War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0804 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS. LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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It is important, in reference to our future movements, that there should be one or two gunboats in Berwick Bay. I desire you to communicate with Commodore Bell upon this subject. Admiral Porter ought to send some of his gunboats, which were ordered here by the Government, to the mouth of the river and around by the coast. I am confident we could be them round safety by means of buoying them with the assistance of steamers, and watching closely for fair weather.

Captain Strong has been of great assistance to us in enabling us to land troops. His artillery practice against the enemy was most effective.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-Colonel Davis informs me that a sutler belonging to his regiment, Mr. H. C. Jordan, now in New Orleans, is thoroughly acquainted with the inland navigation at Matagorda. I desire that you will send him down here at the first opportunity.

FLAG-SHIP McCLELLAN,

Off Aransas Pass, Tex., November 17, 1863.

Commodore H. H. BELL,

Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron, &c., New Orleans:

COMMODORE: It give me pleasure to inform you of the capture of the works at Aransas Pass this day. We have in our possession three heavy guns, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 9 officers, 90 men, between 80 and 90 horses, a quantity of small-arms, and considerable transportation.

We arrived at Corpus Christi from Brazos Santiago yesterday about 2 p. m., and landed our troops during the night. It was supposed that the Matamoras, which we brought with us from the Rio Grande, would be able to cross the bar, but we found only 2 1/2 feet of water there, which made it impossible, and we were compelled to land our troops upon the coast by means of surf-boats. The landing occupied a greater part of the night. The troops reached pass Ransas early this morning, taking the enemy completely by surprise. After skirmishing for a couple of hours on the island, and he firing of some most excellent shots from the Monongahela, they surrendered.

To-morrow we move against Pass Cavallo, where we shall have, perhaps, a more severe contest.

It is important, in reference to our future movements, that there should be one or two gunboats in Berwick Bay. I hope you will send down one or two as soon as possible. Admiral Porter ought to send some of his gunboats, which were ordered here by the Government, to the mouth of the river, around by the coast. I am confident we could get them round safety by means of buoying them with the assistance of steamers, and watching closely for fair weather. The distance is about 40 miles. I wish you would communicate with him upon this subject.

Captain Strong has been of great assistance to us in enabling us to land troops.

The artillery practice against the enemy was most effective.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.