Every possible care was observed to guard against sickness. This, together with the splendid material of the men, will account for the success of the expedition and the slight mortality from disease attending it.
General Carleton, or relinquishing the immediate command of the column, published the following general order, viz:
GENERAL ORDERS, Numbers 85.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO,
Santa Fe, N. Mex., September 21, 1862.
In entering upon the duties that remove him from immediate association with the troops constituting the Column from California the commanding general desires to-express his grateful acknowledgment of the conduct and services of the officers and men of that command. Traversing a desert country, that has heretofore been regarded as impracticable for the operations of large bodies of troops, they have reached their destination, and accomplished the object assigned them, not only without loss of any kind, but improved in discipline, in morale, and in every other element of efficiency. The patient and cheerful endurance of hardships, the zeal and alacrity with which they have grappled with and overcome obstacles that would have been insurmountable to any but troops of the highest physical and moral energy, the complete abnegation of self and subordination of every personal consideration to the grand object of our hopes and efforts, give the most absolute assurance of success in any field or against any enemy.
California has reason to be proud of the sons she has sent across the continent to assist in the great struggle in which our country is now engaged.
The commanding general is requested by the officer who preceded him in the command of this department to express for him the gratification felt by every officer and soldier of his command at the fact that troops the Atlantic and Pacific slope, from the mountains of California and Colorado, acting in the same cause, impelled by the same duties, and animated by the same hopes, have met and shaken hands in the center of this great continent.
JAMES H. CARLETON,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.
J. M. McNULTY,
Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers.
APRIL 22, 1862.-Capture of Union launches in Aransas Bay, Tex.
Report of Major William O. Yager, commanding Camp Aransas.
HEADQUARTERS CAMP ARANSAS, TEX.,
April 25, 1862.
SIR: On the 22nd instant intelligence reached Shell Banks that the enemy had run two of their launches through Cedar Bayou and captured three sloops, one of which, the Democrat, they stripped of her sails and left the captain and mate to pole their way to land. With the other two they bore down toward Shell Banks, with the purpose of running past the fort under friendly appearance, and thence out the Aransas Pass to the blockader. They had approached within 6 miles of the fort, and were tacking back and forth as if waiting for night before attempting to pass. When, with two sloops carrying 32 men, Captain Neal, myself, and Lieutenant Canfield set out after them, they put back in haste. But having no place where they could get out of the bay with their prizes without passing us, they quit them and took to their launches. They made directly for Blind Bayou and soon entered it. We left our boats and hurried across by land to intercept them. Finding themselves thus headed off, they reluctantly abandoned their launches and made off to the sand hills, firing upon our men, who were