War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0201 Chapter XXVII. RECAPTURE OF GALVESTON, TEX.

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and was very skillfully executed. The presence of the small detachment of troops only added to the means of defense very slightly of course and to the extent of the loss. The Cambria returned from Galveston last evening with the detachment of Texan troops. She was at Galveston forty-eight hours without positive knowledge of what had transpired. At that time a pilot came out to take her into the harbor, but suspicions having been excited by the movements of the people on shore as well as those of the pilot himself he was compelled of affairs, and was brought to this city.

The detachment of troops was sent to Galveston upon the suggestion of Admiral Farragut, and upon the statement of General Butler that he had contemplated ordering a small force there to assist in recruiting Texas refugees. It was supposed that the fleet made the occupation of the part of the island adjacent to the gunboats perfectly secure. It would not, however, have been sent forward so soon after my arrival had it not been for the impatience of General Hamilton. When it became known that our destination was New Orleans and not Texas, which was not until our arrival here, those connected with him became very violent, and denounced unsparingly the Government and all connected with the expedition for what was called bad faith in its management.

General Hamilton is not a bad man, but he does not manifest great force of character, and is surrounded by men who came here on the Government transports, unbeknown to me, for base, speculative purposes and nothing else. I notified him of the conduct of these men and he promised to correct it, but has not yet done so. He explains their presence by saying that in the North he became indebted to them for pecuniary assistance. I sent him notice that they would be required to leave the department if their course was approved by him.

It was mainly the impatience of these people that prompted me to forward the detachment to Galveston, but only upon the concurrence of Admiral Farragut and General Butler as to its expediency and safety. Such is a full statement of my participation in this affair.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

Major-General HALLECK,

Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans, La., December -1862.


Forty-second Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers:

COLONEL: Your regiment having been ordered to Galveston, you are hereby placed in command of that post. You will execute such orders as you may receive from these headquarters. My instructions from the Department of War forbid me at present to make any extended military movements in Texas. The situation of the people of Galveston makes it expedient to send a small force there for the purpose of their protection, and also to afford such facilities as may be possible for recruiting soldiers for the military service of the United States. Every assistance in your power will be afforded for the complete attainment of these objects.

General Hamilton is appointed military governor of the State of