War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0418 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

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CHAP. XXXVIII.

My whole force with me is about 2,800, including the Twenty-third Iowa, but with what are on the Saint Mary's and on the way by land, I expect my force will be increased to 4,000 and upward.

After writing you yesterday morning, my advance crossed over and took possession of a fort on Bayucos Island. One 24-pounder field gun was found in position, with about 100 rounds of ammunition, all in good order. Two other guns had been taken away. All the guns but one 24 pounder siege gun in Fort Esperanza were spiked. Five magazines were blown up, and two remain in good condition, with a good supply of ammunition. The ammunition for the large gun was not destroyed. It is needless for me to make any suggestions in regard to a supply of coal. A light-draught boat here now, with a supply of fuel, would be worth millions.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

C. C. WASHBURN,

Major-General.

Major-General BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf.

HEADQUARTERS COAST EXPEDITION,

Fort Esperanza, December 1, 1863-6 p.m.

GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 26th instant [ultimo], directing me to remain here with the troops until further orders, in case I should capture the fort, is this moment received.

I had already crossed about 1,000 troops, which came on the Saint Mary's and Hussar, on the Matagorda Peninsula, and expected to have had my whole force, with artillery and wagons, over to-morrow, and ready to move the day following. I shall await here as you direct, but as the water here is bad, and no fuel, I will allow the troops on the peninsula to remain there, as they are in a perfectly safe position, and peninsula to remain there, as they are in a perfectly safe position, and water and wood are to be had there.

As my men are without shelter, I was anxious to go ahead and get into some place less inhospitable, and with the troops I now have I should feel entirely safe so long as I kept along the coast and under cover of the gunboats.

Hoping that more troops may soon arrive, and that I may receive orders to advance, I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. C. WASHBURN,

Major-General.

Major-General BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf.

HEADQUARTERS PASS CAVALLO EXPEDITION,

Fort Esperanza, Tex., December 6, 1863.

MAJOR: I herewith inclose reports of Brigadier General T. E. G. Ransom, commanding Third Brigade, Second Division, and Colonel H. D. Washburn, commanding First Brigade, First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, detailing the action of their respective brigades in the reduction of this fort.

I refer to these reports as containing most of the details pertaining to the expedition, and for the names of such persons as deserve specially to be honorably mentioned. On the 21st ultimo, I arrived at Aransas Pass, with the Thirty-third Illinois and part of the Eighteenth Indiana, on board steamer Clinton. On the 22nd ultimo, I received your order to