loaded with cotton, and two others, names unknown, making in all eleven vessels. Your instructions in regard to the destruction of these vessels, the Mary Hill, the Era Numbers 3, and the bridges over the bayou and canal, in case of their being jeopardized by the enemy, have been given to Colonel Bates.
The discipline of the garrison I found good, the men quite and orderly; they are reported dissatisfied with the corn-meal which is issued to them. Some little sickness, probably occasioned by this unvaried diet of corn-meal and the water they drink, which, owing to the drought, is more brackish than usual. Both complaints and sickness might be greatly remedied by occasional issues of flour to the troops.
Captain [W. E.] Gibson's battery, at Velasco, is in very good order, with the exception of the horses, which, owing to their hard trip into Louisiana, have become thin; but I think they will be in condition for active service in fifteen or twenty days.
I found at Velasco a well-mounted and well-armed company of State troops, under Captain Weston. A company of State troops had been stationed about 25 miles from Velasco, by Colonel Bates, but they have been ordered down, and will arrive there on 28th instant. I found the hospital in poor order and very illy supplied with medicines. I directed the surgeon at Columbia to make requisitions for medicines, hospital stores, &c., for a hospital for 150 men at Columbia, which I hope the commanding general will approve. There was nominally a hospital at this place, but upon inspection I found accommodations for only 4 men.
Owing to the heavy planting interest in this section of country, and the precarious tenure by which negro property would be held in case of an invasion, the deepest anxiety prevails among the inhabitants, and I was met on every side with solicitations to request the general commanding to strengthen the defenses. I gave the assurance that the major-general was fully alive to the existing state of affairs, and would as soon as possible do all in his power to complete his preparations for its defense.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. N. LUCKETT,
[HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Sabine Pass, September 27, 1863.]
Major A. G. DICKINSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, San Antonio:
MAJOR: The major-general commanding directs that you prepare to remove, first the arms, and secondly the powder, from San Antonio to Palestine.
You will prepare to move to the same place, if necessary, afterward, the shops, machinery, &c. If the enemy land at Corpus Christi, Lavaca, or Saint Mary's, you will cause everything above mentioned to be made [moved] at once.
You will send to the commanding officers at the different points of the coast directions that, if the enemy land at any point on the coast between the Brazos and Corpus Christi, information be immediately given you, and furnished also to Brigadier-General Bee, and will also inform any troops may be on the march in the vicinity.
I am, major, &c.,
EDMUND P. TURNER,