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discovered that they knew much that was of and a half fathoms, and a close examination was great importance to the generals commanding made of the mouths of the Brazos and Boca They said that revolvers and powiler in large Chica Passes. We then steamed slowly along quantities were manufactured at New-Browns the shore, running in about five fathoms, when, ville, and that the former sold at two hundred once more joining the fleet, we headed for Brazos and fifty dollars each, rebel money. General Santiago bar, and anchored for the night about a Magruder, they say, is now at Houston He has mile distant -sea running high, weather sultry. only two thousand troops (cavalry) there, the re- At an early hour this morning the bar was exmainder of his army being scattered about at amined, and casks laid down as buoys. Nine various places, the most being at Galveston and feet of water was found upon the bar, and once Sabine Pass. At the former city there is also a over, navigation was easy. We accordingly comregiment of heavy artillery. There is a formida- menced preparing to enter the harbor, and the ble fort near Brownsville, on the Rio Grande, light-draught steamer General Banks, with the calleci Fort Brown. Brigadier-General Bee is in Nineteenth Iowa on board, got under way, and command. Since receiving this news, I learn was soon rising and falling amid the foam of the from another party that General Bee has been huge breakers; but as she steamed gallantly on superseded, and Brigadier-General Slaughter ap- and crossed the bar in safety, the soldiers on pointed to the command. About the time we board gave three hearty cheers, which were heard picked up these men, we could see along the on the flag-ship and answered by the waving of Texas coast the sand-hills of Isla del Padre. The hats and handkerchiefs. She crossed the bar at distance, however, was very great, and even with precisely twelve o'clock noon, and from that mothe aid of a glass they looked dark, and resembled ment Texas was ours. The General's despatchtrees in appearance. As the sun was setting, we boat-ihe little steamer Drew--followed, and she approached nearer land, and though no human went capering along like a frisky young coquette habitation was seen, we were observed from the of sixteen, bounding over the bar like a cork. shore, as a column of dense smoke was seen to The Clinton, with the Thirteenth and Fifteenth rise from the sand-hills immediately in our front, Maine regiments on board, was the third to cross, instantly followed by a second and a third, and and it was her good fortune to be the first to though each of the latter rose far to our right, disembark her troops, the soldiers of the Fifthey were plainly visible from the steamer's deck. teenth Maine first touching Texas soil. The About seven o'clock, when the sun had disap- next moment, the flag of this regiment, followed peared, and hills and sea were enveloped in dark- bv that of the Nineteenth Iowa, was raised. ness, far as the eye could reach, a bright light wist the men from the extreme northern point seen, and a moment later the heavens were illu- of the Cnion were the first to raise the flag of minated by the answering signal-fires along the America over the soil of the extreme southern coast, reminding one of “ Bonnie Scotland" in point, and finish the work so gloriously begun, feudal times, when the beacon-lights burst forth of planting the banner of freedom in the last in a blaze from every hill-top, calling to arms the State in rebellion, over which the Stars and clans of the numerous chiefs, or warning them Stripes have not waved for some time. of threatened danger. I have no hesitation On landing on Brazos Island, the Fifteenth whatever in saying that in less than one hour the Maine, Colonel Dwyer, accompanied by Major whole South was startled with the news of our Von Hermann, of General Banks's staff, started arrival off the mouth of the Rio Grande.
for Boca Chica, took possession of the Pass, and Sunday was a bright and beautiful day, though encamped there, throwing out pickets. No rethe heavy swell was not very agreeable to those sistance whatever was offered, and no human who had not yet recovered from sea-sickness, and beings have yet been seen on the island or elsomany of the officers in consequence were in where, if I except the repulse of two companies danger of throwing up their commissions. The of cavalry by the guns of the T. A. Scott, Cupflag-ship cruised around for several hours in tain O'Brien, which anchored off the mouth of search of the steamers which had lost the fleet Boca Chica this morning, and opened upon the in the night, and we approached within four rebels who had attempted to cross.
