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The intentions of the Confederates in Texas.
The New Orleans correspondent of the New York Herald, writing on the 16th ult., gives the programme adopted by the "rebel" leaders in Texas and the trans-Mississippi districts. He says:
The armies now commanded by Holmes, Price, and Parsons, in Arkansas; the forces of Smith, Hobart, and Taylor, in Northern and Central Louisiana; those of Greene, Straight, and Major, in the southern part of the State, and part of the troops of Magruder, in Texas, are to be concentrated at Niblett's Bluffs, on the Sabine river, which, together with the lake of the same name, forms the boundary between Louisiana and Texas. The evacuated regions necessary to be occupied, for military reasons — for instance, demonstration against the advance of our armies — will be held by a mere handful of mounted men, depending upon the co-operation of guerilla bands in cases of a move upon our part.
The point of concentration chosen by the enemy exhibits no insignificant sagacity. Sabine Lake lies immediately upon the Gulf coast, being connected with the Gulf by a narrow channel known as Sabine Pass. The lake is formed by the inflow of the waters of the Sabine and Neches rivers. Upon the Louisiana side of the Sabine is situated Niblet's Bluffs; in almost the same latitude, on the west side of the Neches, lies Beaumont — a small town. Between the two points — by land across the peninsula formed by the two rivers — there lies an immense swamp, impassable at some seasons of the year even to local conveyances; but for the passage of an army, its infantry, cavalry, artillery, baggage and supply trains, would be at all times impracticable. However, by running from Niblet's Bluffs down the Sabine river, across the lake, and thence up the Neches to Beaumont, form an excellent water communication between the Bluffs and Beaumont, the distance being but eighty-eight miles. For purposes of navigation by this route the enemy has about twelve light draught steamers.
Upon these excellent considerations Niblett's Bluffs has been chosen as the defensive or offensive positions of their concentrated armies, and Beaumont the base of supplies; for, from that place to Houston, Texas, the communication by road is passable, and at Houston the cattle and entire agricultural resources of Texas can be centred for transportation to Beaumont and thence to their army at the bluffs.
The entire force of the enemy when here centred will not exceed thirty thousand. Their armies in the extreme West have suffered a greater depletion than those of the East, and more from disease than by the casualties of battle or campaign.
The enemy is resolutely determined to hold Texas, for the possession of that State by us will put an end to the existence, as an aggregate, of their armies on the west side of the river.