playing an English and a Confederate ensign and what seemed to be from the shore a white flag. I immediately dispatched a detachment of 25 mounted men from Captain Moseley's company, under the command of Major S. S. Perry, with instructions to watch the enemy closely and prevent depredations in case of their attempting to land.
When about half way to San Luis, which is 16 miles from this post, Major Perry Ballowe's company, and 7 of his men, with Mr. Alexander Follett, residing near the Pass, had been decoyed out to the steamer and captured; that the enemy had then taken the boat in which Edwards and his men had gone out and had passed our battery (one 18-pounder) on San Luis Island, and were between the island and the main-land; that it was supposed that they had captured the schooner Columbia, lying in the rear of the island, loaded with cotton; that their force was unknown, and Captain Ballowe's command was in danger of being cut off.
Immediately dispatched Lieutenant Colonel R. R. Brown, with the remainder of Captain Moseley's artillery company and two field pieces, to the scene of action. [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown arrived at San Luis at daylight this morning. The Columbia was then in flames and nearly consumed, the enemy having retired to their vessel.
At daylight an action commenced between our battery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, and the enemy's vessel, in which a few shots were exchanged and the enemy drew off. As she steamed down the coast she sent the crew of the destroyed cotton schooner ashore in a small boat, retaining Lieutenant Edwards and his men as prisoners. No other casualties on our side.
Captain Ballowe was absent from his command when the vessel arrived, and did not reach there until late in the night. The night was very dark and the force of the enemy in the bay was unknown. Our best boat was captured and the others were too frail to risk a night attack from the small force on the island.
Further particulars will be reported as soon as information can be received, with a list of the prisoners.
Colonel SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Texas.
HEADQUARTERS BATES' REGIMENT,
Velasco, Tex., April 13, 1862.
Colonel SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Texas:
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you copies of reports made by Major Perry and Captain Ballowe, of my command. These reports are in reference to the unfortunate capture of Lieutenant Edwards and 7 of Captain Ballowe's company and the burning of the schooner Columbia and her cargo of cotton.
It seems to me that the conduct of Captain Ballowe on that occasion, as represented by Major Perry, deserves a court-martial. However, the reports are respectfully submitted for your consideration.