the enemy is moving from Abbeville to Niblett's Bluff. Without re-enforcements, or concurrent action on your part, by forming a junction with my forces, I shall not be able to resist their immense force, as I am unable to concentrate more than 8,000 men at any point.
I am induced to believe than an expedition from Ship Island is contemplated against this coast also, which renders it almost certain is contemplated against this coast also, which renders it almost certain that the efforts of the enemy to occupy this portion of Texas would be successful. Nothing but a rapid concentration of our forces can, in my judgment, prevent his. I would, therefore, advise that you proceed to Niblett's Bluff as rapidly as possible, by the Alexandria road, as I think you may be able to reach Niblett's Bluff before the enemy. Should you find this impossible, I strongly advise -so deeply impressed am I with the necessity of our forces being concentrated-that you move rapidly to Burr's Ferry on the Sabine, and, throwing your forces across the river at that point, effect a junction with me at or near Liberty, Tex. The enemy, should their flank movement be successful, will force the evacuation of Sabine City or Sabine Pass, which could be used by him as a base from which he could operate against, this place, and thus a vital blow would be struck at the very heart of this district, and, in my opinion, the most important point in the Trans-Mississippi Department; therefore I am clearly of opinion that my suggestions should be adopted and promptly carried out by you.
The safety of this part of the district seems to me do depend greatly on your prompt and energetic movement.
Should you adopt my advice, and will inform me of your intentions, I will cause forage and subsistence to be placed in the depot for you at Niblett's Bluff of Burr's Ferry, and such other places as may be necessary, in due season, in order that you may move rapidly.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS SABINE POST,
October 18, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
SIR: Your telegrams via Beaumont and Galveston have been received this morning. Inclosed please find a memorandum in regard to the roads leading from Sabine City to Lake Arthur, and farther on. As soon as more thorough information can be obtained, it will be forwarded. The C. S. Steamer Sachem left yesterday for Orange. The steamboat Florida was sent to Niblett's Bluff, at the request of Quartermaster [H. B.] Lee, to bring down Government cotton. She should have returned yesterday, but has not reached here yet. The Uncle Ben, was sent direct from Beaumont to Niblett's Bluff, without touching here, by orders from headquarters, as I understand. The steamboat Dime, the only steamboat here, will take Captain [Andrew] Daly's company over to the Louisiana shore as soon as the heavy norther, blowing since the receipt of your telegrams, abates and will permit it. She will, after having accomplished this, take the material on board for building the bridge over Mud Flat, and proceed to Johnson's Bayou. The C. S. gunboat Belle was blown ashore just below the Commissary wharf, although she had two anchors out, but she will be gotten off as soon as the wind and tide change.