War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0213 Chapter XXVII. RECAPTURE OF GALVESTON, TEX.

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declined, as he was then the brigade commander. About 60 men of Reily's regiment likewise volunteered, but they did not accompany the expedition, having been ordered back to their regiment by Colonel Reily after having once reported to Colonel Green, who commanded the land forces on the steamers. In addition to these troops Lieutenant Harby, late captain in the revenue service of the United States, with a company of infantry acting as artillery, was ordered on board the Neptune. The men destined for the naval expedition were armed with Enfield rifles, which I had brought with me from Richmond, and with double-barrel shot-guns.

The enemy's fleet, then lying in the waters of Galveston, consisted of the Harriet Lane, carrying four heavy guns and two 24-pounder howitzers, commanded by Captain Wainwright, U. S. Navy; the Westfield, flag-ship of Commodore Renshaw, a large propeller, mounting eight heavy guns; the Owasco, a similar ship to the Westfield, mounting eight heavy guns; the Clifton, a steam propeller, four heavy guns; the Sachem, a steam propeller, four heavy guns; two armed transports, two large barks, and an armed schooner. The enemy's land forces were stationed at the end of a long wharf, and were crowded into large buildings immediately under the guns of the steamships. The approaches landward to this position were impeded by two lines of strong barricades, and communication with the shore was destroyed by the removal of portions of the wharf in front of the barricades. It thus became necessary for our storming parties to advance by wading through the water, and to enable them to mount on the end of the wharf fifty scaling ladders were constructed. As there were no breastworks or other protection for our artillery making the attack on the enemy's ships and land forces, my object was to bring to bear as heavy a fire of artillery as possible after reaching the wharves and other points selected for the purpose under cover of the night. I knew that the co-operation of the cotton boats with the land forces would be extremely difficult to attain, the distance the former had to run being 30 miles. I therefore had not calculated with confidence on a success greater than that of the expulsion of the enemy's fleet from the harbor. If the desired co-operation should be secure the result would be immediately accomplished, and would be attended probably with the capture or destruction of some of the enemy's ships. If the co-operation should fail, I nevertheless felt satisfied that by throwing up entrenchments at the ends of the streets leading to the water I could gradually expel the fleet from the harbor. For this purpose entrenching tools in large quantities were prepared.

To attain the object in view I had at my disposal six siege pieces, the heaviest weighing 5,400 pounds. I also caused to be constructed a railroad ram, armed with an 8-inch Dahlgren and mounted on a railway flat. This flat and gun were carried by railway to a point within a few hundred yards of the Harriet Lane. A large quantity of cotton was transported in the same way, with the view of using it in making a breastwork for this gun should we not succeed in our object before daylight. In addition I had fourteen field pieces, some of them rifled and some smooth-bore. Three of the heaviest of the siege guns had to be transported 9 miles, the others 7 miles, between sunset and 12 o'clock, under cover of the darkness and over very difficult roads.

A system of rapid communication with our gunboats by telegraph and otherwise having been established, it was arranged that the attack should take place at 12 midnight, the fire of our land batteries constituting the signal for the naval attack. Nevertheless I informed Com-