that the enemy were 22,000 strong under General Banks, for I never heard them reported at more than 12,000, of which 3,000 are now at the Aransas Pass.
I believe that there is a mistake about the enemy threatening San Antonio. I have a communication from the citizens of that city, dated the 17th, and they do not allude to it. I inclose a copy of this communication, and my answer, for the information of the general commanding.*
It is impossible for me to send a company of Duff's regiment to San Antonio at present, for I am without the necessary force to make hardly a skirmish with the enemy. I presume that the general was not aware of the landing of this force at Aransas when he wrote. it is proper to say, however, that in my judgment no troops can now be spared from the coast for the defense of any inland town; the danger can only be from a raid, and I am satisfied that the enemy are not yet ready for even that.
The committee write me that they can raise 250 men outside of the existing organizations, which will actually give a larger force than I have here. It is essential to keep the State troops under Major Rogers on the outer edge of the settlements until, at least, the stock can be driven in, and to prevent depredations by the guerrillas; this leaves us with one company of State troops only at this place (Townsend's); Captain Garrett's was captured on mustang Island and Captain Kelly's was removed to Lavaca some time ago by Colonel Bradfute.
You inquire about Duff's regiment; there are five companies with me. Captain Brackenridge has never reported, being somewhere about Columbus at last accounts, Captain Robinson on the Rio Grande, and Captain Weyman at San Antonio. Creuzbaur's battery was stopped near the Guadalupe, and was in no condition to move; he has horses, but they were just from San Antonio, and very poor.
I shall virtually abandon this place to-morrow. There is nothing for the cavalry horses to eat, and, from the latest developments of the enemy, he either will march up Saint Joseph's Island and attack Saluria, or he will land at Lamar, and cross over to Indianola, thus cutting off Fort Esperanza. I need not say that I find my situation very annoying. There are three points of attack for the enemy-Corpus [Christi], Lamar, and Saluria-the first the least important to us. I have not sufficient force to repel either, but have to risk choosing the one with they will make; so I will occupy a point near the San Antonio River, from which I can reach Lamar and Indianola, and there await events. If the enemy com to Corpus [Christi], the outside cavalry will keep them in town until re-enforcements can reach me.
I regret to state that the enemy either captured or detained Lieutenant W. L. Mann, of my staff, who was sent with a letter under a flag of truce; he has not returned, although absent forty-eight hours. He was seen to go to the fleet.
I inclose a copy of my communication and my instructions to Lieutenant Mann, which I believe that the general commanding will consider as proper and not exceeding the usages of war. I have no experience, but believe I was not wrong.+
I submit to the general commanding as to what course I shall take in view of this outrage. In connection with this, it is proper to state that the flag of truce sent by Colonel Hobby before I arrived here has not returnee; we are a little fearful that the boat may have capsized, as the weather was storming when it left. It is possible that they did not wish their movements to be known, and therefore detained my officer, but if he
+See Bee to Turner, November 30, 1863, p. 462.