Texas, and will bee recognized by you in that capacity, but your orders you will receive from these headquarters.
Until the port of Galveston is regularly opened by the Government of the United States no trade can be carried on, and no attempt for that purpose will be recognized or countenanced by you.
I rely fully on your energy, vigilance, and capacity for the performance of the important duties intrusted to you. Do not fail to make frequent reports of all that transpires within your command and of whatever important facts you may learn from the enemy in Texas or from its people.
It is not probable that any successful movement can be made upon the main-land until our force shall be considerably strengthened, and you will take care not to involve yourself in such difficulty as to endanger the safety of your command.
Other instructions will be sent to you from time to time, as occasion may require and opportunity offer.
N. P. BANKS,
[Inclosure No. 2.]
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
MY DEAR GENERAL: At your request I have furnished the following brief and informal statement of the affair at Galveston, Tex., January 1, 1863:
I was on board the transport-propeller Mary A. Boardman, lying at anchor near the flag-ship Westfield, on the morning of the 1st instant. The first warning of an attack was the appearance of four rebel gunboats coming down the bay toward the city at about 3 a.m. At this time the moon was shining brightly and objects could be seen at considerable distance, but soon after the moon went down a land attack upon the city was signaled from the Harriet Lane, which lay at the extreme upper part of the city.
The Westfield, in endeavoring to run up to the assistance of the town, got aground on Pelican Island, near us, where she lay useless through the fight, and where she was finally blown up by Commander Renshaw. The gunboat Clifton came to her assistance, but was unable to get her off, and while she was there the attack commenced upon the Harriet Lane and upon the town. This was about 4 o'clock in the morning.
The only land force in Galveston consisted of Companies D, G, and I, of the Forty-second Massachusetts, under the command of Colonel Burrell. These men were located upon one of the wharves, and the attack upon them appeared to be with musketry and artillery in the streets and from the buildings, two pieces of artillery appearing to be located in the second story of a warehouse, controlling the wharf.
The attack made at the same time upon the Harriet Lane was by two rebel gunboats running directly on and closing with her, and by artillery from the shore and musketry from the buildings.
As the Clifton returned from the Westfield toward the wharf a battery of two guns, which had been placed on Fort Point during the night, opened upon her. These guns had been placed in the same fortifications from which the gunboats had driven the rebels when we first took possession of the city. The fortifications had not been leveled by our forces after securing possession of them.
The firing after securing possession of them.
The firing was continuous in the city and from the gunboats until