War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0433 Chapter XXXVIII. THE RIO GRANDE EXPEDITION, ETC.

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the Government up the river, and have sent out a detachment to turn back all cotton wagons en route for this place.

I shall hold the enemy in check as long as possible, with the small force now at my command, but shall feel sadly the want of artillery. My design is to retire slowly up the river, and continue to draw supplies from the Mexican side of the river. My movements, of course, will be governed by the operations of the enemy in the direction of Lavaca and Corpus Christi, with a design of cutting off my retreat from San Antonio.

I will continue to keep the major-general commanding fully posted as to my movements and those of the enemy.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, Confederate States.

Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston.

HEADQUARTERS FORT BROWN,

November 2, 1863-3 p.m.

SIR: The enemy are in considerable force; fifteen vessels of all sizes, up to this time, are off the Brazos Santiago. Ten shells were fired this morning at the houses at the mouth. The weather is stormy, and I do not anticipate a landing before to-morrow. I have 150 of [James] Duff's cavalry, very much exhausted by a week's constant duty.

Respectfully,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General.

Captain TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston.

LAS ANIMAS,

November 5, 1863.

So soon as Captain [Richard] Taylor was driven back to Palo Alto Prairie by the advance of the enemy's cavalry, I evacuated Fort Brown, destroyed the buildings and cotton, and am thus far on my route to King's ranch. My train is valuable and large, and I have made this distance in twenty-four hours. The enemy are in force. Brazos Island is covered with tents; six regimental flags were counted; twenty-six vessels, some of them very large. I think the expedition is from Fortress Monroe.

Duff's command is with me. I should have been sacrificed if I had but one company. I shall await orders at King's ranch. My small command of 100 men are much exhausted, as we have been constantly on duty for ten days.

Respectfully,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General.

Captain TURNER.

P. S.-I cannot go to Roma or up the river with so small a force, as the whole country will be against me. I received no assistance from Brownsville.

28 R-VOL XXVI, PT I