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[627] certain number of islands; but the arm of the sea which separates it from the mainland is neither deep nor wide, except where it has been hollowed by the water-courses which flow from the interior of Texas. This arm of the sea thus forms a long channel, which is only navigable for vessels of light draught, and which connects all these water-courses. The small trading-vessels of the Confederacy availed themselves of this fact to ply to and fro out of reach of the blockading fleet. At times they would emerge through one pass, at other times through another, and thus reach the neutral territory of Mexico in a few hours. This kind of lagoon bears at first the name of Matagorda Bay, in the vicinity of the village of Indianola, and communicates with the sea by way of the pass of Saluria; then it successively forms the bays of Espiritu Santo, Aransas, Corpus Christi and Salt Lagoon—names which indicate so many corresponding intersections at the mouths of the rivers San Antonio, Mission, Nueces and El Grullo. Beyond the latter river the lagoon takes the name of Laguna Madre; and being no longer fed by the waters of any tributary, it stretches with uniform width as far as the mouth of the Rio Grande, which marks the Mexican frontier. South of the pass of Saluria are only to be found those of Aransas, Corpus Christi, and finally that of Boca Chica, at the extremity of the Laguna Madre.

Lieutenant Kittredge was in command of several small vessels fitted out as men-of-war, nearly all sailing-vessels, and the gun-boat Sachem, with which he blockaded the entrance of Corpus Christi. The Confederates, being desirous to fit out a few vessels in their turn without being molested, had sunk some piles among the passes. On the 12th of August, Kittredge succeeded in removing these obstacles; he penetrated into the bay with the small steamer Corypheus, and captured one of the enemy's ships, while another was burnt by its own crew. Still another fell into his hands on the 17th. On the 18th he landed about one hundred men, who, being supported by the naval guns, made an attempt to occupy the village of Corpus Christi; but the enemy having appeared in force, these troops re-embarked after having repulsed a feeble attack made by three hundred Confederate horse. Kittredge made no further demonstration against Corpus Christi, and four weeks later he was taken prisoner with the

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