War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0405 Chapter XXVII. AFFAIR AT ST. JOSEPH'S ISLAND, TEX.

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No. 2. Report of Captain Benjamin F. Neal, Eighth Texas Infantry.

CAMP SEMMES, May 5, 1863.

COLONEL: The enemy landed at Saint Joseph's Island on Sunday, at 2 o'clock p. m., and were immediately attacked by Captain Hobby's command, who completely routed them, killing several and capturing 5 prisoners (the second captain of the forecastle and 4 sailors); also one launch, or captains' gig, and six Sharps shooters. The prisoners I send down to you in charge of Lieutenant Vineyard.

The details of the fight are contained in Captain Hobby's report, herewith inclosed.

It was quite a brilliant little achieved by Captain Hobby, this command, and too much praise cannot be awarded to them for their gallant exploit.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. NEAL,

Captain, Commanding.

Col. A. M. HOBBY.

No. 3. Report of Captain E. E. Hobby, Eighth Texas Infantry.

SAINT JOSEPH'S ISLAND, May 4, 1863.

CAPTAIN: On the 3rd inst., about 2 p. m., I attacked with 28 men of my company three Federal launches, containing about 40 of the enemy, and succeeded in capturing one launch (captain's gig), 5 prisoners, 6 new superior Sharps rifles, 5 cartridge boxes, and 1 ammunition-chest.

One of the remaining launches, being about 300 yards from the short, had also surrender, and was pulling toward us. I ordered the fire on it to cease, and the men to secure the property belonging to the gig already captured. While busily engaged in this the bark opened fire upon us an the launch began to pull out to her. We again fired upon it, doing much execution. We could distinctly see the men in the launch drop their oars and fall as we fired. Several bodies were also seen floating in the water. One of the launches reached the bark with only 2 men in it. The third launch erring still farther out in the Gulf, pulled out of our range at the beginning of the fight. I do not think I am mistaken in estimating the loss of the enemy at 20 in killed, wounded, and prisoners. I cannot too highly praise the conduct of the men on this occasion; they were regardless of danger. Their enthusiasm was only equaled by their bravery, and they promptly obeyed every command.

the captured launch was carried by the men across the island a distance of 2 miles, to Arkansas Bay.

On the night of the 3rd I remove 10 bales of cotton which had been captured by the enemy placed on the shore of Saint Joseph's Island and carefully concealed it, where it now awaits transportation.

Privates Smith and Bell, of Captain Breckenridge's cavalry, accompanied me in the attack upon the launches, and also assisted me in concealing the cotton. I am happy to say I have no casualties to report.

I have, captain, the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. E. HOBBY,

Captain, Comdg. Company D, Eighth Texas Volunteer Infantry.

Captain B. F. Neal.