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Letter on 9-24-1862 from General Hamilton Bee to Headquarters concerning the capture of Lt. Kittredge

By Judy C. Ware 2016

Bold lettering done by Judy C. Ware for purposes of family history

To: Brigadier-General P. O. Hebert, Commanding Department of Texas

Headquarters Submilitary District of the Rio Grande,
San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 24, 1862

Sir:  I have the honor to report that Lieutenant Kittredge, commanding United States fleet in the waters of Aransas Bay, arrived at Corpus Christi under a flag of truce on the 12th inst., asking permission to convey the family of E. J. Davis, a renegade traitor of Texas, to New Orleans. Major E. F. Gray, commanding at the post, received the flag, and refusing to allow Mrs. Davis to comply with the request until permission should be received from headquarters, notified Lieutenant Kittredge that ten days would elapse before an answer could be given; whereupon Lieutenant Kittredge withdrew, and proceeded down the bay some 15 miles toward the salt works, on the Laguna de la Madre. On the same night Major Gray dispatched Captain Ireland, with 50 men and one piece of artillery, to watch his proceedings, accompanied by Captain Ware of the cavalry. Captain Ireland posted a portion of his men under Captain Ware at a vacated house near the shore, and within a short distance of where it was known that the fleet of the enemy was anchored for the night, the piece of artillery being well masked in the sand hills.

Early in the ensuing morning the enemy shelled the house and surrounding points for some time; then, the ground being apparently unoccupied, Lieutenant Kittredge, accompanied by 7 men, landed and approached the house. Our men being concealed, the adventurous Lieutenant fell gracefully into the trap set for him, and, with his whole party, were taken prisoners. The report of Captain Ireland of this well conceived and successful plan is here with enclosed for the information of the general commanding.

It is worthy of note that as soon as the gunboats of the enemy became aware of the fate of their officer they opened a rapid fire of shell and grape on the command, which fell alike on soldiers and prisoners, but without damage to either.

Major E. F. Gray immediately forwarded Lieutenant Kittredge, under escort of Major Hobby, to this place, where he arrived on the 20th instant, and having given his parole, now awaits the order of the general commanding. The 7 seamen are also in route to this place.

It gives me great satisfaction to announce this creditable sequel of the defense of Corpus Christi by the capture of the bold and energetic leader of the enemy, and the end of the campaign for the present, as the fleet have all retired to their usual place of anchorage near Aransas Bay.

It is also proper to state that the course of Lieutenant Kittredge, while for many months in command on our coast, has been that of an honorable enemy, and as such he is entitled to the consideration due to his situation by the terms of civilized warfare.

With great respect,
H. P. Bee, Brigadier-General, Provisional Army

Original found in Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion published by Charles W. Stewart, Washington, 1905

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