100 men of the regiment on the gunboat Granite City, and proceeded that night outside of Matagorda Peninsula to a point 7 miles from the head of it. In the morning we landed in small boats through the surf on a reconnaissance, intending to return on board when our object was obtained, but shortly after our debarkation the surf was so increased by a strong southerly wind as to cut off all communication with the gunboat.
A detachment under Lieutenant Ham having returned from a scout up the peninsula, I deployed a line of skirmishers nearly across, and moved down under convoy of the Granite City, driving back the rebel pickets cut off by our line. Our progress was so impeded on the right by bayous from the lake, that by 2 p.m. we had advanced but 7 or 8 miles, and were obliged to shorteen the line of skirmishers. At this time I was warned by the whistle of our convoy, and then shell from her 30-pounder Parrott, of an enemy in the rear. Soon, by the aid of my glass, I was able to discern the head of a body of cavalry moving down the peninsula. Under a heavy fire from the gunboat their line stretched steadily toward us, and, without seeing the last of it, I made out a force of from 800 to 1,000 cavalry.
Throwing the reserve in the advance of the skirmishers, we moved forward as before. In half an hour their skirmishers were swarming close up to mine, slightly heeding the shell and shrapnel, which, by reason of the heavy sea, only now and then emptied a saddle for them. Having told them to within good rifle-shot by allowing them to "pepper" away at us liberally, at command, half of the skirmishers faced about and gave them a volley, with apparently good effect, as it sent them some hugging their horses, others being supported, out of range; they all hastily chose the other side.
Having reached a narrow neck, some 200 yards wide, made by a bayou from the bay, as the boys were anxious to see the parade, I assembled the skirmishers, and, countermarching so as they could face the foe, formed line of battle across the neck. I knew my men; they were cool, and determined rather than the rebels should meet the first encouragement of this campaign that they would die there with as many of their foes lying around them. They would not meet us in front; they were fording the bayou and gaining our rear. I gave orders to move back quick time, and rode ahead to select another spot for a stand. They were closing around us. Hastily communicating to the officers my plan to throw up, from the drift branches, logs, and stumps, a barricade, first a face to the enemy and then on each flank, I wheeled the company in on the beach. As if by magic, and while the enemy were forming their line for attack, there arose with gnarled roots and branches projecting, a rough, ugly looking redan, its pan coupe on a sand ridge, its roge out in the surf.
They formed, advanced, hesitated, halted; a party rode up to reconnoiter, and rode back with Minie balls to report. They moved stronger to the right, to charge obliquely the left face, which speedily looked too bad for them. While they deliberated, darkness came with a heavy mist. For a ruse of threat, we sung out three hearty cheers and a "tiger." Two fires on each flank gave our position to the gunboat Sciota, which came in from a reconnaissance up the coast. The Granite City goes to send re-enforcements. With the expectation of an attack, the men were kept at the barricade all night. Their scouts approached, to learn from our rifles that we were awake. Soon after midnight the picket fired, and ran in to report a strong body moving to the left on to the beach. This force came up, but a sharp fire sent them to the rear,