War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0443 Chapter XXXVIII. THE RIO GRANDE EXPEDITION, ETC.

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continuous stream of trains. I have I picket stationed at La Para, 1 at the Bovida, and 1 at the Santa Rosa ranch. I am confident that every team is now within my picket, with the exception of such as were sent across the country to Roma from below the Las Animas. Since my arrival here, I have, under the orders of General Bee, sent all teams loaded with Government cotton to Laredo or Eagle Pass, and this fact has inspired the planters and others hauling private cotton with so much confidence that, with few exceptions, all teams west of the Nueces River have followed.

I cannot close this report without bearing testimony to the cheerfulness with which the officers and men of my command executed every order given to them, and although men and horses were incessantly on duty for eleven days and nights, without forage or grass for the latter, yet not a complaint or a murmur was uttered, and only one sad thought prevailed, that the circumstances under which we were placed, the paucity of our numbers, the immense value of the property we had to protect, and the immensely superior force of the enemy, had caused us to make a retreat without at least having one thrust or firing one shot at the invaders.

I have taken every step to call in the many detachments of my regiment on escort and other service, and hope that in a few days I will have sufficient men to obey any order that may be given as to its future movements.

I inclose herewith Captains Taylor's and Davis' reports; also a copy of the morning report of the command at Fort Brown on the 2nd instant.

Since my arrival here, I have been joined by Captain Rabb's company (D), from Clareno, and I am momentarily looking for Captain Robinson's company, (C), from Ringgold Barracks, which, without accident, ought to have been here two days ago.

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

JAMES DUFF,

Colonel, Commanding Thirty-third Texas Cavalry.

Captain E. R. TARVER,

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

Numbers 12. Report of Captain Richard Taylor, Thirty-third Texas Cavalry, of operations November 2-3.

EN ROUTE FROM FORT BROWN,

November 3, 1863.

SIR: Pursuant to instructions received by me on the morning of the 2nd instant, at 2 o'clock, I at 4 o'clock of the same morning, with 15 men, proceeded to the mouth of the Rio Grande, to observe the movements of the Yankees' fleet, then supposed to be off the mouth of the river. On my arrival at the Boca Del Rio, I learned that the fleet was off Brazos Bar, and supposed to be unloading at the head of Brazos Island. Acting upon the information, I proceeded up the coast to within one-half mile of Boca Chica, and saw one large vessel at anchor off Boca Chica and several also inside of Brazos Bar.

At about 4 p.m. I returned to the mouth, and proceeded up the river to the crossing of the salt marshes. There left my main pickets, and,