accident should intervene, must soon reach you. A signal officer is on board, and has instructions to report to you as soon as possible.
There are two 20-pounder Parrotts on field carriages and tow on sige carriages at Aransas. These can be brought up immediately by boats or by land. They are equally effective with the 30-pounder Parrotts, which will be sent you as soon as possible from New Orleans. You may rely upon 20-pounder Parrotts producing as much effect as 30-pounders for your operations. There are no gunny-bags here; what were on board were left at Brazos. I will send some to you from New Orleans immediately. The navy will supply you with boat howitzers.
The gunboats will open at daylight to-morrow morning. A copy of your sketch has been furnished to Captain Strong, who will keep constant communication with you either by boats or by signal telegraph. undoubtedly either to-night or to-morrow morning you will have smooth water, so as to make your communications constant. Send a strong force as quickly as you can on the other side of the first to cut off their communications. Do not be in any hurry to reduce the fort, as time is in your favor and against the enemy. Captain Strong will receive instructions to open upon the camp of the enemy as indicated in your sketch.
The Hussar carried down to Aransas last night 250 men, with orders to join you. The Twenty-second Iowa, 200 strong, are at Aransas also. There are four companies, 200 strong, at Brazos, who will return in the Alabama, which went down day before yesterday. The Saint Mary's has 800, and two companies of the Twentieth Iowa are also at brazos, making altogether 1,550 men who will immediately join your forces. The Scott also has 400 men, who were landed at Aransas City night before last at dark, and must join you by to-morrow. You should communicate, if possible, with the Matamoras and the Planter, that are upon the bay, inside.
The 20-pounder Parrotts, on siege carriages, are on board a sloop at Aransas. The Crescent is ordered to Aransas, to send forward the two schooners there, and the howitzers by the bay. If the Matamoras gets up to you, you will send her back for whatever may be needed. The floating battery, which Mr. Comstock reports as near the fort, is a poor attempt at an iron-clad. It has no guns and can do no harm.
Captain Strong has all the points suggested in your letter, and will put hem in execution, communicating with you as soon as the weather will permit. He is confident his guns, if the sea is so he can approach, will reach the fort and camp of the enemy, and will furnish you with one or two 30-pounder Parrotts and men to man them.
With much respect, &c.,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Iberia, La., November 29, 1863.
No cotton or sugar will be shipped hereafter from any point between this place and Brashear City without the written permission of Mr. G. P. Davis, Treasury agent at this post.
Assistant quartermaster-general and captains of steamers will see that this order strictly enforced.
By order of Major-General Franklin: