manner; and to Captain Strong, of the Monongahela, commanding the fleet, and Captain Lamson, of the Granite City, I am under many obligations. Their failure to take part in the attack on the fort was attributable solely to the gale which at the time prevailed. Respectfully yours,
C. C. Washburn, Major-General.
Brigadier-General Ransom's report.
headquarters Third brigade, Second division, Fort Esperanza, Texas, December, 6, 1863.Major: I have the honor to report that, on the twenty-second ultimo, in obedience to the order of Major-General C. C. Washburn, I moved my command (consisting of the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Maine, and Thirty-fourth Iowa infantry, and battery F, First Missouri artillery) from Aransas Pass, eight miles up St. Joseph Island, and encamped at a ranch for the night. Moved on the next morning, and reached Cedar Bayou about noon, twenty-third ultimo, when my advance-guard of mounted infantry, under command of Captain C. S. Ilsley, Fifteenth Maine, had a slight skirmish with a scouting-party of the enemy, in which Major Charles Hill, commanding the rebel party, was killed, and Sergeant James Sanders, company F, Fifteenth Maine, was slightly wounded. I halted at this place, and commenced the construction of a ferry across Cedar Bayou. On the twenty-fifth ultimo, I ferried my command across Cedar Bayou, and encamped about seven miles up Matagorda Island, where I was joined by Colonel Washburn's brigade about midnight. On the twenty-sixth, I marched my command about twenty miles up the island, and encamped at a ranch about ten miles from this point. On the morning of the twenty-seventh, I advanced my brigade, under the direction of General Washburn, up the middle of the island, while Colonel Washburn moved his brigade in a parallel line up the gulf beach. About eleven A. M., we met the advanced pickets of the enemy, and drove them into his works. After reconnoitring and ascertaining the location of the works and main fort of the enemy, I placed my command in an advanced position, indicated by General Washburn, on the left of our line and under cover of a slight rise of ground. This afternoon and the following day were occupied in reconnoitring the approaches to the enemy's work, and was attended with occasional skirmishing and sharpshooting on both sides, and occasional artillery shots from the enemy. On the night of the twenty-eighth, I threw up an earthwork in advance of my left, and on the opposite side of a salt lagoon, which intervened between my position and the chief work of the enemy, where I placed Captain Foust's battery, supported by the Thirty-fourth Iowa infantry, and opened fire on the fort at daylight on the twenty-ninth, continuing at intervals all day. In the mean time, the Seventh Michigan battery, of Colonel Washburn's brigade, had been advanced under cover of the sand-hills on the beach, and opened upon the fort from the right of our line. No casualties occurred in my command. During the night of the twenty-ninth ultimo, the enemy evacuated their works and retired, setting fire to their magazines and stores. The whole of the troops of my command acquitted themselves creditably, and bore the hardships of the severe “norther,” of the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth, on short rations, with a cheerfulness scarcely to be expected from troops most of whom had never experienced a field campaign. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of Colonel H. D. Washburn.
headquarters First brigade, First division, Thirteenth army corps, Saluria, Texas, December 3, 1864.Major: I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by the First brigade, First division, Thirteenth army corps, in the reduction of Fort Esperanza, on Matagorda Island: At midnight, November twenty-fifth, I had succeeded, after much difficulty, in getting the whole of my force across Cedar Bayou upon the island, and marched immediately to join General Ransom, some eight miles in advance. After a few hours' rest we moved up the island, making a very hard march through the sand of twenty-three miles; camped for the night, and moved in the morning for this place. My brigade, by your order, moving along the beach, about twelve o'clock we had advanced to the lighthouse, and in close proximity to the enemy's works. The main portion of the command was halted, and, by your order, I proceeded with one company from each of my regiments, under the command of Captain Ira Uloore, Thirty-third Illinois, a most excellent officer, supported by the Thirty-third regiment Illinois infantry, to reconnoitre and endeavor to find the strength and position of the enemy. Moving cautiously up the beach, we soon drove in the enemy's pickets, and our advance was safely lodged in a range of sand-hills within three hundred yards of the outer work of the enemy — a heavy earth-work, extending from the bay to a lagoon running from the bay on the mainland side of the island. The work was regularly laid out, about fifteen feet in thickness, and from ten to fifteen feet in height. The enemy now opened upon us, from Fort Esperanza, with his one hundred and twenty-eight pounder, and twenty-fours, throwing shells, but with little or no effect. Having found out the position and apparent strength of the enemy, by your order I withdrew my advance. During the night a heavy “norther” coming on, we were unable to do much the twenty-eighth. The night of the twenty-eighth, Captain McAllister, of the Eighth Indiana, and Captain