No. 7. -- Report of Co. Alfred Mouton, Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry.
HDQRS. 4TH BRIGADE, 1ST CORPS, 2D GRAND DIV.,
ARMY OF MISSISSIPPI VALLEY,
Near Corinth, nine miles towards Pittsburg, March 12, 1862.
SIR: A mounted courier has just reached me with a verbal message from Major Baskerville, stating that the enemy had landed a force at Crump's Landing 18,000 strong, firing upon the cavalry pickets, driving them in. The same courier informs me that a regiment of infantry, a company of our artillery, and all the cavalry are retreating on Purdy.
Colonel Eighteenth Regiment Louisiana Vols.,
Comdg. Fourth Brig., C. S. Forces, Mississippi Valley.
Capt. Roy MASON HOOE,
A. A. G., Corinth, Miss. 24
No. 182. -- Report of Co. Alfred Mouton, Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry.
CAMP, NEAR CORINTH, MISS.,
April 12, 1862.
SIR: Herewith! respectfully submit a report of the part taken by the Eighteenth Louisiana Volunteers in the engagements of the 6th and 7th instant:
Leaving this camp at about 3 p.m. on the 3d I reached the line of battle on the 5th at about 5 p.m.
Early on the 6th I was ordered to take position facing the enemy in an eligible location and await the arrival of the balance of the brigade. I advanced opposite to the enemy's camp and halted in a field about 400 yards distant therefrom. My skirmishers ascended the slope of the hill and exchanged shots with the enemy for about fifteen minutes, when the latter withdrew. I then pushed forward and perceived about 500 of the enemy in retreat. Anxious to intercept them, I rushed on at double-quick, but, unfortunately, our troops on the right mistook us for the enemy, owing, I presume, to the blue uniforms of a large number of my men, and opened on us with cannon and musket. This impeded my progress and brought me to a halt until a staff officer signaled to our troops to cease firing. On the cessation of the firing I moved on to the camp and captured 29 prisoners, who were placed in charge of Lieut. W. Prescott, Company K, who transferred them to Col. Eli S Shorter, Eighteenth Alabama, on receipt. But for this unfortunate occurrence the probability is I would have captured the whole number of the enemy that was fleeing.
Here 1 man was killed and Captain Huntington, Company H, and 3 privates were wounded by the fire of our friends.
Thence we moved onward to a deep ravine under cover from the enemy's shells; notwithstanding, Company F had 1 private killed and another wounded.
Thence, at about 4 p.m., I moved by the left flank through the continuation of the same ravine, with a view of charging the battery, which had been continuously firing on us. Before reaching a proper position, and while directly in front of the battery, distant from it about 600 or 700 yards, I received peremptory orders to move up the hill and charge the battery. The order was instantly obeyed. About 400 yards from the battery my line became entirely uncovered, and thence my regiment rushed forward alone at double-quick toward the battery, being all the while exposed to an incessant fire both from the battery and its supports. At about 60 or 70 yards from the battery, which then commenced moving from its position and began to retreat, the enemy had opposed to my regiment, then numbering about 500, three regiments of infantry, two of which kept up an incessant cross-fire on my troops, and the third, as soon as unmasked by the battery, also opened upon us. Thus exposed, my men falling at every step, being unsupported and unable to accomplish the capture of the battery or the repulse of the enemy, I was compelled to retire, leaving my dead and wounded on the field.
Here 207 officers and men fell either dead or wounded, and Lieutenant-Colonel Roman and I had our horses shot under us.
I must add that, in my opinion, the order to charge the battery was prematurely given ; that is, before our troops had taken proper position <ar10_522> to act effectively and support one another. Otherwise I am inclined to believe the battery would have been captured.
After rallying the regiment I moved off to the left and took position opposite the enemy's lines, distant about 300 yards, which were covered by infantry and artillery. Throwing out pickets to protect my line, I bivouacked for the night.
By this time my men were completely exhausted, as they had neither slept nor eaten since the evening of the 4th and had been continually on the march.
On the night of the 6th it rained almost constantly, and, being without cover, by the morning of the 7th they were thoroughly drenched and worn out from lack of food and rest.
At about 6.30 a.m. on the 7th the enemy in large force opened on us with cannon and musket. My troops being in full view of the battery, I fell back under cover from their shells.
While in this position orders were received at about 8 a.m. to move to the right of the line. From this hour until 1.30 p.m. we were constantly marching and counter-marching; the Orleans Guards in the mean time having been attached to my command.
About 2 p.m. we were ordered to move on the enemy, which was done, without energy or life by the troops, twice in succession,notwithstanding the noble and daring efforts of Generals Beauregard and Bragg to lead them on in the face of the enemy. The fact is the men were completely exhausted from inanition and physical fatigue, many dropping in the attempt to move onward.
Here I was wounded in the face and 3 privates remained on the field, either killed or wounded. I was then compelled, by reason of my wound, to abandon the field.
Thence, by order, my troops fell back about 3.30 p.m. to a line a little beyond Shiloh Church, and about 4.30 p.m. they moved by the left flank to the rear and reached Corinth on the 8th at about 3 p.m., as I have been informed by the lieutenant-colonel then in command.
A complete field return has already been forwarded, and I beg leave to call attention to the number of killed and wounded officers. Allow me to add further that my report of this morning exhibits only 10 officers for duty, viz: l captain, 4 first lieutenants, and 5 second lieutenants.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eighteenth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.
Lieut. O. O. COBB,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, C. S. Forces. 25
No. 72. -- Report of Col. Ralph P. Buckland, Seventy-second Ohio
Infantry, Commanding Fourth Brigade.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the brigade under my command in the battle of Pittsburg:
Between 6 and 7 o'clock on Sunday morning I was informed that our pickets were fired upon. I immediately gave orders for forming the brigade on the color line, which was promptly done. About this time I was informed that the pickets were being driven in. I ordered the Forty-eighth Regiment, Colonel Sullivan, to advance in support of the pickets, which he did, but discovered that the enemy had advanced in force to the creek, about 80 to 100 rods in front. I immediately ordered the brigade to advance in line of battle. We had marched about 30 to 40 rods when we discovered the enemy, and opened fire upon him along the whole line, which checked his advance and caused him to fall back. Discovering that he was pushing a column up a narrow ravine, which <ar10_267> extended from the left of the Seventy-second Regiment to the flat at the creek, bearing somewhat to the right, I ordered the Seventy-second to change front, so as to form a line parallel to the ravine extending down to the flat, Company B forming an angle across the head of the ravine. In this position our line was maintained for more than two hours under a deadly fire from the enemy. Officers and men behaved with great coolness and bravery, keeping up a constant stream of fire upon the enemy. He several times recoiled and rallied, but did not advance his line after the action commenced until we were ordered to fall back upon the Purdy road, which we did in good order·
Lieutenant-Colonel Canfield, in command of the Seventy-second Regiment, was mortally wounded early in the engagement and was carried from the field. Major Crockett had been taken prisoner on the Friday previous, which left the Seventy-second Regiment without any field officers, except myself. The captains of Companies A and B, and quite a number of the other company officers, were sick and unable to go into the action, consequently I remained on the right of the brigade and took command of the Seventy-second Regiment, having full confidence that Colonels Sullivan and Cockerill would maintain their parts of the line, which they did gallantly until the regiment on the left of my brigade gave way and we were ordered to fall back.
