War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0446 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

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CHAP. XXXVIII.

HEADQUARTERS COAST COMMAND,

Fort Esperanza, November 27, 1863.

SIR: The enemy have appeared in considerable force some 2 miles below the fort. From the best information received, they number about 3,000, including probably some 200 cavalry. We had a slight skirmish with them this evening, and it is supposed a few of the enemy were killed and wounded. No casualties on our side. The skirmish occurred some mile below the fort. Our force was withdrawn, and the enemy retired some distance down the island and to the west side. Their intentions are not yet known, but, from their numbers, I suppose they will soon make a vigorous attack. Our force here is about 500 effective men.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. BRADFUTE,

Colonel, C. S. Army, Commanding Coast.

Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston.

MATAGORDA,

November 30, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a communication just received from Colonel Bradfute. I was preparing to embark the command at the time I received it, having arrived here this morning before daylight with my regiment and Colonel [P. C.] Woods', after a march of 40 miles yesterday.

I have concluded to move by land to Victoria, via Texana, as rapidly as I possibly can, as I do not deem it prudent to attempt to go to Lavaca by transports, in consequence of the enemy having possession of the bay. I will direct Colonel [A. W.] Terrell accordingly, who has not arrived here yet. I have sent dispatches to General Bee at Victoria, who, I suppose, will be there before I arrive, notifying him of this movement.

I have information that Colonel [T. J. M.] Richardson, with two companies of State troops, passed Texana yesterday, en route to Victoria.

Commodore [Leon] Smith will inform you by this courier about the particulars of the evacuation, &c., of Saluria.

Any dispatches for me will find me at Texana or en route to Victoria, at which place I will report to General Bee, should I not receive any instructions from the major-general commanding.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. L. PYRON,

Colonel, Commanding, &c.

Captain EDMUND P. TURNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston.

[Inclosure.]

POWDER HORN,

November 30, 1863-2 a.m.

Colonel C. L. PYRON,

Or Officer Commanding Forces at Matagorda:

COLONEL: I have this moment arrived from Fort Esperanza. I am directed by Colonel Bradfute, commanding to report to you that he evacuated the fort about 10 o'clock last night, after a severe shelling from the enemy all day. His movements after dark threatened communication with the mainland, and involved the necessity of a surrender to-day.