HDQRS. SUB-MILITARY DISTRICT OF HOUSTON,
Houston, Tex., July 14, 1862.
Captain C. M. MASON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to inclose to you a report, with accompanying documents from the provost-marshal at Matagorda informing me of the endangered condition of Matagorda and vicinity. I have issued orders to one squadron of my regiment to march from the San Bernard to Matagorda, to lend assistance to the provost-marshal, if necessary, and also to meet such emergencies as may arise in case of a landing by the enemy. Please find herewith a copy of my answer* to the provost-marshal of Matagorda, and also a copy of the order* issued to Debray's regiment to detach a squadron to the coast and to keep in readiness to move in case of necessity. I hope that these dispositions will meet the approval of the general commanding. I may yet, if necessary, move Brown's battalion from the Chocolate to Matagorda Bay, but I have no infantry. I do not deem it expedient to call on Bates' battalion, which covers Brazoria County, one of the richest in the State in cotton and negroes, the population of which has been considerably thinned by volunteering. I have here but two companies of Griffin's battalion, one of which is unarmed, and they are necessary to guard the powder magazine and the provost-marshal's office. I have not been able as yet to receive reports from Elmore's battalion, stationed at Hempstead. I am, however, informed that it is considerably reduced by sickness-measles and flux-and that it is very indifferently armed. Some infantry, however, shall have to be sent to the coast,* if, as it appears the enemy intends to inaugurate a warfare of forays on our weak points. I am informed by Mr. Clements, of Galveston, who just arrived from Matagorda, that it was reported that the enemy had landed and planted a piece of artillery on the shore of Aransas Bay.
I am, very respectfully, captain, your obedient servant,
X. B. DEBRAY,
Colonel, Commanding Sub-Military District of Houston, Texas.
P. S.-I do not believe that the enemy can approach Matagorda with large boats. We should guard only against predatory parties in launches and yawls.
MATAGORDA, TEX., July --, 1862.
Colonel X. B. DEBRAY:
DEAR SIR: I wish to inclose to you a document+ addressed to me by the best and most influential citizens of Matagorda, regarding the defense of the place and vicinity against demands of the pirate Kittredge. His object seems to be to send out small parties on light-draught boats, with a few pieces of artillery on each, which would enable him to land, under cover of his guns, for the purpose of foraging on the small towns and rich vicinities along the coast. As I said in my last communication, only light-draught boats can reach this place. The channel 3 miles below this place is only 60 yards wide and not over 3 1/2 or 4 feet deep. You can judge of the style of launches and
*Not found, but see letter of July 15, p. 726.