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But the news he received in the latter part of December made him feel the necessity of acting promptly, so as not to lose the favorable opportunity. Indeed, President Lincoln had appointed a provisional governor of Texas, who would naturally establish his quarters in Galveston, as it was the only point in that vast State where he could enforce his authority. Renshaw having declared that he had not men enough to occupy the town. General Banks, who had just superseded Butler in New Orleans, promised to send him two small regiments and a battery of artillery. These troops were expected at Galveston in the last days of December. Magruder determined to anticipate their arrival; the attack was at first fixed for the night of the 30th, then for the 31st, of December. On the 28th some bold partisans, acting under his instructions, destroyed the lighthouse situated at the entrance of the pass, at the point called the Peninsula of Bolivar, which faces the island of Galveston.

In the mean while, a naval division conveying Governor M. Hamilton, with the reinforcements promised by Banks and the necessary provisions, had left New Orleans between the 25th and the 29th of December. Unfortunately, a portion of the ships, with one of the regiments, touched first at Ship Island, and the progress of the others was so slow that only one of them, the Saxon, reached Galveston before the 31st of December, with three hundred men of the Forty-first Massachusetts on board. The latter were at once landed; and not wishing to lose the protection of the gun-boats, they encamped upon the very pier of Galveston. It was feared to scatter them about the town, which thus remained unoccupied and without surveillance, while the railroad bridge enabled Magruder to communicate openly with the inhabitants. This intercourse was even too frequent not to compromise the secret of his plan. Renshaw was, in fact, notified on the 31st of the attack that was contemplated. He could easily have prevented it by destroying the great railroad bridge with cannon-shots, and re-embarking the detachment of infantry, which was too much exposed on the land, and bringing the guns of his flotilla to bear upon the town. But he took no notice of this information, deeming the projected attack impossible.

The last day of the year 1862 was brought to a close by one

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