The same miles of the mouth of the Rio Grande del Norte. transport the night previous anchored of the To the left, in Mexican waters, I counted thirty- mouth of the Rio Grande, and amused herself' by seven sail of blockade-runners; but could not keeping up an almost constant fire upon the see a single steamer, though toward evening an Mexican vessels crossing and recrossing the officer from one of the gunboats reported that river. The old salt was a few miles wrong in his later in the day a French man-of-war and an- reckoning; for he afterward stated that he other steamer were with the fleet of blockade-thought he was peppering away at the damned runners. The Leviathan had assisted the Mc-f rebels in Boca Chica instead of the harmless Clellan in searching for the missing vessels of Mexicans on the Rio Grande," so that we shall the feet, and at three o'clock in the afternoon probably have to make an apology for the slight the whole, with the exception of the Mononga- mistake of firing upon tbeir vessels while enhela, Ovasco, (the latter having the Zephyr in gaged in a contraband trade with the rebels on tow,) the Pocahontas, and the Bagley, were to the Texan shore. gether and lying opposite Brazos Santiago. The Those of your readers who have ever visited McClellan approached close in shore, in three Ship Island can have a good idea of this barren,
inhospitable shore. Brazos, as well as all the hela and Owasco, with the transport Scott—the islands along the Texan coast, is a sandy desert. latter with troops on board — started for the One house (deserted) stands to our right, and a mouth of the Rio Grande on a reconnoissance, mile or so farther toward the interior are two for the purpose of landing soldiers on the Texas lighthouses, one on each side. Charred ruins shore. Captain J. S. Crosby, of General Banks's show that three dwellings were destroyed by fire staff, Captain Griffin, (fleet-captain,) and Captain some time ago. Nothing but the chimneys re- Strong, of the Monongahela, entered a small boat main standing The foundations of the build- and reconnoitred the Texas coast. Finding all ings used by General Taylor for stores can yet clear, with no enemy in sight, the order for disbe seen; but no other vestige remains. Sand embarking the troops was given. The boats of and sand-hills meet the eye in every direction, the three steamers were at once lowered, making and for miles there is no covering from the rays nine in all. One hundred and forty soldiers then of the burning sun by day, nor the heavy, chilly entered them, each man being armed. After the dews by night. Four wells were discovered by sailors (sixty) had taken charge of the boats, they our soldiers, but the water is brackish and un- started for the shore, but in crossing the bar four palatable. Around these were collected from were capsized, and seven soldiers and two of the thirty to forty head of poor cattle. They were crew of the Owasco were drowned. One of the suffering terribly from thirst, and drank with boats, after returning from landing her men, sucavidity the miserable water that our men gave ceeded in picking up a large number of those in to them from the wells. The few inhabitants the water, and the Mexican shore being much who lived on this desert probably fled as soon as nearer than the other, the bow of the boat was our fleet anchored off the shore; for, as I have turned toward it; but the Mexicans would not before stated, not a human being was to be seen. allow it to land, and the boat was compelled to
This morning, the Exact, one of the transports cross the river to the Texas side, where all were of the fleet, was discovered by the gunboat Vir- placed safely on shore. The landing of the ginia while cruising, about twenty miles from the troops in the other boats was effected without mouth of the Rio Grande. Thinking her to be difficulty, and during the whole time not an a blockade-runner, she gave chase, the Exact armed rebel was seen. None of the boats of the running from her as if attempting to escape. Monongahela were capsized. The Virginia, however, approached her rapidly, One of the schooners belonging to the fleet and fired a gun across her bow. This brought drifted from the channel and struck on the bar off the supposed prize to; but on the Virginia hail- Brazos Santiago. A boat's crew was immediately ing, "What steamer's that?" was rather disap- sent to her assistance from the McClellan. The pointed when the answer was given, “The Exact, executive officer, Mr. Comstock, was in charge, of the transport fleet;" for by this time she had Captain Phillips, coast pilot, Mr. McHood, Mas. discovered that she was being chased by one of ter of Transportation, and Mr. Harvey, Quarterour own war-vessels. Each took the other for an master of the McClellan, were also in the boat, enemy. A similar mistake to this occurred on together with five sailors. Besides rescuing the the evening of the storm. About seven o'clock schooner, it was intended that range lights should the McClellan hailed a dark-painted, suspicious- be placed on the bar, so that vessels could cross looking three-masted schooner, ten miles from in the night. While running a hawser from the Cavello. She proved to be the gunboat Kittatin- General Banks to the schooner, the boat capsized ny. We took her for a prize, and she took us in the surf, and as she floated, bottom up, among for the Alabama.
