distant, claiming all his vessels immediately under our guns as prizes, and giving him further time to consider the demand for the surrender of the whole fleet. This message was borne by Colonel Green and Captain Lubbockk. While these gentlemen were on their way in a boat himself accidently blown up with it. They boarded the ship of the next in command, who doped down the bay, still having them on board, and carried them some distance toward the bar, while still flying the white flag at the mast-head.
In the mean time General Scurry sent to know if he should fire at the ships immediately in his front at the expiration of the period of truce. To this I replied in the negative, as another demand under a flag of truce from me had been sent to the commodore. When the first period of truce expired the enemy's ships under our guns, regardless of the white lags still flying at their mast-heads, gradually crept off. As soon as this was seen I sent a swift express on horseback to General Scurry, directing him to open fire on them. This was done with so much effect that one of them was report to have sunk near the bar and the Owasco was seriously damaged.
I forward a correspondence on this subject between Commodore Bell and myself. In this correspondence Commodore Bell states that the truce was violated by the firing of cannon and small-arms by our men on shore, as he had been informed. This is an error; not a gun or small-arm was discharged during the stipulated period or until the enemy's vessels were discovered to be creeping off out of the harbor. Commodore Leon Smith fired a heavy stern gun at the retiring ships with effect from the Harriet Lane. Jumping on board the steamer Carr, he proceeded to Bolivar Channel and captured and brought in in the immediate presence of the enemy's armed vessels the two barks and schooner before spoken of. As soon as it was light enough to see the land force urrendered to General Scurry.
We thus captured one fine steamship, two barks, and one schooner. We ran ashore the flag-ship of the commodore, drove off two war steamers, and sunk another, as reported, all of the U. S. Navy, and the armed transports, and took 300 or 400 prisoners. The number of guns captured was fifteen, and, being found on Pelican Spit, a large quantity of stores, coal, and other material also was taken. The Neptune sank; her officers and crew, with the exception of those killed in battle, were saved, as were also her guns. The loss on our side was 26 killed and 117 wounded. Among the former was the gallant Captain Wier, the first volunteer for the expedition. The alacrity with which officers and men, all of them totally unacquainted with this novel kind of service, some of whom had never seen a ship before, volunteered for an enterprise so extraordinarily and apparently desperate in its character and the bold and dashing manner in which the plan was executed, are certainly deserving of the highest praise.
Although it may appear invidious to make distinctions, I nevertheless regard it as a duty to say that too much credit cannot be bestowed on Commodore Leon Smith, whose professional ability, energy, and perseverance amidst many discouraging influences were so conspicuously displayed in the preparation for the attack, while in its execution his heroism was sublime. In the latter he was most ably and gallantly seconded by Colonel Green, commanding the land forces serving on board of our fleet; by Captain Lubbock, commanding the Bayou City; by her pilot, Captain McCormick; Captain Wier, commanding the artillery; Captain Martin, commanding dismounted dragoons, and by the