War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0076 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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force their way into the tow. If such an attempt had been made, there was no better position from which we could have repulsed them. Great as was the chagrin of our officers and men at being so held in reserve, I did not think it consistent with my duties to abandon the position contrary to the last orders of the general and leave exposed the whole open country on our left.

After the troops and artillery had all passed to our rear, and it be came evident that the enemy was not advancing on this point, I marched to the cemetery across the bayou, and opposite to the position I first occupied. At this time the firing had all ceased except on the extreme right, where it continued for a few moments only, and the action was ended. The men of my command displayed the greatest eagerness to meet the enemy, and our only regret was that the attack had not failed on our line.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. A. BEAN,

Lieutenant Col. Commanding Fourth, Wisconsin Regiment.

Colonel CAHILL, Commanding Forces in the Action.

No. 24. Report of Major General John C. Breckinridge, C. S. Army, commanding expedition, of engagement at Baton Rouge and occupation of Port Hudson.

HEADQUARTERS BRECKINRIDGE'S DIVISION,

September 30, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report the operations of a portion of my division recently ordered from Vicksburg to Camp Moore and Baton Rouge, La., by Major-General Van Dorn.

I left Vicksburg on July 27 with somewhat less than 4,000 men, and arrived at Camp Moore the evening of the 28th. The major-general commanding the district having received intelligence that the enemy was threatening Camp Moore in force, the movement was made suddenly and rapidly by railroad, and having but few cars, nothing could be transported except the troops, with their arms and ammunition. Brigadier General Charles Clark, who had reported for duty a few days before our departure from Vicksburg, promptly and kindly consented to accompany the expedition. Brigadier-General Ruggles was already at Camp Moore, in command of a small force, with which he had kept the enemy in check. The troops were immediately organized in two divisions, General Clark taking command of the First and General Ruggles of the Second Division. The rumor of an advance of the enemy in force upon Camp Moore proved to be unfounded.

On July 30, in obedience to a dispatch of the 29th from the major-general commanding the district, the troops were put in motion for Baton Rouge. During the march I received information that the effective force of the enemy was not less than 5,000 men, and that the ground was commanded by three gunboats lying in the river. My own troops having suffered severely from the effects of exposure at Vicksburg, from heavy rains without shelter and from the extreme heat, did not now number more than 3,400 men. Under these circumstances I determined not to make the attack unless we could be relieved from the fire of the fleet. Accordingly I telegraphed to the major-general commanding the condi-