In this action the Seventy-second had the lieutenant-colonel mortally wounded (since dead), Captain Wegstein, Company H, and 10 non-commissioned officers and privates, killed, and 3 officers and 65 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded; the Forty-eighth Regiment, 8 privates killed and a large number wounded; the Seventieth Regiment, 5 privates killed and about 20 wounded. The enemy's loss was very heavy in front of this brigade. Eighty-five bodies of the enemy were counted along and at the foot of the ravine flanked by the Seventy-second Regiment, among which was the body of Colonel Mouton, of the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment, as I learned from a wounded enemy found at our camp on our return. Large numbers of dead bodies were found on the enemy's line opposite our front, to the left of the 85, in the ravine. I think I may safely put the number killed by my brigade in that action at 200. The number of wounded must have been immense.
We formed line again on the Purdy road, but the fleeing mass from the left broke through our lines, and many of our men caught the infection and fled with the crowd. Colonel Cockerill became separated from Colonel Sullivan and myself, and was afterwards engaged with part of his command at McClernand's camp. Colonel Sullivan and myself kept together and made every effort to rally our men, but with very poor success. They had become scattered in all directions. We were borne considerably to the left, but finally succeeded in forming a line and had a short engagement with the enemy, who made his appearance soon after our line was formed. The enemy fell back, and we proceeded to the road, where you found us. At this point I was joined by Colonel Cockerill, and we there formed line of battle, and slept on our arms Sunday night. Colonel Sullivan, being out of ammunition, marched to the Landing for a supply, and while there was ordered to support a battery at that point. The next morning he joined me, and we rallied all the men we could, and advanced, under your directions, to McClernand's camp. At that point we were again brought into action at a critical time and under heavy fire. The manner in which my brigade came into line and fought was observed by you, and therefore I need not describe it.
In this action the Seventy-second lost 1 sergeant and 1 private killed <ar10_268> and 5 privates wounded; the Forty-eighth had 6 privates killed, Colonel Sullivan and a large number of privates wounded; the Seventieth, 2 privates killed and about 10 wounded.
In this action we advanced our line upon the enemy a considerable distance, and my brigade kept up their fire until their ammunition was expended, when we fell back, replenished, and again advanced, but were not afterwards engaged, the enemy being in full retreat. We encamped on Monday night in the camp we left on Sunday morning.
On Tuesday morning, the 8th instant, my brigade, with others, marched in pursuit of the enemy on the road to Corinth some miles, and when a portion of Hildebrand's brigade engaged the enemy mine was ordered into line of battle, and came into line in gallant style, although the men were much fatigued by their labors and hardships during Sunday and Monday. The men were eager to engage the enemy again, but we were not called upon to do so. We returned to camp in the evening.
Lists of the killed, wounded, and missing in the three regiments have been sent you.
As to Colonels Sullivan and Cockerill, I need add nothing more. My report shows that they were always where duty called them, regardless of danger. In the last action at McClernand's camp Colonel Sullivan was wounded in the arm. As to the officers and men under their command, I refer to their respective reports.
Lieut. Col. Herman Canfield was mortally wounded on Sunday morning while bravely passing along the line encouraging and cheering the men. He was as brave as the bravest. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Lieut. E. A. Rawson, adjutant Seventy-second Regiment Ohio Volunteers. His horse was shot under him on Sunday morning, but he continued on foot, bravely performing his duty to the end of the battle. After the lieutenant-colonel was taken from the field Rawson was the only officer left to aid me in rallying and keeping the regiment together, and most nobly did he stand by me
through all the vicissitudes of the battle.
The following company officers were distinguished for bravery and good conduct throughout:
Company A, First Lieut. Henry W. Gifford (severely wounded Sunday morning), and Second Lieut. Spencer Russell; Company B, First Lieut. Henry W. Buckland; Company C, First Lieut. M. T. Williamson; Company D, Capt. Andrew Nuhfer and First Lieut. M. A. Fowler; Company E, First Lieut. C. Dennis; Company F, Capt. Leroy Moore; Company G, Capt. James Fernald; Company H, Captain Wegstein (killed Sunday morning), and First Lieut. Anthony Young; Company I, Capt. Jacob Fickes. Captain Eaton, Company A, Captain Raymond, Company B, Captain Thompson, Company K, Lieutenant Biddle, Company G, and Lieutenant Rice, Company F, were sick and unable to go into the action.
I take the liberty to refer to the important services of Surg. J. B. Rice and the assistant surgeons of the Forty-eighth, Seventieth, and Seventy-second Regiments Ohio Volunteers. They labored at the landing among the wounded almost incessantly night and day, taking no sleep for two days and nights. Also the chaplain of the Seventy-second, the Rev. A. B. Poe, who labored with the surgeon during the same time, rendering very important services.
I take pleasure in commending Lieut. D. M. Harkness, quartermaster, for the energy and good conduct displayed by him in his department during the battle. So many non-commissioned officers and privates <ar10_269> displayed great courage that I cannot undertake to select individuals as more distinguished than others.
Officers and men lost nearly everything, except what they had on their persons when the fight commenced. They are destitute of overcoats, blankets, knapsacks, and haversacks; also dress-coats, they having on their blouses.
Your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Brigade.
General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE, FIFTH DIVISION,
April 9, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded, with list of killed, wounded, and missing. This brigade attracted my attention, and has received notice in my report. I feel assured the officers named by Colonel Buckland will receive their reward in season.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Fifth Division.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE, FIFTH DIVISION,
April 10, 1862.
SIR: I annex a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of this brigade, which sums up as follows :(*)
O Officers. A Aggregate
M Enlisted Men.
Killed - - Wounded - - Missing
Command. O M O M O M A
48th Ohio 1 13 5 85 .... 49 153
70th Ohio .... 9 1 53 .... .... 63
72d Ohio 2 13 3 70 .... 45 133
Total 3 35 9 208 ... 94 349
Many of the missing will doubtless be found alive and well.
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Brigade.
General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Fifth Division. 26
No. 180. -- Report of Col. Preston Pond, jr., Sixteenth Louisiana
Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.
HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., FIRST DIV., ARMY OF THE MISS.,
SIR: I have the honor to submit through you to Brigadier-General Ruggles commanding First Division Second Grand Division, Army of the Mississippi, the following report of the movements of the Third Brigade of his division on Sunday and Monday, April 6 and 7:
On the morning of the 6th, at daylight, the brigade was formed in the order of battle, with columns doubled on the center at battalion distance, the right resting on the left of General Anderson's brigade, with the left extended towards Owl Creek and crossing the left of General Hardee's line about 500 yards to the rear.
At about 8 o'clock an order was received from General Ruggles to throw one regiment, with one section of guns, to the left, towards Owl Creek. In compliance with this order, Colonel Looney's regiment (Thirty-eighth Tennessee) and one section of Captain Ketchum's battery were thrown about three-quarters of a mile to the left, and the position assigned to them covered on the front and flank with cavalry skirmishers.
These dispositions were not quite completed when an order was received from General Ruggles to advance the whole of his line. The brigade moved forward in double columns, over very difficult ground, endeavoring to preserve the proper interval between itself and General Anderson's brigade and at the same time to guard the flank of the line on Owl Creek. After advancing about 600 yards the brigade was halted near some small houses, with a large field on the left and also with a similar field in front.
The enemy's skirmishers being seen towards Owl Creek, Colonel Looney's regiment, with the section of Captain Ketchum's battery, were again sent to the left, to a distance of three-quarters of a mile, and posted to command the Owl Creek road. Information being received from Colonel Looney that the enemy were ambushed in his front, the Crescent Regiment, under Col. M. J. Smith, was detached to report to Colonel Looney and to support him.
Shortly after an order came from General Hardee for the left to advance. In response to this order the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Louisiana Volunteers and battalion Orleans Guards advanced until they reached the line occupied by the Second Brigade, commanded by General Anderson, which brigade was engaging the enemy in one of his camps and which he was stubbornly contesting. <ar10_517>
This camp having been carried, the whole line advanced through a narrow strip of woods and across a wide field until we reached the main and last camp of the enemy, which was not occupied, this camp having apparently been abandoned without a contest, as there were no evidences of any struggle having taken place there. As we approached this camp a few of the enemy were seen on our left, who fired a few shots at us, but who were dispersed by one shot from Captain Ketchum's battery. When we entered the edge of the field in which their main camp was situated we perceived the enemy in full retreat to our right. The left of the brigade was immediately thrown forward and the whole put in motion at double-quick to cut him off, and the movement would, without doubt, have been successful, but when nearly across the field a deadly fire was received from our own forces on the right, killing and wounding several of the Eighteenth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, under the command of Colonel Mouton.
Not knowing at first from whence the fire was directed, and fearing that I might have passed some of the enemy's forces, the brigade was halted and thrown back about 100 yards, to the edge of the woods. When our troops on the right advanced across the opening this brigade advanced on the same line, passed through the main camp, and through a very deep ravine beyond it. At this time we were moving a little in advance of the front line, which was commanded by General Hardee.
Upon rising the crest of the hill the command encountered a heavy fire of grape at a distance of about 400 yards. The brigade was thrown back under the cover of the hill, and Captain Ketchum's battery placed in position on the hills to the rear, to silence the enemy's battery and to disorganize its infantry supports. While waiting for Captain Ketchum's battery to get into position I reconnoitered, and discovered the enemy posted in considerable numbers in a camp some 200 or 300 yards to my front and left, and in a similar camp immediately to my front and right, from which the fire of the battery had been received and was still continued.
At this time (about 4 p.m.) Colonel Ferguson brought a peremptory order to me to charge the battery with my brigade. Colonel Ferguson was informed that there was a battery immediately in front, and said he would inform General Hardee and report to me. Immediately after Colonel Ferguson left me the Washington Artillery was placed in battery to the right of the enemy's main camp and made an effort to silence the enemy's battery on my front, but failed to do so.
By orders, said by Colonel Ferguson to be the orders of General Hardee, my brigade was filed, left in front, up a deep ravine, in a direction flanking the enemy's battery, and while the head of the column was some 300 yards in front of the battery, by the direction of Colonel Ferguson, speaking as for General Hardee, I ordered the charge. This brought my troops under the fire of the enemy's battery and three of his regiments in an oblique column instead of line of battle, and the fire became so destructive that the troops recoiled under it.
The Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment suffered severely in this charge; also the Orleans Guards; the Sixteenth Louisiana less than either, being on the right, and consequently in what might be called the rear of the column. As my troops were advancing to this charge we again received a severe fire from our own troops on the right, which, added to the fire of the enemy, almost disorganized the command. In order to reform we were compelled to fall back about 150 yards to the enemy's main camp, where we were rejoined by Colonel Looney with his regiment, he having received orders to leave his position on Owl Creek road <ar10_518> and unite with the brigade. The camp on my right was subsequently abandoned by the enemy and occupied by our troops, the enemy withdrawing his battery. I heard sharp firing from my right on that camp, in which the Thirty-eighth Tennessee was engaged before it united with the brigade. The camp to my left continued to be occupied in considerable force, and as the duty of guarding the left was placed in my hands, and being separated about a quarter of a mile from the forces immediately on my right, I felt that any rash or inconsiderate advance or engagement of my troops might result in the exposure of our left and rear, and therefore made no attack on it. The charge made on the enemy's battery, by which the Eighteenth Regiment suffered so severely, was not in accordance with my judgment. I did it reluctantly and in obedience to peremptory orders. If left to myself I had the means of taking it, and would have taken it in twenty minutes after my battery had been brought into action. There was a wide gap between my left and Owl Creek. I was alone with my brigade, without anything to support my own rear or the left of the general line, and therefore felt it my duty to take every step with extreme caution and to keep my force in hand to hold Owl Creek against any and every contingency.
In this I was acting in strict accordance with the plan of battle communicated to me by General Bragg on the evening of the 5th instant, and to this plan I rigidly adhered, no advices having reached me of change of plan.
At night, after the battle ceased, acting in obedience to orders received through the day from a great variety of sources, I found my infantry line considerably in advance of our general front. I immediately fell back to this line, resting my right on the main camp of the enemy and extending my left to Owl Creek, establishing police guards around each regiment, with pickets in rear and front and to the left, across Owl Creek. My ranks were then opened and the men caused to lie down on their arms. There was some picket firing during the night, but nothing important developed itself.
I would mention that on Sunday evening, just after the firing ceased, I heard cheering on the river below me, evidently proceeding from a large force, to which my men responded, thinking it to be from their friends, and when the cheering ceased a band played the air of "Hail Columbia" from a boat which was ascending the river.
My bivouac on Sunday night was within a mile of the river and within 400 yards of the enemy's lines. During the night our main line was thrown back about three-quarters of a mile, without the movement having been communicated to me.