the breakers, every man succeeded in clinging to It has been said that the French occupy Met- it. This occurred about five o'clock. The Gen
This is not true. There are no French eral Banks could not assist them, as she had no troops in the city.
boat on board, but, steaming to the McClellan, Tuesday, November 3.—This morning the re- the facts were communicated to Captain Gray, mainder of the fleet joined us. They are the when a boat was lowered in an instant, and as transports Bagley, Pocahontas, and Zephyr, and she left the side of the vessel, Captain Gray said, the war-vessels Monongahela and Owasco. The “Give way, men, give way; do your duty;" to whole had been waiting nearly three days at the which the boatswain, Mr. Lewis, replied: Ay, rendezvous. Several rebels have been discovered ay, sir; we'll not come back without them.” at work erecting a fort at Point Isabel. They Well, the gallant fellow kept his word, for every have already two guns mounted, bearing in the man was saved, though they had been in the direction of the fleet. Their case will be attend water over two hours, and it was dark before the ed to. On Thursday last the Monongahela and boat reached them. While relating this, I must the McClellan chased a schooner for several not forget to do justice to the Virginia's boat's hours, but were unable to come up with her. crew, who have been stationed constantly on She was believed to have been a blockade-runner. board the McClellan. Master's Mate Rogers imOne of the transports which arrived here this mediately manned his boat, and also started to morning reports having spoken the schooner. their assistance. On the arrival of the fleet off She proved to have been a prize to the Granite Brazos Santiago, Mr. Comstock and Captain City at the time that we were pursuing her. She Phillips volunteered their services for the purhad nearly five hundred bales of cotton on board. pose of sounding the bar.
About one o'clock p.M., the gunboats Mononga- The work of disembarking the troops is nearly
MAJOR-GENERAL ORD'S REPORT.
complete, but two or three regiments yet remain
Doc. 7. ing upon steamers drawing too much water to
BATTLE OF GRAND COTEAU, LA.* go over the bar. They are being transferred on board schooners and light-draught boats as rapidly as possible, and before to-morrow night ev
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, ery man will be ashore. We have had great
New-ORLEANS, LA., January 18, 1861. trouble with the horses, and a large number yet Brigadier-General L. Thomas, Adjutant- Genremain upon the steamers. Those which were eral U. S. A., Washington, D. 0.: upon the light-draught vessels were disembarked
Sir: I have the honor to inclose sub-reports, on Brazos Island without difficulty ; but how to just received, of the affair at Bayou Bourbeaux, get those safely ashore on the others is a mys of November third, 1863. tery, the work of transferring them from one boat to another outside the bar being considered im- large part of the public newspapers, upon the
Disparaging remarks having appeared in a possible on account of the swell. The Peabody management of this affair, by Major-General yesterday morning approached as near the shore Washburn, I beg to call attention to the report as possible, when eight or ten were lowered into of that officer, to that of General Burbridge, the water in the hope that they would swim Colonel Guppy, Twenty-third Wisconsin volunashore, but as soon as they arrived at the break- teers, and the order of march of Major-General ers they became frightened, and more than half Franklin, by which it will be seen that General were drowned. If the sea subsides, the horses Washburne was at his prescribed post, with will be placed in slings and transferred in a few his command, on the morning of the attack, and hours.
that it was owing to his zeal and diligence that Wednesday, November 4.—The troops are all the rear-guard, when attacked, were reënforced safely disembarked. The men are in excellent promptly, and the enemy driven away discomhealth and spirits, and, though ready to meet the
fited. enemy when called upon, I must say that they
Lieutenant-Colonel Buhler, whom General are not “dying” for a fight; nor have I during Washburne reports guilty of conduct attributathis war ever met with a single soldier in such a ble to cowardice or incompetence, will be brought lamentable situation.
before a commission for examination for compeThe horses are being slowly transferred from
tency, as soon as he joins the corps. He is at one steamer to another, the motion of the sea outside the bar rendering it both difficult and present (I am unofficially informed) at a camp of dangerous. We have had fine weather the last paroled or exchanged prisoners, somewhere in
this Department. three or four days. This is necessary, as, if a
I: storm of long duration had occurred, nearly all
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient serv ant,
E. 0. C. ORD, the horses on the steamers drawing more than Major-General Vols., Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps. nine feet must have perished.
