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[120] Pass Cavallo. Col. W. R. Bradfute, with Maltby's company, Eighth infantry, and Garrett's battalion, State troops, on the steamer Cora, endeavored to rescue the small body garrisoning Mustang island, at Aransas pass, but was unable to do so. The two companies there were compelled to surrender November 17th after a severe fight. Maj. Charles Hill had a spirited combat at Cedar bayou, St. Joseph's island, November 23d, in which he was killed. The Federal brigade, whose advance he had contested, then moved up on Matagorda island and invested Fort Esperanza. The force there, under Colonel Bradfute, successfully sustained an assault and bombardment through the 29th, and in the night spiked the guns, blew up the magazines, and made a safe retreat.

It is learned from a report of General Banks of November 30th, that upon the capture of Fort Esperanza he stated that if he was furnished with another division he would capture Houston and Galveston. And in his report of December 1st, he announced his intention to move up the Matagorda peninsula to the mouth of the Brazos, and after capturing the forts at that place, make it his base for supplies in the movement against Houston and Galveston. But this movement had been anticipated, and General Magruder had collected a large force of Confederate and State troops on the prairie west of the Brazos to resist his invasion of the mainland. That may have somewhat influenced General Banks to suddenly change his plan of reaching the interior of Texas. At any rate, leaving a force in possession of the lower Rio Grande, he sailed with his main strength back to New Orleans. As indicated by subsequent events, he had probably concluded that he could better attain his object by carrying his forces up the Mississippi and along the bayous west of that river, aided by his gunboats and transports, and advance upon Texas from some base selected in Louisiana. That, too, was anticipated and provided against by Generals Taylor and E. Kirby Smith, as will be shown further

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