War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0462 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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the war, or at least to extend their time and to preserve their organization precisely as it exists, would be fatal, and I earnestly request the lieutenant- general commanding to assist me, by letters to the Governor and the Legislature, in my efforts to preserve things as they are.

I have the honor,&c.,


Major- General, Commanding.


Port Lavaca, November 30, 1863.


Asst. Adjt. General, District of Texas, &c., Houston:

SIR: I herewith transmit you an interesting report from Lieutenant Mann of his visit and detention at the camp of the enemy, at Aransas Pass, under a flag of truce, together with a communication from General Banks.*

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE,

Brigadier- General, Commanding.



Lavaca, November 30, 1863.

Brigadier General H. P. BEE:

SIR: Acting in accordance with your instructions to me on the 21st instant, I left Hawley's dredge- boat on Aransas Bay on the 22d, leaving under a flag of truce your communication to the officer commanding the naval and land forces of the United States Army at Aransas Pass.

On arriving within probably a mile of the nearest vessel of the Federal fleet, I stopped, and waved my flag repeatedly to attract the attention of their outposts. After the lapse of two or three hours, I saw, nearing me, a small boat, containing an officer and 5 men. Although they had no white flag flying, still I determined to await their approach, being very anxious to get an answer to your communication. As soon as the boat reached me, I made known my business, and handed the officer my documents.

I was at once placed under guard, and the Federal boat returned to the island, coming back again in an hour, with instructions to take myself and party, consisting of 2 citizens, within the lines.

As soon as we reached Aransas City, I was conducted to the headquarters of the officer commanding the troops at that point. I was here informed that I would be detained until General Banks, whose headquarters were on Mustang Island, about 5 miles distant, could receive your communication and act upon it. This gave me an opportunity of seeing very distinctly their entire force, and forming some idea of the object of the very active movements that were going on. I soon came to the conclusion that an expedition was being organized to attack our fortifications at Saluria, which conclusion was verified during the evening.


*See Washburn to Stone, with inclosures, December 13, 1863, Part I, p. 849.