War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0439 Chapter XXXVIII. THE RIO GRANDE EXPEDITION, ETC.

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of Mexico, at San Luis Potosi, dated Matamoras, November 4, 1863, in which he states that, after setting fire to the garrison of Fort Brown, soldiers were left by me to prevent the citizens from extinguishing the flames, which had spread to the city, and that they actually opened fire on them, &c.

As this statement, coming from such high authority, does me the greatest injustice, and may render my name odious as a vandal and a barbarian, I take the liberty of requesting that you will permit me to say that the statement is entirely false, and I much regret that the enlightened General Ruiz should have given credence to a report so monstrous, and which, as he was in Matamoras, he could not have known but from excited rumor.

I fired the buildings of the garrison and burned such cotton as could not be saved, to prevent their use and appropriation by the enemies of my country, and in obedience to superior orders. It gave me great pain to hear that even a few houses in Brownsville were consumed; but that I left armed men to fire on the citizens, in the efforts to save their houses, is so horrible, in view of the civilized age in which we live, that I am surprised it could have been believed. I am incapable of such conduct.

If you will permit the insertion of this letter in your official journal, you will do me a great favor, for which I will be profoundly grateful.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

Numbers 11. Report of Colonel James Duff, Thirty-third Texas Cavalry, of operations October 28-November 8.


November 11, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my command from the 28th of October ultimo to this date:

On the morning of the 28th of October, Companies B, E, and F, of my regiment moved from Fort Brown en route to Houston, pursuant to orders from the major-general commanding the district. I remained with the commissioned and non-commissioned staff of the regiment at Fort Brown to close up the business of the quartermaster's and subsistence departments, intending to follow my command at an early hour on the morning of the 29th.

On the afternoon of the 28th, I dispatched Privates Litteral and [D. H.] Dashiell, of Company A, to the Boca Del Rio, with orders to Captain A. I. Vidal, commanding a mounted company of six months' volunteers, stationed as a picket at that point, to move into Fort Brown with his company on the next day, and report for duty to the commanding officer of that post. At 8 o'clock of the same evening, the 28th, Litteral returned to the post, having been shot through both jaws by Vidal's men. He was unable to articulate, but communicated in writing the sad fact that Vidal and his company had evidently deserted their colors; had killed Dashiell, and had but narrowly missed killing him. This announcement caused every preparation to be made to resist the attempt which would doubtless be made to surprise the