War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0211 Chapter XXVII. RECAPTURE OF GALVESTON, TEX.

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blown up. The fleet consisted of the Harriet Lane, the Westfield, and the Owasco, the Clifton, the Sachem, two barks, and a schooner. The Owasco, the Clifton, and the Sachem escaped under a flag of truce, so that the harbor of Galveston was entered under a flag of truce and left by the same flagrant violation of military propriety. We captured one heavy rifle gun, and the guns of the Westfield will be raised and it is hoped will soon be in our use.

I have ascertained upon further inquiry that the number of prisoners who fell into our hands was 350, exclusive of officers. The ships of the enemy which escaped, after anchoring on the outside of the harbor, sailed during the night of the 1st, it is supposed for New Orleans. We are preparing to give them a warm reception should they return with a larger fleet. Our loss will not exceed 25 killed and 50 wounded. Captain Wainwright and Lieutenant Lea, executive officer of the Harriet Lane, were both killed, the former by Major Leon Smith in close quarters. I am greatly indebted to Brigadier-General W. R. Scurry and Colonel Debray for valuable services at a critical period of the action, and will do justice to them and other gallant officers in my detailed report.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER.

RICHMOND, VA., January 28, 1863.

Major GeneralJ. B. MAGRUDER, Galveston, Tex.:

MY DEAR SIR: I am much gratified at the receipt of your letter of January 6,* conveying to me the details of your brilliant exploit in the capture of Galveston and the vessels in the harbor. The boldness of the conception and the daring and skill of its execution were crowned by results substantial as well as splendid. Your success has been a heavy blow to the enemy's hopes, and I trust will be vigorously and effectively followed up. It is to be hoped that your prudence and tact will be as successful in allaying domestic discontents as your military ability in retrieving our position on the Texas coast.

Your suggestions will receive the favorable consideration due to you.

The congratulations I tender to you and your brave army are felt by the whole country. I trust your achievement is but the precursor of a series of successes which may redound to the glory and honor of yourself and our country.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA, Galveston, February 26, 1863.

SIR: On my arrival in Texas I found the harbors of this coast in the possession of the enemy, from the Sabine River to Corpus Christi; the line of the Rio Grande virtually abandoned, most of the guns having been removed from that frontier to San Antonio, only about 300 or 400 men remaining at Brownsville. I resolved to regain the harbors if possible and to occupy the valley of the Rio Grande in force. The latter

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*Not found.

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