Official Copy. Fire o'clock P. V. - We have just received of- C. A. NICHOLS, ficial news of the greatest importance.
Assistant Adjutant-General. The government buildings at Fort Brown were burned to the ground yesterday by the rebel gar
HEADQUARTERS DETACHMENT THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, rison, preparatory to their evacuating the Fort.
VERMILLION BRIDGE, November 7, 1863. From the same source we learned that about Major William Hoffman, Assistant Adjutantthis time (three o'clock on Tuesday afternoon) a General: squad of sixty rebel cavalry, which had witness
MAJOR: I inclose herewith report of Brigadiered the landing of the soldiers under the guns General Burbridge, in regard to the battle of of the Monongahela, at the mouth of the Rio Grand Coteau," on the third instant. Also of Grande, dashed into Brownsville and commenced Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson, commanding Secsetting fire to the buildings, with the intention ond Louisiana cavalry, and statements of Captain of destroying the town. The property-holders Simms, Sixty-seventh Indiana, and Lieutenant and Union men resisted them, when the seces- | Gorman, Second Louisiana cavalry, who were sionists joined the cavalry, and a bloody street- wounded and taken prisoners, but who were fight took place, which lasted all the afternoon, supposed to be privates, and were delivered the buildings burning in every direction around over, under a flag of truce, with other wounded. them. The fight was still going on when the On the twenty-seventh instant, the First division messenger left for the purpose of communicating of this corps; under Brigadier-General Lawler, the news to the General Commanding.
moved from Opelousas back to New-Iberia, with The Fifteenth Maine, which was in the advance a view of being where they could be moved rapat the time, at once received orders to march idly to Brashear City, should circumstances rewithout delay, and by daylight to-morrow morn-quire it. That lest at Opelousas the Third diviing, this regiment, with others in supporting sion, under General McKinnis, and one brigade distance, will be in Brownsville.
GENERAL WASHBURN'S REPORT.
of the Fourth division, under General Burbridge, at Barras Landing, eight miles east of Opelousas, and east of the Bayou Teche, near its juncture
* Also known as the battle of Bayou Bourbeaux,
with the Bayou Cutableau. On the morning of compelled to give way before overwhelming the first instant, by order of Major-General numbers. Here it was that we lost most of our Franklin, the troops of the Third division were men in killed and wounded. The Twenty-third ordered to march and encamp at Carrion Crow Wisconsin, Colonel Guppy commanding, NinetyBayou, while General Burbridge, with the troops sixth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Brown commandunder his command, was ordered to march down ing, and Sixtieth Indiana, commanded by Capthe Teche and cross it, and move by way of tain Gatzler, and Seventeenth Ohio battery, "Grand Coteau," where the road froin Vermil- Captain Rice commanding, fought with the greatlion to Opelousas crosses Muddy Bayou, about est desperation, holding the enemy in check for three miles from Carrion Crow Bayou, in the di- a considerable length of time, but for which our rection of Opelousas, and go into camp there on entire train, with our artillery, would have been the north side of the bayou. Colonel Fonda, captured. As it was, General Burbridge was with about five hundred mounted infantry, was enabled to bring off every wagon, and all Govalso ordered to encamp near him. The troops ernment property, with the exception of one tenall moved and went into camp as ordered. The pounder Parrott gun, which was captured just Nineteenth corps on the same day moved back as it was crossing the bayou, the horses having to Carrion Crow Bayou, and on the following been shot. The bringing off of the section of day to Vermillionville, leaving the Third and First Nimms's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Varbrigades of the Fourth division of the Thirteenth