War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0437 Chapter XXXVIII. THE RIO GRANDE EXPEDITION, ETC.

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was the feeling of the Cortinas party against the Confederate. I presume he is in Monterey by this time. The worst condition of affairs imaginable now exists on the Rio Grande.

I shall continue my headquarters at this place until the enemy's designs are more fully determined. Captain Townsend, of the State troops, withdrew his company from Padre Island on the 18th.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston.

P. S.-Captain Townsend states that, to the best of his judgment, from 3,000 to 4,000 landed on the island.


Corpus Christi, Tex., November 21, 1863-8 a.m.

SIR: I presume you have been informed by Colonel Bradfute of his movements since he left Corpus Christi on the 18th, as I have ascertained that the passed safely to Saluria. There is no doubt of the loss of the little garrison on Mustang Island, but I have not been able to ascertain any of the particulars. A flag-of-truce boat sent down has not returned; probably detained by the enemy, to prevent communicating intelligence to me. The flag was sent by Colonel [A. M.] Hobby before my arrival.

The force of the enemy on yesterday was two steamers inside and seven outside.

You are aware that from the position of Aransas Pass it is impracticable for me to obtain any information as to the movements of the enemy, as it is at least 5 miles from the nearest point that I can reach. There appeared to be no movements on yesterday.

Major [L. M.] Rogers' battalion of State troops have reported, and been stationed in the vicinity of King's ranch, with orders to picket all the roads leading from Brownsville, and to execute your request as to the driving off the stock.

I regret to say that no reliance can be placed on the State troops from this vicinity, should I be obliged to fall back toward Goliad, or farther east. I am informed by their officers that they will not leave their families in their rear, and have no means of moving them. This feeling prevails to some extent among the Confederate troops, many of which are similarly situated as to their families. I am informed that there is a general feeling of alarm amongst the people of Western Texas, caused by the rumor that it is the intention of the general commanding abandon the country to the Colorado. I would suggest that a call be made for all the fighting men west of the Colorado (except a home police), to report to me, and an assurance given that the advance of the enemy will be contested by the force which may be at my command, be it large or small, and that every soldier added to my ranks makes me the more able to contest the ground with the enemy.

This place is absolutely untenable for cavalry; there is neither water, grass, nor corn, and the camp must be made farther east. From the best information received, I will have to approach within a few miles of the San Antonio River to obtain grass, so barren and parched is the country. The point is on the Seco Creek, and is convenient to Saint