On Monday morning at daylight a sharp skirmish took place between pickets, and was immediately followed by a spirited engagement between my lines and those of the enemy. A battery was also opened against my right at a range of about 400 yards. At this time I discovered that our main line had fallen back and that my brigade was alone in the presence of the enemy, who was in strong force. I regarded the position as perilous, and would no doubt have been cut off or cut to pieces but for the cool, intrepid, and gallant conduct of Captain Ketchum, who brought his battery into position on my right and maintained a spirited and effective fire against the enemy within infantry range, while my regiments were withdrawn under the lead of their respective commanders.
I cannot speak too highly of the coolness and intrepidity of Colonel Mouton, Major Gober, Colonel Looney, and Captain Mouton, manifested by the orderly manner in which they withdrew their
respective <ar10_519> commands over the most difficult ground, and united themselves, without disaster, with the main line.
The infantry movement left Captain Ketchum's battery exposed; but as the whole was in great peril, I thought it better to sacrifice the pieces than the regiment, if anything had to be lost. Captain Ketchum, however, withdrew, covered by a regiment of Texas Rangers, exhibiting throughout the whole a degree of skill and courage which mark him as an artillery officer of the highest merit; in fact, the safety of my command is due to him.
Upon reaching the main line, the left of which was at the enemy's first camp on the Savannah road, I was ordered by General Ruggles to form on the extreme left and rest my left on Owl Creek. While proceeding to execute this order I was ordered to move by the rear of the main line to support the extreme right of General Hardee's line. Having taken my position to support General Hardee's right, I was again ordered by General Beauregard to advance and occupy the crest of a ridge in the edge of an old field. My line was just formed in this position when General Polk ordered me forward to support his line. While moving to the support of General Polk an order reached me from General Beauregard to report to him with my command at his headquarters. This was on the extreme left, where my brigade became engaged in the fight, which continued until the contest between the armies finally ceased. AS General Ruggles was present at this point no report of particulars is necessary. My command was kept well in hand through the occurrences of both days and brought off the field in as good order as it entered it, under my immediate command.
Colonel Mouton was wounded in the fight at the church and Major Querouze was wounded in the knee in the charge on enemy's battery.
The Crescent Regiment was not seen by me during the engagement, but I received information from various sources that it was in the fight on the right and served with marked gallantry and effect.
P. POND, jr.,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. ROY MASON HOOE.
P. S.--I would call attention to the case of that gallant officer and soldier Capt. Walter Crain whose battery has been taken from him. I saw him fighting gallantly in the ranks with his rifle, and in the engagement of Monday he received a severe wound. If gallantry would entitle an officer to his command none deserve it more than Captain Crain.
A Killed. D Mortally.
B Seriously. E Missing.
C Slightly. F Total.
Regiment. A B C D E F Remarks.
16th Louisiana Volunteers 14 13 31 5 27 90 See report
38th Tennessee 7 17 26 .... 15 65 Do.
Orleans Guards 17 .... 55 .... 18 90 Do.(*)
Ketchum's battery 1 .... 13 .... .... 14 Sick, 23.
18th Louisiana Regiment 13 80 .... .... 118 211
Crescent Regiment 23 80 .... .... 20 127
Aggregate .... .... .... .... .... 597
This is only a rough report. I will cause others to be made in accordance with general orders. Those reported as missing are occasionally coming in.
P. POND, jr.
Commanding Third Brigade. 27
No. 59. -- Report of Capt. E. Camille Mire, Eighteenth Louisiana
Infantry, of engagement at Farmington, Miss., May 9.
HDQRS. EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT LOUISIANA VOLS.,
Near Corinth, Miss., May 10, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report, in pursuance of orders, Lieut. Col. A. Roman's regiment, Eighteenth Louisiana Volunteers, of which I am in temporary command, took up its line of march to the front at 8 a.m. 9th instant with the Second Brigade, Major Gober commanding. My command did not meet with the enemy until about 1 p.m. This was in a wood beyond Farmington, near the bottom of Seven Mile Creek and near----- house, afterward used as a hospital. While ---- halted in line of battle, with my left resting about 50 yards from this wood, I was ordered to march by the left flank into this wood, after <ar10_822> throwing out skirmishers in a direction to the right. The ravine which I was ordered to follow led to the left, and after following it about 50 yards the head of the column found itself in ambuscade, and after the exchange of a few shots was compelled to retire. After forming line, by orders marched by the flank into the wood, and filing to the left debouched into an open field, where I was ordered to support a battery. In a half hour marched again and reached the Seven Mile Creek Bottom, when I received orders to retire to Farmington and return to camp, which last I reached about 7 p.m.
My loss in this engagement was 1 killed and 14 wounded. Most of the wounds were slight.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Eighteenth Regiment Louisiana Vols.
Capt. ROY MASON HOOE,
Assistant Adjutant-General. 28
No. 57. -- Report of Maj. D. Gober, Sixteenth Louisiana Infantry,
commanding Brigade, of engagement at Farmington, Miss, May 9.
HDQRS. 2D BRIG., RUGGLES' DIV., ARMY OF THE MISS.,
Corinth, Miss., May 10, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by this brigade in the engagement of the 9th instant, at Farmington:
Soon after reaching the deserted village of Farmington I was ordered by one of General Ruggles' staff officers--Capt. R. M. Hooe---to develop the line of battle rapidly along the road through the village to the left of the First Brigade. Almost immediately after getting into line I was ordered forward to engage the enemy, a few of whose scouts were to be seen on the hill some half a mile beyond, near the Seven Mile Creek. After passing nearly through the fields toward the thick woods beyond I halted the brigade and ordered a section of Ducatel's battery forward to an eminence commanding the enemy's position, and directed its fire (canister) on their cavalry scouts, some 30 or 40 of whom were then within full view and range, and scattered them. I then ordered forward sharpshooters to take possession of the woods, but found that the enemy's skirmishers had already occupied the position and were pouring a destructive fire into our ranks, causing the line to give way, but I soon rallied it and moved forward, driving the enemy before us through the woods into an old field beyond, where they rallied for a short time. A section of Robertson's battery here took a position to our left and opened fire upon the enemy, and it being without support, I took to its relief the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment, then with the Eleventh and Sixteenth Louisiana, the First Brigade being on our left, drove the enemy from his position in confusion into the woods and pursued him <ar10_821> for about a mile, but without overtaking. I was then ordered to fall back on Farmington.
It is proper to remark that the Nineteenth Louisiana was not engaged, by reason of being in the trenches.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Second Brigade, Ruggles' Division.
Capt. ROY MASON HOOE,
Assistant Adjutant-General. 29
La., including capture of Donaldsonville, October 25, and action at
Georgia Landing, near Labadieville, October 27.
No. 2.--Reports of Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, U.S. A., commanding expedition.
