War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 1076 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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reconcile with the ordinary rules of military propriety. How much of this is due to orders or to ignorance of orders I am unable to determine. I therefore desire to be informed what relation th gun-boats bear to the "Defenses of Galveston," of which I have charge, and what control I have over the steam-boats now employed in bringing wood and in performing other necessary transportation. This subject has been brought to my notice by some late orders sent to a Mr. Lafkin, and some communications to the chief quartermaster, signed by Leon Smith, commanding Marine Department. You are aware that parts of my command are inaccessible to me, except by steam-boat, and that should it be necessary to send supplies of any kind or re-enforce Bolivar Point or Pelican Spit a steam-boat would be necessary. It would also appear that the defenses of this place should be controlled by one commander, particularly as the garrison of the forts is weakened by details of artillerymen for duty on the gun-boats.

Whatever may be the relation of the boats in the bay to my command, I cannot consent to have orders sent direct to officers under my command, as in the instance referred to, nor can I permit citizen employes to give orders to officers under my command.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE.

HEADQUARTERS POST VELASCO, March 23, 1864.

Colonel JOSEPH BATES,

Commanding, &c.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that there is still one blockader off the bar; no other change outside. At 4 o'clock yesterday the enemy fired 4 shots at the schooner Emily, wrecked below here. One shot came within 15 feet. Captain Saunders was near the vessel with his company. No damage done. All the rigging of the schooner has been taken off, and she is fast filling with sand and water, and will prove a wreck, no doubt. The steamer Matagorda is gradually working her way off the bar, and will by dark, if the tide continues to get higher, be inside. They are making every effort to save her. Inclose report from Bernard.

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Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. HERNDON,

Captain, &c.

[Inclosure.]

MOUTH OF SAN BERNARD, March 23, 1864-11 a.m.

Captain W. S. HERNDON,

Commanding Post Velasco:

CAPTAIN: I have nothing of interest to communicate from this place or Caney. The scouts from Caney report everything quiet. No vessels in this vicinity for the last thirty hours.

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Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

W. G. HUNT,

Captain, Commanding at Mouth of Bernard.