September 27, 1863.
GENERAL: A fleet of twenty-two steam transports, largest size, with five war steamers, attempted to pass into this river on the 8th instant. The number of troops is estimated by the coolest men and stated by prisoners to be 15,000 picked men, mostly of Grant's army. The transports could not pass unless the war steamers reduced our fort of six 32-pounder guns.
Lieutenant [R. W.] Dowling, in immediate command of the fort, directed his men not to return the fire of the enemy, as our guns were of short range.
The enemy at length approached with his war steamers, four in number, backed by the whole fleet of transports, to a point well within our range, when Lieutenant Dowling, of the Davis Guards, opened upon the advanced ships of war, and in some thirty-five minutes two surrendered, with over 300 prisoners, and another left in a crippled condition. The fleet then backed out and sailed east.
This seems to me to be most extraordinary feat of the war, and I beg that the Department will notice the conduct of Captain [F. H.] Odlum, Lieutenant Dowling, commanding, nd the men of the Davis Gurads.
20 R R-VOL XXVI, PT I