HDQRS. BATTLN. FIRST, THIRD, AND EIGHT INFANTRY,
Camp near Fort Hamilton, N. Y., June 3, 1861.
Bvt. Brigadier General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. C.
SIR: Having already made a brief report of the capture of this command, I have now the honor to submit the following additional particulars connected with the embarkation of the troops and the capitulation in Matagorda Bay on the 25th of April:
Of the seven companies comprised in this command, the three companies of the Third Infantry arrived at Indianola on the 13th of April, at which date I relieved Lieutenant-Colonel Backus in the command, and encamped in rear of the town to await the arrival of the troops designated as a part of the complement number for embarkation on the steamer Star of the West, they lying off the coast near the mouth of Matagorda Bay. On the 17th these troops, consisting of the adjutant and non-commissioned staff and band, and two companies of the First Infantry and two companies of the Eighth Infantry, arrived at my camp, when I immediately marched with the whole command to the wharf at Indianola, where the baggage, camp, and garrison equipage, and stores were stowed on two small steamers, which had been engaged as lighters to convey the troops to the Star of the West. the troops slept on the wharf on the night of the 17th, and embarking early in the morning of the 17th the steamers got under way and proceeded down the harbor. On arriving at the designated point it was found that the Star of the West had disappeared from her anchorage, and I was reluctantly compelled to return to the camp previously occupied near Indianola. During the 19th and 20th I made unsuccessful efforts to obtain some other means of transportation, and on the 21st I succeeded in chartering two small schooners - the Horace, of 168, and the Urbana, of 138 tons burden. The latter not having discharged her cargo we were obliged to unload it, the parties working during the day and most of the night of the 22d, and on the 23rd we again proceeded down the bay, towed by the small steamer Fashion. The weather was extremely unfavorable, the wind blowing from the northeast across the bar, and on the 24th the master of one of the schooners reported that it would, under the circumstances, be absolutely impossible to manage his vessel at sea, there being at this time more than two hundred persons on board, including some thirty-five women and children, together with the subsistence stores and property. I was, therefore, compelled to seek for an additional transport, and Captain Bowman, of the Third, and Lieutenant Greene, of the First Infantry, with a detail of thirty-four men, taken from all the companies, were dispatched on the Fashion to endeavor to obtain another vessel, which was understood to be lying at the port of Lavaca. During the afternoon of the 24th we obtained with the small boats an additional supply of brackish water from the marshy lands at Decklas Point, and by night, nothing having been heard of the detachment, some suspicion of the seizure of this party and a movement to cut us off was entertained on the schooners, but we could not get out across the bar. The easterly winds which prevailed, and the refusal of the pilots along the coast to come to our aid, had completed our disaster. The night was cloudy and dark, but about 11 o'clock three steamers were visible within a short distance of our anchorage to the windward. Lieutenant Hopkins, of the Third, was sent off in a small boat to obtain some information in regard to these steamers. He could get no answer from them, and returned to the schooners. At daylight on the morn-
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