HEADQUARTERS RESERVE BRIGADE,
Donaldsonville, La., October 25, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders, I left Carrollton, La., yesterday afternoon with my command, and landed, <ar21_167> in accordance with my design, at Miner's Point, 6 miles below this place, directing my transports to follow up the column, carrying the baggage and caissons. I entered this place without opposition at about 10 a.m. I heard so many conflicting reports as to the strength and position of the enemy's forces that I sent out a reconnaissance of two companies of infantry, of the Thirteenth Connecticut, under the command of Captains McCord and Schlieter, and Perkins' cavalry, accompanied by my adjutant-general, Captain Hubbard. They drove in the enemy's pickets, and report the force encamped on both sides of Bayou La Fourche, and represented to them as numbering 3,000. I could not get my train off soon enough and loaded to start to-day, as I would thus come upon the enemy too late in the evening; but I propose to start to-morrow early.
Captain [Richard] Barrett and Lieutenant [S. A.] Perkins, in a fine dash upon the enemy's pickets, captured a number of prisoners (13), all of whom I released on parole.
I have not the least doubt but that the enemy will concentrate to meet me at Thibodeaux ; in what force I cannot positively state, but it is said to be pretty large. I am informed that General Mouton is now in command, and has with him the remainder of the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment, which has seen some service. I will leave the First Louisiana here to hold this post, and must request you to order them supplied with provisions from the city. I hope you will give me a vigorous co- operation from the railroad.
In conclusion I must thank Capt. [George M.] Ransom, in command ofthe Kineo and the gunboat fleet, for his vigorous and efficientco-operation with me thus far in my expedition. He manifested that same disposition to co-operate with the Army to the full extent of his powers for which he has already become famous. The same praiseis due to Capt. [Reigart B.] Lowry, commanding the gunboat Sciota;Capt. [Francis A.] Roe, commanding the gunboat Katahdin, and Capt.[R. F.R.] Lewis, commanding the gunboat Itasca. My transports were not fired upon at all, so well were they covered by the gunboats.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen. U.S. Vols., Comdg. Reserve Brig., Dept. of the Gulf.
Maj. GEORGE C. STRONG,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of the Gulf, New Orleans, La. 30
No. 39.--Report of Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, C. S. Army, commanding District of Western Louisiana, of operations April 9-23.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, April 23, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of recent engagements with the enemy:
On Thursday morning, 9th instant, information was communicated to me by Colonel Gray, commanding at Camp Bisland, that the enemy under cover of their gunboats had crossed a small force from Brashear City to Berwick City and that our pickets in the vicinity of Berwick had been driven in. Later in the day the same officer dispatched to me information that the enemy was in force at Brashear and was crossing troops to Berwick. This reached me while I was on my way to Butte-à-la-Rose for the purpose of hastening the departure of our gunboat fleet from that point, in order to place it in Grand Lake with a view to operations against the enemy or protection of the several landings on that lake from his approach, as his movements might be developed. I immediately returned to Camp Bisland and moved Colonel Green's Regiment, Fifth Texas Mounted Volunteers, to the front, throwing out a strong picket in advance with orders to proceed as near Berwick as possible, to skirmish with the enemy, ascertain his strength, and retard his advance. Having given orders for the gunboats Queen of the West, Grand Duke, and Mary T. to rendezvous at Butte-à-la-Rose, and with the utmost dispatch proceed down the Atchafalaya and Grand Lake, I sent one of my staff officers to hurry them down.
During Thursday night and Friday the enemy crossed a large force of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, with wagons, the protection of their gunboats and a heavy advance guard securing them from interruption by our troops. On Friday afternoon slight skirmishing took place between Colonel Green's outpost pickets and the enemy's advance guard. On the morning of Saturday, the 11th instant, the enemy commenced seriously to advance. With an advance guard of five regiments of infantry, several batteries of artillery, and a battalion of cavalry he moved up in line of battle toward the upper mouth of the Bayou Teche, where he halted and encamped for the night. A gunboat accompanied this advance line and served as a support to its right flank. Colonel Green's pickets and advanced guard fell back slowly before the enemy, skirmishing with them. On the morning of Sunday, the 12th, the enemy continued his advance slowly and steadily on the west bank of the bayou, and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon had approached our line of defenses just below Bethel's plantation, halting at a distance of about 1,200 yards and displaying in line of battle six regiments of infantry, three batteries of artillery, and a considerable body of cavalry. A heavy second line was held by the enemy about 600 or 700 yards in rear of his first line. On the east bank a considerable force of infantry and cavalry and several pieces of artillery were displayed in front of our lines, distant about 1,800 yards from the works. A brisk cannonading was opened by our batteries along our whole line, which was relied to by the enemy and continued until sundown, when the enemy 11 back a few hundred yards and encamped for the night. The whole force of our army was disposed of as follows: The Fifth Texas Mounted Volunteer Regiment, Colonel Green, and Waller's battalion, both dismounted, on the extreme right, which rested upon a swamp and commanded <ar21_389> the approach by the railroad embankment. The Valverde Battery, Captain Sayera, on the left of Green's command; Colonel Gray's Twenty-eighth Louisiana Regiment occupying the center, with a section of Cornay's battery light artillery and Semmes' battery posted along the center, and a 24-pounder siege gun in position under Lieutenant Tarleton, of Cornay's battery, commanding the road along the west bank of the bayou. The gunboat Diana, commanded by Lieutenant Nettles, of the Valvetale Battery, heading down the stream on the line of our defenses, and on the east side of the bayou the Yellow Jacket Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Fournet; Crescent Regiment, Colonel Bosworth; Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Armant, with Faries' Pelican Battery of light artillery, posted along the line, and Colonel Bagby's regiment, Seventh Texas Mounted Volunteers, dismounted, thrown forward as skirmishers and sharpshooters to the front and in the woods on the extreme left, which woods terminated on the left in a swamp. The Second Louisiana Cavalry, Colonel Vincent, and Fourth Texas Mounted Volunteers, Colonel Reily, were, during the morning, held in the rear of our line as reserves. Learning that a gunboat and several transports of the enemy had been seen in Grand Lake, Vincent's regiment was ordered about midday to proceed to Verdun's Landing and watch the movements of these boats, preventing them from making a landing at that point, which was only 4 miles to the left and rear of our position. A section of Cornay's battery was also ordered to report to Colonel Vincent at Verdun's.
