Inefficient Mail facilities — abundant Crops — pleasant weather — martial spirit — the position of our forces — the city of Galveston, &c.
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Having but a moment of leisure, I have thought a few items of news might not be uninteresting to you, though, I must confess, the thermometer at an almost unvarying height since September excites some fear of reaching a respectable length of epistle.
You scarcely find out many occurrences from a point as distant as this, especially so isolated by the craziest mail arrangements that the world ever saw. I hesitate to venture on news by mail fearing lest battles might be fought, victories won, and our own armies snugly quartered in New York and Boston
are this reaches you.
, you know, is now, in territory, the Empire State
of the Confederacy
, and having in her Legislature, within the last few days, rescinded the law by which she granted so much of her North and Northeast to the old Union, she will soon assume the proportions of one of the divisions of the earth.
From the Sabine
to the Rio Grande
, the croons were never so abundant; and, strange to tell, though for five years past the corn has been almost a failure, this year it is almost too large to be gathered, and but for the difficulty of transportation, she could furnish vast supplies for our armies.
The cation crop is a good one--not from the luxuriance of the plant, as it shows the ravages of the worm — but because they have the most delightful weather in which to save it, but so long as the blockade continues it yields the planter nothing, and though it is their chief wealth, they would rather burn it than send a bale of it away, or suffer it to fall into Yankee hands.
A small party has been anxious to send some overland to Mexico
, and ship from Tampico
, professedly; but sound and almost universal sentiment is against it, for it is well known there are some Yankees here yet, who are willing at any hazard to enrich themselves, if not advantage the North
Within a few days the Governor
has prohibited the storing of cotton or removal from the plantations.
I have never seen such lovely weather.
The doors and windows have hardly been closed this winter, and there has not been a respectable norther
to necessitate the building of fire.
The Governor has within the last week called out the militia.
The State, though late waking up, will contribute her share in this war. Every man is mounted or armed after a fashion.
The very children have caught a martial spirit, and dash over the prairies most wildly on their mustangs.
Companies, battalions, and regiments of cavalry, artillery, and infantry are forming and concentrating in various portions of the State
Among these forces I must mention a mounted regiment of Texas
Lancers, the only one in the Confederacy
under the command of Col. G. W. Carter
, formerly of your State, but now President
of Soule University, of this State.
It is a most formidable body of men, armed with lances, shot-guns, and revolvers, and many of them incredibly expert in their use.
Much excitement prevails at this particular point as to what the Lincolnites purpose here.
, the blockading vessel, is lying off about five miles, and there are reports of transports in the vicinity.
I had a distinct view of three other vessels last evening in my ride along the beach, but thought one at least was a small schooner captured some time since.
, a most accomplished officer, is indefatigable in having everything prepared for their reception.
The citizens are leaving and shipping everything of value into the interior.
Our forces are occupying positions at each end of the railroad bridge, leading from the island, to Virginia point
on the main land, and can boast of fortifications as beautiful and formidable as any of the same extent in the Confederacy
If the enemy attempts to land on the Island
they will be met by our forces, and Galveston Island
will take rank in history will Manassas
and other fields for fierce and successful fighting.
If they attempt to bring their vessels into the bay they will meet with difficulties they little expect.
There is an unpublished prescription for such presumption.
is 30 miles long.
The city has about 10,000 inhabitants and the handsomest town in Texas
There are six newspapers published here; ten churches, and several large hotels.
The private houses are mostly of wood and painted white.
The streets are wide, straight and rectangular, bordered by flower gardens.
If we except the Strand, on many of the streets the outer edge of the sidewalks are bordered by beautiful hedges of oleander.
There is a railroad from this place to Houston
, and steamboats making regular trips to the interior.
There is no danger of invasion here.
The enemy can't make the trip by land or water.
One company of rangers, by their peculiar mode of fighting, could demolish a regiment of Yankees in a march of one hundred miles. I have no doubt if they attempted to come, five or six hundred cow boys, with an aptness peculiar to their profession, could stampede a thousand head of cattle over them.
I regard the cattle alone as a natural
defence of the State
I wish I could send you the fruits of our second crop of vegetables, cabbage, beans, tomatoes, and potatoes.
It is too warm to write.
I may add something at an early day.