very hearts sick, and a war of the most wretched and savage character will be inaugurated.
Your extension came in good time for me, as it would have been next to impossible to have gotten ready any sooner, and I don't's know that I can do so that soon, if the State troops and Martin's and Gould's regiments cannot be relied on (and it is though by many they cannot, as they are raised in this section.) It will take a month yet to get ready, which will give them full time to organize fully and prepare to meet us. If we given before we are sufficiently prepared, and make a failure in the first move, it will embodied them, and give them great additional strength. Again, there are two strong parties arrayed against each other here, and it will be extremely difficult to unite them.
Our man Gould, who drinks, swaggers, and talks big, has said and done many little things here which have had a had effect; he has neither brains nor prudence enough for a county court lawyer, when sober, and none when he is not. Many of the men who have reported to him have been furloughed for thirty to thirty-five days, and those that report to me expect the same on that account. I have given a few days to most of them, to give time to get up winter clothing, and, when they are married men, to sow wheat, but he curses the peace party, and swears the time is short for them to come in, and all that do not will be fearfully used up in some way, and all who were once opposed to us consider themselves more or less included in his broad denunciations, which can do no good any way. If you intend to kill them, it is no use to curse them first and get their personal passions aroused, but, if we have to kill them, let us do if our country's sake.
Colonel [N. W.] Townes is on duty here, and I had hoped to hear from you before this with regard to him; he will make a good commanding officer, I think. I have put him in command of Camp Lane, 15 miles from here. He needs a quartermaster, commissary, and adjutant, none of which we have here or see that we can get. He says he can get them by temporary appointment until you can send us some, and I hope you will allow him to do so. I inclose his letter to you on that subject.* Please let me hear from you as soon as possible.
HENRY E. McCULLOCH,
NIBLETT'S BLUFF, LA.
October 21, 1863.
Colonel A. BUCHEL, Commanding, &c.:
In regard to the state of the defenses at this place, I have the honor to state as follows:
The defenses (breastworks) are at present in an unfinished condition, and abandoned by the working parties. The man defenses on the Louisiana side are nearly finished, and it will take about a week, after a force of about 75 negroes with the tools arrive here, to finish or put them in an effective condition. As much as I know of the circumstances, the negroes would, for this emergency, be taken from Sabine Pass, and brought with shovels and picks per steamer to this place. But the required axes are not in or at Sabine Pass; as much as I heard, those axes, belonging to the engineer department of the Eastern District of Texas, were loaned to the Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company. They are
* Not found.