Shortly after the lose of this engagement I received information that five of the enemy's gunboats, with several transports towing barges and flats crowded with troops and artillery, had gone up Grand Lake, and were lying off Hudgins' Point, when Vincent's regiment, re-enforced with another section of Cornay's battery, was ordered to that point, with instructions to prevent, if possible, a landing by the enemy at Hudgins' and Charenton. A few hours later I proceeded in person to Vinecat's command, leaving Major Brent and Major Levy, of my staff, to make the necessary arrangements with Brigadier-General Sibley for an attack by our forces on the enemy at daylight the next morning. By leaving a small force behind our earthworks I was satisfied that the other troops, assisted by the Diana, moving down the bayou on a line with the attacking column on the west bank of the bayou could drive the enemy back, throw him in confusion, and render it necessary for him to withdraw the force which he was endeavoring to land in our rear to the assistance of his army in our front. Shortly after 9 o'clock on Sunday night Major Brent and Major Levy proceeded to communicate these orders to Brigadier-General Sibley, then commanding the forces south of Red River, but the supineness of that officer, who delayed communicating with Brigadier-General Mouton until 2 o'clock in the morning, and his positive declaration of the impracticability of carrying the plan into execution for want of time frustrated the scheme, which I am satisfied would have accomplished the most favorable results if actively attempted. I returned to our front about daylight, and was informed by Major Brent and Major Levy of the failure of Brigadier-General Sibley to organize the attack.
On Monday morning, at about 9 o'clock, the enemy commenced again to advance slowly on our line, having in the mean time thrown a largely increased force of cavalry, artillery, and infantry on the east bank and concentrated a large artillery force of cavalry, artillery, and infantry on the east bank and concentrated a large artillery force on the west bank, besides strengthening his front line of attack on that bank. <ar21_390>
Lieutenant Nettles, who had commanded the Diana up to Monday morning, and had handled her with great skill, was at that time forced to retire on account of severe illness, and Captain Semmes, of the artillery, was placed in command of her. Having sent Vincent's regiment to the lake shore, Reily's regiment constituted my only reserve, and during the morning of Monday received information that, contrary to my instructions, Colonel Vincent had contented himself with placing a small picket at Hudgins' and Charenton and encamped the remainder of his command on the west bank of the Teche, and that the enemy had succeeded in landing a large force at Hudgins'. I ordered Reily's regiment to proceed toward that point, re-enforce Colonel Vincent, and prevent the enemy from crossing the Teche and falling on my rear, thus being compelled to deprive myself of all reserves.
At about 11 o'clock on Monday, the 13th, the enemy displayed in our front, on both sides of the bayou, at least 14,000 men, and advanced with a show of confidence upon our earthworks. A fierce combat was kept up until sundown. The cannonading was uninterrupted, the enemy having brought to the front about sixty pieces of artillery, many of them heavy rifled and Parrott pieces. Our artillery wasted no ammunition, but opened on the advancing line of the enemy whenever they attempted to force our works. A battery of Parrott guns concentrated their fire upon the Diana, which, under Captain Semmes, was pouring its fire upon the center of the advancing line, when a shell from a 30-pounder Parrott siege gun penetrated the plating in front of the boilers, exploded in the engine-room, deranged a portion of the machinery, and killed 2 men-- the chief and one of the assistant engineers-- and wounded 5 of the crew. This rendered it necessary for the Diana to fall back beyond the range of the enemy's guns and repair damages, which occupied the remainder of the day, and was completed only at about midnight. The enemy made two attempts, by charging with their infantry, to carry our right, but were repulsed in both, with considerable loss, by the forces under Colonel Green and Colonel Gray. During these charges the Valverde Battery rendered most efficient service, and I regret to report that its gallant commander, who handled his battery with consummate skill, was wounded during these charges. The Twenty-eighth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, Colonel Gray, and Semmes' battery, commanded by Lieutenant Barnes; section of Cornay's battery, Lieutenant Gordy, and detachment serving 24-pounder siege gun, Lieutenant Tarleton, checked every advance of the enemy upon our center and thwarted any attempt to force it. On the extreme right the enemy was not only repulsed but driven back in contusion through the thicket, which he sought as a cover.
On the east bank of the bayou the forces under command of Brigadier-General Mouton behaved with the same signal gallantry. On that bank the object of the enemy was to turn our left and gain the woods, under cover of which he could get to our rear. Colonel Bagby's Seventh Texas Regiment Mounted Volunteers, dismounted, and a detachment of the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment held the left against all the attacks which were made, and at the close of the engagement the enemy had gained no ground since its commencement, but had been repulsed in every attempt to force our position. The dispositions and handling of his troops by Brigadier-General Mouton are entitled to the highest praise, and the gallant manner in which he held his position and punished and drove back the enemy is worthy of the greatest commendation. The Pelican Battery, Captain Faries, was most efficiently served, and contributed in an eminent degree toward preserving <ar21_391> our position on the east bank. During the engagement on our left Colonel Bagby was wounded seriously, but not dangerously, in the arm, but remained on the field with his regiment until the enemy had been driven back and ceased his attacks.
Our ability to hold our line of defense, even against the greatest odds in favor of the enemy, was fully demonstrated by the engagements of Sunday and Monday; and notwithstanding the exhaustion of our troops consequent upon their hard service for the two preceding days in the earthworks, I was satisfied that if the regiments of Vincent and Reily and the sections of Cornay's battery, which had been sent to the lake shore, could be successful in preventing the enemy from landing in my rear, thus enabling me to use them as reserves and relieve the troops on the line of earthworks, we could have held our position or driven the assailants back to the bay.
About 9 o'clock on Monday night I received a dispatch from Colonel Reily, informing me that the enemy had landed a very heavy force at Hudgins' Point; that he had met Vincent's cavalry on the west side of the Bayou Teche, he having fallen back before them; that the enemy had crossed the bayou over the bridge at Mrs. Porter's plantation, and that his (Reily's) whole command was at Carline's, 1* miles below Franklin. Thus the enemy were left in possession of the only road by which a retreat of our forces toward New Iberia could be effected. With a force of at least 14,000 men in our front and this movement of the enemy in our rear in heavy force the situation of our little army, which at the commencement of the contest was less than 4,000, was most critical. To extricate it by evacuation of the position at the earthworks and cut its way through the force on the New Iberia road above Franklin was the only plan which presented itself, and to be successful it must be immediately attempted. I therefore ordered all the wagons, containing quartermaster, commissary, medical, and ordnance stores, to be started at once on the road to Franklin, and all the infantry and artillery, except one rifle section of Semmes' battery, to march at the earliest practicable moment on Franklin. The Fifth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers and Waller's battalion of mounted men, with the rifle section of Semmes' battery, Lieutenant West commanding, constituting the rear guard, were ordered to evacuate the position below Bethel's before daybreak, cover the retreat of our army, skirmish with the enemy if he pursued us, and retard his advance until we had forced a passage through the column above Franklin. As soon as these orders had been issued and proper instructions given for removing the sick and wounded I proceeded to Reily's command and moved it forward above Franklin. Just before daylight this command-- Reily's and Vincent's regiments and Clack's battalion, the latter having just reached me from New Iberia, and two sections of Cornay's battery, were marched to the field in front of McKerall's sugar-house, about a mile above Franklin. Clack;s battalion was deployed as skirmishers and advanced across the field, occupying the woods in front. A section of Cornay's battery was then moved up the bayou road and took position at the lower edge of the field, above these woods, and Vincent's and Reily's regiments, with Clack's battalion, were posted in line of battle along the upper skirt of the woods, fronting on the field.