land, after the regiment sent to its support had corps, to hold the positions before named. The surrendered, extorted the admiration of every beposition of the troops, on the morning of the third holder. While the fight was proceeding, the instant, was then as follows: Brigadier-General Third division came up on a double-quick, but Burbridge, with one brigade of the Fourth division, by the time they had reached the middle of the about one thousand two hundred strong, with one prairie, and one and a half miles from the scene six-run battery of ten-pounder Parrotts, and Colo- of action, General Burbridge's command had nel Fonda, with about tive hundred mounted infan- been driven entirely out of the woods, while the try and a section of Nimms's battery, on the north rebel cavalry, in great force, charged through the side of Muddy Bayou ; and the Third division, narrow belt of timber on the left, and were comGeneral McGinnis commanding, three thousand ing down on his rear. By this time, the Third divistrong, with one battery, at Carrion Crow Bayou, sion had come within range, formed in line, and three miles in the rear of General Burbridge. commenced shelling them, which immediately The two bayous before named run, in an easterly checked their further advance, while General direction, nearly parallel with each other, and Burbridge, who had again got his guns into p.)along the stream there is a belt of timber about sition, opened a raking cross-fire upon them, a hundred and fifty yards in width, while between when the whole force of the enemy retreated to the two is smooth level prairie. To the right of the cover of the woods. Our whole force rás General Burbridge's position was an extensive deployed in line of battle, and moved as rapidly and dense tract of woods, while on his front and as possible through the woods, driving the enemy left the country was high open prairie. About out of it, who retreated rapidly. I moved the nine o'clock in the morning of the third, I re- troops up on their line of retreat about one and ceived a note from General Burbridge, saying one half miles, while the cavalry pursued about that the enemy had shown himself in some force. three miles; my men having been brought up at I immediately ordered out the Third division, and a double-quick, were very much exhausted, and just as I got them into line, I received another note it was not possible to pursue farther. Our losses from General Burbridge, saying that the enemy are twenty-six killed, one hundred and twentyhad entirely disappeared. Ordering the division four wounded, and five hundred and sixty-six to remain under arms, I rode rapidly to the front, missing. The loss of the enemy in killed was and learning from General Burbridge and Colonel about sixty; number of wounded not known, as Fonda that all was quiet, and that such troops of they carried all but twelve off the ground; but the enemy as had shown themselves had all fallen wounded officers, who were taken prisoners, back, I started to return to my headquarters, represent the number of wounded as being very near the Third division. When I had arrived at large. We took sixty-five prisoners. about midway between the two camps, I heard a Brigadier-General McGinnis, being very ill
, rapid cannonade. Sending two members of my was not able to be on the field. The troops of stail to the rear, to bring up the Third division, the division behaved admirably under the com I rode back to the front, and crossing the bayon, mand of Brigadier-General Cameron, of the First, and passing through the timber to the open and Colonel Slack, of the Second brigade. The ground, I soon discovered that we were assailed action of General Burbridge was gallant and juwith terrible energy, by an overwhelming force, dicious, from the time I first saw him until the in front and on both flanks. Many of the close of the engagement. The conduct of the troops had broken and were scattered over the Sixty-seventh regiment Indiana infantry was infield, and the utter destruction or capture of explicable, and their surrender can only be atthe whole force seemed imminent.
