War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0427 Chapter XXXVIII. THE RIO GRANDE EXPEDITION, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

panying the expedition from Corpus Christi Pass, was of the most satisfactory character.

Captain L. P. Griffin, naval aide to General Banks, afforded me much valuable assistance and advice. The sailing of the fleet was under his direction, and the plan of landing through the surf was adopted through his advice. I desire particularly to make honorable mention of Colonel Isaac Dyer, commanding Fifteenth Maine Infantry, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hesseltine, Thirteenth Maine Infantry, who were untiring in their efforts to encourage their men and urge them forward. Lieutenant-Colonel Hesseltine was the first man to land through the surf and plant his colors on the island. Captain [Richard M.] Hill and Lieutenant Jackson, of General Banks' staff, volunteered much valuable assistance.

I regret to mention in this connection the unsoldierlike conduct of Major Thompson, commanding Twentieth Iowa Infantry, who constantly discouraged his men by complaining in their presence of the hardships of the march, and permitted them to scatter and straggle to the rear, losing more than half his men before he reached the north end of the island.

Lieutenant Colonel W. S. Dungan, Thirty-fourth Iowa, reported to me, shortly after the surrender, with his regiment and Battery F, First Missouri Light Artillery, on steamer Warrior. I caused the Thirty-fourth Iowa to be disembarked on Saint Joseph's Island, leaving the battery for the present on board.


Brigadier-General of Volunteers.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf.


Fort Esperanzo, Tex., December 6, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, on the 22nd ultimo, in obedience to the order of Major General C. C. Washburn, I moved my command (consisting of the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Maine and Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry and Battery F, First Missouri Artillery) from Aransas Pass, 8 miles up Saint Joseph's Island, and encamped at a ranch for the night. Moved on the next morning, and reached Cedar Bayou about noon 23rd ultimo, where my advance guard of mounted infantry, under command of Captain C. S. Ilsley, Fifteenth maine, had a slight skirmish with a scouting party of the enemy, in which Major Charles Hill, commanding the rebel party, was killed, and Sergt. James Saunders, Company F, Fifteenth Maine, was slightly wounded. I halted at this place, and commenced the construction of a ferry across Cedar Bayou.

On the 25th ultimo, I ferried my command across Cedar Bayou, and encamped about 7 miles up Matagorda Island, where I was joined by Colonel Washburn's brigade about midnight. On the 26th, I marched my command about 20 miles up the island, and encamped at a ranch about 10 miles from this point. On the morning of the 27th, I advanced my brigade, under the direction of General Washburn, up the middle of the island, while Colonel Washburn moved his brigade in a parallel line up the Gulf beach, About 11 a.m. we met the advanced pickets of the enemy, and drove them into his works. After reconnoitering and ascertaining the location of the outer works and main fort of the enemy, I placed my command in an advanced position indicated by General Washburn, on the left of our line and under cover of a