War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0522 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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well-directed discharge of grape. The Yazoo River is lined with these ruffian bands and filled with valuable steamers owned by the Southern Confederacy. I have but just recovered from a severe spell of illness that has confined me to my bed for six days. I have offered myself and all my force both to Flag-Officers Farragut and Davis, to assist in any enterprise they may wish to attempt. I shall of course promptly respond to any call from either of them.

ALFRED W. ELLET,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fleet.

DEPARTMENT OF STATES,

Washington, July 18, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: With reference to the communications which have from time to time been addressed to you by this Department, suggesting a military occupation of Texas in the neighborhood of Brownsville, I have the honor to inclose extracts from a private letter of Charles Hunter, commanding the United States steamer Montgomery, blockading the mouth of the Rio Grande, to the chief clerk of the Department of State.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

[Inclosure.]

UNITED STATES STEAMER MONTGOMERY,

Off the Rio Grande, June 16, 1862.

The poor refugees still come to us, one, two, or three each day. They flee for their lives, leaving everything. One man came on board yesterday who was pursued. He plunged in and swam across the Rio Grande, but was shot at several times. Another belonging to the Texan army got leave for six days to go into Mexico to collect a debt. He showed me his pass. I said to him, "Well, your time is up in two days and I suppose that you will wish to go back, as you must have come merely to pay us a visit." He looked up at our flag and with tears in his eyes said, "Oh! no, sir; thank God, I am under the dear old flag again." We have about 40 on board now, and they are as happy as they can be. Between 70 and 80 others left in the the Kensington. * * * We have on board three Union gentlemen from Texas, men of influence; one is a judge, another a celebrated lawyer, and the other an influential politician. They are going to Washington to see the President and suggest the immediate occupation of Texas.

There is a large number of Union men in the State who only want arms and protection to organize themselves and drive the secessionists out.

* * * * * * *

HEADQUARTERS FORT SAINT PHILIP,

July 18, 1862.

Captain R. S. DAVIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: In obedience to an order of General Butler I have the