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[103]
His men behaved most creditably. Both the officers and the men were exposed to the rain without shelter and short of provisions, but determined to remain until an opportunity was offered to attack the enemy. The boats approached in rear of each other, the first only landing, so the capture of the others was impossible. Nearly all, so the prisoners state, were killed in the second boat; the third had a gun but were unable to use it under the fire of the riflemen. The captured launch is now in the service, and the cotton secured, awaiting your orders. The Sharp's shooters I have repaired and turned over to the ordnance officer, who issued them to Captain Hobby's company as they were greatly in need of guns, having 64 men and only 40 guns.

The report of Capt. E. E. Hobby was as follows:

On the 3d inst., about 2 p. m., I attacked with 28 men of my company three Federal launches, containing about 40 of the enemy, and succeeded in capturing one launch (captain's gig), 5 prisoners, 6 new superior Sharp's rifles, 5 cartridge boxes and 1 ammunition chest. One of the remaining launches, being about 300 yards from the shore, had also surrendered and was pulling toward us. I ordered the fire on it to cease and the men to secure the property belonging to the gig already captured. While busily engaged in this the bark opened fire upon us and the launch began to pull to her. We again fired upon it, doing much execution. We could distinctly see the men in the launch drop their oars and fall over as we fired. Several bodies were also seen floating in the water. One of the launches reached the bark with only 2 men in it. The third launch being still further out in the gulf, pulled out of our range at the beginning of the fight. I do not think I am mistaken in estimating the loss of the enemy at 20 in killed, wounded and prisoners. I cannot too highly praise the conduct of the men on this occasion; they were regardless of danger. Their enthusiasm was only equaled by their bravery, and they promptly obeyed every command. The captured launch was carried by the men across the island, a distance of 2 miles, to Aransas bay. On the night of the 3d I removed ten bales of cotton, which had been captured by the enemy and placed on the shore of St. Joseph's island, and carefully concealed it, where it now awaits transportation. Privates Smith and

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