War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0278 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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doing) and so concentrating his resources against us as to make it necessary, perhaps, to change our base and adopt other lines of operation; and, secondly, by so far influencing the morals of our troops, who now believe they can at any time march against the enemy with success, as to tend to their demoralization, especially so far as they will attribute their inactivity to thee officers immediately commanding them. On assuming command of the troops here on the 12th of January I was then informed by Major-General Washburn, who had till then been in command, when he had 4,000 troops here, he could have marched against the forts at the mouth of the Brazos River with success, and he was confident that he then could have established his base at that point, and he expressed the opinion that the force here now was not relatively as strong as the force he then had.

Considering the time the enemy has had to recover from his shock, when he was first surprised at the safe lodgment of troops here, and to gather courage from our inaction, to fortify his approaches and to concentrate his re-enforcements, I am of opinion that General Washburn is entirely correct in his views. I have twice, previous to this, taken the liberty of suggesting plans of actions for the forces in Texas. I felt it to be my duty, as I was, and am still, senior officer in the State, and felt that I would, by public opinion at least, be held responsible for idleness on the part of the troops collected here, but at the same time I had not the absolute right to volunteer those opinions uncalled for. They have never been recognized or acknowledged, but I still entertain them more strongly than ever, although I know that the strength of the enemy has increased ever since and his preparations are more extensive and wider spread. There was not then a single company of men who could be styled soldiers west of Goliad; now Colonel Ford with 800 men is on the Nueces, near San Patricio, and a force gathering in reserve for him near San Antonio.

Then the shore from here to the forts at the mouth of the Brazos was unobstructed; now it is fortified in two lines, one on Caney, the other on San Bernard, and the army which has been there to contest our advance by that route will soon be able to leave the guardianship of it to a small force and move to our present front, occupying our lines of operations from the shores of Lavaca Bay toward Houston, Austin, or San Antonio. During the time I have been here, if my orders had not confined me to the defensive and restrained me from operations on the mainland, and if I had been supplied with a moderate force of cavalry, I could have operated with success. I could still do so to some extent, gathering deserters, refugees, and horses, and demoralizing the enemy by successful raids, if not by direct attack. By although roads in this country have up to this time been in splendid condition, the nature of the ground is such that should a severe rainy season set in they could be used only with extreme difficulty and greatly increased means of transportation.

I saw in the public prints that a large force of cavalry was at New Orleans, and read notices highly laudatory of their condition and of those officers who were connected with the raising and equipping of them, and I was bold in asking, I entreated, for a cavalry force, even a small one, and I entertained the earnest hope that a part of that force, or at least the thousand men on the Rio Grande, or a detachment from both, could be sent me. I have no right to know or to ask to be informed as to the plans and intentions of my military