War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0448 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

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CHAP. XXXVIII.

ent about 60. I am also further directed by the brigadier-general commanding to say that in case the companies of Captains Robinson and Rabb have left their stations, pursuant to late instructions, that you dispatch an express after them, with orders to countermarch immediately to this (Fort Brown) point, and, if practicable, to take the River road, and, if necessary and possible, act in conjunction with the troops from this point.

In conclusion, I am directed to remind you of the absolute necessity of prompt action in this matter, and that he expects vigilance and energy from all the officers and men of this command; that this attempt at insurrection may be speedily crushed out, and a proper punishment meted out to the traitors.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

E. R. TARVER,

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

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF TEXAS,

Fort Brown, Tex., October 28, 1863.

SIR: I hasten to lay before the major-general commanding a history of the grave events which have kept the garrison and city under arms for two days and nights. I premise by saying that I was aware of a feverish state of public feeling on both sides of the river, arising from the local political questions in Matamoras as well as the question of French intervention, but I did not imagine that either of these ideas was used as a cloak by other parties to cover a design for the capture of this garrison.

You are aware that I have had a company of Mexican citizens, under command of Captain Adrian I. Vidal, stationed at the mouth of the Rio Grande, which has done good service. Owing to the march of the Thirty-third Regiment and the light battery, it became necessary to order that company into Fort Brown, leaving only a picket of observation. On Tuesday [Monday], the 26th, the three companies of cavalry marched-the light battery having preceded it several days. Toward evening of that day, renewed orders were sent to Captain Vidal by Privates Dashiell and Litteral, of Company A, Thirty-third Regiment. Soon after dark, I was informed confidentially that I was to be attacked during the night by men from below, consisting of Vidal's company and renegades and deserters from Matamoras. In half an hour after, Litteral arrived at headquarters most grievously wounded (shot through the face), and informed me that about 14 miles below he met Captain Vidal with his whole company, some 60 men, and delivered his orders. The two men of Company A then countermarched with the command, which halted at a ranch some 2 miles on the march. Vidal there dismounted the command to get supper, when instantly a fire was opened on these two soldiers, killing Dashiell, and wounding, as stated, Litteral, who fortunately made his escape and reached me.

I found myself with but 19 men of Company A and a volunteer company of citizens, under Captain Cummings. Ten men of the cavalry were dispatched, under Lieutenant Vinton, to proceed on the road to the mouth of the river, and ascertain the truth of this statement. I then called on the citizens of Brownsville to rally to my aid, but before anything like an approximation to organization or order could be made, the pickets under Vinton were driven in to within 1 mile of the town.

Fully satisfied, then, that Vidal and his whole company were traitors I, with the able assistance of Brigadier-General Slaughter, Colonel Duff,