Immediately after daylight the enemy's skirmishers appeared in the upper portion of the field in front of our line, and were quickly followed by his forces, consisting of four regiments of infantry, a battalion of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, on the left, in line of battle. We <ar21_392> opened with our artillery and infantry upon them and checked their advance.
It soon became evident that it was the purpose of the enemy to detain us at that point until his column from below had come up and hemmed us closely in. At about 7 o'clock the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Gray, arrived at Franklin, reporting the remainder of our forces en route several miles behind.
I immediately posted Colonel Gray's regiment on the extreme left of our line, and with that, Vincent's, and Reily's regiments, and Clack's battalion, numbering in all less than 1,000 men, we charged the enemy's line and drove him back in confusion and with considerable loss to him.
The enemy then displayed a much larger force, which up to this time had been held concealed and as reserve, but they were unable to recover their lost ground and were held in check. In this engagement with the enemy near Franklin I regret to announce the death of Col. Reily, of Fourth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, who was mortally wounded just before the charge and died on the field. Colonel Vincent, Second Louisiana Cavalry, was wounded in the charge, in the neck; Adjutant Prudhomme, of the same regiment, in the thigh; Captain Bradford in the neck and leg. All these officers were gallantly leading their men.
Having repulsed the enemy and holding him in check I ordered the gunboat Diana to move up above Franklin and take position on the right of our line, so that her guns would sweep the fields and woods which the enemy had held, and placing Brigadier-General Mouton in command of the troops who were in line at McKerall's field, I repaired to Franklin and pressed forward the train and troops then just arriving on the cutoff road from Franklin to New Iberia.
Colonel Green with the rear guard of his own regiment, Waller's battalion, and the rifle section of Semmes' battery had left the line below Bethel's just before day break, all the stores having been removed ahead of them; a 24-pounder siege gun and a 12-pounder howitzer of Cornay's battery, the latter having been disabled during the action of Monday being necessarily abandoned.
With great coolness and steadiness Colonel Green retired slowly before the heavy advance guard of the enemy, opening upon him with his artillery whenever he came within range and charging and driving him back when the nature of the ground permitted such movements. I had given the necessary orders for the withdrawal of the troops under command of Brigadier-General Mouton, the abandonment of the Diana by Captain Semmes and his crew, and the burning of that vessel before Colonel Green with the rear guard came into the town of Franklin, at the upper end of which town the cut-off road commenced. But, as I have since learned, Brigadier-General Sibley, without communicating his intention to me, although I was in Franklin at the time, dispatched one of his staff officers to Colonel Green with an order to fall back at once through Franklin or the enemy would take possession of the road above at a point known as Harding's Lane and cut him off. In obedience to that order Colonel Green immediately fell back through Franklin into the cut-off road, set fire to the bridge on the road, taking it for granted that all the other troops had passed over. Brigadier-General Mouton with his command then retired, the general and his staff crossing the bridge while it was burning. Captain Semmes held the Diana in position, faithfully discharging his duty and set her on fire only when General Mouton had fallen back. Thus by the unjustifiable and careless order of General Sibley the escape of Captain Semmes and his crew <ar21_393> as prearranged was prevented, and I fear that he and the greater portion of the crew have become prisoners.
At about 9.30 o'clock a.m. all the wagons and troops had passed through the town of Franklin, and as the rear of General Mouton's command left the upper portion of the town the advance guard of the enemy entered the lower portion. At Franklin the steamboats which had been in the Lower Teche and used for transportation of troops and stores were burned to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy, with the exception of the steamer Cornie, on which the sick and wounded had been removed from Camp Bisland, and the unheard of plan was adopted of attempting to pass the boat with the sick and wounded on board through the enemy's lines under a hospital flag, although I had given orders for a sufficient number of vehicles to be in readiness at Franklin to transport the sick and wounded by land to a place of safety. This course was adopted by Chief Surgeon Parish, under orders from Brigadier-General Sibley, and of course the boat and those on board fell into the enemy's hands. Our troops and train then proceeded, en-camping on Tuesday night just above Jeanerette, Colonel Green, in command of the rear guard, covering the retreat and keeping up almost constant skirmishing with the enemy's advance. On leaving Franklin I, in person, ordered Brigadier-General Sibley to march at the head of the column, preventing straggling, select a suitable camp for the troops and wagons, and report to me the selection which he had made of camping ground for the night. Keeping in the rear of our column I was much surprised to find late in the afternoon that this order had not been complied with; that General Sibley was not with the command, but had taken a different road from that of the troops, and that the men were straggling without order over the whole line of march and adjacent country. I immediately dispatched a note to General Sibley, requiring his prompt obedience to the orders referred to, but not hearing from him at once I selected in person the camping ground and endeavored to collect the stragglers. Late in the evening General Sibley reported to me in person, stating that he was sick, and asking permission to go on the line of retreat in advance of the column, which request I granted.
Thus commenced the scattering and straggling of our troops and falling back to Vermillion Bridge. Nearly the whole of Lieutenant-Colonel Fournet's battalion, passing through the country in which the men had lived before joining the army, deserted with their arms, remaining at their homes. I was compelled to order the destruction of the gunboat Stevens below New Iberia; she was in charge of the Navy Department and under command of Lieutenant Humphreys, C. S. Navy. That officer reporting to me that she was in an unfinished condition and unfit for action with the enemy, there being no means of getting her out of reach of the enemy, I ordered her to be sunk as low down the bayou as possible, so that she would afford an obstruction to the enemy's boats ascending. This order was not carried out as given by me, but she was sunk about 2 miles below New Iberia, when she might have been sunk 5 or 6 miles lower.
The retreat continued, halting only for the night until our arrival at Vermillion Bayou, the rear guard under Colonel Green keeping almost constantly within gunshot distance of the enemy's advance, skirmishing all the time and charging them frequently. As soon as the whole train and all our forces had crossed the bayou I had the bridges burned, and posting four pieces of artillery on the heights and sharpshooters along the upper banks, the troops and teams, which were much exhausted, were allowed to rest from Thursday afternoon until midday on Friday. <ar21_394> At Vermillion Crossing sharp skirmishing was kept up and no demonstration of importance was made by the enemy while our forces were encamped at the bayou. The retreat was recommenced on Friday, and on Sunday our forces and train left Washington, the troops and commissary, medical, and ordnance wagons proceeding up the Bayou road by Moundville, and the quartermaster train moving by way of Ville Platte and Chicot to the Bayou Buff, the two trains uniting on the Buff about 16 miles below Cheneyville.
