War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0436 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

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CHAP. XXXVIII.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,

Santa Gertrudes, November 8, 1863.

SIR: The general commanding directs me to inform you of the evacuation of Brownsville by the Confederate forces, and the occupation of that place by the enemy in large force. At 5 p.m. on the 1st instant, the enemy made their appearance off the Brazos Bar with a fleet of eleven vessels, which was increased to twenty-six transports and gun-boats during the night. They effected their first landing on the evening of the 2d, and, on the morning of the 3d, two large transports had entered the bay and landed five regiments of infantry and about 400 cavalry horses. On the evening of the 3d, about 100 of their cavalry ran in our pickets at the mouth of the river.

The force of the enemy cannot be less that 8,000. Colonel Duff's command will arrive at this point to-night.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. R. TARVER,

Aide-de-Camp, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Lieutenant Colonel A. G. DICKINSON,

Commanding at San Antonio.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,

Corpus Christi, November 19, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to state, for the information of the general commanding, that I was advised on the night of the 17th, at my camp on the San Fernando, of the appearance of the enemy in force off Corpus Christi Pass. They arrived in a fleet of nine vessels, six steamers and three sail, from the direction of the Brazos Santiago, and before dark that evening, the 16th, over 500 had landed on Mustang Island.

Immediately upon the reception of this news, I ordered my whole force on the San Fernando to this place, where it arrived this morning. The total aggregate of the troops now here amounts to 355 men-five companies of the Thirty-third Cavalry, two companies State troops, one company Eighth Infantry, and one company cadets.

I was surprised upon my arrival here to learn that no communication whatever had been had with the troops on Mustang Island since the enemy landed. Colonel [W. R.] Bradfute left this place at daylight on the evening of the 18th, on the steamer Cora, with Captain [P. H.] Breeden's company, Eighth Infantry, on board, with the intention, if possible, to rescue the troops on Mustang, consisting of Captain [William H.] Maltby's company, Eighth Infantry, and Captain Garrett's Second Battalion [Third Regiment] State Troops. Shortly after the steamer left, heavy firing was heard in the direction of Aransas Pass. Captain [A. M.] Hobby, the commanding this post, dispatched, on the evening of the 18th, a flag of true by water to ascertain the fate of Colonel Bradfute and his command, and at the same time a scout was sent by land to Shell Banks on the like mission, and, I regret to say, up to this late hour nothing has been heard. Should the general commanding not have been advised, via Indianola, before the reception of this, of Colonel Bradfute's safe arrival at Saluria, the worst can be apprehended. This movement of the enemy has, of course, caused me to abandon my intention of going to the Rio Grande, and, in consequence, Major [Santos] Benavides cannot be re-enforced.

I have news from Matamoras up to the 14th. Major [Charles] Russell had been compelled to leave that city in order to save his life, so strong