tributed to the incompetency or cowardice of The attack on the right through the woods the commanding officer. They had not a single was made by infantry, and though our troops man killed. Our mounted force, under Colonels fought most gallantly on that wing, they were Fonda and Robinson, though very small, be
very handsomely. I left at Carrion Crow Indeed, what is the use of talking about rank or Bayou, to hold that position, three regiments of dignity when one gets among old friends and the Third division, namely, the Eleventh Indiana, neighbors, so far from home? It was late at Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, and Twenty-fourth night before we could get through the warm Towa, with one section of artillery. It was for- greetings and answer the innumerable questions tunate that I did so, for, while the fight was pro- about the loved ones at home, from highest to ceeding with General Burbridge's command, Col- lowest in the regiment. onel Bayler, of the First Texas mounted rifles, On the second, was waked at four o'clock. swept round on our left, and attacked the camp The long-roll was beat, and the men fell into at Carrion Crow Bayou, but they were driven off their places in line of battle. An hour after, it with a loss of three killed; we lost none. I re- proved to be a picket skirmish, and the men fer particularly to the report of General Bur- proceeded to get their breakfasts. bridge for the names of those deserving honor- The camp was on the margin of a most beautiable mention. On the fourth instant the enemy ful prairie, the right wing resting upon the sent in a flag of truce, proposing to give up such woods, the left projecting about twenty rods into of our wounded as they had, not having the the prairie, with woods in the rear, and the whole means to take care of them. I sent for and re- fronting the north-west, or Opelousas. The ceived forty-seven. They refused to give up our prairie rose with a very gentle swell in front wounded officers, among them Colonel Guppy, about three quarters of a mile, where the descent of the Twenty-third Wisconsin, a most gallant was from us. The forests here are thin lines of and meritorious officer; though wounded, I am trees, following the windings of the bayous pleased to learn that his wound is not severe, through the prairies, and are rarely above eighty and that all our prisoners are being well treated. rods through, maintaining the line with singular As to the force of the enemy engaged, opinions regularity. The trees are mainly live-oak — an are conflicting; but, from the best data I have, 1 evergreen, draped in the everlasting Spanish judge them to have been from six to seven thou- moss and it is rare that there is any undersand, the whole under the command of Brigadier- growth. The prairies thus cut up or detached by General Green. Respectfully yours,
the lines of trees are from three to six miles in C. C. WASHBURN, length, and from two to four in width. They
Major-General Commanding. are as green and fresh as our prairies at home in Official Copy.
mid-summer. This particular spot was called W. H. MORGAN,
Buzzard Prairie. Major and Assistant-Adjutant-General.
About ten o'clock the long-roll again beat, and Official Copy.
the men of the Twenty-third fell in and marched C. A NICHOLS,
to the right of the line about a mile, and took Assistant-Adjutant-General,
position near a slight ravine, where they re
mained drawn up for some hours. I went out WISCONSIN “STATE JOURNAL" ACCOUNT.
at twelve m. and found one of the First Louisiana New-ORLEANS, LA., Nov. 9, 1863. cavalry had been killed and four wounded. The I returned yesterday from Opelousas, and skirmish was over, and the forces returned to hasten to give you the details of a contest at camp. As an election was to be held in the Bayou Bourbeaux, about nine miles this side of Twenty-third next day, I gave out tickets I had that village, which took place on the third of procured printed in New-Orleans; and Colonel November, involving, as you will see, very im- Guppy had requested of General Burbridge portant results to the Twenty-third Wisconsin. lighter duty next day for his men, if possible, My description, being largely that of my own so as to allow of their voting and receiving their personal hazards and experience, must be taken pay. for what it is worth in a purely military sense, as On the third, at two o'clock A.M., an order I do not pretend to give an accurate account of came to Captain Bull, chief of the pickets and movements on the field, or the reasons for them. outposts, to go at once to the picket-line and
We reached Opelousas after dark, on the night change the countersign, as one or two deserters of the thirty-first of October, stopping with had gone over to the enemy. He got back to Major-General Washburn, who received us with camp about four o'clock. The long-roll again great kindness, and on the first of November, fell beat, and the troops fell in and stood in line until back with the whole army--the Thirteenth and about six, when they got their breakfast. About Nineteenth corps—to Carrion Crow Bayou, about nine o'clock the Seventeenth Ohio battery went twelve miles. The brigade of Colonel Owen, out on the prairie and shelled the woods on the (General Burbridge's old brigade,) in which were left for half an hour, about fifty rebel cavalry the troops I was assigned to pay, was at Bear's having shown themselves on that side. The line Landing, eleven miles in advance of Opelousas, of battle was re-formed, and so remained until the and came in on another road, camping at Bayou action took place at a later hour. During all Bourbeaux, three miles nearer Opelousas than this time, and until the final clinch, we all supthe balance of the corps. Impatient to see the posed it to be a mere guerrilla annoyance, that “boys” of the Twenty-third, I went out the no serious attack was contemplated — and felt same night to their camp, and was most kindly quite as safe as if in the streets of Madison. The and hospitably received by officers and men. I voting went on, and was nearly completed in