War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0397 Chapter XXXVIII. THE RIO GRANDE EXPEDITION, ETC.

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In accordance with the instructions of the major- general commanding, troops will concentrate at Brashear and Berwick as rapidly as transportation can be provided for them on the returning and other disposable steamers.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient. servant,


Brigadier- General, Chief of Staff.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.


Flag- ship McClellan, off Brazos Santiago, November 4, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on November 2, at merid- ian, the flag of the Union was raised on Brazos Island, which is now in our possession. It was occupied by a small force of rebel cavalry, which fled at our disembarkation without serious resistance. We left New Orleans on Monday, the 26th, at 12 o'clock, having been detained three days in the river beyond the time fixed for our departure in my last dispatch by a violent, storm.

On Friday, the 30th, off Aransas Pass, we encountered a severe gale, which lasted through the day, and separated several of the transports from the fleet.

The flag- ship reached the rendezvous, latitude 27, Sunday morning, reconnoitered the Brazos and Boca Chica, and, returning to the fleet, resumed the voyage, and arrived off Brazos Santiago at 5 o'clock Sunday evening. The sea was high and the wind very strong; a landing seemed impossible, but energetic preparations were made, and on Monday, the 2nd instant, at meridian precisely, the first transport, General Banks, crossed the bar in safety, and was immediately followed by other transports. We have since been engaged in discharging those too heavy to cross the bar.

Three naval vessels, the Monongahela, Owasco, and Virginia, left New Orleans as convoy for the fleet. The Virginia was disabled on the 29th off Aransas, and did not reach the Brazos until Sunday evening. The Monongahela and Owasco were separated from the fleet during the gale, keeping in company with the dispersed transports, and reached the mouth of the Brazos Tuesday morning. T he force consists of the Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, to which are added the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Regiments Maine Volunteers; First Texas Cavalry and the First and Sixteenth Regiments, Corps d'Afrique, * numbering in all about 4,000 men, under the immediate command of Major- General Dana, who has superintended the disembarkation.

The recent movements in the Teche country, and the late attack upon the Sabine, have drawn all the forces from Western to Eastern Texas. But for this, the landing we have effected would have been impossible. Our success is complete, and, if followed up, will produce important results in this part of the country. It is my purpose, after getting possession of the Rio Grande, to secure the important passes upon the coast as far as Pass Cavallo. To effect this object, I shall move a portion of the troops under General Franklin, at Vermillionville, to this point.


*The First Engineers and Sixteenth Infantry.