[HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Sabine Pass, September 27, 1863.]
SIR: The major-general commanding directs me to say to you that you will take charge of the works at Burr's Ferry, Sabine Town, and Pendleton, and have them pushed forward with all dispatch. Lieutenants Powers, Sylvester, and Dallas will report to you for duty and assist you in erection of the fortifications. The order in reference to Lieutenant Woods is countermanded; he will remain in charge of the railroad. The works at Burr's Ferry, Sabine Town, and Pendleton to be erected as follows: A tete-de-pont on the east side, if the Sabine River is large enough, to contain a force of 2,500 men; this work to be constructed so as to put the flanking arrangements on the west side of the river, so as not to expose the artillery to capture. Should any of these places have a commanding position on the west side of the river within our range, of the crossing there, a small work to be erected there, to prevent the enemy from availing in himself of these positions. All the crossings to be supplied with a double flying bridge. Should the west side of the river be lower than the east side, the flanking lunettes and redan to be raised to a sufficient height to command the opposite shore and the tete-de-pont, if possible.
The following information has been received from Major-General Taylor, of the 21st, and General Mouton, of the 22d, viz: The enemy concentrating at Berwick Bay between 20,000 and 30,000 men, and, from what information they can gain, the whole are destined for Texas by water; Major-General Ord and Herron, of Grant's [army], in command of one expedition, and Franklin, with his officers, in command of the other. They have a large amount of transportation, showing their intentions of moving into the interior. They may move by land. All the roads, with the exception of the main roads to each place, to be obstructed as much as possible.
Notice to be sent to Major-General Taylor of your plans, so that it can be communicated to any troops who may come in this direction. General Price is falling back down the Washita before a superior force, and may be obliged to avail himself of these works of yours; so may General Taylor. the intelligence has been received since your orders were issued, and has caused the change in the plans. Captain Sylvester will be employed, and receive the pay of captain of engineers. He will be sent immediately to Burr's Ferry, which works will be erected first. Lieutenants Powers and Dallas to take charge of the works, as negroes have been started for that place. After the works have been laid out, you will return to Houston, and report to these headquarters by letter.
Major, and Assistant Inspector-General.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, &C.,
Sabine Pass, September 28, 1863.
Brigadier General HENRY E. McCULLOCH,
Commanding Northern Sub-District:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your various communications of the 18th and 19th instant, and fully appreciate the difficulty under which you are laboring, and will do my best to re-