New Orleans, Sept. 30th, 1862.
Dear Sir: I am informed that six gunboats left this vicinity four days ago, to attack Galveston. I do not know how many troops were on board, but not a large number. It is the intention to destroy the bridge connecting the island with the mainland, and capture the Texas force which occupies Galveston.1
Five regiments of infantry (with proper proportion of Cavalry and Artillery) will start in about a week, on an expedition into the enemy's country. Gen. Weitzel will have command. I am not positively certain, but think, that their destination is North Eastern Texas, which they will easily reach by ascending Red River.
The Schooner "Elma" was seized by me, her owner refusing to give up her Confederate papers, or to take out U. S. papers. Vessel and cargo were worth less than $3,000. I sent her to N. Y. in charge of one Valleau, who was highly recommended by military officers and others.
I am informed that this vessel was run ashore on Dauphine Island off Mobile, and destroyed. She was small and old. Either she run ashore in a storm, or what is more probable, Valleau tried to run the Blockade into Mobile, and was so hard pressed by a Gunboat that he run the vessel ashore so as to prevent capture. This is the first accident which has occurred, but luckily neither vessel nor cargo was valuable. She had on board 40 bars iron for plating Gunboats, put in as ballast.
You expected the Navy to assist me. They have never given me the least help, and I am obliged to take the whole responsibility of forwarding vessels to New York.
The Light at South Pass will be relighted to-morrow night for the first time. I go down to the mouth of the River today to attend to it.
1 A successful attack was made on Galveston on October 6. The boats began to arrive off Galveston on October 3. Cf. Rebellion Records Series I, Vol. XV, passim.
SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. Chase, Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 317-8