War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0483 Chapter XXXVIII. SKIRMISH ON MATAGORDA PENINSULA, TEX.

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as the gunboat Sciota, which had slipped her anchor, ran round, and poured in a broadside. They retired for the night.

The morning was very foggy. Bodies of cavalry were occasionally seen, and about 10 a.m. a considerable force was seen on the right, but made no demonstration. As it was uncertain what more the enemy might bring, the work was further strengthened by digging pits with bayonets and wooden spades and filling the barricades. Blankets were used for sand bags. By noon it cleared away, and the rebel gunboat John F. Carr ran down inside, opposite our work, and commenced shelling it with her 20-pounder Parrott, making some very good shots, but injuring no one.

At 3 p.m., the men being without food and water, the gunboats expected to our relief having failed by reason of the fog to find us, and concluding that the enemy had driven back our re-enforcements, after some hesitation we moved secretly out, to cut our way down the peninsula. The rebel boat shelled the abandoned work, and, as they report from the Sciota, kept back a body of their own cavalry. Our advance skirmishers drove before us a few of the enemy's scouts. Night came with a heavy fog, and we advanced cautiously. At 10 p.m. the severest norther of the winter struck us. At 1 a.m. bivouacked for the night. The next day, at 2 p.m., 20 miles below our work, we were discovered from the Sciota, and with great difficulty taken on board.

On the march, the sick and exhausted soldiers had been nobly aided by their comrades, so that not a man, musket, or equipment was left for the enemy. The rebel gunboat John F. Carr was driven ashore in the norther, and Captain Strong, of the Monongahela, who came to relieve us, reports she was abandoned and destroyed. The loss of this boat, the information secured concerning the enemy and peninsula, already given you verbally, with the lesson taught our enemies, make the reconnaissance not altogether valueless.

To the officers with me, First Lieutenant John S. P. Ham, commanding Company C; Second Lieutenant Robbins, B. Grover, commanding Company H; Second Lieutenant Augustus C. Myrick, Company C, and Second Lieutenant John D. Felton, commanding Company K, the highest credit is due for the energy and pluck they manifested, aiding and arousing their men to endure and die sooner than surrender. I would respectfully suggest that they are worthy of some notice, as a mark that the country honors those of her sons who are valiant in upholding her honor.

Captain [George H.] Perkins, of the Sciota, excited my admiration by the daring manner in which he exposed his ship through the night in the surf till it broke all about him, that he might, close to us, lend the moral force of his 11-inch guns and howitzers, and by his gallantry in bringing us off during the gale.

To Captain [Charles W.] Lamson, of the Granite City, great credit is due for his exertion to retard and drive back the enemy. By the loss he inflicted upon them, it is clear but for the heavy sea he would have freed us from any exertion. Information comes in that the attacking force was Green's cavalry, and from 1,200 to 1,500 strong. I have allowed myself to be too minute in this report that you may understand exactly how 100 of our Yankees baffled, beat back, and eluded so large a body of rebels and rebel gunboat without loss.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANK S. HESSELTINE,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier General T. E. G. RANSOM,

Commanding 3rd Brigadier, 2nd Div., 13th Army Corps, Ft. Esperanza, Tex.