On Friday afternoon (the 17th instant) one of my pickets reported that a boat from the Federal gunboat had landed 7 men on the Louisiana shore, and that they were then in the light-house making observations. Before I could make any arrangements to capture them they withdrew to the Federal fleet. I then determined to lay a plan to capture the next party that should come to the light-house. I subsequently on that night placed a party of 30 men, under the command of First Lieutenant W. J. Jones, of C Company, and Second Lieutenant E. T. Wright, of D company, Twenty-first (Griffin's battalion) Texas Volunteer Infantry, in the light-house and the doweling-house near to it, instructing Lieutenant Jones not to let his men show themselves in the boat, and to endeavor to capture any party of the Federals that should land. On Saturday, at about 11 o'clock a. m., 13 men in two small boats from the Federal of the men approached very cautiously to within a few yards of the light-house, when, upon a demand, they surrendered; the other men having 400 yards the advantage of my men started at the doublequick step for their boats. My men immediately gave chase, being gallantly led by Lieutenants Jones and Wright. The boat from the Cayuga, with Captain McDermot, mortally wounded, and 5 sailor men, captured. The boat from the New London, with its captain and the notorious traitor Taylor, escaped. I have since learned, under a flag of truce, that every one in that boat was wounded except one. Captain Read lost an eye, besides receiving another wound. Taylor was also wounded dangerously in two different places.
It becomes my melancholy duty to inform you that Second Lieutenant E. T. Wright, of Company D, Twenty-first Texas Volunteer Infantry, was instantly killed by a Harper's Ferry ball through the brain while gallantly leading and urging on the men under his command. No one else of the men under my command was at all wounded.
To much credit and praise cannot be given to Lieutenant W. J. Jones, of C company, Twenty-first Texas Volunteers Infantry, for his gallantry and good conduct on the occasion. Captain McDermot, of the Cayuga, died at 2 p. m. on the same day of the wounds received. Assistant Surgeon Barton and Acting Assistant Surgeon Murray did everything they could to relieve his suffering and to save his life, but in vain. Immediately after his death I dispatched a flag of truce out to the Federal fleet under Major H. A. Hammer and Second Lieutenant F. H. Bailey, proposing either to bury the body on the next day with the honors of war or to surrender the body to Captain Read of he wished it. He chose the latter, and sent Drs. Bayoth [Bogert] and Kendall, of the Federal Navy, for the body. They took charge of it and carried it on board ship, intending to send it to his family in New York.
At the request of R. V. Cook, captain commanding Company D, Twenty-first Texas Volunteer Infantry, I shall send the body of the gallant Lieutenant E. T. Wright to his relations in Columbus, Colorado County, Tex.
I have the honor to bring to the notice and consideration of the commanding general that in order to properly defend Sabine Pass I have found and still find it necessary to keep troops, scouts, and pickets on the Louisiana side of the channel. Though that is not a part of the district under the command of the brigadier-general commanding the Eastern Sub-District of Texas, I consider it a military necessity, and shall so continue to act unless otherwise instructed by the brigadier-general commanding. I am advisably informed that all the beef, mutton, and pork used on the Federal gunboats are procured on Lake Calcasieu, Calcasieu Parish, La. This country is very remote from the