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[628] crew of one of his launches while engaged in a reconnaissance in Laguna Madre.

The principal port of Texas, after Galveston, is that of Sabine City. This little town, situated on the west side of the deep and narrow strait which connects Sabine Lake with the open sea, has a line of railway that places it in communication with Houston and the interior of the State. A battery of four thirty-two pounders had been erected by the Confederates to command the pass. The Federal steamer Kensington arrived in sight of this pass on the 23d of September, and the next day her crew got on board of two schooners of light draught for the purpose of forcing an entrance. This operation was successfully accomplished on the 25th; and while the Union vessels were engaged in silencing the four guns of the enemy, a landing-party was disembarked between the battery and Sabine City. It met with no resistance; and the Federals, after taking possession of the works, established themselves in the town. Unfortunately for them, they found the yellow fever there, which made their apparently easy success cost them very dear. The merit of this little expedition was due to Mr. Crocker, a merchant captain, who, like many others, had temporarily passed into the service of the United States with the title of acting master. He resolved to finish the work he had so successfully begun, by going in search of and destroying all the vessels engaged as blockade-runners in the bays situated between Sabine Pass and the entrance of the Atchafalaya. While the crews of the schooners were landing on the west side of Lake Sabine and setting fire to a railroad bridge over a stream called Taylor's Bayou, he proceeded on board the Kensington to visit the passes through which the waters of Lakes Calcasieu and Mermantau empty into the sea, and captured several vessels, among others a small steamer. Meanwhile, the Confederates promptly repaired the little damage done to the bridge of Taylor's Bayou by the fire; and understanding how important it was for them to retain possession of this bridge, so as to be able at all times to menace Sabine City, they stationed there a garrison of three hundred men. On the 15th of October, Crocker, with a steamer recently captured, on board of which he had placed a twelve-pounder howitzer and a twenty-pounder Parrott gun,

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