trict are truly encouraging. Their arrival is a vital necessity, and would encourage the people more than any other fact that could be presented to them. We have the men, if we only had the arms, to defend the department.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
[SEPTEMBER 8, 1863.-For Maury to Cooper, in reference to Brigadier General Neal Dow, U. S. Army, see Series II.]
September 8, 1863.
Commanding Officer Eastern Sub-District of Texas:
SIR: At 6 o'clock this morning I was notified by Captain [Richard V.] Cook, Company D, Griffin's battalion, that he had received a dispatch from Captain Odlum, commanding at Sabine Pass, that nine Yankee vessels had arrived off the bar, two for them inside, within a mile of the fort. I have taken the responsibility of ordering all the troops at this post on board of the steamer Roebuck, which boat will immediately leave for the Pass. The troops consist of 65 men from Cook's company and 15 from Bickley's company, and several volunteers. I am exceedingly sorry that Captain Cook did not let me know of this at the time he received the dispatch. I then could have had the troops there this morning. We have heard heavy firing for the last hour. The firing has now ceased. Captain [W. S.] Good and myself will start immediately on horseback, as we can get there three hours ahead of the steamer.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., September 9, 1863.
Colonel A. J. McNEILL, Commanding, &c., Vienna:
COLONEL: It having been reported that there are a number of deserters and men liable to conscription collected in Union Parish for the purpose of resisting the Confederate authorities, the lieutenant-general commanding directs that you quietly make arrangements to temporarily send a sufficient force from your command to break up these organizations and arrest the offenders.
The lieutenant-general also directs that copies of the order of amnesty, allowing till the 15th proximo for all deserters to return to their commands, be immediately sent to that parish.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN G. MEEM, JR.,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &c.,
Near Millican, September 9, 1863.
Brigadier General W. R. BOGGS, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Information was received here last night of the appearance of a fleet of gunboats off Sabine Pass, said to be nine in number;