War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0444 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

Search Civil War Official Records


with 6 men, crossed on to the high land running up to the Boca Chica. Arrived within one-half mile of the shore about 6 o'clock, and discovered that the enemy had thrown on to the foot of the island about 100 men, and, immediately upon their arrival, the vessels stationed there raised anchor and sailed for the mouth of the Rio Grande.

I then withdrew, and camped on the ranch of Fermie Gonzales-one of the Vidal party-to watch the movement of a large life-boat on the Mexican shore. At daylight, with 5 men, I again crossed to the high point of land heretofore mentioned. Arriving within 1 mile of where I supposed the enemy would cross on to the mainland, I left 3 of my men, and, with the other 3, I cautiously moved up to within 300 yards of the enemy on the mainland. I discovered about 200 to 500 horses under herd of 2 soldiers, being covered with 25 mounted men armed and equipped.

Being unable to fight with the few men under me, I very quietly withdrew to the river, to watch their movements again at night. I encamped at noon at the Palmetto ranch, 9 miles above the mouth, and at 1.10 o'clock I discovered about one-half mile below, coming up the road, about 200 cavalry in full charge. I accordingly fell back to the chaparral, and made good my retreat, having expressed 2 men to your headquarters informing you of the rapid advance of the enemy on Brownsville.

I am, respectfully,


Captain, Commanding Pickets.


Commanding Line of the Rio Grande.

Numbers 13 Report of Captain Henry T. Davis, Thirty-third Texas Cavalry, of operations November 2-3.


November 11, 1863.

LIEUTENANT: In accordance with instructions from Colonel James Duff, commanding line of Rio Grande, I proceeded on the morning of the 2nd of November, 1863, with 10 of my company, to Point Isabel, to reconnoiter that country. I arrived at the Point about 9 a.m.; immediately proceeded to the light-house to take observation. I discovered that there were twenty-four vessels outside the bar, large and small. After looking at the fleet for a few minutes, I went down from the light-house; was not away but a short time when I heard firing at the Boca. I supposed them to be signal guns, as I perceived, when I went back to the light-house, that two vessels had crossed the bar and were inside, alongside Brazos Island, and were landing troops. I saw two regiments landed from those two vessels. In a short time troops were landing from a large vessel outside, besides a lot of stores. Two vessels during the evening moved off toward the Boca Del Rio. Nothing more of importance transpiring that evening, and it now growing late, and, for fear that myself and party, should be cut off, I retired from the Point about 5 miles, and camped for the night. I discovered nothing to interrupt us during the night.

The next morning I returned to the Point, and, after placing my horses in a position that they could not be discovered by the enemy, I