send them home, in the hopeless task of procuring horses, will disorganize this excellent brigade, whose services are indispensably necessary to the defense of the State, where they will soon be in front of the enemy.
I have just received information that Saluria is attacked with a large naval and, I fear, overwhelming, land force, and I fear I shall lose the place and the regiment which defends it. Troops are marching rapidly to the west to its relief, though it is difficult to defend it, being on an island, with a dangerous communication with the mainland, though it was necessary to hold and fortify it, as it was an important pass from the sea to all the interior navigation of the west, by which our trade with Brownsville was greatly facilitated and the coast for 100 miles rendered secure against any but a formidable expedition.
The troops in this district had been massed toward Sabine, in view of a march toward Cotile, near the Red River, in obedience to General Smith's instructions, and the process of substituting the State troops for Confederate on the coast was going on in accordance with subsequent instructions when this attack of the coast by the enemy was made. Should the enemy succeed in carrying this fort, he will have the whole of Matagorda Bay and a portion of the richest part of Texas exposed to him.
The troops when they arrive at their places of destination will be established as follows:
Debray's brigade, at Lavaca or Indianola, 2,000; Buchel's brigade, at Wharton, about 1,500; Luckett's brigade, near Columbia, 1,500; about 700 State troops at Texana.
General Bee is in the west with Duff's regiment, sex companies of State troops, and two or three detached companies about San Antonio. About 300 State troops are at Liberty, to re- enforce Sabine by land or Galveston by water. These are all the movable forces, and some of them will not be in position for a week or ten days.
At the mouth of the Brazos, a strong place, I have about 1,000 men, and at Niblett's Bluff 250.
I hope, under these circumstances, that the lieutenant- general commanding will not permit Waul's Legion and Second Texas Infantry, numbering 600 veteran infantry, even if it could be done, their services would be lost for several months.
General Waul states that he would like to serve under me in Texas, and he could not have a better brigade anywhere than the one to which I have assigned him.
Though my presence can scarcely be spared at this moment, I go to Saluria this morning, at least to ascertain the state of things and make the best arrangements I can in any event.
The above is a fair estimate of the troops for service, exclusive of those retained in the Northern Sub- District by General McCulloch, and excluding permanently detailed men not fit for service in the field and not with their regiments. A large portion of these troops are very badly armed.
When I arrived here, there was but a handful of troops in the State, and only three batteries of artillery. I have now twelve batteries all told, in fair order, including the battery which is with Gano's brigade, and have furnished Gano's in the Indian Territory, and Major's in Louisiana.
A failure on the part of the Legislature to keep the State troops in for