general of divisions and brigades for such assistance as he may require.
By order of Major-General Franklin:
Off Brazos Santiago, November 3, 1863.
Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: We have raised our flag in Texas again. Our troops occupy Brazos Santiago and the adjacent country. I hope to-morrow to be in possession of the Rio Grande.
The recent movements in Louisiana have drawn the whole force of the enemy to the Sabine. As soon as possible, I desire to get possession of the bays upon the coast up as far as Galveston.
The great difficulty we encounter is in a deficiency of light-draught boats. One or two tugs, drawing 6 and 7 feet of water, would be of infinite value to us.* Had we not been greatly favored by fortune, we should have lost several vessels at the Brazos. Those we have are much disabled. I feel confident that the Empire City, which goes to New York, can tow one or two of the safely to the Gulf, and I earnestly urge you to order them to us at once by telegraph to New York. Colonel Holabird writes you upon this subject also. It is impossible to spend money more advantageously than for this purpose.
I hope you will urge upon the Government the expediency of strengthening our forces here by a few thousands men at this time. We have great advantages in prospect, and ought not to peril them for want of small forces or supplies.
I remain, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Off Brazos de Santiago, November 3, 1863.
Commodore H. H. BELL,
Commanding Blockade Squadron, New Orleans:
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that we reached Brazos de Santiago on Sunday, 1st of November, and, at meridian on the 2d, effected a landing on Brazos Island, which is now in our possession. We shall move for the Rio Grande as soon as the vessels too deep for the bar can be discharged. On the 30th, we encountered a severe gale from the north of Arkansas, which scattered somewhat our fleet. The Virginia was disabled, and did not reach the Brazos until late Sunday evening. The Monongahela was separated from us, and has not yet reported. The Owasco arrived this morning, and reports that they have been at the rendezvous for three days.
At 10 a. m. the Monongahela is now in.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
*See Thomas to Secretary of War, December 1, p. 829.
50 R R-VOL XXVI, PT I