War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0320 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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artillery, Captain Odlum, of Cook's regiment, is stationed at Fort Griffin. Their appearance, clothing, and drill was highly creditable, especially the drill at the guns. There is also a company of Spaight's battalion on duty as artillerists at the fort; their clothing, drill, and appearance was not so good as the other, but fair.

In your name, I returned thanks to the officers and men on duty here at the time of the attack their gallantry and determination. After witnessing the scene, I cannot express myself too highly in praise of these men. I herewith inclose a list of those who were concerned,* testimony be awarded them by the lieutenant-general commanding on behalf of the Government. I think they deserve it, and I think it would have a very beneficial effect upon the troops generally.

The fort (Griffin)m is situated about 1 1\2 miles from the town; is an inclosed work, cremasillere, front, mounting six guns (at the time of the engagements it was not inclosed), two rifled 30-pounders (captured), two 32-pounders, and two 24-pounders. The terre-plein is raised 4 fee above the natural surface. The parapet is 20 feet thick at top. A wide ditch surrounds it, and a glacis, with a banquette of about 10 feet for infantry, is in course of erection. A breastwork for infantry on the right (west side), at about 300 yards, beyond which the marsh is supposed to be impassable or impracticable. Seven miles west, following the line of the coast, at a point where the interior marsh and lagoons approach the coast, is erected a system of redoubts and redans, giving a flanking fire, intended chiefly for field guns. These fortifications, the plans of which, I am informed, are in possession of Major Douglas, chief engineer, are calculated, if well furnished with troops, to resist a serious attack of the enemy. They are well built, and evince skill and ingenuity. The troops now present would, however, be insufficient were any serious attempt to be made. Too much reliance seems to me to be placed upon the impracticable, or, as they term it here, impassable, nature of the march, which, if succeeded in passing the forts are turned and rendered useless.

The small depth of water in the bayou and on the bars of the rivers would seem to me to insure us against any attack here at present.

Captain Sibert, assistant quartermaster, seems an efficient and diligent officer. His papers being all in Houston (he had been put recently assigned to duty here), I could not examine them; he has a large amount of transportation on hand, a detailed inspection of which is herewith transmitted, but not too large were it required to move the stores by land; he has on hand about $18,000 quartermaster's and pay funds.

Captain [E. P.] Alsbury, assistant commissary of subsistence, seems an efficient and capable officer. His papers for the past month were all made out well, excepting the summary statement, not yet made, but his cash-book was entered up and balanced for the several month with care. He has a good supply of provisions on hand; he receives them daily from Beaumont; has on hand $2,500.

The hospital is under the charge of Surgeon [James A.] White, regimental surgeon; he was reported sick at the time of inspection. The hospital is not clean, and there are no comforts in it; the men chiefly rest on the floor, without bed sacks or any kind of pallets; a few had very rudely made platforms or bunks.

There had existed a great want of medicines until the day previous, when some had been received.


* Omitted