War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 1092 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

I understand that General Steele lately advanced toward the forces of General Shelby, Confederate army, with 5,000 mounted men, and opened and keeps free his communications from Little Rock to Devall's Bluff; that the cavalry force intended to operate in Arkansas under General Wharton numbers about 4,000, which is all that I hear of as having been placed at my disposal, and that whilst these troops are destined to operate east of the Arkansas River, there is not a mounted man for service on this side of that river. I learn the Duff's regiment and Dashiell's battery have been ordered to re-enforce General Maxey in the Indian Territory, but presume they have not yet moved. Besides these, Bourland's and Martin's regiments are in the Northern Sub-district, unless they have moved within the last few days. The battalions of the reserve corps, organized under my orders, which were placed at my disposal by General Smith, have been ordered by me to proceed to Tyler to take charge of the Federal prisoners at that point, and to relieve Colonel Anderson's regiments, which was ordered to Harrisburg, where I designed concentrating the disposable cavalry of the district, with the view to their serving temporarily dismounted at Galveston, should that place be attacked, and intending to ask General Smith to send a brigade of infantry from the coast of Texas to Arkansas, but since General Price has been ordered into Missouri with all the cavalry, except that of General Wharton above alluded to, I recommend that the infantry remain in Texas, and that Duff's, Anderson's, Brown's, and Bradford's cavalry regiments be ordered to Camden, and that Bourland's and Martin's regiments of cavalry be directed to re-enforce General Maxey; that Spaight's battalion of infantry be ordered to Galveston; that the troops be withdrawn from Niblett's Bluff to Sabine Pass, except a lieutenant and ten men, and that Sabine Pass be defended by Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin's battalion of infantry and Lieutenant-Colonel Daly's battalion of cavalry, from which latter one company should be stationed at the Calcasieu to protect the captured steamers in that river until they can pass into Sabine or Galveston, and to prevent communication from the disaffected inhabitants with the Federal fleet; also that one artillery company remain under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin to garrison Fort Manhassett (Sabine Pass), supported by portions of Daly's battalion, and that the men serving as artillery in the fort at Sabine Pass, whether belonging to Griffin's or Spaight's battalion, be retained there. This latter is absolutely necessary. The one company left on the Calcasieu should build and inclosed work for their own protection. I have the honor to recommend in addition that Terry's and McCord's regiments of cavalry be kept one at Harrisburg and the other at Galveston; that at Galveston to be temporarily dismounted, leaving their horses near Harrisburg; that one company of Terry's regiment should be kept at Hempstead to apprehend escaped prisoners, and to assist in doing guard duty. The garrison at Galveston would be composed then as follows: First, Hobby's regiment of infantry; second, Elmore's regiment of infantry; third, Second Texas Infantry; fourth, Spaight's battalion infantry; fifth, Terry's regiment of cavalry (temporarily dismounted) or McCord's; sixth, Pyron's regiment of cavalry (vedette duty); seventh, McCord's regiment of cavalry (Terry's) at Harrisburg within few hours' march of Galveston; eighth, Cook's regiment heavy artillery (Portion of); ninth, Nichols' light battery to re-enforce Galveston from Harrisburg; tenth, two light batteries now stationed at Galveston. This makes an effective force of about 4,000 men, a sufficient garrison for that place.