with captain Oldum to the fort, and found Lieutenant Dowling and Lieutenant N. H. Smith, of the engineer corps, with forty-two men, defending the fort. Until 3 P. M. our men did not open on the enemy, as the range was too distant. The officers of the fort coolly held their fire until the enemy had approached near enough to reach them. But, when the enemy arrived within good range, our batteries were opened, and gallantly replied to a galling and most terrific fire from the enemy. As I entered the fort the gunboats Clifton, Arizona, Sachem, and Granite State, with several others, came boldly up to within one thousand yards, and opened their batteries, which were gallantly and effectively replied to by the Davis Guards. For one hour and thirty minutes a most terrific bombardment of grape, canister and shell was directed against our heroic and devoted little band within the fort. The shot struck in every direction, but, thanks be to God! not one of the noble Davis Guards was hurt. Too much credit cannot be awarded to Lieutenant Dowling, who displayed the utmost heroism in the discharge of the duty assigned him, and the defenders of the fort. God bless the Davis Guards, one and all! The honor of the country was in their hands, and nobly they sustained it. Every man stood at his post, regardless of the murderous fire that was poured upon them from every direction. The result of the battle, which lasted from 3:30 to 5 P. M., was the capturing of the Clifton and Sachem, eighteen heavy guns, and one hundred and fifty prisoners, and the killing and wounding of fifty men, and driving outside the bar the enemy's fleet, comprising twenty-three vessels in all. I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Leon Smith, Commanding Marine Department of Texas.