you call on the State troops of your county to hold themselves in readiness to assist in the defense of your city if any demonstration is made by the enemy in their launches.
I am, very respectfully, &c.,
DAN. D. SHEA,
Major, Commanding Indianola, Tex.
HDQRS. MILITARY SUB-DISTRICT OF HOUSTON,
Houston, Tex., July 15, 1862.
Major R. H. CHINN,
Provost-Marshal, Matagorda, Tex.:
SIR: Your report* of the 12th instant has just been received. It is impossible for me to give you any positive instructions for your government, as I cannot anticipate all cases which may arise. It is of absolute necessity that the inhabitants of Matagorda and vicinity shall place all their property-negroes, cotton,corn, and cattle-out of reach of the enemy. Such cotton as cannot be removed must be destroyed. If patriotism does not dictate this course to the citizens, force must be resorted to in order to carry out the policy generally adopted by our government and to prevent the enemy from receiving aid and comfort. Should our citizens feel any repugnance in leaving their homes and remain at the approach of the enemy, they have but two alternatives left-insults or abject submission. I have ordered two companies of my regiment to march from Camp Clark L. Owen, on the San Bernard, to Matagorda, with instructions to lend you assistance. The commanding officer is instructed to concert his action with you. Your duty is a very responsible one. Its discharge requires all your discretion, energy, and patriotism. Appeal first to the citizens. Cause them to understand that they owe to their country the sacrifice of their comforts, and that their mere presence would be an aid and comfort to the enemy. Should they be deaf to the voice of patriotism and sound policy then you will have to make use of force. Harsh means should, however, be resorted to only a the last extremity. I desire you to inform me of every interesting event that may transpire within your jurisdiction.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
X. B. DEBRAY.
Matagorda, Tex., July 17, 1862.
Colonel X. B. DEBRAY,
Commanding Sub-Military District of Houston:
SIR: Your dispatch dated the 15th instant has just been received, and I hasten to reply to it. The enemy's vessels have captured several bay lighters, and by that means can command the entire bay. Whether we require any artillery or not I am perfectly incapable of informing you, but we rejoice in the acquisition we possess in having two companies of Debray's regiment. Our fellow-citizens are very patriotic, and we rejoice in having it in our power to render all the aid patriotic, and we rejoice in having it in our power to render all the aid we can to our cause. There is a determination to remove all that
*See p. 724.