surrounded on all sides by a population quadrupling ours in numbers and bitterly hostile to us.
On the morning of the 2d, at 2.30 o'clock, an express from the mouth of the river gave the information that seven Yankee ships-of-war had arrived, and were lying off the Brazos Bar. At 4 o'clock I dispatched, in accordance with the general's order, a detachment of 15 men, under Captain Davis, to Point Isabel, with the instructions, a copy of which is forwarded herewith. At noon of the same day, an additional party of 15 cavalry, under Lieutenant [Walter L.] Mann, First Texas Cavalry, accompanied by a partly of 12 citizens, under Mr. Brandy, of Houston, and composed of Mr. Darling, Colonel Walker, and other such gallant and patriotic citizens, were sent to Cobb's ranch, 7 miles above the mouth, with orders to ascertain the whereabouts of a party of guerrillas reported to be formed in that vicinity, and attack them, and also, if possible, to ascertain the whereabouts of a train reported to be formed in that vicinity, and attack them, and also, if possible, to ascertain the whereabouts of a train reported to be loaded with arms for the Yankees, and, if possible, cross the river and capture or destroy the same. If neither of these objects could be attained, the party was ordered to join Captain Taylor, and act to the best advantage against any small parties that the enemy might throw out. Lieutenant Mann with the party of citizens returned the next morning before it was discovered that the enemy had crossed any of their number to the mainland.
Acting under instructions from the brigadier-general to make every preparation to evacuate Fort Brown and to save as much as was possible of the public property, I impressed, on the 2d, every available horse, mule, and wagon in the place, and, during the entire day and succeeding night, kept every man, not on picket, at work getting up trains and loading wagons.
On the evening of the 2d, I was much disappointed to find that few, very few, of the citizens would assist me-not more than 30, and those almost entirely men from the interior, would report or bear arms. A few honorable exceptions I must mention: Mr. Henry Seelingson neglected his own business entirely in the endeavor to raise men from his ward, and if he met with but little success, no less credit is due him Mr. John Dunlevie was also on the ground, and, with his quiet energy, doing all that man could do. His honor the mayor was enthusiastic in, his efforts to get the citizens out, and deserves no small meed of praise; he was seconded promptly by the Hons. Judge Powers, Judge Bigelow, and a few other old Texans.
On the morning of the 3d, every effort was continued to load and dispatch wagons with clothing and other stores, and by 12 o'clock the last train was finally send forward, consisting of forty-five wagons, part quartermaster's and part citizen teams, carrying the fixed ammunition that remained, camp and garrison equipage, and subsistence stores for thirty days for the command. This train was accompanied by Lieutenant Tucker, of Fox's battery, in charge of the 8-inch iron howitzer, drawn by impressed horses, driven by 5 soldiers of my regiment. The only guard furnished the train, with the exception of my acting assistant quartermaster and his sergeant, was 1 commissioned officer and 3 men. Captain [John S.] Greer, of the ordnance department, also accompanied the train, and was in charge of the ordnance stores; the assistant surgeon of my regiment, with the sick men, were also sent with the train.
Doubting the fidelity of Cummings' company, but desirous of giving them every opportunity of displaying their loyalty, I caused as many of