go by the next steamer, may prove that the disaster has not been as serious as at first reported.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.
SOUTHWEST PASS, LA., January 3, 1863-1.45 p.m.
I have received the following dispatch, which I hasten to communicate:
ON BOARD MARY BOARDMAN, January 3, 1863-12 noon.
N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
Galveston was attached by land and water on the morning of January 1. Colonel Burrell and his men were all killed or taken prisoners. Four rebel rams made an attack on the Harriet Lane and carried her by boarding. Captain Wainwright and Lieutenant Lea killed and all the men killed or prisoners. The captain of the Owasco (Wilson) was killed. Commander Renshaw blew up the flag-ship Westfield to prevent her from falling into the hands of the enemy. He was killed, and also first Lieutenant Zimmerman. Two barks loaded with coal fell into the hands of the rebels. We have some 70 men from the Westfield on board. They must have some arrangements for taking charge of them immediately on our arrival, as we have only our own crew.
WM. L. BURT,
Major and Aide-de-Camp, Staff of General Hamilton.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, La., January 7, 1863.
SIR: Upon the departure of the last mail vessel I forwarded a dispatch received at the last moment from Major Burt, of the staff of General Hamilton, Governor of Texas, giving a brief account of the disaster at Galveston, Tex. The chief incidents have since been confirmed. The extent of the loss on the part of the Government is as follows:
The capture of the Harriet Lane, the destruction of the Westfield by order of her commander, who was killed by the explosion, and two coal transports lying at Galveston. Three companies of the Forty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Burrell commanding, which had landed on the wharf under the protection of the fleet two days before, were also captured. The balance of the regiment, with a battery of artillery and a detachment of Texas cavalry, were on the way to Galveston, but had not landed when the attack was made. They have all returned to the city of New Orleans. The loss of the army is limited to the companies of the Forty-second Massachusetts, 260 men in all. A full report of the affair from Major Burt is forwarded to the department. It is unofficial, Major Burt not being mustered into the service of the United States, and serving on the staff of General Hamilton by direction of Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, but his statements are all worthy of implicit credit.
The attack upon the fleet had unquestionably been long considered