Lieutenant-General Smith speaks for itself, and behooves us to prepare for any and every emergency.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STEPHEN D. YANCEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S.- The communications that the general has received of official character leave little or no doubt of the speedy fall of Vicksburg, if it has not already fallen.
HEADQUARTERS TEXAS, &C., Houston, July 2, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel C. G. FORSHEY,
Chief Consulting Engineer:
In obedience to Special Orders, No. 164, from these headquarters, dated June 18 ultimo, you will organize a party of one assistant engineer and such hands for labor as you may require,and proceed to the Sabine River, at the terminus of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. You will make such reconnaissance of the approached to the river opposite and near to the terminus of that road, and especially at or near Niblett's Bluff, as will enable you to judge that works may be necessary for the protection of the road from the approached and attacks of the enemy,should he be disposed to siege or break it, or to invade the State of Texas in that direction.
You will locate and plan and lay out upon the ground such works as you would recommend, and report the same, with diagrams and full information,to these headquarters.
You will then proceed to examine the systems of roads and the ferries used in travel from Louisiana into Texas, as well as the bluffs andy fords of the Sabine River at and near Burr's Ferry and Sabine Town,and in like manner make your reconnaissance of the kinds of fortifications and the extent of the same as may seem necessary to resist the approached of the enemy designing an invasion of the State from Louisiana.
You will lay out and locate such works, with such topographic details as may be embraced in a reconnaissance, keeping in view the necessity of protecting such forces as may be charged with the defense, and for a period against a siege; and works capable of containing and quartermaster comfortably 5,000 men would not be too great.
You will use your best judgment us to the mode of defending the important passes, if any there be, tetes-de-pont at the ferries, or advance works beyond the same. But it will probably be found expedient to locate the main works with bastions, &c., at a distance of several miles from the river, on the Texas side.
You will call upon quartermasters for forage and the temporary use of such tools and implements as you may require for the prompt and through execution of these instructions.
I am, &c.,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
[JULY 2, 1863.- For Davis to Smith, in relation to co-operations of forces for relief of Vicksburg, see Series I, Vol. XXIV, Part III, p.985.]