Lieutenant-Colonel Dungan; Fifteenth Maine, Colonel Dyer; Thirteenth Maine, Colonel Hesseltine, and Foust's (Missouri) battery, of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, commanded by Brigadier-General Ransom. It affords me great pleasure to state that the conduct of Brigadier-General Ransom and Colonel H. D. Washburn, commanding brigades, was most prompt, gallant, and efficient, and deserves the highest praise. The navy has shown every disposition to co-operate in the most prompt manner, and to Captain Strong, of the Monongahela, commanding the fleet, and Captain Lamson, of the Granite City, I am under many obligations. Their failure to take part in the attack on the fort was attributable solely to the gale which at the time prevailed.
C. C. WASHBURN,
Major G. NORMAN LIEBER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, December 5, 1863.
Major General C. C. WASHBURN,
Commanding Forces on Matagorda Bay, Texas:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding the department has received with great satisfaction your report announcing the capture of the works of the enemy at Port Cavallo. You will be duly re-enforced and supplied. The Second Regiment Engineers, Corps d'Afrique, sails this p.m., with orders to report to you for duty on the fortifications, and troops of other arms will be forwarded as rapidly as practicable. Meantime the commanding general desires that you scout actively all the country in your front, and make such demonstrations in the direction of Indianola and Palacios as your means may allow, with a view to amuse and confuse the enemy as to your intention, while you press your scouts in the direction of Coney Creek, and gain reliable information as to the roads, the present condition of the country, and the means that would be required to move a large force through it.
The major general commanding desires you to understand that an advance of your forces will bring down upon you the concentrated forces of the enemy; and that you must be largely re-enforced before such advance is made. Until such time you will be well employed in strengthening your present position, rendering your men as comfortable as possible, and preparing them for efficient service when the advance shall be ordered. Fuel has been ordered to you; also tents and lumber.
Very respectfully, I am, general, your obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
Numbers 4. Report of Colonel Henry D. Washburn, Eighteenth Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of expedition against and capture of Fort Esperanza.
SALURIA, TEX., December 3, 1863.
MAJOR: I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, in the reduction of Fort Esperanza, on Matagorda Island:
At midnight, November 25, I had succeeded, after much difficulty, in