War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0481 Chapter XXXVIII. SKIRMISH ON MATAGORDA PENINSULA, TEX.

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promised by Magruder that they should hear of another brilliant operation on the 1st of January. It is supposed that they intended to run down here some night, and sink and destroy such of our vessels as they should find inside. If the Carr is destroyed, that arrangement will be broken into, but I shall endeavor to keep a good lookout. My 30-pounder Parrotts I have ready to receive any visitor that may choose to come. The enemy boast that if we march up the peninsula they will be able to punish us badly with gunboats on the inside by shelling the peninsula. They have made up their minds that we mean to take that route.

On the day that I sent up the infantry on the Granite City, I directed General Ransom, after seeing them safely landed and on the way down under the guns of the Granite City, to proceed up the coast on the gunboat Sciota, and reconnoiter as far as the mouth of Brazos River. He did so, and found apparently a large force and strong works at Velasco and Quintana. On the fort at Valasco he could distinctly see seven large guns.

At the mouth of the San Bernard he also saw quite a large force, who appeared very busy fortifying there. They had no guns mounted, but had thrown up a good deal of earth there. They shelled them and drove them away.

I have requested Captain Strong to keep a gunboat there, and prevent fortifying as far as possible.

It is probable that they intend to fight us near the mouth of the San Bernard, if we take the coast line, or at Hawkins' Ferry, if we leave the coast. I am satisfied that we shall have to fight the whole Texas force when we move.

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



Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf.

No. 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Frank S. Hesseltine, Thirteenth Maine Infantry.


Decrow's Point, Tex., January 6, 1864.

Brigadier General CHARLES P. STONE,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I inclose herein report of Lieutenant-Colonel Hesseltine, Thirteenth Maine Infantry, in regard to an expedition on the Matagorda Peninsula. The conduct of Colonel Hesseltine and his men is deserving of great praise.

Captain Strong, of the gunboat Monongahela, reports that the rebel cotton-clad gunboat Carr was burned by the enemy to prevent her from falling into our hands.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,




FORT ESPERANZA, TEX., January 1, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with the instructions received through you from the major-general commanding coast expedition, I embarked on the evening of the 28th ultimo with