No. 3. Reports of Captain Edmund P. Turner, Assistant Adjutant-General, C. S. Army.
December 30, 1863-7.30 a.m.
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose to you a copy of a dispatch* just received from Lieutenant Forsgard, signal officer at mouth of Caney, stating that enemy has landed at Old Cedar Lake; numbers or movement not known, on account of darkness. I beg to suggest, if you will permit, that you send a portion of your force to mouth of Bernard at once, and also send to the west of Bernard, near Churchill's Ferry, the remainder of the force you have, to be thrown on the enemy should he attempt to hold a point on its coast.
You are acquainted with the country below the Caney and Bernard, and know whether or not artillery can be used with safety on the enemy. The enemy is heard firing at or in direction of Matagorda. This may be a real movement up the peninsula.
If the enemy has landed, as reported, he will move up the beach against the works at mouth of Bernard, or down against works at Caney, to get these positions.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. P. TURNER.
Camp Wharton, December 30, 1863-5 p.m.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that, on my return from the mouth of the San Bernard, on yesterday, the 29th instant, at 6 p.m., I received an official dispatch from Colonel [A.] Buchel, inclosing a report from the signal operator at the mouth of the Caney. From these dispatches it appeared that the enemy had landed, between 200 and 300 strong, at a point about 7 miles below the mouth of the Caney, on the Gulf shore of the Matagorda Peninsula. Colonel Buchel informed me that he had ordered down [R. R.] Brown's regiment and his own, with the view of expelling or capturing the enemy's forces. Thinking that I might reach there in time to be of some assistance, I left immediately. On arriving at the mouth of the Caney, we learned that Colonel Buchel, with about 300 men of his command, had passed down the beach about 2 p.m.
The enemy landed at 7 a.m., and no information was received by Colonel Buchel concerning the movement until yesterday at about 1 p.m. The enemy, having the start, and moving rapidly down the Gulf shore, could not be overtaken until quite late in the night (say 9 or 10 p.m.), when, halting under the protection of their ships (three in number), they collected the driftwood, and erected a hasty breastwork, behind which they formed and cheered lustily. Not arriving in time, we met Colonel Buchel with his command, returning about 10 miles up the beach from the point at which the enemy had lodged. He informed us that the enemy had availed himself of a position having a morass just in his front and large quantities of driftwood thrown upon the shore near by as a breastwork. A few shots were exchanged, the enemy firing several rounds. The numerical force of Colonel Buchel's command was small, many men having fallen into the rear and been lost sight of by the