After crossing at Moundville I had the bridges across the Bayous Buff and Cocodrie at that place, the bridge over the Cocodrie at Judge Moore's plantation, and that known as La Fleur's, about 20 miles above Washington, burned. Colonel Green, with his rear guard, effectually covered the retreat, and continued his skirmishing with the enemy until near the town of Opelousas, enabling us to move across the Buff, and beyond danger of capture, an extensive train. On Monday morning I started the whole cavalry force of my command, except Waller's battalion, under Brigadier-General Mouton, to the westward of Opelousas on the open prairie, where from the nature of the country and Its adaptation to cavalry movements it can harass the enemy on his flank and rear, attack his trains, and if not successful in preventing his further advance into the interior of the State, will render it so slow and cautious as to give us time for making such dispositions of our forces as will be of great benefit to us.
The remainder of the forces are now encamped at Lecompte, the terminus of the Alexandria Railroad, at which place the wagons are also, with all the stores, except such as have been brought to Alexandria.
The loss sustained by us in killed, wounded, and prisoners captured in battle I cannot at present estimate. The number of prisoners actually captured by the enemy was small. I regret, however, to report that a very considerable number have voluntarily placed themselves within reach of the enemy by stopping at their houses in the parishes through which we retreated, a very large proportion of our army being composed of conscripts, unwillingly put into service, and those who volunteered at a late date to avoid conscription. From Sibley's brigade also a very considerable number have straggled off and returned to their homes in Texas. This was the case with all the regiments of the brigade. While those who participated in the engagements and the constant fighting on the retreat behaved with distinguished gallantry, it, is to be regretted that a great lack of discipline pervades the brigade, which it is to be hoped will be corrected and the excellent material rendered of more efficient service to our cause.
In all our engagements with the enemy and during the fighting on the retreat, running through ten days, the conduct of officers and troops who participated therein cannot be too highly extolled. Their patient endurance of fatigue and privation, pertinacious and successful resist-anew to the pursuing columns of the enemy are worthy of great commendation.
Brigadier-General Mouton, commanding the troops on the left of our line below Bethel's, and to whom I assigned the command of the troops at McKerall's field after their repulse, behaved with marked gallantry, and I take pleasure in bearing testimony to his skill, fidelity, and courage in every position in which he was placed. Colonel Green, commanding the rear guard, distinguished himself by the faithful and successful manner in which he discharged the important duties intrusted to him. To his zeal, vigilance, and daring the extrication of our little army from <ar21_395> its perilous position is indebted to a great extent. He has shown himself equal to every emergency, and to him and the officers and men of his command I feel proud to return my acknowledgments. In truth, he was the Ney of our retreat, and the shield and buckler of our little force.
Colonel Reily, of the Fourth Texas Regiment Mounted Volunteers, who fell in the battle of Franklin, was a gallant and chivalrous soldier, whose loss I deeply regret.
Colonel Gray and his regiment, Twenty-eighth Louisiana Volunteers, officers and men, deserve most favorable mention. Their gallantry in action is enhanced by the excellent discipline which they have preserved, and no veteran soldiers could have excelled them in their conduct during the trying scenes through which they passed. I cannot omit mentioning particularly Captain Bradford, of the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Regiment, whose bravery and coolness was conspicuous on all occasions. I am happy to state that his wounds are not dangerous, and hope that he will shortly be restored to service. Colonel Bagby, who was wounded in the action on Monday, merits the highest consideration.
Colonel Vincent, and the officers and men of the Second Louisiana Cavalry, in the action of Tuesday, and those who participated in the retreat, behaved handsomely.
Captain Semmes, in command of the Diana, and his crew conducted themselves with the greatest bravery and intrepidity, and deserve the highest encomiums.
Lieutenant West, of Semmes' battery, who commanded the rifled section on the retreat from the lower line to Jeanerette, handled his pieces with great skill and efficiency and inflicted severe loss upon the enemy in his pursuits. This officer and his men contributed largely toward the extrication of our army from its position of peril.
Lieutenant Tarleton, of' Cornay's battery, commanded the 24-pounder siege gun, and acquitted himself with credit and distinction.
Captain Sayers and the officers and men of the Valverde Battery behaved with great gallantry. Captain Sayers was wounded in the ankle in the action of Monday, the 13th. Semmes' battery fully sustained its merited reputation and did efficient service.
The Pelican Battery, Captain Faries, was handled with great skill, and all its officers and men bore themselves like good soldiers and receive my acknowledgments for their brave and effective service.
The Confederate Guards Response Battalion, Major Clack commanding, which reached me about daybreak on Tuesday morning was of invaluable service to me, and after a march of upward of 20 miles during the night entered into the engagement near Franklin on Tuesday morning like fresh troops and bore themselves like invincible soldiers. To their courage is added thorough discipline, which they kept up during the whole retreat.
In mentioning these particular corps and individuals I do not mean to detract from the merit and gallantry of the other brave troops of the command; all who participated in the fight manifest courage and devotion which is worthy of all praise. Lieutenant-Colonel Fournet, who was deserted by the most of his command, displayed courage and gallantry throughout the engagements. Other officers and soldiers, who have distinguished themselves, will be brought to the notice of the Government when General Mouton's report is received.
I cannot speak too highly of the services rendered by my staff officers and those of General Sibley, who remained with me. Lieutenant Colonel Herbert, <ar21_396> who had been detached from his battalion, the Arizona by General Sibley and placed on his staff, remained constantly with the rear guard and displayed the highest qualities of a soldier. Major Ochiltree, chief of staff of the Sibley brigade, was constantly under fire, and afforded me the most valuable assistance by his activity and daring, as did Major Robards, ordnance officer to the same brigade.
Major Magoffin, of General Sibley's staff, was also very active in discharging the duties intrusted to him. Major Levy, adjutant and inspector general on my staff, and Captains Norton and Fusilier, volunteer aides, were always under fire, carrying orders, enduring fatigue, hurrying up caissons when the severity of the fire made the drivers hesitate, and in fact doing the duties of couriers as well as of officers. I can speak in the same terms of Lieutenant Bonford, aide-de-camp, who joined me at the close of Monday's action and was present at the action near Franklin. Lieutenant Bringier, my other regular aide, only reached me at the Vermillion, but from that time shared in the dangers and fatigues of the retreat.
It only remains for me to speak of Major Brent, my chief of ordnance and artillery. Posting his guns with great skill he superintended the serving of them in person. Always in the right place and at the right time, he merits the highest commendation. Major Surget, my chief of staff, was compelled to remain at Alexandria. The large territory over which my small force was necessarily scattered in the district rendered it imperative for him to remain at a central point, though his applications to join me were .
In consequence of these operations having extended through several days, this report is necessarily somewhat lengthy; nor does opportunity offer in the present state of affairs to reduce it to a less prolix form.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff. 31