War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 1060 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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unfinished business. Certificates exempting cotton from impressment with the right of exportation, issued by authority of Lieutenant-Colonel Broadwell prior to the 1st of February next, will be respected until used.

By command of General E. Kirby Smith:

S. S. ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,

Shreveport, La., November 18, 1864.

Major General J. G. WALKER,

Commanding District of Texas, Anderson, Tex.:

GENERAL: I inclose extracts from the report* of Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas, chief engineer, relative to the defenses of Galveston. With the means at our disposal, Colonel Douglas regarded the defense of Galveston impracticable. This my original opinion has been strengthened by every subsequent visit and examination of the defenses of that place. If I mistake not this is also the view of General Hebert, and was the opinion of General Magruder, who strengthened the works and held the position from political necessity and from the appreciation of the disastrous consequences which, in a military point, its occupation by the enemy would entail upon the District of Texas. I will not recommend an evacuation of the position, but so convinced am I of its weakness, and so satisfied that it will fall on the first combined attack of army and navy, that I cannot too strongly urge upon you while strengthening the defenses to secure means for the removal of at least a portion of the heavy guns and material whenever the passage of the eastern channel has been forced by the enemy. The following changes in the disposition of the artillery I recommend should be immediately made The guns to the removed from Fort Magruder and distributed between Fort Sulakowski and the works at Bolivar Point and Pelican Island, with the exception of one long-range piece, which should be retained in Fort Magruder to cover the swash channel and to drive off the blockaders from the pocket in front of that work. The guns at South Battery, except for covering the swash channel, used in running the blockade, are of no use and are not material to the defense of the place. This applies to Fort Magruder, though in a less-degree. The two 8-inch columbiads, the 5.30 rifle, and the 32-pounder will be immediately sent, with their carriages, to Alexandria, via Niblett's Bluff. The 7-inch rifle should be retained in its present position in the South Battery, and, being a long-range gun, will cover the swash channel and facilitate the running of the blockade. The distance between Fort Sulakowski and the work at Bolivar Point is near two miles. The eastern channel covered by these works so far separated can be passed at night by any class of the enemy's vessels, or during the day by a light-draught iron-clad, such as used on the Mississippi. The defense of the eastern pass would be materially strengthened had we the means and facilities for placing one or two iron-clad floating batteries in the channel. As this is out of the question, the best that we can do is to increase the number of guns at Fort Sulakowski, Bolivar Point, and Pelican Island, and concentrate a heavier fire upon the pass, as even with this addition to the defense the passage of the channel by the enemy's vessels is practicable. I refer you to the inclosed extracts from Colonel Douglas' report, and recom-

*Not found.