War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0148 W.FLA., S. ALA.,S. MISS. LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

No. 2. Reports of Col. X. B. Debray, Debray's Texas Regiment.

VIRGINIA POINT, October 5, 1862.

Just arrived here. Galveston cannot be defended, and a fight in the city would be a useless braggadocio against forty guns, or about, at 1 mile from the wharf. The place shall not be surrendered, but slowly evacuated by Colonel Cook. I have arrived too late this evening to make a perfect estimate of the means of defense. I shall by all means prevent a landing and protect the railroad. I send a company to Liberty to-morrow to guard the bridge. I have ordered my regiment down to scout over Simm's Bayou, San Jacinto, and Trinity. The want of fresh water will be a great difficulty. I ordered the provost-marshal at Galveston to remove all the machinery he can. The citizens are moving fast. I notified those disposed to remain that should the United States flag he hoisted over Galveston they would no longer be allowed to communicate with the continent and shall receive no supplies. The four days allowed by the enemy for the citizens to move expires on Wednesday night, when I expect an attack here. Please send this to General Hebert by to-morrow's mail.

X. B. DEBRAY.

Major T. S. MORSE.

HDQRS. SUB-MILITARY DISTRICT OF HOUSTON,

Houston, Tex., October 12, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have not yet obtained from Colonel Cook his official report upon the attack on Galveston. However, I can judge from his verbal statements that, except some unimportant mistakes, the accounts given by the papers are correct. From Colonel Cook's statement that he was ordered by the general commanding not to make a useless defense in the streets of Galveston, I instructed him to withdraw to Eagle Grove and Virginia Point (see accompanying Document A). The evacuation of the city was effected in good order; but very few citizens remained in the city. Although I have received no instructions from the general commanding anticipating an attack, the fact that batteries were erected on both sides of the bridge pointed out my duty to defend them and to strengthen myself if possible. I have increased the defense of Fort Hebert with one 8-inch columbiad, one 24-pounder rifled gun, and three smooth-bore 32-pounders. The fort at Eagle Grove was not protected from a surprise by land. I have guarded against it, as you will see by Document B. The companies of Cook's regiment, instructed in artillery practice, have been "told" off into detachments to serve the pieces. The other companies of that regiment shall form the first support, with station at about 400 yards from the batteries.

Elmore's regiment is encamped at about 1 mile from the works, to act as support, and, if necessary, to move to either flank to resist a landing party. I am establishing a hospital at 5 miles in rear on the nearest dry ground found, and I have given orders to remove some of the buildings at the point to shelter the sick.

Document C* will inform the general commanding of my dispositions to secure the use of the railroad for transportation and also to remove our supplies even during a bombardment. I have ordered a switch and

---------------

* Not found.

---------------