Lieutenant-General Smith has been written to in regard to the peculiar relations of Colonel Stockton, chief of ordnance, and Major Washington, quartermaster, to the major-general commanding, whether they are independent or not.
The above order, in regard to the different staff officers holding their departments in readiness to move, applies, alike to Major T. A. Washington. The matter is strictly confidential, and the orders given by you on this subject will be entirely confidential.
It is unnecessary to set forth the importance of no publicity being given to your instructions to these officers, nor should it be allowed to escape from your office in any way.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND P. TURNER,
HEADQUARTERS MARINE DEPARTMENT,
Houston, October 27, 1863.
Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,
DEAR SIR: Your Orders, Numbers 291, came to hand this day, directing me to furnish you with a list of transports, condition, &c., in the marine department. In reply, I would say that the following list will give you all the necessary information, viz:
Steamer Sunflower (chartered), now undergoing repairs at Beaumont, will soon be in running order; light draught.
Steamer Grand Bay (chartered), in the engineer department, not in good order; some work to be done to her heaters, but can run for a short time; very light draught of water.
Steamer Uncle Ben (owned by Government), in good order, now running as a transport, but of heavy draught of water, say, 3 feet, light.
Steamer Roebuck (chartered), in very bad order, not in a condition to run without undergoing very heavy repairs; heavy draught, say 3 feet.
Steamer Jeff. Davis (chartered), laid up; broken shaft; not of much service.
Steamer Dime, tender to the gunboats; very small.
STEAMERS IN GALVESTON BAY.
Steamer Island City (owned by Government), now running, is a food transport; not in good order, but can be run for a few weeks.
Steamer Colonel Steel (owned by Government), now as a transport in the engineer department, in good order; just repaired; light draught.
Steamer Lone Star (chartered), in the engineer department, in good order; very light draught.
Steamer A. S. Ruthven (chartered), at ship-yard, will be ready to run on next Friday; in very good order; just repaired, and very light draught of water.
Steamer Era, Numbers 3, on the Brazos River, from Columbia to Velasco, wants repairs; can run a short time; light draught.
Steamer Lucy Gwinn (owned by Government), in Matagorda Bay; in good order; just repaired; she is under control of Colonel Bradfute; she is of very light draught.
I would say that the Government owns three barges. Two in good order; engineer department using one, and the transport department