ation of the fort, so I determined to await further developments, and send you a note by express.
If nothing important occurs to detain me, I will be in Houston Thursday night, waiting the last minute for the latest intelligence.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. P. FINLAY,
Assistant Inspector- General, Eastern Sub- District of Texas.
San Antonio, November 30, 1863.
Major S. T. FONTAINE,
Chief of Artillery and Ordnance, Dist. Tex., N. Mex., and Ariz.:
MAJOR: Your communications of November 21, 22, and to hand. The requisition upon Colonel Stockton for 500 English muskets, 100 bridles, and 100 halters, approved by the major- general commanding, was signed and delivered. As soon as the bridles and halters are turned over to me, I will forward them. Colonel Stockton informs me that the 500 English muskets are in horrible order, and, in consequence of the scarcity of gunsmiths, will not be cleaned and ready for use in less than two weeks. I have already informed the major- general commanding that they would all be required by organized companies now under my command and ordered to report to them. The bridles and halters I will send forward as quickly as possible.
Colonel Stockton knows nothing of the traveling forges mentioned in you communication of the 22d. I understand there is one or more at New Braunfels. I will ascertain, and, if so, will have it forwarded at once.
There is a very fine mortar her, which could be used admirably, as directed by the major- general commanding, but I am sorry to state that every shell has been forwarded to Houston; it is, therefore, perfectly useless unless you send shells for it. I would like very well to exchange it for a 12 pounder howitzer, I have to suggest that a few heavy pieces for Powder House Hill and Dignowitte's Hill will be necessary. The Twin Sisters, I am informed, are at or in the vicinity of Austin. They are in a deplorable condition, and I am fearful could not be used. Colonel Ford, commandant of conscripts, can however, give all necessary information in regard to them.
I have to represent for the information of the major- general commanding that the defenseless positions around San Antonio, alluded to in his letter of instructions, have been carefully examined by Captain Schleicher and myself. We have concluded that Dignowitte's Hill (Mount Harmony) is the most important point upon which to erect our principal defenses, as it commands the city, the Salado Valley, and is the termination of a ridge of hills, and commands an extensive portion of the San Antonio Valley. The two powder houses on Powder House Hill are very poor affairs, as their walls are not more than 2 feet thick, and would offer but little resistance even to light artillery. We will remove the roofs and incase the roofs and incase them in casemates. They will also be inclosed in one of the forts. Captain Schleicher is preparing a map of San Antonio and its defensible positions, a copy of which I will inclose to the major- general commanding as early as possible. I do not know that a fort around the arsenal will be altogether necessary, as I will fortify the most defensible portion of the city, and include the arsenal in the works. The tan- yard, in my opinion, is comparatively indefensible.