quantity of men which might be forced upon us under the circumstances. I do not think, from the best information I can glean, that Kittredge's forces at this time amount to over 150 or 200 men, but he seems to be well supplied with boats and launches of light draught, yet sufficient to carry a few pieces of artillery. In his language he is threatening and his manners impudent. After seeing a map of the locality you can judge of the necessity of artillery or the fitting up of boats, as I understand the major commanding has proposed. He has fitted up two boats, one to convey forage and subsistence to the force stationed at the neck of the peninsula and mouth of Old Caney, composed of 23 enlisted men, under command of an officer, with an extra detail of 2 men to assist the sailor to run his boat. They are sent out to remain nine days. This brings the men on duty every third night, two sentinels on post at the same time. This is the point I spoke of in my last as being the suspicious place where vessels of the enemy stopped from two to seven days; also the outlet of the rich valley of Old Caney; from Matagorda to the canal 20 miles; by the route the horses go 30 to 35 miles. From this suspicious locality to the extremity of the peninsula (on account of loyal citizens, so I am informed by the best citizens) no system of espionage can be carried on. From the extremity of the peninsula (the pass into Matagorda Bay) the water is good in the channel to within 3 miles of the town of Matagorda. This is the reef as described int he previous part of this communication. In this channel I have a light, fast-sailing vessel, which is manned by 6 privates and 2 non-commissioned officers, besides the sailor, with a detail of 1 man to assist him. These pickets are relieved every twenty-four hours. The protection from surprise by this means seems evident. Every vigilance is enforced on the officers and men on duty, in whom I have confidence. Should you think fit to keep a gunboat in the bay or establish a battery on Dog Island I shall require one or more companies, as the reserve will be too small.
Our forces, both below and above this place have acted (according to the best authority here) in a shameful manner, and I hope to be able to prevent any reflections being cast on our regiment by any injudicious conduct on the part of our squadron. I find the citizens here are hospitable people, and the ladies pay every attention to the wants of the sick in hospital, both in regard to diet and clothing. Too much cannot be said for them. Our soldiers are orderly and respectful in their conduct.
Since writing the above I learn by a passenger from the coast that Kittredge has received a new light-draught gunboat, propelled by steam, to be used in this bay. We may possibly hear from his if this report be true. Major Chinn may visit you this week and give you full details.
G. W. OWENS,
Captain, Commanding Companies E and F, Debray's Regiment Tex. Cav.
Matagorda, Tex., July 12, 1862.
Major R. L. UPSHAW,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
SIR: Inclosed you will find a copy of the communication from Major Shea, of Indianola, the commander of that post, [and] a copy of my communication* to J. D. Hawkins, major of our battalion of infantry