War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0416 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

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or any except the ordinary funds of the quartermaster's department, which, in the absence of extra authority, he has no right to expend except in the ordinary wants of the department.

I have the honor to remain, with much respect, your obedient servant,

N. J. T. DANA,


Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf.

Numbers 3. Reports of Major General Cadwallader C. Washburn, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, of expedition against and capture of Fort Experanza.


Cedar Bayou, November 25, 1863.

GENERAL: We are progressing fairly in crossing. The process is slow and tedious, but I will have all ferried over during the coming night. I will advance my headquarters to-morrow at least 15 miles, and will invest the fort the day after. I hope the gunboats may be in position by 10 a.m. on that day.

Please send me a signal officer.

The gunboat Granite City lies off this point, and has done so ever since my arrival, but I have not been able to communicate.

A rebel major was shot on the north side of the bayou on the day before yesterday.* His body was found this morning. He came down with a flag of truce. A sergeant from General Ransom's command swam over to him. He got into a dispute with the sergeant, and drew his pistol, and shot him, wounding him severely. Our soldiers, witnessing the struggle, fired, and the major was seen to limp away. His body was found a few hundred yards from the spot where he was struck. His inquiry was as to what had become of the Confederate troops that were on Mustang Island.

Respectfully, yours,



Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf.


Matagorda Island, Tex., November 30, 1863-4 a.m.

GENERAL: The rebels evacuated Fort Esperanza at about 10 o'clock last night, and blew it up at 1 o'clock this morning. Our troops entered it at 2 o'clock. We captured ten guns, ranging from 24 to 128 pounders. Four magazines have already blown up, and there are three more which probably will blow up shortly, as a hot fire is raging within the fort. The fort contained about 1,000 men. Owing to the continuance of the norther, the gunboats could not move yesterday, but I continued at work without them. We drove them from all their out works yesterday, and planted our field artillery at short range, and shelled them lively, all day. Quite an amount of rations were found in the fort, which, if the fire does not consume, will prove a godsend, as we are entirely out.


*See Bee to Turner, November 24, 1863, Part II, p. 442.