to trust my command to any person else in case of an attack by the enemy, and while thus waiting, Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, with the balance of Captain Moseley's men, arrived. After consulting with [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown I went over to the fort, and found Captain Ballowe, Lieutenant Taylor, and a few men at the fort; the balance of his command were scattered about.
I remained at the fort until daylight, at which time I discovered four boats, two of which belonged to the enemy, and two with the passengers and crew of the Columbia, that had been captured. They were then lying about one mile and a half from the fort. As soon as I discovered them I ordered Captain Ballowe to fire on the enemy's boats, which he did, this being the first cannon-shot fired, though the steamer had been lying since 1 o'clock the previous day within firing distance of the fort. After firing [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown arrived at the fort, when our shot was answered by one from the steamship. [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown then took command and fired again, exchanging some six shots, none of which took effect. The captured passengers and crew of the Columbia having been sent on shore from the steamer, she weighed anchor and put to sea.
Colonel, I will say, in conclusion, that had the orders I issued to Captain Ballowe on my arrival been carried out, I have not the slightest doubt but that I could have got between the steamer and the party sent to burn the cotton schooner and captured every one of them; but my orders being disregarded, all my efforts proved abortive.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. S. PERRY,
Major, Bates' Regiment.
Colonel J. BATES, Commanding Bates' Regiment.
Numbers 3. Report of Captain S. L. S. Ballowe, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.
FORT SAN LUIS, TEX., April 5, 1862.
SIR: I have to report to you the capture of Second Lieutenant O. W. Edwards and 7 others of my command off this post on yesterday by the Federal screw propeller Montgomery, Captain Hunter, under the following circumstances, viz: She appeared off the bar with English colors, with a signal for a pilot, and fired a blank cartridge and anchored. After some time Lieutenant Edwards sent the life-boat out to the bar, with instructions to anchor inside and hoist a white flag and wait for them to meet them with a boat from the steamer. The crew obeyed instructions, but the steamer refusing to send a boat, as expected, they raised anchor and returned to the fort. by this time Mr. A. G. Follett arrived at the fort with the intention of getting the life-boat and a crew and going out to her, and was so well satisfied that she was an English vessel, that he induced the lieutenant to take a boat and go out. They went aboard about 3 p. m. I returned to my quarters at 3.30 p. m. and watched their movements until night. About this time I saw one boat leave the steamer and come in the direction of the fort, and as soon as she arrived inside the bar I discovered that there were two instead of one, and supposed their destination to be the schooner Columbia, lying in the bay and laden with cotton, or else that they intended an attack on this island. It soon grew so dark, however, that I could not see them, and made my arrangements as best I could with my small force