town of some importance, having two ship-yards,three saw-mills, and several establishments for the manufacture of shingles, pickets, and staves. The depot of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad is at the lower and of the scattered line of houses, a mile in length.
The river hence to the mouth and for 25 miles above is always navigable, the water being deep, and marked by en ebb and flow of tide of more than half the Gulf range of height. The bar of the river at its debouche into Sabine Lake has about 4 feet of water, varying, of course, with tide and winds.
The waters,at present fresh, are brackish,and unfit for use in dry seasons.
Independent of the railroad, the town of Orange has fair prospects of becoming a respectable sea-coast and ship-building town.
On all sides but one it is flanked and bounded by marsh and channel, and necessarily defensible only on the north side. The lands in town have about 7 to 10 feet height above mean tide. The accompanying field map, "A,"* made from a rapid survey, will illustrate these remarks.
Adams Bayou, a deep and boggy stream,keeps at half a mile from and parallel to the river in passing Orange. It is skirted by marshy grounds, chiefly impassable.
These marshes have two projections toward the river,one at G and the other at H,the former 300 and the latter 400 yards distant. At these two points I propose to construct defensive works against a land approach toward the depot and railroad.
From G to L, I suggest an advance work of two redans and a curtain, leaving a passage for the public road, and covering it with a small redan traverse.
Truncating the salients of the redans, I would place a platform for a field gun on each salient,as also one on each of the sides facing the approach. If necessary, additional platforms may be made along the curtain.
As this is but an advance work, I propose to construct it at a minimum cost of labor by taking the earth from inside, as shown in the diagram R S.
For the main defense, I propose to sude a bastion line, with double flanks; the one resting on the marsh at H,and the other on the river at M. Leaving two passages with heavy traverses, I would make a strong intrenchment, with front ditches cut down to the water, and well revetted slopes of 8 feet height.
Placing barbettes for heavy guns in the proper bastion angles, I propose in addition as many places for field guns as may be needed, and to run a convenient banquette round inside the whole work.
In the right bastion I would make a return,as shown in the diagram (T U), giving the heavy gun in this angle a reverse fire for defense against an approach up the river, after the reduction or escape past the fort at Shell Bank. This return or traverse would protect the gun from enfilade, which gun would be in the best position to command the river.
In addition to these lines of defense, I propose a battery at P, with a parapet of 200 or 300 yards, extending along the marsh front, to protect the forces guns,and property from enfilade in case an approach by the river; for all of these would be removed form the bastion line and take shelter and make defense from this position.