War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0205 Chapter XXVII. RECAPTURE OF GALVESTON, TEX.

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to you has, in my judgment, authorized me in ordering the Saxon back to New Orleans, which I humbly trust will meet your approbation.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Comdg. Forty-second Regt. Massachusetts Vols.

[Inclosure No. 4.]


Major-General BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf:

The steamer Cambria, with two companies of the First Texas Cavalry, horses of the Second Vermont Battery, and a great number of men, women, and children [refugees], left New Orleans for Galveston December 31, 1862, at 9 p.m. Arrived outside the island January 2, at 7 p.m. Strong wind and high sea running. No sign of pilot, consequently came to anchor.

Next morning, 3rd instant, weather very hazy and high sea. We commenced beating about, in the hopes of a pilot coming to us, up till 12 m. No such success, during which time several of the refugees, being well acquainted with the bar, were desirous of piloting us in. The captain would not listen to any such suggestions. They then offered to take one of the life-boats and go for a pilot, to which he also dissented, but upon the earnest solicitations of officers and refugees, amounting almost to a demand, he reluctantly consented, and the boat left, manned by six men, two of whom were soldiers and four refugees. This was about 12.30 p.m. The colonel sent a pressing letter to the officer in command, stating that we were in distress, the horses on board suffering from the roughness of the weather, and demanding immediate assistance.

About 7 p.m. the weather cleared to bright moonlight; sea more calm. The boat did not return, and hopes for her safety were given up, as it was supposed she might have swamped in crossing the bar. At this time three shells were plainly visible as having been fired from near the city, which was the first cause of uneasiness on the part of our captain. On the supposed warning the colonel had his men called together and put in readiness in case of emergency. Nothing further transpired, however, during the night.

The next morning the day broke clear, the sun shining bright, with the city and its surroundings in full view. We hoisted pilot-jack and blew the whistle about 8 o'clock, which signal was answered by pilot-boat inside the bar, near a schooner, and a bark with American colors flying, which signal was answered by pilot-boat inside the bar, near a schooner, and a bark with American colors flying, which proved to be the bark Cavallo. After the boat came toward us she tacked, apparently running and sounding the bar. She then went toward the bark and lowered her jack, signifying that she had put the pilot on board. In the mean time the pilot-boat shot up alongside and asked, "How much water do you draw, captain?" To which he replied, "Nine and a half to ten fee." The answer then was, "You can go in; there is plenty of water on the bar." "Are you a pilot?" was then demanded. Reply, "No, but you can follow us in." Question. "Where is the pilot?" Answer. "On the bark." Question. "Why does he not come out for us?" Answer. "Because he had special orders to take the bark out first." In the mean time we separated some distance. Again the pilot-boat shot up alongside, when the captain ordered the pilot on board, when he replied, "There are too many men there for me." He then immediately hauled jib-sheet to windward,